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Lower Ninth Ward Residents See Their Homes

At the end of Caffin Avenue, Helen Walker's small, brick house is badly damaged, but still standing.
Anthony Brooks, NPR
At the end of Caffin Avenue, Helen Walker's small, brick house is badly damaged, but still standing.
Walker spent much of the day trying to salvage what she can, which is very little.
Anthony Brooks, NPR /
Walker spent much of the day trying to salvage what she can, which is very little.

Residents of New Orleans' Lower Ninth Ward were allowed to return to their homes Thursday for the first time since Hurricane Katrina hit. Residents were permitted to stay for the day and had to leave by sundown.

For Helen Walker, 63, it was an emotional day. "It's really devastating to come back and look at something that you have worked for half of your life -- and it's all gone," she says.

Since Katrina struck, Helen Walker has been living with friends and family in Mississippi. She says she applied for a trailer home from FEMA more than a month ago, but has heard nothing since then.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Anthony Brooks has more than twenty five years of experience in public radio, working as a producer, editor, reporter, and most recently, as a fill-in host for NPR. For years, Brooks has worked as a Boston-based reporter for NPR, covering regional issues across New England, including politics, criminal justice, and urban affairs. He has also covered higher education for NPR, and during the 2000 presidential election he was one of NPR's lead political reporters, covering the campaign from the early primaries through the Supreme Court's Bush V. Gore ruling. His reports have been heard for many years on NPR's Morning Edition, All Things Considered, and Weekend Edition.
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