tv Hurricane Recovery in New Orleans CSPAN August 25, 2015 8:00pm-9:28pm EDT
oh, thank you. i just started. >> c-span is going to have questions called in from c-span, and c-span will answer. this week, c-span marks the anniversary of hurricane katrina with special programming. we ask your thoughts on the lessons our country has learned from the experience of hurricane katrina. concert -- the conversation on facebook or twitter. our special program continues tonight with a look at the city of new orleans one year after the storm. that is followed by testimony of hurricane katrina evacuees and a 2005 senate select committee hearing. next, a look at the city of new orleans one year after the storm.
a c-span crude toured water--- crew toured water-damaged homes. from august 2006, this is 90 minutes. ♪ ♪ i'm going to get me a mojo hand i'm going down to louisiana and get me a mojo hand ♪ i just want to fix katrina ♪ againver grown come back >> this is the shame of it. this is in america. >> we have several hundred sites
across the state, about 120 or so in the new orleans area. thate basic reality is katrina was an enormous and powerful storm and it overwhelmed the system. that unfortunately would happen again. >> will katrina has done is create a cultural diaspora. our culture has been sprinkled out all across the country. >> this is a most like a ghost down -- just down here. the devastation is still here. ♪ i'm going to fix katrina she's never going to come back here again ♪ that's what i'm going to do now ♪ announcer: the city of new orleans one year after katrina is now home to 50% less of its population prior to the storm.
the lower ninth ward where the industrial canal wall breached, the gentilly district, and the lakeview district, where the 17th street in our walls to knothole up -- did not hold up. we spoke with city officials about what is being done when you're after katrina. >> a lot of the psychologists are suggesting you have to get out of town and get out of this because it is bad for your stress level. .> we begin with sue sperry two organizations are helping
citizens rebuild their homes in the city. ward.e are in the seventh strictly by itself a historic district, even though there are historic homes here. where we are at a year after the storm. damage did flood this get? say people got i would street level eight or nine feet. i would say inside homes, or haps five to six feet, depending on the home. these houses are raised in the traditional style. maybe not raised enough. this style of home, this is a double shotgun. what is great about these houses is, first being built for these
environments, they are raised. water can go underneath them. they can be ventilated. they have windows and doors on all sides. is good for airsick elation. but the construction is what the best thing about it. it is cyprus framing and it is the old river cyprus that grows in water. so it doesn't get flood damage. many of these people have hard line floors which strained out just fine. homes old big mix of and new. reporter: is a sacred only african-american ever heard? -- african-american neighborhood? sue: i would say predominantly but not entirely. it reflects the city, i would say. this might be the street. but, you see, you don't know.
here is the high watermark on that home. you see the grade is a little bit higher and it is raised a little bit. when you see these high watermarks, it is standing water. the water wasn't nice, fresh bottled water type of water. canals.r was from here is an example of a home that can dry out just fine. you can see it is structurally sound. it is raised up. mold is something that everybody fears but mold doesn't really kill you. mold it's on paper, certain organic angst. but once it is dry, it dies. once it dies, it's not going to hurt you. the problem in this neighborhood, which is typical of so many new orleans neighborhoods is that people didn't have flood insurance or
they were underinsured. this type of insurance is very, very expensive. the people that live in this -- people that live in this house, they bought this house 50 years ago. they lived in it for 50 years. it is paid for. the man is a retired maitre d'. the people that you rely on for every day who give their lives to serve others and they didn't deserve to have what happened to them happen. in fact, we got there home back together before the trailer could be hooked up. so we beat fema. don't need this trailer. they are back in their home. i hate to drop in on them, but we might. reporter: in your neighborhood, how many people have come back?
you are the only once? >> it's hard to get a telephone. my son just called me. it is three month before he can get a telephone, a house telephone. they have the kids. it's quite to be three months before we can get a phone. but they wanted to give me a phone. hours,$30 a month, 1000 , like, i'm, you know on the senior rate now and no fees. it's not like a cell phone. becauseed my cell phone so many people do call me. you know.
reporter: you're the only one in the whole neighborhood -- this block. -- >> three people drowned. this is the senior area around here. homes that are square like this. three neighbors drowned. we aree first one back rebuilding together. other neighbors sold their property. they don't want to come back. the next or neighbor, she is trying to get back. everywhere else, all are in this area, and the only one. reporter: what about the services that are back russian mark are there grocery stores, that sort of thing?
