The Ninth Ward, 5 Years After Hurricane Katrina

BY Betty Ann Bowser  August 25, 2010 at 5:44 PM EDT

Correspondent Betty Ann Bowser returned to New Orleans on the five-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Her reports will appear on air and online in the coming week. In this first dispatch, an audio slide show from the city’s Ninth Ward, she looks at what has changed — and what hasn’t — since flooding from the storm devastated the area five years ago.



Listen to Betty Ann Bowser on what has changed in the Ninth Ward in New Orleans — and what hasn’t.


A Rescue Boat AUGUST 29, 2005: New Orleans police bring people ashore from a rescue boat in the flooded Lower Ninth Ward in New Orleans, La. The neighborhood flooded when water breached the Industrial Canal. (Photo by Marko Georgiev/Getty Images)

A Rescue Boat
AUGUST 29, 2005: New Orleans police bring people ashore from a rescue boat in the flooded Lower Ninth Ward in New Orleans, La. The neighborhood flooded when water breached the Industrial Canal. (Photo by Marko Georgiev/Getty Images)

Levee Breech The levee breech along the industrial canal, on September 16, 2005. (Photo by Scott Saltzman/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Levee Breech
The levee breech along the industrial canal, on September 16, 2005. (Photo by Scott Saltzman/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Waiting for Rescue Lower Ninth Ward residents stranded on the roofs wait for a rescue boat on August 29, 2005. (Photo by Marko Georgiev/Getty Images)

Waiting for Rescue
Lower Ninth Ward residents stranded on the roofs wait for a rescue boat on August 29, 2005. (Photo by Marko Georgiev/Getty Images)

Only Mud Remains By Sept. 18, 2005, the water had receded and a thick layer of mud covered the streets of the Ninth Ward (OMAR TORRES/AFP/Getty Images)

Only Mud Remains
By Sept. 18, 2005, the water had receded and a thick layer of mud covered the streets of the Ninth Ward (OMAR TORRES/AFP/Getty Images)

A Church Amid the Rubble A church remained standing amidst destroyed houses in the Lower Ninth Ward on September 16, 2005. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

A Church Amid the Rubble
A church remained standing amidst destroyed houses in the Lower Ninth Ward on September 16, 2005. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

An Empty Neighborhood Few residents have returned to the Ninth Ward since Hurricane Katrina. (Photo by Betty Ann Bowser)

An Empty Neighborhood
Few residents have returned to the Ninth Ward since Hurricane Katrina. (Photo by Betty Ann Bowser)

An Empty Street Tall grass lines empty streets in the neighborhood. (Photo by Betty Ann Bowser)

An Empty Street
Tall grass lines empty streets in the neighborhood. (Photo by Betty Ann Bowser)

A Razed House Only the foundation remains where a house used to stand. (Photo by Betty Ann Bowser)

A Razed House
Only the foundation remains where a house used to stand. (Photo by Betty Ann Bowser)

Rescue Signs, Five Years Later A five-year-old sign, spray-painted by rescuers in the aftermath of the hurricane, remains on an abandoned house. (Photo by Betty Ann Bowser)

Rescue Signs, Five Years Later
A five-year-old sign, spray-painted by rescuers in the aftermath of the hurricane, remains on an abandoned house. (Photo by Betty Ann Bowser)

The New Levee Wall The repaired Industrial Canal levee wall stretches alongside the Lower Ninth Ward, on August 24, 2010. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

The New Levee Wall
The repaired Industrial Canal levee wall stretches alongside the Lower Ninth Ward, on August 24, 2010. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Making it Right Actor Brad Pitt's Make it Right Foundation is building 150 new homes in the area. (Photo by Betty Ann Bowser)

Making it Right
Actor Brad Pitt’s Make it Right Foundation is building 150 new homes in the area. (Photo by Betty Ann Bowser)

Affordable Houses for Returning Residents Potential homeowners must be former residents of the Ninth Ward. The foundation helps the residents secure mortgages to buy the homes. (Photo by Betty Ann Bowser)

Affordable Houses for Returning Residents
Potential homeowners must be former residents of the Ninth Ward. The foundation helps the residents secure mortgages to buy the homes. (Photo by Betty Ann Bowser)

Green Buildings The homes are all "green," incorporating solar panels and sustainable building materials, among other features. (Photo by Betty Ann Bowser)

Green Buildings
The homes are all “green,” incorporating solar panels and sustainable building materials, among other features. (Photo by Betty Ann Bowser)

Unique Architecture The homes are also unique, designed by 21 architects working pro bono. (Photo by Betty Ann Bowser)

Unique Architecture
The homes are also unique, designed by 21 architects working pro bono. (Photo by Betty Ann Bowser)

Stormproofing the Homes The homes are also built on raised pilings, to be storm-resistant. (Photo by Betty Ann Bowser)

Stormproofing the Homes
The homes are also built on raised pilings, to be storm-resistant. (Photo by Betty Ann Bowser)

Musician's Village The other bright spot in the Ninth Ward is Musician's Village, a community of 72 houses and 10 rental units, built by Habitat for Humanity for musicians and other residents who lost their homes. (Photo by Betty Ann Bowser)

Musician’s Village
The other bright spot in the Ninth Ward is Musician’s Village, a community of 72 houses and 10 rental units, built by Habitat for Humanity for musicians and other residents who lost their homes. (Photo by Betty Ann Bowser)

A Center for Music Musicians Village also includes a center where musicians can teach and perform. (Photo by Betty Ann Bowser)

A Center for Music
Musicians Village also includes a center where musicians can teach and perform. (Photo by Betty Ann Bowser)

High-profile Support Musicians Village was built with the support of musicians Harry Connick Jr. and Branford Marsalis, both natives of New Orleans. (Photo by Betty Ann Bowser)

High-profile Support
Musicians Village was built with the support of musicians Harry Connick Jr. and Branford Marsalis, both natives of New Orleans. (Photo by Betty Ann Bowser)

The Rest of the Neighborhood Outside of bright spots of the Make it Right homes and Musician's Village, few residents have returned to the Ninth Ward. (Photo by Betty Ann Bowser)

The Rest of the Neighborhood
Outside of bright spots of the Make it Right homes and Musician’s Village, few residents have returned to the Ninth Ward. (Photo by Betty Ann Bowser)

Hoping to Rebuild Former residents are scattered from Houston to Atlanta and beyond, and few have the means to return and rebuild. (Photo by Betty Ann Bowser)

Hoping to Rebuild
Former residents are scattered from Houston to Atlanta and beyond, and few have the means to return and rebuild. (Photo by Betty Ann Bowser)