On August 29, 2005, just as the city of New Orleans breathed a collective sigh of relief at the passing of Hurricane Katrina, surging seas broke through more than 50 canal levees, which had been put in place years before to protect the Louisiana city from flooding.
The devastation was wide-spread and only two days later 80 percent of New Orleans was under water, some parts by up to 4.5 m (15 ft). Most residents fled to safer ground, almost 90 percent of the total population, and left behind everything they owned.
Three years later the streets in many areas of the city are still desolate, empty houses line the streets, or what’s left of them anyway. Their owners either didn’t want to return to the doomed city or have no means of repairing their homes – insurance companies are still holding back, citing acts of God as a get out clause. So they lie abandoned, a familiar story with the new New Orleans.
Seasoned photographer, Frank Relle was born and bred in New Orleans and captured these haunting images of what’s been left behind. His shots are both arresting and thought provoking. Frank is able to relay what only a son of the city could.
Frank Relle has won a number of awards, including a 2007 International Photography Award, and has had his images featured in various solo and group exhibitions including the 2005 Louisiana Cultural Economy Summit, the 2007 Southern Biennial, and the Center for Fine Art Photography. He continues to photograph the changing face of New Orleans, with the hope that it reaches a world-wide audience so that one day his birthplace is rebuilt and functions as it did before.
For more amazing images by Frank Relle, please visit his website.