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Walking Through the Ninth Ward of New Orleans, Seven Years After Katrina


Editor's note: Seven years ago this month Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast, and New Orleans, where the storm left estimated damages in excess of $200 billion and nearly 80 percent of the city flooded. Prior to joining TheBlaze as a reporter and "The Glenn Beck Show" as news anchor, Robyn Walensky lived and worked in New Orleans in the years after the storm. Robyn visited the city once again this past week, observing that signs of the storm's aftermath still remain. Below are images and video from Robyn's recent trip to New Orleans, seven years after Hurricane Katrina. 

Seven years since Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, a key question remains; will the massive pumping system installed by The Army Corps of Engineers keep water out of New Orleans?

This system is designed to pump overflowing water from the various canals into Lake Pontchartrain.  But Mother Nature has yet to really test it. 

New Orleans and the Gulf Coast is buckling down, and taking every precaution this week for another hurricane; Isaac.

In September  2008 I was living in New Orleans when Hurricane Gustav hit. Former Mayor Ray Nagin, expecting Gustav to be a Category 5, called it the “storm of the century,” and ordered everyone out. But when Gustav hits on September 1, it was a very strong Category 2 with winds clocked at 110 miles an hour. The storm surge was about 12 feet and the water level in the Industrial Canal spilled over the top, but the levee which protects the Lower Ninth Ward held up, and residents were spared a repeat performance of 2005.

But despite the relatively dry weather over the past seven years, some of the Lower and Upper Ninth Ward still remains frozen in time.

Directly across from the Industrial Canal there are steps that lead to nowhere. Houses wiped off the foundation, which have never been rebuilt.

The Xs spray painted by firefighters who came to check on people and pets remain visible. This house hasn’t been touched since 9/14/2005.

There is some new construction going up in the area though, modern looking houses with solar panels.

In the Lakeview neighborhood, the recovery effort continues. On Bellaire Drive, across from the 17th street canal, there are still empty lots and a sign which memorializes those who died here.

At the Central Maintenance Garage near the Upper Ninth Ward Housing Projects, a police car still sits with weeds growing out the trunk. I took pictures of this same Police car back in 2008. It hasn’t been moved in 4 years.

When leaving the Lower Ninth Ward on Saturday I snapped this picture of the still water in the Industrial Canal, the rebuilt levee on the far right built back to only withstand a Category 3. Hurricane Katrina peaked at Category 5.

New Orleanians who were born here, survived “the storm”  and want to die here. Pray daily that the man-made pumps and levee’s hold up against the unpredictable power of mother nature.

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