NEW ORLEANS (AP) – Eight years after Hurricane Katrina, the Ferris wheel at the abandoned former Six Flags amusement park sits idle. The roller-coaster humps are familiar sights to passing motorists, and the weed-choked lot is a thorn in the side of officials who have overseen one of the most extensive city-rebuilding projects in U.S. history.
New Orleans officials have yet to seal a deal for redeveloping the Six Flags lot. But such eyesores aside, city leaders say they're turning a corner since the day the levees broke under Katrina's fury on Aug. 29, 2005.
City figures show about 80 percent of the pre-storm population has returned. Investment in a massive medical corridor and an influx of technology companies offer new hope. And many blighted neighborhoods have been restored, vacant lots aside.