Mardi Gras season brings to mind New Orleans, and with that makes me think of the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. As the most expensive U.S. storm ever, Katrina caused billions of dollars in damage and displaced hundreds of thousands of people from their homes. Clean up and rebuilding efforts were massive and even continue to this day as the city restores itself. Seven years after Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans hosted this year’s Superbowl in the city’s refurbished Superdome. Along with tourism and news cameras, the event brought a sense of renewal to the city. After Katrina, the severely damaged Superdome served as a desperate shelter for evacuees. Fully re-opened in 2011 after years of rebuilding, the iconic sports center has restored it’s pride along with it’s appearance. Doug Thornton, VP of the company who owns the Superdome “has referred to the Superdome as a symbol of the city’s recovery.”
The progress of New Orleans is an inspiration of hope for residents of New York, New Jersey and parts of Connecticut affected by Superstorm Sandy. Although Katrina had a higher death toll, the effects of Hurricane Sandy are reminiscent of the damage in New Orleans. According to Department of Homeland Security Secretary, Janet Napolitano, “We are moving large amounts of resources into the affected areas. [Sandy] will be … if not the most extensive and expensive, one of the most in our nation’s history.” Ed Kashi has documented the aftermath in both of the storms. Visual excerpts of the aftermath and relief efforts following both Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy depict a differing and yet universal devastation seen after both disasters.
*Note: Photos on left of pairs are from Hurricane Katrina, and photos on right are from Hurricane Sandy.
Tags: Clean up, Disaster, Documentary, Doug Thornton, Ed Kashi, Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Sandy, Katrina, Louisiana, Mardi Gras, New Orleans, Photojournalism, Recovery, Relief, Resilience, Storm, Superbowl, Superdome, Superstorm, VII