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.

Banking on a New Orleans recovery

Aug 4, 2015
Noel King and Caitlin Esch

Alden McDonald, the President and CEO of Liberty Bank, takes a pair of work boots from the trunk of his car and paces the perimeter of a branch that's under construction in New Orleans' Gentilly neighborhood. He lobs question after question at his contractors: what's the square footage on the restrooms? Where will the tellers sit? Is it possible to remove one wall and add some open space? McDonald is nothing if not persistent. It's a character trait that helped when Liberty faced its most trying time.

Thomas Howley, Captain, New Orleans Fire Department, on safety measures taken during search and rescue missions.

Interview by Mark Cave for The Historic New Orleans Collection, April 28, 2006.

The Katrina Files feature the perspectives of first responders who worked in New Orleans in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

When Hurricane Katrina slammed into the Gulf Coast 10 years ago, the eye of the storm made landfall near a tiny speck of a town at the mouth of the Pearl River on the Louisiana border with Mississippi.

To say Katrina — one of the deadliest and costliest hurricanes in U.S. history — nearly wiped Pearlington, Miss., off the map isn't entirely true. The fact is, Pearlington was so small that it wasn't even on many maps.

Ten years ago this month Hurricane Katrina tore through New Orleans and more than a thousand people died. A quarter of a million more fled their homes, which were damaged or destroyed in the devastating floods.

A lot has changed in the past decade, but the recovery has been uneven. White residents are doing better than they were before the storm hit, while African Americans are struggling to catch up from the storm's aftermath.

Ten years ago this month, the monster storm Hurricane Katrina thundered through New Orleans and coastal Mississippi and Alabama. Many who survived the storm and its aftermath are still feeling its terrible impact.

This week on For the Record: Hurricane Katrina's mark on one family, 10 years later.

Elizabeth Mahoney, St. Bernard resident and peer counselor.
Brett Anderson

The devastation of Hurricane Katrina and the floods that followed is most visible in pictures of ruined houses and people’s destroyed possessions lying out on city streets. But there’s unseen damage that runs even deeper: the collective emotional trauma experienced by the thousands of people who lived through it.

The flooded streets and destroyed homes of the New Orleans neighborhood known as the Lower Ninth Ward were among the most powerful and iconic images from Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath 10 years ago.

Now, much of New Orleans is back — more than half of the city's neighborhoods have recovered some 90 percent of their pre-storm population.

That's not the case for the Lower Ninth.

Today, there's a feeling of desolation on nearly every block of the predominantly African-American neighborhood.

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.

This week on Inside the Arts, the city prepares to celebrate the birthday of a native son as Satchmo SummerFest kicks off in the French Quarter.

StoryCorps

When Gwen Smith’s co-worker didn’t arrive for work before Hurricane Katrina made landfall in 2005, Smith was forced to stay on the clock. By the time she left, it was too late to leave town and she was forced to ride out the storm with her sister, Crystal. The two women were in town for nearly a week and remember those days vividly.

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