>> crescent city connection. sue: across the mississippi river. about sam's where i have to get supplies from. they try to build up though. there are a few little family's dollars -- family stores that are trying to build up. we don't have transportation. any of the buses or any other types of transportation in this area? >> there are four different buses. reporter: how long have you been living in orleans? years.of my life, 77 is 55.hter
it is hard to get to me and to her doctor in the hospital and all that. friday an appointment and i have to call tomorrow morning, you know. reporter: what are the biggest differences for you right now compared to before katrina? >> shopping. ♪ transportation, communication, everything. it's hard for us right now. you know. but thank god we have a roof over our head. rebuilding together. reporter: why is the fema trailer outside?
>> fema came before the house was finished. the trailer was there when we got home. the trailer got here a couple of days before the house was finished and we could move in. sue: she can't live in it. or open it up. at a are seven contractors minimum to place a trailer. i had a trailer as well. some of these things make sense. there is somebody who comes in and inspects the site. then some he comes in and make sure that the electrical stuff is there. then they deliver the trailer. then someone else comes by. another sub sub contractor to inspect the trailer now that it is there. then someone else comes by to do something else, hook up the plumbing. >> yeah.
sue: then it is all set up and ready to go. then another contractor comes and yet you keys and makes you sign things. >> right. it's been there a couple of weeks. costs about $55,000 from what i read in "the times" for the process of a temporary trailer. that includes having to pick it up. whereas for $40,000, you can get people home and comfortable and familiar surroundings. >> and this is for the police environment. sue: the first responders. she has police officers across the street. >> we don't have violence, not
in this area. whole trailera park full of cops. [laughter] you are not going to have that problem. reporter: are you waiting on fema to take this away now? >> i'm not telling them to take it away. it is not bothering me. we still use it. we worked so hard to get it. [laughter] so, whatever they say. whenever they are ready. because we are in the house now. everything is in the house. we are very pleased, very satisfied, very comfortable. i feel safe. i really do. we lock the doors at night. we really feel safe here. you know, you don't see problems around here or have problems
around here. so we really feel safe around here, you know. reporter: so just the transportation is the biggest album. >> that is my biggest problem. go to the doctor, trying to get it right with the telephone and trying to get our doctors back again, all these doctors. reporter: have the doctors left town? >> yes. , alle university hospital of them haven't come back or they are retired and they are not coming back. but i feel good. i feel good. and i think god that we -- and i thank god that we are back home. it is not what we had before,
the surrounds. i am back home in new orleans area no place like new orleans. we are back home thanks to rebuilding together. sue: that is the place that stayed open. people are just getting around to getting. there is an august 29 katrina anniversary deadline with getting your house that it -- gutted. but first seniors, especially if they have evacuated, it is just not possible arid they need to have some help. reporter: individuals have to do that themselves? sue: a lot of times, it is family members. the family gets together and does that work.
there are a lot of agencies that handle it. many agencies handle that. people ask us about it. gutting. do guidin beginning in little bit. but there are so many volunteer groups that are doing it. we recommend that. that is a really hard process to go through. i went through it myself. it's like you just have to throw your entire life out on the curb. it is moldy and it stinks and it's hot and it's a heartbreaking process to throw everything away. but once you get into gutted and cleaned, you really feel like you can start again. announcer: a mile away from this area sits another fema trailer park or first responders. -- for first responders.
jeff: we have 53 mobile homes and travel trailers. what fema tried to do at the request of the city is put up first responders, firemen and policemen, very quickly a travel trailer site so they could able to provide essential services to the city. this is one of those sites. reporter: can we walk around a little bit? jim: sure. we have a few across the state, about 20 or so in the new orleans area. the travel sites are further folks who do not have a personal site set aside.
if they are renters are other side is not suitable for red -- or trailers, they are eligible to be placed in a group site. we established a these and various locations around the city. reporter: what is the estimated time folks will be living there jim: that is a good question. the ideal a temporary housing is that folks will be there for 18 months. they given the size and breath of this disaster, we will have to revisit that at the end of 18 months. generally speaking, we would offer the applicants the option of renting the travel trailer from us. we will just have to see when the time comes in february where we are in the rebuilding and recovery process. reporter: it is -- is it possible to go in one of these? jim: as i said, these are for first responders.
there may be a policeman off shift. don't mind knocking on a door in seeing if somebody is home and talking them -- talking with them for a moment. but we do need to respect the privacy. it would be like walking around in a neighborhood and asking to come into their house. we don't have any restriction on the press coming in and talking to the folks in the travel trailer parks. reporter: when did this come up to speed? jim: i don't have the date on that aired this was fairly quick, in september or october. since it was for first responders. but this is relatively typical of what our group sites are like across the state. you notice, there were security guards on the way in that are either ontrack did by the contractors that built the group site or rectally by fema.
