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hurricane katrina 10 year anniversary

Noel Morris / WABE


After being deluged by Hurricane Katrina floodwaters, the Orpheum Theater in downtown New Orleans has sat dormant for the past 10 years, closed to the public.

Three ownership changes have taken place in that time, and an estimated $15 million has been spent on restoration.

Writer, performer and attorney Mike Molina worked with New Orleans youths in Atlanta, as part of a project he started called ''New Roots.''
Mike Molina

New Orleans native Mike Molina was living across the country in California’s Bay Area when Hurricane Katrina hit his hometown.

Seeing the storm’s devastating impact on New Orleans, he felt compelled to return to the South.

He ended up in Atlanta, where he stayed for many years, working with displaced New Orleans youths and also performing as a storyteller.

In a conversation with Stephannie Stokes, he discussed his interactions with the young evacuees and considered how the experience influenced his writing. 

Aerial views of one of the damaged levees on August 30, 2005, the day after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans.
Jocelyn Augustino / FEMA

This month marks a decade since the devastating hurricane known as Katrina. The category 5 storm killed nearly 2,000 people and losses exceeded $100 billion. 

  In the days leading up to Aug. 29, 2005, many families left their homes in New Orleans for shelter and came to Atlanta. By Aug. 31, 80 percent of the city was under water, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported. 

Documentary: Hurricane Katrina Was A Man-Made Disaster

Aug 27, 2015

The destruction of New Orleans' levees are to blame for the deaths and devastation that followed Hurricane Katrina, according to America Crumbling, a movement that calls for the United States' infrastructure to be mended. 

A New Orleans home
Nick Normal /

Maintaining the distinctive look and feel of New Orleans architecture had been a significant undertaking long before Hurricane Katrina hit 10 years ago.

Massive water damage sparked renewed efforts not only to save historic homes in iconic neighborhoods but also to pass along an appreciation of a home-building style described as a “dying art.”