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Residents Eager to Reclaim New Orleans East

Many residents of New Orleans, scattered in the exodus caused by Hurricane Katrina, are anxious to come back to see what has become of their homes. Now gathered in Baton Rouge, some residents of New Orleans East are planning to drive back in a caravan, even though officials have yet to approve their return.

Robert Siegel begins an occasional series of reports about how neighbors on Honeysuckle Lane, in New Orleans East, make the passage from exile to normal.

The area is across a canal from the rest of the city and is home to mostly African-American families, some of whom are middle-class, a few upper middle class, and others poor. So far, the city has not allowed people in this part of town to re-enter to even see the damage to their homes. And there's been no timetable for that.

Tuesday night at a meeting in a church in Baton Rouge, people from New Orleans East announced they would try to re-enter Friday -- whether or not New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin approves it.

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Prior to his retirement, Robert Siegel was the senior host of NPR's award-winning evening newsmagazine All Things Considered. With 40 years of experience working in radio news, Siegel hosted the country's most-listened-to, afternoon-drive-time news radio program and reported on stories and happenings all over the globe, and reported from a variety of locations across Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, and Asia. He signed off in his final broadcast of All Things Considered on January 5, 2018.