September 17, 2021

Tracing the scars of Katrina

Pin It
NEW ORLEANS, LA - MAY 18, 2015: (TOP PHOTO) A man bikes past the corner of Flood Street and St. Claude Avenue in the Lower Ninth Ward on May 18, 2015 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, which killed at least 1836 and is considered the costliest natural disaster in U.S. history, is August 29. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images) :NEW ORLEANS, LA - AUGUST 31, 2005: (BOTTOM PHOTO) Men ride in a boat in high water past Flood Street after Hurricane Katrina devastated the area August 31, 2005 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Devastation is widespread throughout the city with water approximately 12 feet high in some areas. Hundreds are feared dead and thousands were left homeless in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida by the storm. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

NEW ORLEANS, LA – MAY 18, 2015: (TOP PHOTO) A man bikes past the corner of Flood Street and St. Claude Avenue in the Lower Ninth Ward on May 18, 2015 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, which killed at least 1836 and is considered the costliest natural disaster in U.S. history, is August 29. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
:NEW ORLEANS, LA – AUGUST 31, 2005: (BOTTOM PHOTO) Men ride in a boat in high water past Flood Street after Hurricane Katrina devastated the area August 31, 2005 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Devastation is widespread throughout the city with water approximately 12 feet high in some areas. Hundreds are feared dead and thousands were left homeless in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida by the storm. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

By Jeyhoun Allebaugh & Marcus Gilmer From Mashable

Ten years ago, Hurricane Katrina made landfall along the Gulf Coast. While the storm’s wrath was felt throughout the Southeast, the iconic images associated with the hurricane show a great American city submerged: New Orleans.

At least 1,100 people died as a result of the hurricane, though the exact figure isn’t known and could be much higher. In the year after Katrina, the suicide rate in New Orleans tripled.

A decade later, neighborhoods have been rebuilt, the damage paved over. And while the city still struggles with issues of economic and racial disparity, what has been accomplished is a testament to the resilience of the Crescent City.

Mashable sent a photographer to New Orleans to capture then and now.

When the levees broke, roughly 80% of the city flooded, including Canal Street and sections of downtown. Water levels were lower in these areas, though, and the historic French Quarter escaped the storm without any major flood damage. The city’s tourism industry has largely rebounded.

New Orleans today boasts a bustling restaurant scene, and millions still flock to the French Quarter. The city’s tourism board estimated that 9.5 million people visited New Orleans last year.

During the hurricane, many citizens sought refuge at the Superdome. After Katrina, the New Orleans Saints buoyed the city’s spirit with a Super Bowl victory in February 2010.
MARIO TAMA/GETTY IMAGES, MARIO TAMA/GETTY IMAGES

A New Orleans police car drives down Canal Street during Hurricane Katrina early in the morning of Aug. 29, 2005. CHRIS GRAYTHEN/GETTY IMAGES

The Superdome — which served as a shelter during the hurricane and became one of the more harrowing backdrops to the catastrophe — has since become a symbol of the recovery, hosting the Super Bowl and Wrestlemania, among other things. It still serves as the home of the New Orleans Saints. A.J. SISCO/CORBIS, JEYHOUN ALLEBAUGH/MASHABLE

More than half the population of New Orleans left because of the hurricane. Though the city has bounced back, not everyone has returned.

A month before the hurricane struck, the U.S. Census Bureau estimated New Orleans’ population at around 455,000. A year later, that had dropped to 208,000 people. By July last year, the number of residents in the city had grown to 385,000 — or about 80% of its pre-Katrina population.

However, only a little more than a third of the residents in the hard-hit Ninth Ward have returned, according to the New Orleans Data Center.

Robert Fontaine walks past a burning house fire in the Seventh Ward on Sept. 6, 2005. MARIO TAMA/GETTY IMAGES
Today, some of the neighborhood has been restored. MARIO TAMA/GETTY IMAGES

In the aftermath of Katrina, the city’s education system underwent dramatic reform as schools were rebuilt and restructured. Nearly all the schools have since been converted to the charter school system.

But the restructuring has been controversial. While education officials cite test scores as proof that the reform has been a success, others say the new school system has selectively released data.

People from the Lower Ninth Ward wait to be rescued from the roof of the Martin Luther King Jr. School. MARIO TAMA/GETTY IMAGES

Today, the school shows new life. JEYHOUN ALLEBAUGH/MASHABLE

High flood waters, up to 12 feet high in some spots, turned bridges and overpasses into islands of refuge for those seeking escape from the toxic floodwaters that swamped the city. MARIO TAMA/GETTY IMAGES, JEYHOUN ALLEBAUGH/MASHABLE

The Six Flags theme park in New Orleans submerged under water. BOB MCMILLAN/FEMA PHOTO

Today, the park remains abandoned. There are currently no plans to rebuild it.
TIMES-PICAYUNE/LANDOV

Debris on Canal Street in the aftermath of the storm on Aug. 29, 2005.

Today, the downtown area has seen major improvements, which has helped the city’s tourism industry rebound. JEYHOUN ALLEBAUGH/MASHABLE

The interior of St. Dominic church, which had to be entirely gutted after Katrina struck. CHRIS GRAYTHEN/GETTY IMAGES, JEYHOUN ALLEBAUGH/MASHABLE

But the cost of Katrina goes beyond dollars and cents. In addition to the death toll, Katrina displaced more than one million people and damaged more than a million homes. In New Orleans, that amounted to 70% of the city’s housing units.

While parts of the media reported rampant violence in the storm’s wake, 10 years later it’s clear that while there was some looting and violence, it was grossly over-reported. Still, the image of lawless chaos, real or imagined, has left a dark cloud.

Hurricane Katrina caused extensive damage to the Superdome, even ripping the protective skin off the stadium’s roof. MARK WILSON/GETTY IMAGES

The total cost of repairing the stadium, which wasn’t completed until 2011, came in at $336 million. JEYHOUN ALLEBAUGH/MASHABLE

The intersection of Flood and St. Claude Avenue then. MARIO TAMA/GETTY IMAGES

The intersection today. MARIO TAMA/GETTY IMAGES

Canal Street downtown was still flooded on Sept. 7, 2005, nearly two weeks after Hurricane Katrina struck. A.J. SISCO/CORBIS

Service to the famed streetcar line on Canal Street wasn’t restored until December 2006, more than a year after Katrina. JEYHOUN ALLEBAUGH/MASHABLE

KEN CEDENO/CORBIS JEYHOUN ALLEBAUGH/MASHABLE

The floodwaters were deepest in the Lower Ninth Ward, Gentilly, New Orleans East and parts of Lakeview.
KEN CEDENO/CORBIS, JEYHOUN ALLEBAUGH/MASHABLE

The levee along the Industrial Canal in the Lower Ninth Ward as it was being rebuilt in April 2006.

New homes now stand along the rebuilt levee. MARIO TAMA/GETTY IMAGES, MARIO TAMA/GETTY IMAGES

The cemetery outside Saint Patrick’s Church in Port Sulphur, Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana. Hurricane Katrina is considered the costliest natural disaster in American history. MARIO TAMA/GETTY IMAGES, MARIO TAMA/GETTY IMAGES

For more on this story go to: http://mashable.com/2015/08/28/katrina-ten-years-later-photos-of-the-scarred-city/?utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Mashable+%28Mashable%29&utm_cid=Mash-Prod-RSS-Feedburner-All-Partial&utm_medium=feed&utm_source=feedburner&utm_content=Google+Feedfetcher

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
About ieyenews

Speak Your Mind

*