Portraits of Katrina

This story appears in the August 2015 issue of National Geographic magazine.

On August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina slammed into the United States Gulf Coast and became one of the most devastating storms in the country’s history. Failed levees in New Orleans, along with poor preparation and a slow governmental response, would have repercussions for years to come. The city became a focus of human tragedy and triumph that riveted the world.

To mark Katrina’s ten-year anniversary, we selected photographs that tell a story of resilience—from views of destruction made soon after the storm to present-day portraits showing the vitality of the Mardi Gras Indian and second-line parades. The photographers who made these images show us loss, renewal, and survival. They remind us that New Orleans, iconic as ever, is still thriving in a precarious landscape.