Jazz vocalist John Boutté feels he can no longer afford to live in his hometown of New Orleans. He’s not alone. Rising housing costs are pushing many musicians and service workers — the backbone of New Orleans’ tourism economy — further and further outside the city limits. This suburbanization of the working class poses more than an inconvenience: It’s fraying the culture of New Orleans and splintering the very neighborhoods that have nurtured the city’s music for decades.
It was a familiar scene for many in New Orleans East, part of the city’s 9th ward.
“As helicopters hovered overhead and emergency response vehicles streamed into neighborhoods, it reminded them of [Hurricane] Katrina,” reported Tegan Wendland of member station WWNO in New Orleans. “The area was hit hard by that storm, and now many families will have to rebuild again.”
“This house looks like it belongs in a third-world country somewhere. If you was to walk through and walk around, you would think a bomb went off,” Terry Eubanks told Wendland, standing outside her apartment.
Eubanks was at the nail salon when the storm hit. Her apartment was completely destroyed.
Officials said at least seven tornadoes touched down in the state on Tuesday, the biggest of which hit New Orleans East.