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Three Years On, New Orleans Still Struggles With Hurricane Debris

Nearly three years after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, the city is still coping with the toxic debris the storm left behind. Betty Ann Bowser reports from New Orleans on the ongoing controversy over the city's landfills.

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    Next, what happens after the waters recede?

    The floods in the Midwest are leaving behind a toxic soup of garbage and chemical waste in and around the Mississippi River, just as Hurricane Katrina did in New Orleans three years ago. That city is still coping with the storm's aftermath.

    Betty Ann Bowser has the story.

  • BETTY ANN BOWSER, NewsHour Correspondent:

    Have you ever wondered what happened to all that debris from Hurricane Katrina?

    Much of it was taken to two landfills in New Orleans. One of them was built just a mile from a Vietnamese community in New Orleans East, and the residents there were unhappy about that.

    The Vietnamese are a tightly knit, devoutly religious group. Nearly 3,000 pack the Mary Queen of Vietnam Church every Sunday morning.

    Many in the community are avid backyard gardeners. Before Katrina, Thi Nguyen not only ate his vegetables; he also supplemented his income by selling some of his crop to wholesalers.

  • THI NGUYEN, New Orleans Resident (through translator):

    Before the storm, they have wholesalers from Baton Rouge, Biloxi, that come and pick up the produce on Friday.


    But they don't come anymore?

  • THI NGUYEN (through translator):

    No, they don't come anymore. They're worried about the water in the lagoon.