- Between 70 and 75 percent of New Orleans' pre-Katrina population has returned. And about 86 percent of jobs and students are back. But these gross numbers hide the more interesting reality:
- The Lower Ninth Ward -- formerly heart of the black middle class, with the city's largest home-ownership rate -- has just 19 percent of its pre-Katrina population. New Orleans East is up to 65 percent of its population.
- However, other, non-flooded areas -- Uptown, the Garden District, Algiers -- now have larger populations than they did pre-Katrina.
- And generally, looking at metro New Orleans, more people are moving into the parishes surrounding the city. So the gross numbers being reported are a reflection of greater New Orleans, not the city itself.
Herbert and Lydia Gettridge are doing well. They're still living at 5027 North Roman Street in the Lower Ninth Ward. They had to evacuate in August and September 2008 during Hurricanes Ike and Gustav, staying with their daughter in Dallas, Texas. In November 2008, their other house at 5444 North Dorgenois Street, which had been awaiting historic landmark status, was demolished, even though Mr. Gettridge had thought he'd received a deferral from the city.
Leonard and Geraldine Gettridge finished major house repairs and have been living in their home in New Orleans East since May 2007. Leonard is still working at the Kansas City Southern Railroad. Geraldine is working as a bus monitor for the New Orleans public school system. Their daughter Nya Booker is still living in Houston.
Geraldine's daughter Asanthe Booker evacuated from Galveston, Texas, when Hurricane Ike hit Sept. 13, 2008. During that time she lived with Geraldine and Leonard in New Orleans East. She and her two children returned to Galveston just after Thanksgiving. Asanthe is getting married in April 2009.
Ronald Gettridge finished rebuilding his home in the Holy Cross section of New Orleans in August 2007, and he and his family moved back in.
Gale Gettridge Branon and her husband Percy finished rebuilding their home and have been living back in the Lower Ninth Ward since December 2007.
Cheryl Gettridge-Steele is still living in Madison, Wisc. She's been the family point person for her parents' health insurance issues, which she says keeps her very busy.