Ten Years After Katrina

Editor’s Note: This article previously appeared in a different format as part of The Atlantic’s Notes section, retired in 2021.
On August 29, 2015, performers from Gallery of the Streets participate in a ceremony at the site of the 2005 Industrial Canal levee failure in the Lower 9th Ward. (Edmund D. Fountain / Reuters)

Today marks a difficult anniversary for the United States. New Orleans has undergone a lot of healing since the hurricane hit in 2005, killing nearly 2,000 people and displacing one million, but the tragedy still lingers. Our recent coverage of the city:

  • Mayor Mitch Landrieu talked to us about all the work that’s been done since Katrina and what lies ahead. “This was not a natural disaster—it was an infrastructure failure.”

  • The city since 2005 has improved its infrastructure, but without serious further funds, residents will remain vulnerable.

  • Many residents struggle to find an affordable housing, even though the city is full of vacant properties.

  • Louisiana imposed a moratorium on all future subsidized housing projects, and the city is still paying the price.

  • Entrepreneurship and experimentation are booming in the city, but not everyone is reaping the benefits.

  • It’s still unclear where many displaced residents ended up.

  • Alan Taylor put together a photo gallery of how the city looks today.

  • Take a look at how the city’s cultural artifacts, like this grand piano, were preserved after the storm.

  • And below is a ten-minute documentary from our video team on the resilience of a New Orleans high school football team:

When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in August of 2005, the students of Warren Easton High School scattered across the country. The school board was set to shutter Warren Easton—the oldest public high school in Louisiana—because of damage from the storm. In 2006, however, the school reopened and ever since then has been rebuilding its fledgling football team from scratch.

This short documentary follows the Warren Easton football team all the way to the Louisiana state championship game last year, the apex of their comeback. "We have a bunch of kids on this team where the community told them they'd probably never amount to anything," says head coach Tony Hull. "They care about this game a whole lot, because they know this game can take them to places they've never been before."

To peruse selected articles from the Atlantic archives covering the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, as well as portraits of New Orleans prior to August 2005, head over to our Special Reports page.