While the government is spending $14.6B on a risk-reduction system for most of metropolitan New Orleans, hundreds of thousands of people outside the new system remain essentially defenseless. more>>
While the government is spending $14.6 billion on a risk-reduction system for most of metropolitan New Orleans, hundreds of thousands of people outside the new levees, gates and floodwalls remain essentially defenseless. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is studying three options for a levee to provide protection against the 100-year storm, or a tropical system with a one percent likelihood of occurring in any given year. more>>
A tropical wave is moving from the Caribbean into the Gulf of Mexico. The circulation is over land right now, but it is worth watching as it pushes west. It is not likely anything will develop untilmore>>
Dolly has developed in the southern Gulf of Mexico, but not a threat to the northern Gulf coast.more>>
Event planners seem to no longer be wary of booking in New Orleans during the height of hurricane season. more>>
Event planners seem to no longer be wary of booking in New Orleans during the height of hurricane season. The traditionally slow months are transforming with the return of some big-name conventions. more>>
Labor Day is the official end of the summer season, and it's been known as the last day to wear white.more>>
Labor Day is the official end of the summer season, and it's been known as a stopping point for wearing white.more>>
East Plaquemines Parish, La. -- Nearly nine months after Hurricane Isaac made landfall, Javier Guerrero looks over his gutted house and 600 dead citrus trees.
Guerrero plans to replant his trees and convert his old home entirely into a farm.
"It's in disarray," he told us. "It's taken time to clean it up, trying to do it all by yourself."
He plans to tear down the house, explaining his wife doesn't want to come back to East Plaquemines Parish: "She doesn't want to go through this episode again."
Fortunately, the Guerreros already had purchased another home in Hammond before Isaac to give them "a place to run." Instead, that has become their permanent home.
In a five-mile radius, Guerrero counts roughly half a dozen families that have moved back since the storm.
Braithwaite and vicinity is hardly alone when it comes to depopulation. Outside the giant, new flood walls in St. Bernard, the Parish President's office estimates roughly 100 people now live. That represents, conservatively, less than half the pre-Katrina population.
While Terrebonne Parish boasts one of the strongest local economies in Louisiana, many areas south of Houma have been emptying. Since 1990, the parish's planning department estimates roughly 25 percent fewer people in the bayou communities.
Coming back was never going to be easy for flood victims, who now face an additional, financial storm.
A decade of extreme flooding swamped the National Flood Insurance Program, running it close to $20 billion in the hole. Congress passed the Biggert-Waters Act, which keeps alive the program while phasing out federal flood insurance subsidies.
Unless the law is amended, home and business owners could get socked with dramatically higher premiums.
All over south Louisiana, from Terrebonne to St. Charles to St. Tammany, residents and parish leaders are hitting the panic button.
In Madisonville, Ryan Richard recently received notice from FEMA that the flood insurance on his restaurant would be canceled. The apparent form letter assumes Richard has rebuilt Friends Coastal Restaurant.
"I don't know what we'd be doing right now, because we'd already be open," Richard said.
His insurance broker told him "we probably couldn't afford to pay those rates" for Friends, a high-risk, repeat flood property.
However, Richard has no intention of rebuilding Friends.
Instead, he plans to tear down the 7,000 square foot facility, replacing it with a 30,000 square foot elevated restaurant.
"The Lighthouse Restaurant" would be four eateries in one, complete with dockside dining, a full-service bar and dining area inside, banquet facilities and a fully-functioning lighthouse.
The Lighthouse, which Richard hopes to open next year, would be elevated to escape future surges and the new world of insurance.
"It's a new reality and it's scary," Richard said.
He worries many people in the historic river town will be priced out of the market.
"Where rates are going no one knows," said Richard, who has heard estimates of $18,000 on a $200,000 cottage.
Parish President Pat Brister believes, unless amended, Biggert-Waters will force residents to either raise their homes or abandon them.
"I think we're going to look quite differently," Brister said.
"I think we're going to look quite differently," Brister said.
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Tuesday, September 2 2014 10:07 AM EDT2014-09-02 14:07:52 GMT
Labor Day weekend has a special significance for alligator hunters in Mississippi. A few days into the start of this year's hunting season, a record-setting 756-pound gator was caught by Robert Mahaffeymore>>
Labor Day weekend has a special significance for alligator hunters in Mississippi. A few days into the start of this year's hunting season, a record-setting 756-pound gator was caught by Robert Mahaffey of Brandon in the first weekend of the season.more>>
For some, it may be hard to believe that nine years have passed since Hurricane Katrina made landfall and left major devastation in Louisiana and Mississippi. Most people will never forget where theymore>>
Friday marks nine years since Hurricane Katrina made landfall, causing major devastation in Louisiana and Mississippi.more>>
Sunday, August 31 2014 3:28 PM EDT2014-08-31 19:28:29 GMT
Disturbing pictures of an injured kindergartner from Pascagoula have made a mother's call for action go viral online.more>>
Disturbing pictures of an injured kindergartner from Pascagoula have made a mother's call for action go viral online. Friends and family of a Pascagoula kindergarten student have created a Facebook page and GoFundMe.com account claiming the girl was attacked on the playground this week by another student.more>>