Tracy Flores
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Lower Ninth Ward

Tracy Flores
Tracy Flores believes so strongly about the power of family, heritage and neighborhood pride that she is the first on her block to rebuild and restore her home in the Lower 9th Ward in New Orleans. (Mark Boster / LAT)
Rosemary Coldman
Rosemary Coldman holds a portrait of her partner, Lee Norman near the spot where he was found in the attic of their home in the Lower 9th Ward of New Orleans 7-months after Katrina. (Mark Boster / LAT)
VACANCIES: Only about 700 of the Lower 9th Ward’s 19,000 people have returned. New Orleans wanted to turn part of it into green space, an idea Harris fought. (Mark Boster, Los Angeles Times)
Steps still there
Many of the homes in the New Orleans Lower 9th Ward were wiped off of their foundations by Hurricane Katrina leaving only front steps and porch. (Mark Boster / LAT)
Military police
Eighteen-months after Hurricane Katrina military police still patrol the streets of the Lower 9th Ward. (Mark Boster / LAT)
Handmade street signs mark the corner Rocheblave and Dubreuil Streets in the Lower 9th ward. (Mark Boster / LAT)
Empty blocks
EMPTY BLOCKS: New Orleans city officials stopped people from officially returning to their homes in the Lower 9th Ward for three months after Katrina, and even then they couldn’t stay. Residents have fought to get utilities turned back on, and volunteers have helped rebuild. (Mark Boster / LAT)
Going back home
GOING BACK HOME: Tanya Harris, a community organizer with ACORN, is in the middle of repairing her home. Her sister Tracy Flores moved back in with her children in December — they’re the first family on their block. (Mark Boster / LAT)
Newly rebuilt
Newly rebuilt homes belonging to Josephine Butler and her neighbor Gwendolyn Guice stand as shining examples in the Lower 9th Ward of New Orleans where residents are starting to rebuild and move back in. (Mark Boster / LAT)