New Orleans remembers Katrina 10 years later

30 Aug 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

10 Year Anniversary: Remembering Hurricane Katrina.

NEW ORLEANS — As the church bells rang marking the decade since Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast, the 80-year-old woman wept softly into a tissue as she leaned against her rusting Oldsmobile. Addressing dignitaries at New Orleans’ memorial to the unclaimed and unidentified dead, Mayor Mitch Landrieu spoke of the dark days after the monstrous storm and how the city’s residents leaned on each other for support. Those who were lifted from rooftops by helicopters, those who came home to find only concrete steps as evidence of where their house used to be, those whose bodies were never claimed after the storm. In Mississippi, meanwhile, churches along coastal Hancock County tolled their bells in unison Saturday morning to mark the 10th anniversary of the day that Katrina made landfall in the state.

In Biloxi, Mississippi, clergy and community leaders gathered at a newly built Minor League Baseball park for a memorial to Katrina’s victims and later that evening the park will host a concert celebrating the recovery. In New Orleans’ Lower 9th Ward, residents and community activists gathered Saturday at the levee where Katrina’s storm waters broke through and submerged the neighborhood.

Katrina’s force caused a massive storm surge that scoured the Mississippi coast, pushed boats far inland and wiped houses off the map, leaving only concrete front steps to nowhere. In addition to the former president the event will feature performances by the city’s “Rebirth Brass Band,” award-winning journalist Soledad O’Brien and Chief Monk Boudreaux and the Wild Magnolias. After the speeches were done, a parade snaked through the neighborhood while music played from boom boxes and people sold water from ice chests under the hot sun.

In a series of events in the week leading up to the actual anniversary, the city has held lectures, given tours of the levee improvements and released a resiliency plan. Neighborhoods across New Orleans held local events to commemorate the storm, and thousands of volunteers spread out across the city in a day of community activism.

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