Yesterday, we spoke to Randy and Benjamin at the volunteer organisation Hands On New Orleans. We wanted to know how well the city has recovered from Hurricane Katrina.
Our limited impression was that in the city center (e.g. in the French Quarter, the Business District, and the Garden District) almost all buildings have been repaired. Only outside the center did we see a few houses that were broken down and still had the X-code on them that rescue workers sprayed on the front wall to signal that they had searched the home after Katrina.
However, Randy and Benjamin told us that a lot remains to be done and that the recovery process in all of New Orleans will still take a long time. They emphasised that some of the problems the city faces today are not directly related to the hurricane of 2005 or the other storms that came afterward. Issues such as poverty and unemployment have other causes as well and they slow down the recovery efforts.
And yet, Randy and Benjamin are optimistic about the city’s future. They are seeing how people are rebuilding New Orleans not just the way it was before but in a way that will make the city even better.