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Five years ago, KYW’s Brad Segall was in New Orleans when Hurricane Katrina hit, and provided live reports as most of the city was inundated.  He has returned there to see the progress as New Orleans rebuilds.

Segall reports that the recovery in many areas has been slow, but there is positive news as people continue to return home to start a new life.

The population is now about three-quarters of what it was before the hurricane. Restaurants and businesses in the French Quarter and the Garden District are thriving, but hundreds of families are still looking for homes.

habitat house segall dl Special: Brad Segall in New Orleans, 5 Years After Katrina

(A Habitat for Humanity house under construction.)

In the 7th Ward, Habitat for Humanity is building a limited number of affordable homes. Ashley Muse and her two kids will get one after have lived in Houston for a while and then a trailer back home in New Orleans:

“I just can’t stop looking at the house.  It’s just amazing.  Like, this is really mine!  I’m really thankful that Habitat gave me the opportunity to do this and just to have a better living for my kids so we can grow up safe and in a safe environment.”

hayes shirley segall Special: Brad Segall in New Orleans, 5 Years After KatrinaHer next-door neighbor will be Shirley Hayes (right, in green shirt), whose home was demolished under eight feet of water. She’ll live in the house with her teenage children. Her husband was murdered after the storm.

Hayes says she’s excited about starting over:

“So I said, ‘Wow, God, let me go ahead and give it a chance.’  Next thing you know, Miss Anna called back and said, ‘Guess what, Miss Hayes?  You have been approved.’  I said I couldn’t believe it.  Thank you,  Lord, yes, I’m approved.”

She says this will be the first time she’s owned a home of her own.

Listen all this week for Brad Segall’s special reports from New Orleans, five years after he covered the Katrina devastation.

(Photos by KYW’s Brad Segall)

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