In New Orleans, after desegregation, the white population migrated to higher elevations in the south of the city near the Mississippi River. The African-American community grew in the north part of the city closer to Lake Pontchartrain, where the city’s elevation — already below sea level — is at its lowest.
When the storm hit and the levees broke, New Orleans East and the Lower 9th Ward transformed into an extension of the neighboring lake. Thousands lost their homes, and hundreds more who stayed behind perished.
The geography of the city dictated that the poor receive the brunt of the devastating […]