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.

Jason Saul

You don't realize how much you appreciate traffic lights until you have to drive around a city without any. This week on Katrina: The Debris, getting around New Orleans, during and after the storm.

Kate Richardson / WWNO

New Orleans is a family city. Grandparents and grandkids, cousins, aunts and uncles often live in the same house, share the same traditions. When Katrina hit, many families evacuated together — three generations crammed into one car.

Photo of Gustave Blache III work / Flawlessentrprs

The root of the word “restaurant” is in fact the French verb restaurer​, to restore. And New Orleans restaurateurs, the proprietors, were seen as key figures in restoring the life and spirit of the city. But in those first months after the flood, nobody was sure how or even if the city's most famous restaurants were going to reopen. 

Bring New Orleans Back Commission / Urban Land Institute

The first comprehensive map for rebuilding New Orleans came out in early 2006, about six months after the flood. Saying it was highly anticipated would be an understatement. On it, some symbols that appeared as a death knell for some neighborhoods: green dots.

National Weather Service

Incredible by Modern Standards— June 1

New Orleans is a weather town. As hurricane season begins, hear the most emotional federal weather bulletin ever written. Plus, more on how the National Weather Service is using social science to improve forecasts. And hear from New Orleans residents who say the argument to call our 2005 disaster “The Federal Flood” instead of just “Katrina” still holds water. Why that weather wording matters.

Ten years ago, the U.S. experienced its busiest hurricane season ever recorded. The year saw 28 named storms — 15 of them hurricanes — including Hurricane Katrina, which devastated the Gulf Coast. Four major hurricanes hit the U.S. in 2005, beginning in July with Hurricane Dennis.

“In newsrooms across the city and, yes, the nation and presumably the world, journalists are staring down blank whiteboards with the headline: Ten-Year Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina,” WWNO News Director Eve Troeh says in the New Yorker. “We are figuring out how often and in which contexts to gracefully add the phrase ‘and the federal levee failures’ without upsetting sentence structure, or whether to simply call everything ‘the flood.’”

Dirty Coast

As the 10th hurricane season begins since the landfall of Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath, 89.9 WWNO — New Orleans Public Radio is launching a new weekly podcast and radio feature: Katrina: The Debris, stories about what was left behind by the storm and the floods that followed.

Combining archival material with new interviews and long-format feature stories, Katrina: The Debris aims to pick up some of the narrative threads of the storm, and follow them into the present and future.

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu has delivered his traditional State of the City address, focusing on the challenges and progress made in the 10 years since Hurricane Katrina. The speech had a more personal tone than those in past years.

Jesse Hardman

As part of a Hurricane Katrina 10th anniversary initiative, Habitat for Humanity is putting up 10 new homes in New Orleans East. A few hundred volunteers are spending the next 10 days along America Street, putting up new single-family homes in lots that have sat vacant since Hurricanes Katrina and Rita flooded this neighborhood.