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.

Right after Hurricane Katrina, tens of thousands of people rushed from New Orleans and elsewhere along the Gulf Coast to Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

The influx of evacuees and recovery crews was a recipe for road congestion. Traffic volumes hit 25-year projected growth overnight. There was gridlock in Louisiana’s capital city.

The head of the federal agency for volunteering and service says Hurricane Katrina created new ways of thinking about disaster response for volunteer organizations.

St. Bernard Fire Department via The Historic New Orleans Collection

This month, as part of WWNO's ongoing Katrina 10 coverage, we bring you The Katrina Files: Reflections from First Responders. This series is based on oral histories conducted by The Historic New Orleans Collection and hosted by Paul Maassen.

Tegan Wendland / WWNO

Ten years after Katrina, the Army Corps of Engineers says it is ready for the next big one. The Corps has built new levees, floodwalls and gated structures over the past decade to protect the city and its people.

As we mark the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, which devastated the Gulf Coast and killed more than 1,800 people in August of 2005, Here & Now listens back to some of the memorable moments from the storm and the news coverage.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

This week on the Reading Life:  Katherine E. Browne, author of Standing in the Need: Culture, Comfort and Coming Home After Katrina, and bestselling author Libba Bray, whose new book in The Diviners series for young adults is Lair of Dreams. And Susan has a few thoughts about summer reading.

New books about Katrina in 2015:

We’re Still Here, Ya Bastards: How the People of New Orleans Rebuilt Their City, by Roberta Brandes Gratz

Katrina: After the Flood, by Gary Rivlin            

Residents of the Lower 9th Ward attend an unveiling a plaque marking the location of the levee break.
Jesse Hardman

  

The catastrophic flooding of the Lower 9th Ward now has a commemorative marker.

A plaque was erected last night by Levees.org. 

It’s at the site where a floodwall protecting the neighborhood collapsed, unleashing a wall of water 10 years ago during Hurricane Katrina.

StoryCorps

In the immediate days after Hurricane Katrina, Ben Rongey’s father gave him a special pass which gave him full access to Jefferson Parish. At the time he was a high school senior and acted accordingly: he called his friend Wyatt Higgins so they could explore the city together.

They smooth-talked a National Guardsman, crossed into Orleans Parish, and headed for Wyatt’s house. Flood waters prevented them from driving into the Gentilly neighborhood, so they parked the car and walked the final trek.

In the chaotic days after Hurricane Katrina, law enforcement in New Orleans erroneously told evacuees to gather at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center to await rescue.

2005 Hurricane Season Still Most Active on Record

Aug 24, 2015

Ten years later, the 2005 hurricane season remains the most active on record.

Barry Keim, Louisiana’s state climatologist, says that in 2005, “The sea surface temperatures were off the charts.” Keim explains that hurricanes need warm water to develop. The warmer the water, the stronger hurricanes can potentially become.

There were 28 named storms in 2005. “It was a crazy year,” Keim says. The last storm of the season, Tropical Storm Zeta, formed on December 30th—a full month after what should have been the end of hurricane season.

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