‘Five years and still standing’

It seems like just yesterday that Hurricane Katrina devastated more than 90,000 square miles. The category 5 hurricane killed nearly 2,000 people and changed the lives of Gulf Coast residents.Hurricane Katrina is known as one of the deadliest hurricanes in the United States after putting 80 percent of New Orleans under water. It also displaced one million Gulf Coast residents.

President Obama acknowledged that recovery was slow on the fourth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. In light of the fifth anniversary, New Orleans is progressing.
“New Orleans appears to be returning to its old self, but throughout the region, boarded-up houses, overgrown vacant lots, homelessness and a lack of essential infrastructure tell a story of continuing impediments to recovery,” according to newsahead.com.

“Five years and still standing” was all Ganard Lewis, a junior business management major, said about the anniversary of Katrina.

“With the many different conventions, tours and events dropping in the city, it really could help out more financially.
“And especially considering the fact the Saints won their first Super Bowl championship, we look forward to a lot more attention and progress,” Lewis said.

In 2005, New Orleans was the place to be. Five years later, the city is making its way back. From Mardi Gras 2010 brought the biggest crowd since Katrina to the New Orleans Saints won the Super Bowl for the first time in history. Then to put the icing on the cake, in November 2009, a judge held the Army Corps of Engineers liable for the flooding in certain areas after the hurricane (meaning more money for the recovery).

Since the destruction of Katrina, there have been many documentaries to show how much damage the hurricane has caused and how it affected the lives of Gulf Coast residents. In 2006, Spike Lee’s When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts premiered on HBO. The four-hour documentary won a Peabody Award and three Emmys. Lee took his cameras to New Orleans and got the stories of those still dealing with the aftermath.

For the fifth anniversary of Katrina, Lee returned to New Orleans to document the recovery of the city. In his new documentary, If God is Willing and da Creek Don’t Rise, it “ended up with a tone that is largely and eerily similar to its predecessor,” said nytimes.com.

Along with still dealing with the aftermath of Katrina, residents now how to deal with the explosion of a BP drilling rig flooding the Gulf Coast with oil.
The British Petroleum oil spill is determined to be the largest marine oil spill in the history of the petroleum industry. Although the oil well was capped by July 15, the impact of the spill is still great.

Although the oil spill had an impact on the environment, it also affected tourism, jobs and the health of the on the Gulf Coast.
Former residents are still returning to their homes. On the fourth anniversary, estimates suggested that New Orleans’ population was 75 percent of its pre-Katrina population.

Cora Scott never left her home after Katrina. “The progress is slow but steady and moving along. The development of the new housing is guaranteeing better opportunities for families,” the Dillard student said.

While the city of New Orleans is in its rebuilding phase, it will never be the same.