These days when fishing guide Ryan Lambert motors away from the boat launch in Buras, he’s fishing in the what locals call “the land of used-to-bes.”
As in, that used to be Yellow Cotton Bay, or Drake Bay, or English Bay… and dozens more. It’s all one big open body of water now because the marshes, cypress swamps and ridges that separated these water bodies for most of his life are gone.
Roughly one in four cellphone towers in the path of Hurricane Sandy went out of service. It was a frustrating and potentially dangerous experience for customers without a landline to fall back on. Now, local officials and communications experts are pushing providers to improve their performance during natural disasters.
Lori McCaskill lives in Brooklyn, and when Sandy hit last October, her Verizon cell service went out. She couldn't work. She couldn't check in with family and friends. Her sister was due to have a baby any day.
Louisiana officials are grappling with a giant sinkhole that's threatening a neighborhood. A salt mine collapsed last year, creating a series of problems regulators say they've never seen before, including tremors and oil and gas leaks and a sinkhole that now covers 9 acres.
Residents have been evacuated for more than seven months now and are losing patience.
Ernie Boudreaux lives in a trailer on Jambalaya Street in Bayou Corne, La. Strange things have been happening to his home, he says.
Debbie Elliott is NPR’s national correspondent based in Alabama. She has covered the 2010 BP oil spill, and its aftermath, since the beginning.
Reporting in Terrebone Parish in 2010, Elliott met the Chauvin family that had been shrimpers for five generations before the disaster. Now covering the trial over BP’s liability for the spill, Elliott tells WRKF’s Ashley Westerman that family story is one that has stuck with her.
BP executives are gearing up for testifying at the second week of a federal trial in New Orleans over its 2010 oil spill. Officials from the oil giant have so far blamed other companies for the disaster.
A federal judge has approved Transocean Ltd.'s agreement with the Justice Department to pay $1 billion in civil penalties for its role in the massive 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier said in his ruling Tuesday that he found "no just reason for delay" in approving the civil settlement.
Last week, a different judge approved Transocean's criminal settlement with the federal government. The company pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge and will pay an additional $400 million in criminal penalties.
BP says it has failed to reach a settlement in advance of next week's civil trial on the Deepwater Horizon accident and is ready to defend itself vigorously against allegations of gross negligence in the U.S.'s biggest environmental disaster.
Rupert Bondy, the group's general counsel, said in a statement Tuesday that settlement demands were "not based on reality or the merits of the case."
Billions are at stake in the Feb. 25 trial in New Orleans to determine BP's civil liability. BP already agreed to a $4.5 billion settlement of federal criminal charges.
BP has agreed to a $4 billion settlement of a criminal case filed by the Justice Department over the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. A pending civil case could cost tens of billions of dollars more in penalties.
International ships call at the busy Port of New Orleans. It's a major shipping convergence point on the Mississippi River. Ships come upriver from the Gulf of Mexico with imports from abroad, and barges come downriver, bringing U.S. goods for export.
Credit Debbie Elliott / NPR
The Mississippi River is flowing at near normal levels again in New Orleans, as measured by this old-fashioned staff gauge behind the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers New Orleans District office. The Corps has been fighting saltwater encroaching up the mouth of the Mississippi because of the persistent drought.