by CC Campbell-Rock

August 29, 2020 marks the 15th Anniversary of the natural disaster turned man-made disaster called Hurricane Katrina. When the Coronavirus hit New Orleans, it invoked memories of Katrina. The 100 year storm allegedly claimed the lives of more than 1500 people in Louisiana. The true death count may never be known. And it changed New Orleans in ways that were unforeseen.  Hurricane Katrina created a new New Orleans.

Hurricane Katrina pushed people out of their homes, many to destinations unknown. Katrina filled the city with up to 20 feet of water in some areas. The storm also killed the city’s economy and forced thousands to resettle and restart their lives. Many lost loved ones, careers, homes, cars, and every possession they owned.  Some native New Orleanians returned home. Others remained where they evacuated, built new lives, and carried on. Hurricane Katrina created a new New Orleans.

Katrina flooding created a new New Orleans

Eighty percent of the city was flooded when 27 levees were breached. The majority of the flooding took place east of Canal Street in the downtown area of New Orleans and eastern New Orleans. The lower ninth ward took on the most water, because a barge broke through the levee wall.

New Orleans lost nearly 51 percent of its 454,845, pre-Katrina 2005 population. In 2020, the city has 390,128 residents or 85.77 percent of its pre-Katrina population total.

People leaving!

The New New Orleans

However, a cursory look around shows that the demographics and the culture have changed.

Speaking to National Geographic Magazine in 2015, Allison Plyer says, “The storm greatly changed the physical and demographic makeup of New Orleans. Monitoring these changes is important since the needs of the city and its people are much different today. After any disaster, applicable data is wiped away—all information becomes uncertain”  Plyer works for The Data Center which is a data collection and analysis group that serves Southeast Louisiana..

“The demographic makeup of New Orleans and its metro area is much different today than it was pre-Katrina. The city has lost white and black residents, but whites now represent a larger share of the population than they did before the storm. And while African Americans are still the majority in New Orleans, their raw population drop is staggering: Nearly 100,000 fewer African Americans live in the city today than in 2000. Around 11,500 fewer white residents live there.”


Signs of gentrification are everywhere as black renters have been pushed to areas like New Orleans east where they occupy high rise apartment complexes, or to moderate income neighborhoods in the eight and ninth wards. Some black homeowners sold their homes, others lacked the funding needed to restore or repair their homes. They remain in the Katrina Diaspora, their homes boarded up. Others lost their homes to property tax sales. White professionals and some squatters have moved into New Orleans. A stroll along St. Claude Avenue, once a street with many boarded up businesses, is now bustling with small shops. Few are owned by Black people.

A little more than a year ago, in April 2019,  Nicolette Santos, an Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) Intern came to New Orleans to help the New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity in its ongoing mission to build homes for Katrina Survivors.

Santos recorded her observations in an article entitled, Fourteen Years Later, New Orleans is Still Trying to Recover from Hurricane Katrina.

“Driving around the Lower Ninth Ward, a community just east of the French Quarter, I was taken aback by the empty plots that still break up the community. Houses that used to stand right next to one another are now spaced haphazardly away from each other, separated by empty land that is overgrown with weeds and brush. Trash piles on the corners of the streets. Signs warning against loitering further accentuate the impression that things haven’t improved. Businesses are staying away as well. A single grocery store, Burnell’s Lower Ninth Ward Market, holds the sole responsibility of providing a small range of packaged foods and fresh produce to the 1,200 people who live in the community,” Santos wrote.

New Normal Nothing New for NOLA

The intern’s observation is magnified and duplicated in the city’s seventh and eight wards. Overgrown lots, streets with a house here, one there, and gaping holes in-between like teeth missing for a mouth. Hurricane Katrina created the new New Orleans.

Blighted neighborhoods persist in the new New Orleans

Since Katrina, the city’s public school system has been turned into an all-charter school, semi-privatized school system. While no one wants to say it out loud, the all-charter school district is an abysmal failure, an experiment gone wrong.

However, like Hurricane Katrina, coronavirus infections are disproportionately impacting the black community. “According to the Coroner’s data, as of June 5th black residents accounted for 77 percent of the 492 COVID-19 deaths in Orleans Parish, with white residents accounting for less than 20 percent” the Data Center reported. The population of Orleans Parish is 60 percent black and 35 percent white.

The COVID-19 deaths of blacks in New Orleans mirrors the nationwide trend. “Black Americans continue to experience the highest overall actual COVID-19 mortality rates— more than twice as high as the rate for Whites and Asians, who have the lowest actual rates,” according to the APM Research Lab.

New Orleans’ black community weathered slavery, Jim Crow segregation, redlining, racism, and discrimination from every direction. And black people here will ride out this current man-made disaster.

