Private Hurricane Katrina Tour
Private Hurricane Katrina Tour: $850 to charter a private vehicle and driver-guide for one to 14 people. Approximately three and a half hours. NOT available as a bilingual tour. This is NOT a traditional city tour of New Orleans, 90% of this tour is about The Storm’s impact.
On this narrated, 45 mile tour, we visit 3 areas where levee and floodwall failures occurred. The Upper 9th Ward, Gentilly, and Lakeview. After twelve years on the mend, you will see for yourself how tenacious New Orleans actually is. We will showcase our rebuilding efforts after having being hit by the worst “natural” (or man-made?) disaster in U.S. history. You will marvel at how we have kept our city’s famous Southern charm alive and learn about our past, present, and future.
French Quarter to City Park
Our Guide will pick your group up and begin with an overview of the city starting in the French Quarter. You’ll learn about the Creole city’s history and architecture. This includes Jackson Square, St. Louis Cathedral, and the Pontalba row houses. At Cafe Du Monde, you’ll have a great overall view of the Mississippi River as it flows through the city.
Next, you will pass the French Market and the old U.S. Mint. From there, we will go through the Faubourg Marigny, heading east. At the Industrial Canal, you will view the largest Hurricane Katrina levee breach, which destroyed the Ninth Ward. Witness both the desolation and budding rebirth there. You’ll also see Harry Connick Jr.’s and Ellis Marsalis’ colorful project, Habitat For Humanity’s Musicians’ Village. It is an island of hope and color in the middle of an Upper Ninth Ward still full of desolation and sadness.
Continuing on, we’ll drive along the now famous Treme neighborhood. You’ll see how the Lafitte housing project has been replaced by nice new townhouses in “Faubourg Treme.”
Pass in front of shuttered and closed Charity Hospital and see the new LSU hospital complex construction site.
See the Orleans Parish jail and hear the plight of evacuated prisoners during and after the storm.
View the ‘renaissance’ of Mid-City, the new apartment complexes and the upcoming market there.
Riding along peaceful Bayou St. John, we’ll view raised houses from the late 1700s. You’ll gain an understanding of their architectural significance in a city below sea level.
Driving by St Louis Cemetery #3, we explain our above ground burial system.
Next comes City Park, where you will see the antique carousel and centuries-old Louisiana live oaks. Before continuing, we stop here for refreshments and restrooms.
New Construction after Hurricane Katrina
City Park to Gentilly
Driving along Bayou St John, we cross over it to get to Gentilly. Here, you can admire some of the 101 homes that were rebuilt by Project Home Again. Barnes & Noble chairman, Len Riggio, funded the project with a $20 million gift! You’ll also see both of the London Avenue Canal breaches that caused the complete destruction of the neighborhood of Gentilly. We stop to visit the Levee Exhibit Hall and Rain Garden alongside the breach.
Each Home Inspected and Marked
Gentilly to the Lakefront
Any city below sea-level depends on levees to prevent flooding. Hurricane Katrina’s wrath damaged or destroyed over fifty New Orleans levees, and much of the city flooded. Your guide explains the importance of our levee system, our floodgates, and our pumping stations.
As we continue toward the Lakefront, we’ll pass UNO’s campus on Lake Pontchartrain’s shores. You’ll have a great view of the longest bridge in the world, the Causeway.
On the Lakefront, we stop for a guided tour of the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation’s New Canal Lighthouse Museum. This historic lighthouse is from 1839. Today, it offers a unique narrative of the city’s relationship with natural disasters and storm surges.
Continuing along the Lakeshore past the marinas, you will witness the fourth levee breach at the 17th Street Canal.This breach wreaked destruction upon the fishing port of Bucktown and the Lakeview area. These neighborhoods are now home to an inspiring comeback.
Your journey continues through Carrollton and down to the still-devastated Hollygrove area. Here, the lines of Katrina’s floodwaters and rescuers’ markings on ruined homes are still visible.
Once downtown, you will drive through the Arts and the Warehouse Districts. You’ll pass by the World War II Museum as we loop around the Superdome and Convention Center before we deliver you back to your hotel.
One of the 134,000 New Orleans Homes Damaged or Destroyed by Hurricane Katrina