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New councilman withdraws Katrina tour fee proposal

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 11, 2013 at 10:45 am •  Published: January 11, 2013

Currently, the city has an ordinance in place that bans tour buses from the Lower 9th Ward. It was passed after Hurricane Katrina to keep tour buses and shuttles from impeding cleanup and recovery efforts. The neighborhood was devastated when levees failed during the Aug. 29, 2005, storm. Many homes were pushed off their foundations after floodwalls collapsed. Blocks of the neighborhood remain vacant and overgrown with weeds.

Many tour companies nixed the neighborhood from their routes over the summer when buses were stopped and ticketed.

About 9 million people visit New Orleans each year, and Katrina tours are popular among those wanting an up-close look at the houses being built by Make It Right, the foundation launched after Katrina by actor Brad Pitt, as well as the home of rock 'n roll star Fats Domino.

Many Katrina tours also include the Musicians Village, a post-Katrina effort in the Upper 9th Ward launched by entertainers Harry Connick Jr. and Branford Marsalis. The Musicians Village isn't off limits to tour buses.