lower 9th ward

Officials gathered in the Lower Ninth Ward for a ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark the new CVS store. Festivities featured an unexpected reunion for Mayor Mitch Landrieu.

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.

Jesse Hardman

This coming week in New Orleans will be packed with press conferences and commemorations as the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina’s nears. The Lower 9th Ward, considered one of the city's most devastated neighborhoods a decade ago, is seeing more visitors than usual, including city workers and business investors.

Ten years ago, when Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, it was the city's Lower Ninth Ward that was hit the hardest.

"I remember coming back home," Lower Ninth resident Burnell Cotlon told his mother, Lillie, on a recent visit with StoryCorps. "That was the first time I cried."

"We lost everything," Lillie says.

Lillie Cotlon, left, encouraged her son, Burnell, to quit his job at Family Dollar and start his own business in their neighborhood.
StoryCorps

New Orleanians encountered one obstacle after another as they rebuilt their city after Katrina. Urban food access became a problem for many neighborhoods, especially those with low income.

Lower 9th Ward resident Burnell Cotlan saw this problem troubling his community, so he built The Lower 9th Ward Market. His mother, Lillie, helped him along the way. 

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.

Eve Abrams / WWNO

Since its formation in 2006, the Lower 9th Ward Center for Sustainable Engagement and Development has worked hard to advocate for a healthier, more sustainable Lower 9th Ward.

“We are in the Lower 9th Ward of New Orleans, Louisiana,” declares Arthur Johnson, CEO of the Lower 9th Ward Center for Sustainable Engagement and Development. “This is on the Holy Cross side. The river is right on my right. I can see the tall ships from here.  That’s how close we are to the river.

A third man and a woman have been arrested in connection with a drive-by shooting in the Lower 9th Ward that killed two people and injured five.

Two boys and their mother were among the wounded.

New Orleans police say 23-year-old Joseph Nelson III is accused of being one of two gunmen who fired into a group on Aug. 10. Police say 25-year-old Ashley Shorts allegedly helped one of those two avoid detection.

Nelson was booked yesterday with two counts of first-degree murder and five of attempted first-degree murder.

Jesse Hardman

Every week WWNO's Listening Post project asks questions about local news in New Orleans and the Gulf Coast and reports back on the community's response. This week's topic is, once again, violence in New Orleans.

On August 10, 2014, two people were killed and five were injured in a drive-by shooting in the Lower 9th Ward. Two children were severely wounded in the incident

Jesse Hardman / WWNO

New Orleans officials are asking the public for help in finding the gunman who killed two people and injured five others in a weekend drive-by shooting. Police have made some progress in the investigation.

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