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September 2, 2021 25 min

After Hurricane Ida hit New Orleans, leaving destruction in its wake, comparisons with Hurricane Katrina were made.

There are, however, big differences between the two disasters — namely that the city, in the 16 years since Katrina, has heavily invested in flood defenses. But on the ground, there is little cause for celebration.

What has happened in the aftermath of Ida and what does the increasing frequency of climate extremes mean for a city like New Orleans?

Guest: Richard Fausset, a correspondent covering the American South for The New York Times.

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Background reading: 

  • Hurricane veterans were stunned by Ida. “It’s never been as bad as it is this time,” said Jesse Touro, who was rescued from Jean Lafitte after riding out storms in town for the past 12 years.
  • As hundreds of thousands of people in Louisiana faced the prospect of punishingly hot weeks ahead without electricity, officials have urged those who had fled before the onslaught of Hurricane Ida to stay away indefinitely as the long slog of recovery begins.
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