Katrina: The Debris // Missing

Jul 27, 2015

According to numbers from the US Census and the IRS, 236,970 people left Louisiana between the summer of 2005 and the summer of 2006, mostly because of Hurricane Katrina.

Census details can’t tell who is a former resident returning and who’s new, but as of last year, the state had only recovered about 100,000 people, less than half of those who left. Whether it's abandoned houses or empty chairs at the dinner table, New Orleans is rebuilding around a conspicuous absence.

This week on The Debris, stories of people and things missing from, and just missing, New Orleans.


Reporter David Weinberg of KCRW has the story of Cassandra Cousin, a 7th Ward native who resettled in Los Angeles after Katrina. Janaya Williams talks to Edwin Duplessis, also from the 7th Ward, who watched Katrina on television in New York and decided to migrate back to his hometown. 

Plus, we talk to population researcher Elliott Stonecipher about the history of migration in Louisiana. And we stop by a seafood counter in Bucktown to hear about what's gone missing from that lakefront community since Katrina. 

This pumping station sits on the lakefront in Bucktown where there was once restaurants and recreational boat parking.
Credit Kate Richardson

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