Hurricane Katrina

Find stories from WWNO, NPR and our partner stations as we explore New Orleans and the Gulf South 10 years after Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath.

The flooding that devastated Baton Rouge Louisiana this month is a grim reminder of the havoc that nature can wreak on residents of the state. Today marks 11 years since Hurricane Katrina made landfall on the Gulf Coast, killing more than 1,800 people and displacing a million others.

Tegan Wendland / WWNO

On this eleventh anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, officials gathered to remember the dead. As WWNO’s Tegan Wendland reports, they held a prayer service and wreath-laying ceremony. This year’s memorial feels especially poignant, as parishes across southern Louisiana reel from devastating floods.

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina, the Federal Emergency Management Agency is settling up on how much it will pay to repair streets and sewer lines in New Orleans. Officials say much more than roadways can benefit.

Tulane University researchers are leading a study examining the long-term effects of Hurricane Katrina. The national project will examine the health effects of the storm, who came back, and where they are now.

A before-and-after look at the Orpheum Theater, which was damaged and shuttered by Hurricane Katrina's floodwaters.
Orpheum Theater / Instagram

The Orpheum Theater in New Orleans' Central Business District has reopened, 10 years after the facility flooded during Hurricane Katrina and after $13 million in renovations.

WWNO's Eileen Fleming has this look at the people who got together to buy and renovate the historic theater.

The Orpheum Theater has reopened after 10 years.
The Orpheum Theater

After ten years of post-Katrina concerts in other venues, the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra returns to the Orpheum Theater in New Orleans' Central Business District to open its 2015-16 concert season.

While driving to his studio in New York's Rockaway Beach neighborhood, artist Christopher Saucedo looks out across Jamaica Bay. He sees a glittering Manhattan and the spire of the new World Trade Center gleaming in a cloudless sky.

"Obviously, where it stands there were once two other very tall towers," the art professor says dryly.

Ten years ago, actor Wendell Pierce went home for a vacation between recording seasons of the hit HBO show The Wire.

As he stepped off the plane in New Orleans, the airport was chaotic. A massive hurricane called Katrina was closing in on the city.

"I was telling my parents 'Nah, let's just ride it out. Let's just stay,' " Pierce tells NPR's Arun Rath. "I went out that Saturday night and I kind of bluffed my parents and said 'Well, if they make it a mandatory evacuation, we'll leave.'

"That Sunday morning they did, and that's when I knew it was serious."

Ten years ago this week New Orleans was under water. A decade later, people who survived the flood are still turning to art to make sense of Hurricane Katrina’s fury.

Several of the city’s major museums have acknowledged the anniversary with new exhibits, including one at the New Orleans Museum of Art.