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 Army Corps of Engineers is back on trial, seven years after Hurricane Katrina's storm surge shredded New Orleans' flood protection system.

Starting Wednesday, a federal judge will hear testimony in a lawsuit by several homeowners who claim negligence by the corps and a contractor caused the failure of floodwalls protecting the Lower 9th Ward and neighboring St. Bernard Parish.

The corps says rain and storm surge overtopped floodwalls along the Inner Harbor Navigation Canal.

Grant Morris / It's New Orleans

Living on the brink of annual annihilation has bred a number of fascinating businesses founded by exceptional people who are inspired by the spirit of our city.

A new study shows there's a diminishing amount of blight in New Orleans. But the overall level is stubbornly high.

Transcript

JACKI LYDEN, HOST:

Seven years ago, when the waters rose in New Orleans on August the 29th, they swamped a way of life in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Among the thousands of casualties in that city was a masterpiece, the New Orleans Botanical Garden.

This week on The Reading Life: Daniel Wolff, author of The Fight For Home: How (Parts of) New Orleans Came Back, and Tom Wooten, author of We Shall Not be Moved: Rebuilding Home in the Wake of Katrina.

And we'll celebrate Julia Child's 100th birthday in books!

Police: Katrina hero plotted ex-wife's murder

Aug 10, 2012

A Syrian-born man who became the hero-rescuer in Dave Eggers' best-selling nonfiction "Zeitoun" book, which chronicled the eerie aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and the nightmarish side of the American justice system, has been accused of plotting to murder his ex-wife, her son and another man.

Abdulrahman Zeitoun, 54, faces charges of offering $20,000 to a fellow jail inmate in exchange for the killings. Zeitoun also faces a domestic abuse battery charge after he allegedly beat his wife, Kathy Zeitoun, on a New Orleans street.

A landmark New Orleans food store that hasn't re-opened since Hurricane Katrina hit nearly seven years ago is getting financial help as it works to make a comeback.

New Orleans officials announced Thursday that the Circle Food Store will receive a $1 million loan from the city's Fresh Food Retailer Initiative, a program started last year to expand access to healthy, affordable food in low-income areas.

The initiative is funded through federal grant money and by the nonprofit Hope Enterprise Corporation.

The state of Louisiana is accepting applications for a program offering low-interest loans of up to $5 million to businesses affected by hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005.

The state Office of Community Development said in a statement Wednesday that the loans are designed to address "unmet business recovery needs" and stimulate economy recovery.

Funding for 11 projects already has been approved through the "Project-Based Opportunity Program."

The loans are funded by federal grants from the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Jon Johnson pleads guilty in Katrina fraud

Jul 18, 2012

A New Orleans city councilman pleaded guilty Wednesday to a federal criminal charge of misusing federal money intended to help a nonprofit organization after Hurricane Katrina and diverting some of it to one of his political campaigns.

Jon Johnson, who is 63, faces up to 5 years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine.

U.S. District Judge Lance Africk set sentencing for Oct. 25.

Johnson said he will resign from his seat on the council.

Homeowners will pay $54 on average next year on their insurance policies to cover bond payments being made by state-backed Louisiana Citizens Property Insurance Corp., which had to borrow nearly $1 billion to pay claims from hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

The board voted Thursday to impose a 3.74 percent assessment on all commercial and personal policyholders in the state starting Jan. 1.

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