kunc-header-1440x90.png
Our Story Happens Here
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

The Legacy Of Hurricane Katrina, 15 Years Later

Zadie Smith (L) and her son, Jonathan, clean their home in the heavily damaged Ninth Ward November 21, 2005 in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Zadie Smith (L) and her son, Jonathan, clean their home in the heavily damaged Ninth Ward November 21, 2005 in New Orleans, Louisiana.

It’s been 15 years since Hurricane Katrina ravaged the Gulf Coast. It left over 1,800 people dead and displaced over a million more. At its time of landfall, Katrina was the fourth-strongest hurricane to touch the American mainland. The 174-mile-per-hour winds and the lack of aid in its wake ensured that some of the city’s residents never returned.

But the bad decisions started before the storm hit. Ill-advised reclamation of swampland for housing, the construction of canals designed for commercial trade and the dredging of spillways meant to draw floodwater set the city up to fail its residents.

The response to the disaster by the Bush administration in the wake of the storm did little to alleviate the pain and suffering felt throughout New Orleans’ hardest-hit communities, particularly the Lower 9th Ward.

Now, another hurricane is bearing down on Texas and Louisiana. Laura is currently moving through the Gulf of Mexico and the Category 4 storm is expected to make landfall by Wednesday night.

Is the city ready for another storm of this magnitude? Is it really done healing from the effects of the last?

Copyright 2020 WAMU 88.5. To see more, visit WAMU 88.5.