Remembering Hurricane Katrina

Friday, August 27, 2010 at 2:55 PM


Before coming to Google, I worked at a non-profit organization that responded to Hurricane Katrina by sending mobile health clinics to the Gulf Coast, where there was critical shortage of medical and mental health care providers. I traveled through the region regularly for nearly two years following the storm and each time I would visit the same spots, trying to get a sense of how they were recovering. In some places I saw rapid change and in others hardly any.

Since moving to California I haven’t been able to get back to the Gulf, but I think about that time often. I was excited back in 2008 when we made Street View imagery of New Orleans available, and I’ve kept track of updates to our overhead imagery of the area in Google Earth and Maps.

With the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina approaching, my mind has been with the hardworking and resilient residents of coastal Louisiana and Mississippi. I used the Historical Imagery feature in Google Earth to look back at some of the places I used to visit, and created these slideshows to show the change over time.

These by-now-familiar images of the Lower Ninth Ward are no less heartbreaking today than they were when we first saw them.



The Biloxi Bay Bridge, which connects Biloxi to Ocean Springs, MS, was heavily damaged in the hurricane and had to be rebuilt. The new bridge opened to traffic in November, 2007.