We were taken by bus on a tour of the devastation caused by hurricane Katrina which included a tour of the 9th Ward where Katrina did the most of her damage. A lot of the devastation Katrina did still shows. Many homes are still in disrepair, still having the chop out areas where occupants were rescued. Many people had to leave the area and were sent outside Louisiana, told to board airplanes but were not told their destination until they arrived; fearing people would complain that they did not what to go there. Some never returned. Even now several years on you can still see the residents repairing the damage caused by Katrina. Some of the houses still have the rescuers crosses on the buildings stating how they were searched and the risks and causality’s they had.
Our tour cost $48 each but with discounts from the street box vender the cost totalled to $115 for three adults. The Hurricane Katrina tour lasted three hours our guide was Lori who was very informative and kept talking for the full duration of the tour., telling you how they rebuilt the levis that were breached stronger than before only to find that the places the new bits of levy joined the old bit are still not very strong and libel to breach in the future? Other flood defence systems are flood gates that sacrifice parts of habited land to save bigger parts of New Orleans and new pumping stations to pump out any future breaches. The tour takes a fifteen minute toilet break at City Park.
New house are now built four feet above ground on stilts, they are making good progress toward rebuilding homes, with different modern architectural design with escape windows on the roofs and modern solar panels to provide energy sponsored by Brad Pitt.
Lori our guide was a local person who lived through the hurricane and so could give a first-hand account of the hurricane, she told us that grey line recently changed the tour route to show the improvements that have been made since Katrina hit but personally we would have preferred to see more of the devastation caused by the hurricane. We were told that local people were not happy with FEMA as they would not let the National Guard bring any food and water into the disaster area for about a week.
It was a very good informative tour, I would highly recommend this Grey line tour for people to understand New Orleans beyond the French Quarter tourist parts were the houses and living conditions are totally different.
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