reporter: where did all these trailers come from? jim: they were purchased by fema. some contracts prior to the hurricane season. call --e contractors a across the country. so they could have come from anywhere. i am much or where these came from. some of them were bought directly off of travel trailer lots. reporter: do know how much these go for? jim: there are about $10,000 apiece and that doesn't include the site preparation, the utilities, the hauling and the setup. that adds to the cost per unit. reporter: how did you pick this area? out strike teams to
identify potential areas to put group sites. these strike teams came back with recommendations. they approached the owners of the land. then we went through a process with the city and city council to get those sites approved. and then we went through contracting and got the sites least. our contractors came in and built them. it is not a turnkey operation. there are a lot of steps to that. we are still finding those steps sometimes cumbersome as we try to build more sites across the city. reporter: are these first responders for this specific neighborhood, for this specific area? jim: i don't know. it would make sense that we would put them close to their stations. some of these moved off the crew ships. we house a lot of first responders on the cruise ship. >> how are you doing? reporter: you live here.
>> i do. reporter: would like to see what one of these looks like. do you mind? >> sure. go ahead. reporter: how long have you been living here? since february. turn on the lights in here. reporter: sure. >> there we are. we have the bathroom back here. you see i have a lot of junk here. there is a lot of stuff to put in here. reporter: how many here sleep? >> this can take up to five.
this converts to a bed and this converts to a bed and there is the bedroom back there. so five people at the most. reporter: where is your bedroom? >> the bedroom is right here. reporter: what is it like living here? >> i like living here. as a matter of fact, the people here are wonderful and warm. i gave to barbecues here already. we are going to do catfish on saturday. you are welcome if you want. the cooking here is good. it is great. we have cooks here. it is fun. i love it. i am not that far from my job. reporter: what is your job? >> i work with the waterboard. we work with the drainage comps.
reporter: you are from new orleans? >> yes, i am. reporter: tell me about that. here -- we stayed through the storm. we lost 60 cycle power. our water supply was off. we were trapped inside the station. the water got almost of the third level of the station where we were. over, therm went water began to settle down and we went to work. we had generators. we had to read the stage up and get them running. once we got them running, we got the pumps running. we run the pumps .4 hours, around the clock for a whole month. it was white an experience. reporter: where was your home?
>> in the gentilly area. got messed up. people coming in there investing your place and there was that understood owing on. reporter: what is the status of it, your home now? >> i lived in an apartment. landlord -- if the he hasn't done anything to it yet as of yet. i much or if he is going to do anything to it. i don't know. relocateobably somewhere else outside this paris maybe. , i may comeorleans i never see nothing like that in my life. i was here for betsy. they had guys who got us on boats and we went to the claiborne bridge and we said if
there -- we stayed up there until the water went down. katrina was worse. reporter: what were you paying in rent of the place where you are living? >> i had a one-bedroom. i was paying $995. but i don't do now. everything is going up. reporter: we have heard that the rental market is quite high. they are so in demand right now. supply and demand, that is what it is. reporter: can you go over again what the setup is here, first responders, will kind of assistance you are getting, when that will end. jim: the temporary housing assistance will end after 18 months. then people would be asked to pay rent on their trailers.
again, i'm not real sure what is going to happen at the end of 18 months at this point. but at this point, the guidance is they will be expected to pay rent on the trailers. reporter: 18 months will be up when? jim: in february. this travel trailer park was established for first responders and folks like nate who have to be here to keep the city running a be ready for the next storm or even a rainstorm, to keep it pumped out. like you said, we live in able. reporter: nothing happened with your job. you still have your job. >> yes, sir. next month, it will be 20 years on the job. i love what i do.
reporter: what is your impression as you drive around the city? >> wow, you know. devastation, man. everything is happening so slow. i can understand. you've got to get the funds and so forth. there is a lot of red tape to get things moving. i guess it will come back pretty soon. me, myself, i already know a couple people who committed suicide already, seeing the devastation of this city, emily displaced everywhere. two of my coworkers that i work with committed suicide. have high spirits, me, myself. i just know things are going to come back your it may be not like it was before. but it will come back her. reporter: what about family?
do you have a lot still here in new orleans? >> i did lose a brother. i only have a niece and a nephew here and that is it. everybody else is gone. i keep in contact with everyone. they are all over the country. chicago, florida, texas, oklahoma. everywhere. i keep in contact. about things that a lot of people outside of new orleans take for granted, shopping, gasoline, electricity, laundromats, all those types of amenities -- has that changed? >> yeah. a lot of people took things for granted. now we have those things in very small supply. we have very few stores opening and businesses and so forth. it will be a slow process coming back. but you just have to deal with it.
