New Orlean’s Lower Ninth Ward – Post Katrina

The concrete flood wall sitting atop a natural levee – protecting the Lower Ninth Ward from the waterway.

Driving into the Ninth Ward early this morning was a moving experience. Our first reactions were of curiosity when viewing an abundant number of post-modern styled homes, often laden with solar panels on the roof. There seemed to be something off by the whole area – as if it was a set for a movie. Then we arrived to a long concrete wall sitting atop a natural levee. This, we then learned, is where a massive break occurred during Hurricane Katrina, which caused a great deal of property loss in the Ninth Ward, and even worse – the loss of human life.

An aerial view of the extent of the service canal that flooded and caused the damage to the NInth Ward during Hurricane Katrina.

The concrete flood wall stands atop the natural levee as the last hope between the Lower Ninth Ward and the service canal, which fortunately has been upgraded to a more reliable model then that which was installed prior to Hurricane Katrina. In addition to the upgraded flood wall, most of the newly built houses are now being built with a certain amount of adaptation for expected flooding. This adaptation is seen by their foundations being raised upwards of six feet. This height will allow for safety when faced with minor flooding, but it still is not a permanent fix if the newly built flood wall does not do its job.

The service canal behind the flood wall protecting the Lower Ninth Ward.

After our visit to New Orlean’s Lower Ninth Ward today, we have gained additional realization about the tragedy caused by Hurricane Katrina and the effects that improper preparation can have when dealing with such a large possibility.


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