WE DAT – Story of St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana
St. Bernard Parish is located only 5 miles east from the heart of New Orleans
and shares a boundary with Ninth Ward. In August 29, 2005 St. Bernard parish
was one the worst counties hit by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. When the levees
collapsed flood waters came pouring into every neighborhood in the parish.
In many cases homes and businesses were covered up to the rooftops.
One hundred and eighty people in the Parish drowned.
And it only got worse. The floodwaters pouring into the local Murphy Oil USA,
Inc. facility caused the largest domestic residential oil spill in US history.
More than 1 million gallons of oil floated on the water and spread into homes,
businesses and schools, leaving them filthy, smelly and contaminated.
And then on September 24, 2005 Hurricane Rita arrived, sending more water
spilling over the collapsed levees and flooding St Bernard Parish again.
The result? Destruction on a scale, that passed well beyond disaster and into
the realm of catastrophic. In St. Bernard Parish, the epicenter of devastation,
fully 93% of homes were rated as "severely damaged" or "destroyed".
St. Bernard Parish (county) is the only parish in the history of the US to have
been completely inundated by flood waters causing catastrophic devastation.
Project photographed in 2012, 7 years after Hurricane Katrina.