you just have to readjust your life. that is what i have done. i have readjusted my life to where things are now. it is very difficult for other people to do that. toy are so used to be able go to the store at night. two or three month after the storm, things were closing by 6:00 or 7:00. you get off of work and everything is closed. now they are starting to stay up until 9:00, 10:00. like i said. it is slowly coming back. slowly, for sure. whorter: your friend committed suicide, was it a direct result of katrina? >> yes. i think it was a direct result of katrina. seen the devastation. a lot of people were depressed. after the storm, there were a lot of people on that boat. there was people coming back and forth from houston, texas to hear. she killed herself.
i think it was going to houston, not liking it out there, coming back here and doing this devastation, you know, a lot of people went through some things with their insurance companies and all that kind of stuff. so many things i had to deal with and family all over the country, friends. that's why i try to give stuff here where people can mix and mingle and develop friendships. like catfish rise, barbecues, for the people at this site. they are developing fresh ships -- friendships and they are exchanging numbers and they can talk about it. yeah, i think it was a direct result of katrina, these people who have taken their lives. it's a sad thing. reporter: thank you. thefema trailer program,
fema trailer parks have come under so much scrutiny. fema got so much bad press about them. why? we probablyly days, weren't as prepared as we should have been to get this going. i don't think anyone likes being confined to a trailer to begin with. but it is the option we have available for temporary housing at this point in time. maybe one day we will have something better. unless appropriated $400 million to look at alternative trailer s totions or alternative this temporary solution for housing. we are ready to kick off the program in the gulf states and looking for ideas to better house people. you've got to remember, we put out about 140,000 of these among the states in the gulf and that is what event. reporter: any mistakes with this program? jim: i would say the only mistakes we made was not being fully prepared.
and with fema trailers being of such interest to the press, what is the policy with the press coming into these places? right now iscy that the press can come in as long as they show valid vessels. just as you would in any don't stand ine anyone's way. reporter: you provide security for all of these parks? jim: we do. either through the contractors who built them or direct security contracted by fema area announcer: next, a look at nor night -- lower ninth ward where the walls were breached. >> going over the industrial canal over to the lower ninth. and over to the left, that is the major break where that new concrete wall is. sort of ground zero.
if you recall, there was a barge sitting up in that green stage -- green space. we talked earlier, mark, about this road clayborn being the dividing line of where the utility services have been provided and where they haven't. on the right side, you will see some travel trailers on private sites because there are utility to -- utilities available now. generally on the north side, the utilities are not dependable enough to for travel trailers back in. another debris truck on its way. that is where they are working.
that all adds to the challenges of getting utilities in here. the electricity is probably still not on, obviously. gas lines remain compromised. but we are pretty close to ground zero where the water just flowed right through here. the air,ok at it from you will see a clear spot because all of those houses were demolished in place. reporter: what about for the inhabitants of this area? i do know if it is a local, state, federal holocene. it is -- is it allowed for them to come back in. jim: i cannot speak for the city or the parish. concerned, we is
put travel trailers are mobile homes on-site that don't have viable utilities. we just can't do that. that is why you do not see them here. the same token, the lack of utilities is probably going to slow development. , right now, ithat don't think the city or parish is sure what will happen in the ninth word, and this area in .articular area there are a lot fewer cars now. those are being removed and scrapped as they are picked up.
reporter: do you know about when this was completed? jim: i think there target date was 1 june, the beginning of hurricane season. and they met it, too. the corps of engineers, if they were here, they would tell you it was built in a different design from the wall that was your work. -- was here before.
>> the way we see the ninth ward, it is not for us to say whether it should be built or rebuilt. it is reasonable to ask that they have a flood system that is going to work are. but when you see this just a few blocks up the road, there is the holy cross and all of the vacant housing. you would think, well, first things first. maybe get people to higher ground. because that house cannot be rebuilt. it is not possible area and you can still smell that death smell. whenill notice it later someone tells you you smell bad. this is the kind of house where they are still finding people. because they cannot go in there until they demolish it very and
when they tear down a house like that, they bring the dogs first. typical house where they would find a body still. know, this is really the shame of it really. event, ther the president should come down here and be ashamed. in america. all of this should have been dealt with. all of these people should have restitution or some kind of housing. you cannot bring a trailer down here. there is no electricity, no water, nothing. and i don't think you need an expert to tell you -- reporter: [indiscernible] sue: oh, yeah.
