Mardi Gras Celebration After Katrina

Mardi Gras is over and the city of New Orleans is cleaning up after all its visitors and is even still cleaning up after Katrina.

This is the second Mardi Gras celebration since Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in 2005, and one South Central Kentucky woman has traveled to the city two times pre-Katrina and one time post-Katrina.

Missy Bruce, the regional manager for AAA, just returned from her third New Orleans trip. She has family in that area and wanted to experience the Mardi Gras celebration for the first time.

"Jackson Square, the riverfront all of that is beautiful. It looks like it did before and it's very family-friendly," said Bruce.

Many of New Orleans' attractions have been repaired and rebuilt, keeping their original family flare, but one main attraction, Bourbon Street, according to Bruce is less family-friendly since Katrina. All in all a year and a half after Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast Bruce was pleasantly pleased with New Orleans' clean up.

"I wasn't sure how the city would be. I was delighted to see most of the shops open up, and down Canal Street there were still a few that weren't," Bruce said.

However, she also visited Gulfport and Biloxi, Mississippi, and according to Bruce as soon as you left New Orleans you could see the devastation Katrina left behind.

"As soon as you got outside of the city, 10 miles, you saw lots of devastation - things that still aren't back, apartment complexes that are still missing roofs. No one's living there, and it looked a little like a ghost town," Bruce said.

Bruce also said if you're planning on visiting the area she recommends staying in New Orleans. That way there are more hotels, restaurants, and activities for tourists to choose from.

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