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HomeHomeKATRINA COMMEMORATION: Ten years later, what’s really changed? (Part 1)

KATRINA COMMEMORATION: Ten years later, what’s really changed? (Part 1)


“Ten years later, homes still sit vacant. 10 years later, the school system is still in shambles. 10 year later, George Bush couldn’t care less. 10 years later, the struggle still lives on for more than you can begin to imagine. 10 years later, survivors are STILL weathering the storm.” – Jeffrey ‘Strait Jigg’ Wineburg (Hollygrove, 17th Ward resident/President of Rue Rois Music)

Ten years ago on August 29, 2005, the costliest natural disaster to ever strike the United States, hit the Gulf Coast with a fury like none other. In Mississippi, it cut a swath through the state, leaving in its wake nothing but debris. In New Orleans, roofs were damaged, some minor flooding occurred, electricity was knocked out for much of the city, and what could be considered less than catastrophic damage was assessed in the hours after Katrina passed. Media outlets were reporting that the four-hundred some year old city had dodged that proverbial bullet. Hours later, what was thought to be a minor hurricane when compared to the likes of Camille and Betsy, turned out to be an apocalyptic storm that left death, suffering and gnashing of teeth behind – it also left a city full of people behind for nearly a week. Untold suffering occurred. Thousands suffered in the oppressive heat without proper provisions or even the most basic of items needed for survival and comfort on a day to day basis. Ask anybody who was left behind and you will hear any one of countless stories of human terror and suffering. To think light was made of the situation is sickening. To think ten years later, a certain element in the city is “celebrating” the “anniversary” is even worse. I could understand “commemoration”, but celebration? Nah. I just don’t see it.

Most important to mention is the fact that many residents have not been able to return to their homes. Many could not afford to repair the homes that were left in shambles due to the alligator and snake infested, polluted floodwaters that plagued the city for weeks following the catastrophic flooding once multiple levee breaches occurred. To know that was caused, at least in part by man, is disgusting, to say the least. Years of cutting corners, failure to properly maintain levee structures, poor planning, and many other engineering failures are to blame. It was a “perfect storm” that did not have to happen. Many of the city’s lower income residents, mostly African-Americans, either have been unable to return to the city their families help build with literal blood, sweat and tears or they are struggling financially to stay afloat daily. There are some that still cannot get the horror of that experience out of their minds. They may never be able to overcome what has been wrought on them.

“It’s a great place to visit, but I live here.” – Brandon “Majesty Sozey” Henderson (Music Artist/Activist) giving his thoughts on how some tourists & new residents treat the city that has been home to hundreds of thousands of Native New Orleanians for centuries

Read Parts 2 & 3 of “KATRINA COMMEMORATION: 10 years later, what’s really changed?”

Part 2:

Part 3:


Arlene Culpepper, Asst. Editor-in-Chief
Arlene Culpepper, Asst. Editor-in-Chief
Vice-President & Asst. Editor-in-Chief of The Heat Magazine, Arlene is a Louisiana native, Certified Paralegal, Publicist, Owner of MIKODreamz PR, co-owner of 504Diffusion, writer, producer, and jack of all trades, who is heavily involved in her community as well as serving as Media Advisor for New Orleans Union for Entertainment (NOUE), Member of the NOLA Music Awards from 2012-present & Member of the Press Club of New Orleans. Her work is published across the web. Her PR work has been highly recognized & awarded. She was/is publicist for the late great BTY YoungN, 0017th and more. She is also working on her first novel & aspires to turn it into a film & is currently writing the authorized biography of the legendary Pimp C of UGK. She can be reached via email at Follow her on Twitter - @CategorySeven & Instagram - @hurricanearlene.


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