that this is uninhabitable. there is a container from a ship. these would have been homes, or merely working-class people. it is a misnomer that the ninth ward was the hood or the worst part of town. it wasn't. this was a good neighborhood, very stable. people, aof working lot of elderly. that is a lot of deaths. a lot of the deaths that occurred with the drowning people here were elderly people who for a lot of reasons don't evacuate. they do have anywhere to go. you can't pry them from their homes. they don't want to leave their pets. it is extremely difficult. so anyone who stay down here lost their lives. reporter: we can see what it looks like now. how much different as a look now than it did in those couple of months after the storm? how much has been cleaned up
down here? sue: oh, my goodness, it's a hundred times better. for the first five or six months after the storm, there were homes where we are standing in the street. and there were some twisted homes over by the wall. that was wide open. there was a giant barge here on the road on top of the school bus for months and months. and that was quite an undertaking, to float that they -- that thing on an actual sidewalk or a street. yeah, there were homes here, but they were all over the ice. , close toeach other the levee break. it is almost like his huge wall of water hit. it was like the evil head of mother nation -- mother nature anding everything its path eight large cluster. it almost resembled water, the
ocean, this big wave on how this twists and house on top of one another. you could not come down here for a long time and you can't live down here. there is no infrastructure whatsoever. but the fact that it is cleaned liked it doesn't smell death or you don't need a mask come down here. the disaster such that i don't know that anyone could have coped with it that would have satisfied everybody. it is well documented. it has been very well documented and you can see that not enough has been done. we have in the city a great amount of progress. but this is not an overnight solution. down here in this area, it would be good to see more things done. it would be good to get money in people's hands are deserve it. it would be good to have
neighborhood plans that are all buttoned up. but when you are talking about 80% of a large city, you can't expect miracles. you won't find a lot of people who will say that the government response at any level was anything to be proud of. opinion, what is your if you were to come to this neighborhood a year from now? will there be people living here? is this ground zero and it is not going to come back or years? sue: this is really one of three ground zeros that we have in orleans. this is the one that has garnered the most attention. this is really where you saw evidence of it in the most dramatic manner. no one will know what will happen a year from now.
a year ago, my goodness, a year ago at this time, i think i was at the pool. never could have imagined what would happen. and then the event happened. couldn't imagine that it would just go on and on and on. i think the city will just have what we feel like is a low-grade fever for a very long time, this underlying distress, this grinding and difficulty. but it's worth it. we feel it is worth it to live here. and the city has a great future. there are also great opportunities here. we can fix things that needed to be fixed. few cities have an opportunity to start over. it's just depends on how much our government and our business leaders and civic leaders will continue to support us. country does a get tired of us, in a years time, i would like to see some sort of plan for this area. it may be to the bennis -- the
benefit of this area to not have development at this time. reporter: how is the city approach and -- approaching different areas? is there a grand plan at this point on how to redevelop these neighborhoods? sue: the initial plan that was started immediately after ofrybody got back had a lot consultants and recommendations. the urban land institute was in charge of that. and they really recommended that we start rebuilding in the original city footprint. crescent on high ground, like the holy cross, as you have seen. so their recommendation was tied
you gear graphical -- tie geographical areas and neighborhoods where the infrastructure and the housing stock, you know, was more repairable than you might be down here. report withued a what they called priority for rebuilding. becauset all happen these are private properties, private homes. whether a house can come back or what will happen to the house will depend on the homeowner and that homeowners own individual financial and other resources. has a planning commission. they are understaffed, like everything is here area but the city's plan is what we have been doing for the last year, which
is neighborhoods need to get organized. neighborhoods need to prove their viability. mr. nagin was very controversial when he said that. people were saying why should we have to prove our viability? it seemed very unfair. but when you look at it and you look at what has happened in some of the other neighborhoods that are coming back, maybe we did not have the best job if he or maybe they didn't have a lot of wealthy people could afford it who are doing tremendous work. people bother viability from the people who live in that neighborhood with their determination and severe as that proved aided -- proved a neighborhoods viability. end, a neighborhoods strength is not due to the brick-and-mortar in the buildings. it is due to the residents and homeowners and how much they believe in coming home
announcer: the holy cross area of the lower ninth ward was flooded but did not receive as much water as other parts of the ward during again, jim stark from fema talks with us about their efforts in the neighborhood. jim: we are still in the lower ninth ward. this is where modern utilities have been restored. reporter: what is the process they have to go through to get one of these? jim: applicants apply for the trailer. they call for the one 800 number and call for a trailer to be placed on their bet -- there best site. that a contract team will come out and make sure the site is viable, that it has hook up to water and electricity and gas. reporter: what do you normally tell folks about the timeframe it takes to get one.
