Katrina: Five Years Later Brings Progress, Hope, and Still Much Work to Be Done

New Orleans after Katrina

New Orleans after Katrina

Five years later, there is hope.  On August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina rocked New Orleans like nothing the city had ever seen before.  Five years later, there are signs of life and of hope.  Even though Katrina forced out over 100,000 people who still have not returned to the city, New Orleans is growing at a rapid pace.  The city is currently the second fastest growing city in the country.

The damage that Hurricane Katrina left in her wake will never be healed completely.  The storm and the response to the disaster left citizens of New Orleans feeling abandoned and hopeless.  As the flood waters came in and wiped out virtually the entire Ninth Ward, its residents could do nothing but watch.  Possessions forever lost, homes destroyed, dreams seemingly sent out to sea, and yet five years later the city is rebuilding.

Rebuilding New Orleans has been a long and laborious task, a task that will continue well into the future.  There are currently over 50,000 vacant lots in the New Orleans area, lots that were once home to thousands of people.  Over the past five years, there have been houses built, families returning, and new memories have begun to be made, but in the Ninth, there is still a feeling of ghosts.  On nearly every block, there are still more abandoned homes than inhabited ones.  The citizens of New Orleans cling to hope provided by people like Rick Prose who founded the LowerNine.org, an organization that provides free labor for home repairs.  Prose and his group have helped countless people begin the long process of resurrecting the homes they once loved.  A city that was battered five years ago is achieving progress, and for the time being that progress has given citizens of New Orleans a reason for hope.

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