Thursday, May 17, 2007

ReNew Orleans

632 Days Ago. In August 2005, Hurricane Katrina's storm surge caused 53 levee breaches in the levee system protecting metro New Orleans. Katrina devastated the City of New Orleans scattering its residents, including so many musicians both famous and not-so-famous, resulting in a diaspora into any and all neighboring states.

Most of the city was flooded, as the breached drainage and navigation canals allowed water to flow from the lake into low areas of the city. The storm surge also devastated the coasts of Mississippi and Alabama, making Katrina the most destructive and costliest natural disaster in the history of the United States, and the deadliest hurricane since 1928.

The total damage from Katrina is estimated at $81.2 billion. Federal disaster declarations covered 90,000 square miles (233,000 km²) of the United States, an area almost as large as the United Kingdom. Evacuated citizens have spread to all 50 states and many major cities. Many people were separated from their family members, including young children separated from their parents and pets.

Eric Clapton was joined by John Mayer for a special acoustic performance of "Broken Hearted" on CNN's "How You Can Help?" show hosted by Larry King on Saturday, September 3, 2005 to benefit the Katrina relief efforts. The men performed live from CNN's New York City studios. "Broken Hearted" is from Eric's 1998 CD, Pilgrim.

2006's successful Jazz Fest was a sort of miracle given the enormous difficulties New Orleans experienced following Hurricane Katrina. While the city still has a long way to go, 2007’s Jazz Fest, which took place over April 27 through April 29 and May 4 through May 6 symbolized another high-water mark in the city’s recovery.

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