-- 30enerally, 30 to 50 to 60 days. that is a long time. in nearly days, there was a backup as we had so much demand. now the sites are harder and harder to make ready and there are fewer and fewer of them. reporter: what about the size of them themselves? are you dependent on the number of people in your family? jim: it is a number of factors. if you've got a large family and you can accommodate a mobile home, then we will place a mobile home there is that of a travel trailer. size -- what about justin: i believe that will be about three or four people. reporter: and the terms with these are different from the
trailer parks. temporary.s still goes beyond 15is stayingnd you are not at a hotel. jim: typically, within the 18 what issome will find necessary. it looks like a couple of these houses are pretty close to being completed. i imagine pretty soon they will call our one 800 number and one of our contractors will take the trailer away. reporter: what about you personally? you lived in new orleans before this ever happened. personalsome of your and pressing -- outside the job and the future of the city.
jim: i grew up in a place that was high and dry. there were a lot of trouble trailers. i think a lot of them are families who may have been does waste from neighborhoods like this, who have relatives on the other bank of the river. or camping out, for lack of a better term, in their relatives yards. personally, we did very well on the west. we talked about it the fortunate that things went that way. i am committed to the city and the job i am doing our -- doing now. it is discouraging at times to see the slow pace of recovery. we talked earlier about the pace of recovery and other disasters area this one overshadows the size and magnitude of any of the other was before. hurricane andrew took two years
before miami was back on its feet, especially the homestead area and we can see that here. it will take turns. on, our response was -- we were slow in responding. there were some command and control issues that needed to be worked out ahead of time. again, the sheer magnitude everyone unawares and mistakes were made early on. and it should not be blamed on fema, quite frankly. the hurricane season, we to move better prepared right in. announcer: a couple of blocks away is another part of the holy us neighborhood where rebuilding efforts have taken place. sue: when the consultants first came and helped us ring the world the bad condition.
the initial recommendation, which states a whole lot of sense, was to rebuild on the , where therephy was a lot of housing before the storm that needed to be has it be -- they still have no telephone service here. this is where garbage took up is almost not existent. there is no mail service. the mail is picked up at the school. is really -- you are a real urban pioneer to be here. house, we are going to fix this house. this house will look as good as
that -- will look as good as that house. and thecompletely done homeowner a living in the house. she is struggling and not happy severale things area years ago, the person who bought it, it flooded to -- the person who bought it, she could not have afforded to own a home otherwise. and she flooded. with her insurance proceeds, they -- she did a lot of nice of rate. not only did she repair the home, but she had these nice shutters and things installed and has worked really, really hard. is as far as you can see there and as far as you see there. people are getting ready to occupy. but there is only a handful of living in holy
cross for now. there is no reason for this not to have been a focus area, especially since so many people in the lower ninth ward lost everything and have absolutely no ability to return. when you have lighted and abandoned countries, a property that tivo are selling for no money, that those cannot be let back into service and repopulated. so many people on the other side of claiborne avenue that really are lost. that is what breaks my heart, personally. all of these are really good houses. half of them don't belong to anybody. reporter: let's walk down this way. sue: ok. this neighborhood has the whole mix of architectural styles.
hi, we are with a preservation resource center. we are doing some houses, fixing the house and a whole bunch of houses. -- on myon the bridge roof when they called. i was declared deceased. the water came in. reporter: where are you living now? >> i just got a trailer. i am working at the same time. i was scared. i stood on the roof for about a day. a guy came out with a vote. he picked us up. then you walked across the
bridge. they had buses and trucks. seven days. [indiscernible] there was cooking for everybody. but that sunday morning when they really made us leave -- [indiscernible] it was happy. you couldn't do nothing. reporter: [indiscernible] >> one on my block. and i have one of the nicest blocks on the side.
instead of putting a trailer , i called them and they said my trailer was there area it took them three weeks to loaded up. i mean it. it for three weeks. i want to know from him, don't you think that this area on such high ground, so many homes, no one has been living that can be fixed, for people in your neighborhood, where their home is gone -- >> that is across the street. three blocks away from where the levees burst. i'm in the middle of both bridges. >> isn't this a good place? if people want to stay in the community? holy cross to be fixed up. >> they have a lot of people and
i came back. i don't know why they were there at the same time. they say they were just doing the inside of the neighborhood. i was in the middle of the bridge. >> this neighborhood is so great . the easiest neighborhood to get into service and there are so many problems. somebody is working on this. are they going to come back? oh really? [inaudible] reporter: do you have phone service? >> cell phones. cable.
