Just over the Orleans/St. Bernard parish line is a small street called Schnell Drive. St. Bernard Parish was almost completely flooded by Hurricane Katrina and ten years after the population is 27,000 less than what it was in 2005. On Schnell Drive, there are still obvious signs of the storm and obvious signs of recovery. NPR spent ten years checking up on residents of this two-block street and as the tenth anniversary of the storm approached they asked me to go photograph them.
Arabi, Louisiana – Donna Bordelon and Colleen Bordelon stand for a portrait in front of the house where they live on Schnell Drive. Colleen was amongst the first to begin rebuilding after Katrina, and stayed through both the storm and the flood. She and her husband Donald cooked food on a burner and kept a boat tied up near a second-floor window.
Arabi, Louisiana – Colleen Bordelon points to a framed image taken by a newspaper photographer of her with her husband at their home on Schnell Drive in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
Arabi, Louisiana – Ronnie Landry, 14, plays basketball in front of the home where he lives on Schnell Drive. He moved to the street with his father Wilbert Landry from the Lower 9th Ward, which also experienced heavy flooding.
Arabi, Louisiana – Noney Deffes stands for a portrait in her backyard with her Winnebago RV on Schnell Drive. Deffes says that in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina she lived out of the vehicle.
Arabi, Louisiana – Raymond Gaspard, 54, inspects his boat in the driveway of his home on Schnell Drive. Floods from Hurricane Katrina destroyed his home and the boat later turned up on a city street.
Arabi, Louisiana – Ruth Nunez, 66, poses for a portrait at her home on Schnell Drive. Nunez lived on the street during Katrina and had her old house torn down and replaced with one on stilts.
Arabi, Louisiana – Grace Gaspard, 8, works on her homework while ignoring a lunch of boiled crabs because the seasonings made her lips burn. Before Hurricane Katrina, the street was largely populated by the elderly. Now, ice cream trucks roll down the two blocks of brick homes.
Arabi, Louisiana – Wilbert Landry, 55, moved to Schnell Drive from the Lower 9th Ward, which was also flooded by Katrina.
Arabi, Louisiana – Red paint marks an address where a home once stood on Schnell Drive.
Arabi, Louisiana – L-R: Igor Depaula, 17, father Jose Depaula, 49, and mother Francisca Depaula, 35, pose for a portrait on the sidewalk near their home on Schnell Drive. The family is originally from Brazil and first moved to Boston and then moved to the New Orleans area in search of construction work.