A sign in front of the lot still reads “Closed for the storm”. What an ironic joke, considering that the park closed 14 years ago for Hurricane Katrina and never reopened. The empty rollercoasters and ferris wheel soaring above the tree line is a constant reminder of a city that never really completely recovered after Katrina.

Six Flags New Orleans, ‘Jazzland’

Jazzland was a jazz music themed amusement park built in New Orleans in 2000. The theme park went bankrupt and was bought out by Six Flags in 2003. In 2004, a woman lost her life at the park as she was buckling her grandson into the ride. There was a blind spot and the operator was unable to see the woman standing there. The ride struck the woman and killed her. The next year in 2005 Hurricane Katrina hit the coast of New Orleans damaging the park beyond repair.

The Aftermath of the Storm

In August of 2005, Category 3 Hurricane Katrina made landfall and devastated the coast of New Orleans. The levees failed and flooded much of New Orleans. More than 1,800 people lost their lives.

The property where Six Flags sat was covered with over 7 feet of water for a month after Katrina. The damage from the prolonged salt water made most of the rides unsafe for use. The flood water brought in wildlife that had not previously lived in the area. Wild boars 🐗, alligators 🐊, and water moccasins 🐍 now make Jazz Land their home.

Six Flags under Hurricane Katrina Flood Waters (© Reuters Photographer / Reuter/REUTERS)
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It’s not Just the Property they are Protecting

My brief tour of Six Flags New Orleans – September 2019

The park has security, although I saw no sign of it until we were leaving the property. When we parked at the front gate there were no signs that said no-trespassing and there were some other cars parked out front. So, we decided to take our chances and explore the park (quickly). We spent probably about a half hour exploring and turned back before we were able to see the whole park.

As we were heading through the empty parking lot back to the gate, a car came speeding through and stopped right in front of us. A security guard hopped out and told me to delete all my photos in front of him or go to jail. My camera was acting up and it actually wouldn’t let me delete the photos. I apologized and told him my camera wasn’t working right. I told him that we were leaving and wouldn’t be coming back, so he agreed to let us go.

I read up more about the property after we left (which I should have done before) and found out that the security is not there so much to protect the crumbling property but to keep trespassers safe from the dangerous wildlife that now takes up residence in the park. I was there in broad daylight, however many people sneak in at night and that is when the alligators and boars are most active. I didn’t see any signs of wildlife, however we did hear something when we were in one of the buildings. I was afraid that someone else was there and we left quickly. Because of the cars we figured it was someone else exploring. Now I think it may have been a boar or maybe even an alligator 🐊!

I saw a story on Reddit about an alleged alligator attack that took place while some people were doing some urban exploration at Jazzland. I’m not sure if it is true because the story claimed two died and one was severely injured and I could find nothing else about it. I would think that something like that would be in the news. That being said, it is definitely something that could happen.

Sources

NY Daily News. “New Orleans Six Flags theme park is bare, crawling with alligators a decade after Hurricane Katrina “. https://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/new-orleans-areas-ravaged-10-years-hurricane-article-1.2318658

Reddit. “Six Flags: New Orleans”. https://www.reddit.com/r/nosleep/comments/53lojy/six_flags_new_orleans/

Business Insider. “11 horrific Six Flags accidents everyone wants to forget”. https://www.businessinsider.com/worst-six-flags-accidents-2012-7