After Hurricane Katrina’s violent winds, roaring waters it left the crescent city in a state of turmoil. Since then most of city has been able to bounce back, however for the New Orleans East it is a different story.
Driving through the Garden district, the Marigny and the Bywater area of New Orleans you’ll strain your eyes trying to find an abandon houses with broken windows but in Eastern New Orleans this is quite normal.
In an article by The Advocate it states that shortly after Hurricane Katrina the New Orleans East was left without commercial development. Prior the storm residents in the East had to drive miles outside of their own neighborhood just to get essential grocery items. It was not until nine years after the storm this area received a Walmart.
In addition, most of the businesses they were located in Eastern New Orleans never returned after Katrina. For example on of the biggest tourist attraction for the East, the old six flags did not return after Katrina due to costly repairs.
“If you look at Michoud which is part of the East it basically looks like a wasteland,” said Randy Caldwell, finance major at Xavier University.
It is obvious that this area of New Orleans is still under developed in comparison to other parts of the city. Not only has the East struggle to rebuild after Katrina but the recent tornado that rip through these neighborhoods, yet again left the East to rebuild itself.
The residents of the East have been impacted the most from the lack of investment and the recent disasters. There are various mental effects one can acquire after such trauma such as depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress. Since the recent disaster research has proven that there has been a disconnection with African Americans and government officials.
“African Americans are less likely to trust government officials to provide assistance in the case of a natural disaster, so it is important for these officials to inform residents on the resources that are available,” said Irenia Ball, sociology major with a minor disaster and coastal studies at Tougaloo College.
Although these natural disasters have taken its toll on this area, since the mid-1980s, the Eastern New Orleans has suffered from disinvestment. Other residents in the Greater New Orleans area agree that the East is still recovering after the 2005 storm. In a poll on Twitter 67 percent of people believe that Eastern New Orleans has yet to recover from Hurricane Katrina.
“Before Katrina there was a lot more in the East such as larger stores and it was a lot more populated. Now there are still homes that haven’t even been gutted out since Katrina as well as buildings that haven’t been claimed by its original owner,” said Caldwell.
Similar to the retail establishments of the East many of the residents have not returned after Hurricane Katrina. In the same article published in the Advocate it states the approximately 95,000 people stayed in the East before the storm now there are about 65,000 to 75,000 presently inhabiting. However since 2010, the population has increased by 18 percent.
For many of the residents of Eastern New Orleans their surrounding neighborhoods have not been the same since they have returned in 2005.
“The East is the forgotten part of the city, due to poor leadership and lack of financial support. The area that is predominately black is literally pushed to the side,” said Johnny Fisher, a music education major at Xavier University.