>> is reverend troy they are now? he needs to know we are working in the neighborhood and not stealing like so many people are. the thieves are sophisticated. they know what they are doing and how to dismantle a bracket. the national guard patrols here but they are very slick. they have a fake letter from a homeowner that says we can take these things. they can't stop them because there is no homeowner around to verify. reporter: you talked about the woman who moved into the house. >> it is negative. i hate to say it. on the record. what is going on? why she was broken into, no phone. of life inuspects
neighborhoods here. there is a rat problem. she has had a rat infestation. her dog andacked she had to take her dog to the vet. that is her last drop. i know she won't leave. she is strong and independent, but she is a single gal living on her own and she has weathered everything in the neighborhood that has happened. the one thing she can't stand his rats in her house. river rats. the racks have so much. this is disney world to a rat. you don't have any people or rat bait to chase them away and they can forage for all kinds of things because so much of this neighborhood -- you can tell by the smell people have not
addressed may things inside the refrigerators. markings?e these >> this is search-and-rescue markings. this is a painful reminder for everybody who lives here. we love it when you come back and the first thing you say is painted over this. this marking here, the top is the date that they came to do search-and-rescue. on the left side is the agency or unit who did the inspection. 118.e number, in a means no entry. the bottom quadrant is how many found dead. finding bodies here about every week. there could be somebody stuck in the attic, or the house
collapsed and it is unsafe. here is something we are thrilled to see. a year later they are starting on this. getting the church back shows faith in the neighborhood. they can't get trailers down .ere they had to wait for electricity. look and leave is you can't be here after 4:00 p.m. no one was allowed to stay the night here until may. are you doing? this is robert.
this is miss bennett son. your mom is going to come home when you are done. are you waiting? oh. [inaudible] >> what are you doing? >> not too far now. >> why are you tearing the ceiling down? >> the whole roof got wet. the rain came through. >> bad news. reporter: we are you living now? >> in a trailer. four blocks. eporter: is in a trailer
park? >> know it is in front of my daughter's house. reporter: you're coming back. >> i would be back but i didn't have flood insurance. reporter: a lot of people didn't have flood insurance. one year later what is it like for you? quest glad to be back home. it will take a while. the whole city was devastated. you have the whole city. 200,000 people. you can't do nothing overnight. are a lot of people going to come back? >> yes. they are waiting on a grant. reporter: from who? >> home in new orleans. by the time i got the roof
fixed i needed the money to pay bills. reporter: what is your impression of the government's response? >> before it was just the ninth ward. now it is the whole state of louisiana. don't blame fema or the government? >> they did the best they can. it was not something small. how long have you been living here? >> 70 years. i'm 71 years old now. reporter: what is the biggest challenges now? >> money. buying sheet rock, electric, everything. reporter: how long will it take to get fixed up? >> it won't take long if we get the money. it just takes the money.
where can you go for groceries? >> across the bridge. they have a lot places open across the bridge. [inaudible] they didn't have flood insurance either. jim: our last stop was at a place called the musicians village, being developed by habitat for humanity. sara evans spoke with us there. >> musicians village is a camp for musicians and nonmusicians to have affordable housing. it is an opportunity for that -- there is a keystone project, the
community center located just around the corner from here. the idea is there will be classrooms and practice room so musicians can teach the children , and the children of nonmusicians, and pass on the traditions and cultures of new orleans. reporter: whose idea was it? >> ellis marsalis and harry,. -- harry connick. there is a connection here. reporter: when did it start? how does it work? >> we started building on this lot june 1. we now currently have 27 homes under construction. we will be dedicating the first -- three have been dedicated area it will dedicate another 30 lots on this site august 19.
11 of them are musicians locally here in new orleans. complete weses are will begin building on the interior of this lot. an additional 40 lots. some are going to be elder friendly units. selling not going to be those. to make sure the older generation of musicians also have affordable housing options. there will be 40 more homeowners going on this lot. is thiss village particular core area. norlin's at the habitat humanity is the upper ninth ward. we are going to be sustaining our building projects here.
why the upper ninth ward? neighborhood other , it needs right battle is asian revitalization. reporter: how do you apply and qualify? >> the first of the application , the first of is a credit check. the second is a loan application. the third is a home visit. they do a home visit where we go to their home. they take those factors and consideration. reporter: what has katrina done to the entertainment industry here? hat is it affected it? >> katrina has done an immense
amount of damage to the music will community. but katrina has done is caused a cultural diaspora. our culture has been sprinkled out all over the country instead of concentrated in new orleans. we are all over the place now. in some sense that is a good thing. we are like cultural ambassadors. some areas where they were previously not noticed. now, we are spreading our culture throughout the united states. >> people are good musicians from here. -- of them nor lentz has been a musical community ever since i can remember. culture brought over here from africa, we have the irish to french.