Despite the metamorphoses Hurricane Katrina wrought in New Orleans, in a city that is older than the United States, and the challenges to the lives of black New Orleanians brought by the 100-year COVID-19 pandemic, the black community remains resilient. Black-owned institutions have weathered the storm, the Black press and media, our fabled restaurants, and the city’s culture keepers still persist. But make no mistake. 

We persist in the new New Orleans.

  1. WHO steered Katrina to New Orleans? What Color was he/she? Why did Katrina show up at New Orleans? What was the character of New Orleans when Katrina visited the citizens? Were they full of themselves chasing all the gusto of 24 hours of hedonism, a solid path of sinners, portraying immorality, sensulaity, envy, lust, greed, laziness, coveting, theives, murderers, drunkards, rapist, liars, gossipers, and especially “idolaters of self”!
    A modern Den of Iniquity?
    Honesty, in New Orleans is like a ghost, invisible, God cannot find it.
    When he declared, If my children, Who are call me their father, Will seek my face, and humble themselves and pray, and turn rom their Wicked Ways, then will I hear them and Heal the Land, my way!
    When men build cities from their ways, they reap the “whirlwind” (katrina) upon themselves as the results of their adultery with the worlds evils and the father of
    lies and iniquity!
    My ways are not your ways, and my thoughts and ideas are not what you display.
    Repent all and renew ones mind to the king of kings, come home to the true and
    real family that is prepared for you, Hear my beloved son, for in Him I am well pleased for what he has done. Repent!
    2020, aug 11.

  2. On the Game Board in 2020? “Game Over”?
    LBRC- What is the equivalent of saying, “Don’t jump out of ‘Dat plane without a Parachute”? Same ‘thang…? 

    1. You need to educate yourself! Your chances are ‘betta even if not within a so- called Formal Environment. Degree or not, Education is the point and don’t get this twisted like lots enjoy doing! Lots of Positive Environments are “informal”! Count Blessings! 

    2. “AI” (Artificial Intelligence) is here! This requires you develop “Skill Sets” commensurate with what you’ll need to survive and flourish! The self deceit derived from ‘shucking, jiving, duping, ‘stuntun and ‘fronton? This is the way down without a Parachute! You’re an anachronistic Dinosaur given over to a “Reprobate Paradigm”!   

    3. The Most High says- “A Fool sees a Storm on The Horizon and does nothing. The Wise sees it and prepares”! btw…

    True Short Story from The Late Dick Gregory-

    a. His son got strung out on drugs and asked his father to prescribe a cure which would free him from addiction.

    b. Gregory asked his son to recall all the day after every single day lectures, warnings, preaching and personal space invasions he subjected his son to while he was still under 18 yrs. old! Gregory then explained- The day you decided to disobey? You were then and is now an adult! “You” decided to jump out of the Plane without a Parachute! “What can I do now”? 

    c. There are matters only The Most High can resolve. Given He admonished you as well about “Specific” Transgressions. he comprehends as well, some have not and never will  have responsible “Adult” Guidance! Enter “Grace”! However, it seems some are determined to chance between the time they decide to jump without a parachute and the time they actually hit ground, when you only have seconds now? How do you fake it after Gravity has already taken hold? 

    d. Storms have been on The Horizon for eons for those with eyes ‘Dat see and ears hear! The Most High commanded us to stay tuned in! This should have guided you, if you believed. For those of us who do, we have a ledger containing awards we can’t attribute solely to our own abilities aka “Ways made from no way, Doors impossible to close made open, closed doors by Him impossible to open, Feast during Famine, Lit ways where there once was no light, Divine Grace following sincere Repentance (btw- Christ told a woman to go and sin “no more”! 2020 Apostates, Deceivers, Hypocrites claim to repent despite continuing wayward). They temp The Most High and “Challenge” His Authority aka “Sees and Knows All” including but not limited to intent! 

    e. Dracula said to Dr. Vun Helsing after being pinned down by him? You cause me to pause now! However…, “I will find you again! I have lived long enough to visit every corner on the face of Earth- Where can you go to hide”? The Skinny- Evil is Dracula given charge by The Most High for only a while! The Most High is not mocked! Covid- 19 is an Evil Tool and Civid- 20 is already here (Neither is given Authority over His Elect despite what you wish). Evil has deceived the majority into believing it is now and always will be. “We” stand and know given all the aforementioned? “The Most High is “The Only Is” and Always will be, plus before Him none ever was!!! “He” created every corner in the Universe let alone only on Planet Earth! Where can Evil hide on ‘Dat Day! Only 144K! You’ve deceived self!!! btw again- J.R. Ewing said to Kristen after she told him, “I ain’t scared of you”? J.R. Replied- “It takes Brains to be scared darling”! Uh oh!!! 

    Abba Father…

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