New Orleans has rebounded in ways few thought possible in the decade since, helped by billions of dollars in recovery money and driven by the grit of its citizens.
After Hurricane Katrina in 2005, most media coverage focused on the impact to New Orleans.
Fox News begins the television remembrances Friday at 10 p.m. with Hurricane Katrina, Storm of a Lifetime.
The city’s taxable property value has grown consistently since the hurricane, the number of conventions and trade shows hosted by the city has increased since the convention center reopened, and new developments such as the recent announcement that Viking Cruises will start operating out of the Port of New Orleans in 2017 are all factors that buoy the city’s credit position. At the time, NRA Executive Vice-President Wayne LaPierre noted the nature of the seizures, stating, “In many cases, it was from their homes at gunpoint”. The question, and it annoys too many people, is for how long?
Despite their inability to cope with the resulting mayhem, several days after the storm passed New Orleans officials ordered the confiscation of lawfully-owned firearms from city residents. But the “new” New Orleans is whiter and more expensive to live in; African-American neighbourhoods across the city still struggle; and the murder rate is rising again. Could the people who create its unique forms of music, food and fun survive such devastation?
Almost 2,000 people died during Katrina and its aftermath, amid inhumanity and raw racism.
In addition, New Orleans’ dependence on the volatile oil and gas sector, declining employment in the public sector and below-average population growth leave the city trailing other metro areas in the US South in terms of key economic indicators. Ironically, white newcomers are lured by a New Orleans black culture that their presence is only eroding. “I had nice neighbors”.
Massive piles of garbage and homes ruined by toxic mold are gone.
Generations of home ownership worked against the Lower 9th, because many lacked the flood insurance mortgage lenders require, said Sierra Club activist Darryl Malek-Wiley. “You had a whole bunch of millennials who were deeply affected by the Katrina incident that they witnessed on TV”, Campanella said, and the city seemed like a “kind of undiscovered bohemia”.
And those who remained were packed under the sweltering heat, squalid conditions and deprivation of the Louisiana Superdome. Despite what you may have seen from news coverage, New Orleans did not suffer the greatest amount of storm damage from Katrina. Thousands of families remain on a waiting list for subsidized housing. He says the next ten years will likely be harder than the first.
Overall, though, the State of Louisiana and the education and transportation sectors have emerged stronger post-Katrina.
At the Rebirth concert, an upbeat crowd enjoyed a lush summer evening, with kids playing and couples swaying as the Mississippi lapped at the levee.
Compared to before the hurricane, New Orleans has improved its fiscal position by focusing on growing revenues, controlling expenses, and building reserves. New Orleans will also receive $36 million from its settlement with British Petroleum following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.