NOLA Now: Final Reflections

August 29, 2010  

Posted by Kassi Schmitt

Exactly 1,825 days ago on August 29, 2005, the lives of thousands of people were changed drastically. Five years later, New Orleans still remains greatly affected by Hurricane Katrina even though many parts of the city have been rebuilt and restored.

After spending almost two days exploring the streets of downtown New Orleans, the Ninth Ward and talking to people that came from all sorts of background, one thing was strongly apparent: the pride and love the citizens of NOLA have for their city. Even though many people lost everything- their homes, possesions, pets, family and friends- they all felt such a strong sense of pride for their city that they happily came back to start from scratch. And when asked if this same situation occured again if they would return and rebuild, many replied that they would without a doubt.

We all felt honored to be able to see and speak to many of the residents of New Orleans five years later. Although it was apparent that the city had rebuilt and grown stronger in many ways, there is also so much work that still needs to be done. Homes are still destroyed and abandoned and businesses everywhere have been shut down and boarded up. But what the city may have lost from the storm is made up for in the morale and love its residents have for their city. They all kept telling us that this city was home and without it, they wouldn’t be who they are today.

Even though we talked to so many people, I feel that we were barely able to skim the surface of the ways that the lives of New Orleanians were affected and how they are doing now. There were so many stories within the walls of the city.

As we hit the road and head back to Dallas, we return with the satisfaction of knowing that we can take just a little slice of what NOLA has to offer five years after one of the most devastating storms and share it with others.

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