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Hurricane Katrina sent a 30-foot wall of water crashing into coastal Mississippi, and the small town of Waveland, Miss., near the Louisiana border, was one of the hardest-hit places. For 10 years now, its residents have struggled to rebuild in the face of multiple obstacles.

Standing on the second-floor balcony of Waveland City Hall, Mayor Mike Smith points out what used to be on Coleman Avenue, the main downtown thoroughfare: "There was a building right here on the corner, and then there was a drugstore and some shops on the right-hand side. ..."

Driving down Capitol Heights in Mid-City a few weeks back, I saw a sign in front of a house. It was...a colorful sign, to say the least, and what it said intrigued me: "Live Music - Friday - 6:30 to 8:30." I decided to check it out, and what I found was not what I expected.

“It’s a neighborhood event,"  said David Henson, leader of the Adult Music Club of Baton Rouge. "It’s not really like a music venue, like a club show or anything like that where there’s going to be a crowd of rowdy people, or anything like that; but I do like (it) – this is a pretty good little house.”


Executive director of Our Daily Bread Food Bank in Hammond, Myrna Jordan, stands in front of pallets of food in the warehouse. The food is distributed to 25 sites throughout the Tangipahoa Parish every week.
Tegan Wendland / WWNO

Tangipahoa Parish’s poverty level, 19 percent, is well above the state and national average. While officials speculate as to why the rate is so high, many social service groups on the Northshore are just trying to help. One of the biggest challenges for struggling families is food access.

Our Daily Bread Food Bank is working to prevent food from being thrown away and get it to the people who need it most.

Editor's Note: This story contains strong language that some may find offensive.

The smell of blood hung in the air where 17-year-old Gerald Morgan was shot, as firefighters began washing down the sidewalk around the front door of a home in New Orleans East last month.

Police say at least two gunmen jumped out of a car, opened fire, ran near a two-story house and kept shooting, also hitting a 4-year-old boy inside. The teenager died at the hospital. The boy was listed in stable condition. Police have not offered a theory for the cause of the shooting.

How do New Orleanians pronounce the street name Melpomene?
Jesse Hardman / WWNO

The Listening Post has teamed up with Nola.com | The Times-Picayune to produce a segment called Street Wise. First, we head out to the hardest-to-pronounce streets in New Orleans, then we hit up a linguist for a little background. 

So, how do you pronounce Melpomene?

Where da Melph at?

Lillie Cotlon, left, encouraged her son, Burnell, to quit his job at Family Dollar and start his own business in their neighborhood.
StoryCorps

New Orleanians encountered one obstacle after another as they rebuilt their city after Katrina. Urban food access became a problem for many neighborhoods, especially those with low income.

Lower 9th Ward resident Burnell Cotlan saw this problem troubling his community, so he built The Lower 9th Ward Market. His mother, Lillie, helped him along the way. 

After being picked up from the curb, 'Katrina refrigerators' were hauled to landfills, stripped of rotted food and chemicals, and the metal and plastic were recycled.
Alice Welch / USDA

This week on Katrina: The Debris, we're exploring the actual debris — the stuff left behind when the winds died down and the floodwaters receded.

Katrina changed our relationship with that "stuff" — the tangible things that make up our modern lives. Some things became much more important, while so much else became just trash to be left on the curb for pickup.

A new Data Center report released today says that 10 years after Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans is rebounding. However, demographers say prosperity is not distributed equally.

New Orleans looks different 10 years after Hurricane Katrina. Some neighborhoods are gentrified. Others are still full of empty lots.

And the population is different. African American residents remain the majority, but not by as much. There are more white residents than before the storm. And the single men who came north from Mexico and Central America to help rebuild are having a lasting effect.

“We’ve been having bad snakes and all kinds of different things going on," says Deborah Rogers. She’s a Bronson Street resident who is a victim of blighted properties in her area.

Rogers says it bothers her to see neglected homes next to people who are taking care of theirs. She points to scattered debris along one side of an abandoned house. People have empty their trash on these lots, attracting unwanted guests to the neighborhood

CroMary / Shutterstock.com

What do you do when you see an unfamiliar face? The more I get around Louisiana, the more I think the answer is, you stuff it.

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