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Coleen Perilloux Landry | profile | all galleries >> Lower Ninth Ward Almost Five Years After Hurricane Katrina tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Lower Ninth Ward Almost Five Years After Hurricane Katrina

After more than 80 per cent of the City of New Orleans flooded when the canal levees, poorly built by the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers, broke during and after Hurricane Katrina, the news media and particularly the national and world news media focused mainly on the Ninth Ward of New Orleans whereas other areas had deeper water and more population. However, the Ninth Ward had the most people with lower incomes than anywhere else.
The Ninth Ward, as pictured on television and in the newspaper is not just a black neighborhood. It is a neighborhood of white, black and hispanic people and always has been. Many of them were retired, having worked all their lives as longshoremen on the wharves of the Mississippi River, as school teachers, seamstresses, skilled carpenters and artisans, and so many worked in the booming tourism industry of New Orleans. Good, honest, hardworking people wanting to live out their lives in their neighborhoods consisting mostly of New Orleans style architecture and built of cypress from the Louisiana forests. Many of the houses were 100 years old and more.
Many of the people did not evacuate, some due to no means of transportation and many who felt they were safe because they had survived other severe hurricanes in the City with the 1947 and the 1965 (Hurricane Betsy) being two of the worst.
When the levees broke and billions of gallons of water pushed from the Gulf of Mexico into the Lakes Catherine, Borgne and Pontchartrain began to fill up the Ninth Ward many of them fled for their lives. However, too many could not escape and drowned in their houses, their attics or on their roofs. Many clung to roofs and trees for days waiting for help. It took the federal government one week to respond but in the meantime ordinary citizens from all over the State came in their flatboats to rescue people. It was a tragedy alien to the human mind and spirit and before it was all over, almost 2,000 people died. Some were never accounted for.
Almost five years after the hurricane, I again took photos of the area. The neighborhoods south of St. Claude Avenue and closest to the River have recovered faster than the area north of the St. Claude Avenue. Most of the houses are totally gone. That is the area where actor Brad Pitt sponsored a program to build houses and give to people. They are not New Orleans architecture, but they were given to the people and are very energy efficient and built according to new "green" standards.
New Orleans lacked leadership after the hurricane. With billions of water sitting in neighborhoods for three weeks and more, the infracture of electricity, gas and water was badly damaged. The mayor did very little to improve conditions. Thankfully, he went out of office in May, 2010, but much too late for many people. Many of the older people simply never returned because they had nothing to return to and even if they wanted to repair their houses, there was no water or electricity for more than a year after the storm. Heartbreaking.
My gallery of the Lower Ninth Ward taken a few months after Katrina can be seen on my PBase site. If you think this is bad, just look at that gallery.
I present to you the good and the bad almost five years after August 29, 2005. There will be about fifty pictures in this gallery. This will probably be the last photos I feature of the Lower Ninth Ward and Katrina. There is only so much a soul can take.
PLEASE SCROLL DOWN AND READ UNDER THE PHOTOS.
Holy Cross School - Abandoned
Holy Cross School - Abandoned
Restored
Restored
Restored, Ironically on Flood Street
Restored, Ironically on Flood Street
New Orleans double shotgun.
New Orleans double shotgun.
Restored
Restored
Still bears signs of rescuers - no work in progress
Still bears signs of rescuers - no work in progress
Steamboat House
Steamboat House
One of Brad Pitt's Make it Right Houses
One of Brad Pitt's "Make it Right" Houses
No Sign of Restoration
No Sign of Restoration
St. Maurice Church - Closed by Archbishop
St. Maurice Church - Closed by Archbishop
Villa St. Maurice - a home for the elderly -closed
Villa St. Maurice - a home for the elderly -closed
Convent of the  Perpetual Adoration - status unknown
Convent of the Perpetual Adoration - status unknown
Owners Probably Never Returned
Owners Probably Never Returned
Restored
Restored
A Row of Shotgun Houses
A Row of Shotgun Houses
Fats Domino's House
Fats Domino's House
Lovingly restored - typical of early 1900's New Orleans architecture
Lovingly restored - typical of early 1900's New Orleans architecture
There's No Place Like Home
There's No Place Like Home
Restored - Owned by a Retired School Principal
Restored - Owned by a Retired School Principal
No One Home
No One Home
A Brad Pitt Make it Right House
A Brad Pitt "Make it Right" House
Sign in front of closed church
Sign in front of closed church
New House - north side of St. Claude
New House - north side of St. Claude
Still Waiting for Its People
Still Waiting for Its People
Newly restored
Newly restored
For Sale - South of St. Claude Avenue
For Sale - South of St. Claude Avenue
Restored - South of St. Claude near the Mississippi River
Restored - South of St. Claude near the Mississippi River
Restored and gardens planted
Restored and gardens planted
Restored
Restored
Solid Cypress House Bought by FEMA
Solid Cypress House Bought by FEMA
Status Unknown
Status Unknown
Very Lovingly Restored
Very Lovingly Restored
A Brad Pitt Make it Right House
A Brad Pitt "Make it Right" House
Occupied - Flowers in bathtubs - Glad to be Home
Occupied - Flowers in bathtubs - Glad to be Home
Transportation
Transportation
Church with No Parishoners
Church with No Parishoners
Good News
Good News
Katrina Marks as a Souvenir or Reminder
Katrina Marks as a Souvenir or Reminder
Perhaps Rebuilding or Salvaging the Cypress
Perhaps Rebuilding or Salvaging the Cypress
No Idea - Near River
No Idea - Near River
Steamboat House Next to Mississippi River Levee -See Ship in River
Steamboat House Next to Mississippi River Levee -See Ship in River
Industrial Canal Taken from the St. Claude Avenue Bridge
Industrial Canal Taken from the St. Claude Avenue Bridge