Ten years after Hurricane Katrina, you can still see the scars left by the storm — not just in places like New Orleans, but also in the region's less inhabited areas.
NASA published stunning satellite images looking at swamplands around Delacroix, a fishing town southeast of New Orleans, one week before Katrina and 10 years after — showing how the flood changed waterways in the region.
Here's the image for before Katrina:
Here's the image for 10 years after:
A team of US Geological Survey scientists has published detailed maps of land change around Delacroix. By looking at a series of Landsat and commercial satellite images of the area over time, and comparing them pixel by pixel, they have determined how much effect Hurricane Katrina had on the marshes compared to Gustav, another hurricane that struck in 2008.
Their conclusion was that Katrina’s extreme winds, long duration (20 hours), and major storm surge (up to five meters) did serious, lasting damage to Delacroix’s marshes; Gustav reinforced it in 2008. After Katrina’s flooding had subsided, 8.2 percent of the pixels in their study area had changed from land to water; Gustav changed an additional 1.4 percent of pixels.
Katrina did build new land in a few areas. In the 2015 image, for instance, note the expansion near Big Mar and along some of the other new ponds and channels west of Lake Lery. In total, 3.3 percent of pixels were converted from water before Katrina to land afterward.
The change is clear on the maps — there's a lot more black, representing waterways, in the images after Katrina. This impacted the region's ecosystem, but it also shows how powerful Katrina was — to still have an effect on the land 10 years later.