recovery

WWNO 89.9 FM

A lot changes in 10 years. Here at WWNO, we’ve witnessed many transformations since the summer of 2005: we’ve expanded our format, started a local news department, and even won some awards.

None of that would have been possible without the memorable efforts of WWNO’s staff who kept the radio station running after Hurricane Katrina and the floods that followed.

This is the long story of a short street: Schnell Drive, two blocks of brick homes in Arabi, La., just east of New Orleans in St. Bernard Parish.

When we first visited in the fall of 2005, Donald and Colleen Bordelon were often the only two people on Schnell Drive. They had stayed in their home through the storm and the flood, and through the weeks after when the first floor was still filled with water.

Food memories resonate from the post-Katrina experience in New Orleans. This offer of red beans and hospitality was displayed on a Mid-City home for months after the floods.
Ian McNulty

Sometimes a sound will bring it back, as random as loose siding beating against a wall, recalling a shredded city, or as overt as the diesel rumble of an army Humvee on city streets.

Even if you’re ready to close the door on Katrina and the levee failures, and plenty of us have, the persistence of sense memories may have other plans. It’s that vivid, involuntary recall of what we took in, and no matter where we managed to store it this stuff can come creeping back, even a decade later.

Tegan Wendland / WWNO

St. Bernard Parish officials want to raise awareness of how the parish was affected by Hurricane Katrina ten years ago. The parish is holding its own Katrina 10 events this week, featuring art displays, public banners indicating the level of water the area took, parish first response offices, and visits to Army Corps of Engineers flood protection projects.

This week is filled with events marking the 10-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Among them: a conference on the current state of Black New Orleans.

The three-day conference — hosted by the Urban League — kicked off with a town hall and panels focused on education.

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans today is smaller than when the storm hit, with 110,000 fewer people than the nearly half-million who had lived there. But the city's recovery is a story that varies with each neighborhood. In some neighborhoods, like the Lower Ninth Ward, many residents never returned. Others, like the French Quarter, have seen many newcomers and now have more households than they did in 2005.

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

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.

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.

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast, much of the physical damage the storm caused in the city of New Orleans has been repaired. Neighborhoods and communities have been rebuilt. Schools, hospitals, businesses, and restaurants have re-opened.

But as Laine Kaplan-Levenson of WWNO in New Orleans reports, a deeper, invisible wound brought by the storm remains. Thousands of residents, and especially children, were traumatized by the storm and the displacement and struggle that followed.

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