7th Ward
Seventh Ward of New Orleans. (Photo credit: Infrogmation / Wikimedia)

Hurricanes are not the only threat to homes in New Orleans’ historically African-American 7th Ward. Rising seas and more heavy rain can overwhelm the city’s aging pumping infrastructure.

Chalk: “Just with the summer rain or spring rain you can have water inundating your home. You can’t get to work. You can’t get your kids to and from school, and so everything is disrupted as a result of this water.”

That’s Angela Chalk of Healthy Community Services. Her neighborhood nonprofit teaches residents about rain barrels, rain gardens, and other ways to soak up excess water.

The group installs them in places where people will see the benefits. For example, they planted a rain garden near a barber shop…

Chalk: “The gentlemen there have noticed that there’s no pooling of water at the entrance to the door, and so they start to notice that, wow, this has made a difference.”

And that interest spreads quickly.

Chalk: “So when I’m passing on the street, they’ll stop me – ‘Look tell me about this.’”

She says residents are eager to get involved.

Chalk: “I don’t want people to make the mistake that because people live in a poor community – or a non-affluent community – that they don’t care about climate change. We’re doing what we do. We’re working!”

Reporting credit: Daisy Simmons/ChavoBart Digital Media.