we have catholics and jews, protestants. we have a growing asian culture and arabic culture. new orleans has always been a melting pot of cultures and this is how it affected the music. when you get these ingredients together, you have a good combo. [laughter] you say that is good. >> our music is different because the rhythms are syncopated. our rhythms are real syncopated. they are not straight up and down. beat]tes there, and our body movements. people from new orleans dancelike nobody else.
our booty and everything. >> you can see them around jazz fest and mardi gras. they have a nice pair of shoes on and they are ready to dance. >> you are spreading new orleans. >> in some sense it is not so good because we need our musicians and artists to come home so they can preserve our culture and traditions and pass it on to the younger generations . this is going to be a difficult task if everybody is spread out. the object is to get our artists to come back and reinvigorate our culture and pass it down. the culture is an integral part of new orleans.
reporter: the army corps of engineers over there. >> they are doing all the work. the army corps of engineers is working there and constructing other flood control devices to prevent another occurrence of flooding. we talked to an official at the core. >> on the left is where the breach occurred. unlike whatd here, canaled in the industrial , the water was in up to the top of the floodwall. collapsed.ll
>> what has been done? pair tode a temporary those locations. the primary thing is what you see behind me. we no longer have to rely on floodwall to protect against storm surges. because need those under conditions where the structure behind us has to be closed, when there is a storm surge greater than five feet, we have to have those canals to contain that water. what will be taking place in the future is we will make a permanent repair at that location. >> what is going on behind you? canal,he 17th street they convene rainwater. miles.you a mark was two
on either side of that there is a floodwall. that floodwall failed. because we didn't believe we could rely on those floodwalls, they will take those floodwalls out of the line of connection. we have to make provisions for water to be pumped out of the city. there are pumps installed in the temporary closure. what we have been doing is making repairs to the levee system damage during katrina. system, 41 miles to sustain some damage. created, lessve than 20%. repairs, some the
still ongoing, there is an effort to rebuild levees. none of the projects have been completed. there is an effort to complete all of the projects. so the kinds of things we experience here at katrina would be less likely. in other part of the effort is a look at providing higher levels of protection. .ongress authorized to do this they gave us six months to complete it. the thing that we know from
that, although it is hard to draw a conclusion about what the future is, providing a higher level of protection will mean doing things that are .undamentally different reporter: a lot of people still don't believe [inaudible] opinion?our >> if another katrina took place following the track that katrina took, many areas that were flooded would be flooded again. katrina was an enormous powerful storm. it overwhelmed the system. that would unfortunately happen again. some of the things that happened were protected against those now.
>> when we cross, it stayed for weeks and weeks. >> what neighborhood was this? >> this was high net worth. expensive. were very you can see there is a little mcmansioning. e-house even like that was $250,000, which is a lot. ones, closer to the lake the more expensive. these are 300 $50,000 $450,000 houses.
the two-story ones, ones with a pool. this neighborhood is very challenged. again, they are severely damage. they have a very strong neighborhood association. they have done a lot. we have been working with them. we have in working with them quite a bit. it is a historic district coming back. it is pointed to take a while because of the amount of damage. most people had insurance. they have more means. this land is always going to be valuable because of where it is.
give us category five levees and we will do the rest. reporter: pretty deserted now. >> it is. this is where the wealthier people lived. i want to feel normal again. i don't want to go to normal , for everything to be perfect. i don't want the influence that i don't want to come back but i am staying and if i compare this , six months ago, 9-11 months ago, we have come a long way. even when i came back a month after.
look at it. .e got cars on the road this was a road where people were sleeping and dying. rush-hour. never thought i would be happy to see it. we have traffic. we have stuff open. one year later are you optimistic about the city? >> i'm very optimistic. i wouldn't live here if i wasn't. have other cities i could live in like atlanta. optimistic that the city will come back and being andng and attract business will prosper economically. the one thing i worry about is ,ill we preserve that culture
and architecture, culture, food. can we preserve that? the city is not an insular city anymore. we have people coming in from everywhere. the city will change. in the wanted to change right direction. we want to preserve the great things about the city and fix the things that should be fixed. a best practice for urban planning. this has never been tested before. no one has ever have the tragedy of opportunity like we had in new orleans. you really haven't, since the modern times, in cleanthe slate