Why KATRINA Saved New Orleans


katrina cross st. bernard parishPINIMAGE

Why Katrina Saved New Orleans- Photo I took of memorial cross that marks the spot that the storm made land at Buras-Triumph, St. Bernard Parish, LA on August 29, 2005.


Ten years ago, on August 29th a powerful storm saved New Orleans.

I know that sounds twisted curious, but ‘save’ the City, it did.


Backstory: We were still living in Ohio. Reinventing ourselves Relocating to New Orleans had not yet come into our future plans.


The entire world knows what happened next: the storm was fierce (with 120mph winds, a 14ft storm surge, 15 additional inches of rain, and breeched levees).


Here’s the thing; NOLA is surrounded by water- Swampland to the south/west/east and big ‘ole Lake Pontchartrain to the north. We also have a little gal named the Mississippi River that snakes it’s way around the city- though, oddly enough, Big Muddy was not a contributing factor to the flooding.


The Storm pushed A LOT of water up onto/into the already spongy land and found it’s way to Lake Pontchartrain via the Industrial Canal.


Problem was… that this man-made canal (and others) weren’t strong enough to take the pressure, anddddddd a few people ditched their posts controlling the locks.


When the lake water receded it sought it’s lowest spot, which happened to be the City.


Okay. That’s the meteorology, Physics 101, sprinkled with a dash of human self-preservation, a pinch of poor city planning, and a full cuppa’ crap from the Army Corp Of Engineers.


People died. A lot of them. From Texas to Florida (we tend to forget that), but the nation focused on New Orleans and woke-up to the fact that New Orleans was important to them. To the Country.


Before Katrina, New Orleans was grinding along- trying to address it’s political corruption culture, repair old buildings, fill the pot holes, get a few Festivals to stay come.


City planning was slow, but bringing a city with a large inventory of sub-par/non-compliance (and overtly neglected) structures populated by a historically ingrained citizenry with a drop-out rate of 80%, didn’t make any true action to bring the City into the 21st Century (let alone the 20th) any more easy.


And then it all got blown away.


And the Nation came to the rescue (which is code for: a shitload of moola flooded inpun intended).


The People. The Money. The Thought. The Brains. The Determination. The Reinvention… of the City has been nothing if not amazing.


Hand to God.




Except for the streets… they still suck.


But WE relocated, so there’s THAT silver lining.


Thank You AMERICA.

  • carollynn - Yup, yup, and yup. You’d never know I was a college grad by my language skills πŸ˜‰ I agree with everything . single . thing . you. wrote.

    I have loved NOLA for many years, (pre and post Katrina). While the devastation of Katrina was beyond words, it forced the US of A to re-evaluate the treasure that is NOLA and bring in resources to ensure it would survive and ultimately THRIVE.

    What is lost is lost, (and undeniably A LOT was lost) but from the watery grave has emerged a new, energized, better NOLA.ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - Yes! It really is amazing to see how the city has/is re-building, however, the street up-keep is deplorable. We just got a notice in the mail that said all of the roads should be fixed by 2018- so there’s THAT! I hope I can wait- so does my car.ReplyCancel

  • Carol Cassara - We keep talking about getting back to NOLA. I was there right after 9/11/01 and not since. It’s on our list. In fact, it’s top of our list. Happy that so much has re-emerged. I love NOLA. I just need to get thin enough to eat some beignets. Just sayin’;.ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - Good luck! I’ve gained at least 15 since eating my way through this town.ReplyCancel

  • Lisa at Grandma's Briefs - Such a positive take on what happened AFTER the horrors! I hope to one day see the reinvented NOLA. I never got to see the old one, but this sounds like it may be even better. Except the roads. πŸ˜€ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - There is SO MUCH to be positive about! And the people are so charming. You’d love it!ReplyCancel

  • Mari Collier - I had read some of that, but I did not know the rebuilding had been as thorough as you imply. I do hope they can keep the corruption down, but then there is human nature.ReplyCancel

  • Estelle - The last time I was in New Orleans was 10 years ago right before Katrina. I loved visiting and one time I even ended up on a Mardi Gras float!ReplyCancel

  • Nora - Such great news!ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - It really is Nora. I can’t imagine a World without NOLA. Thanks for dropping by.ReplyCancel

  • Sue - You alone has made me want to visit New Orleans with all your colorful posts about the city. I remember the horror and that my we often watched from the hospital where my Mom was in her last days.ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - We;;, you know where you can get a room- for cheap! And cocktails!!!ReplyCancel

  • Diane - Amazing how such a tragedy can turn into such a blessing! That’s life…ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - It’s a Cinderella story. But we both know not every tragedy is. Fingers crossed we have another Hurricane free season.ReplyCancel

  • Thefamilyjewlz Pembo-Bohning - I have had so little time to read any articles in the blogs that I follow. *sad face* I do like to visit yours because of course NOLA is where my soul resides. I have enjoyed many stories here on your blog, and I thank you. So yesterday I saw the Katrina one & loved it! Here’s why…it was short (like me) ;o), factual, and made me think…O my gosh, 10 years already?! Where is the time going?! Anyway, what you said about the roads…my doctor is on Napoleon and I go every 4 months. Each time I think…not yet?! And Magazine from the river??…don’t get me going!! LOL! Great little article shug. Have a nice day!ReplyCancel

  • Quirky Chrissy - I was there before, and I was there after…and I didn’t notice too many changes, but I sure do remember loving it both times. Would love to return soon. Please send pralines.ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - A lot of the improvements are in the infrastructure, but so many homes have been renovated, and Magazine St. has never been more vibrant. Pralines are on the way. *wink*ReplyCancel

  • Rena McDianiel - I was there both before and after as well. I actually learned more from you in this post than I learned watching all of those hours of TV before and after! A great explanation. The memorial is so touching.ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - The memorial is in a far-off place, down the southeastern edge- a fishing area. A friend of ours has a fishing ‘camp’ (raised house) down there. We went down to go out on the boat for the day and as we turned on the road I saw this amazing ‘thing’ out in the water. I inquired and went closer. It is absolutely beautiful- just standing there in the middle of a place hardly anyone goes to. It’s only about 50 yards off the land. And it’s huge! Amazing!!ReplyCancel

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