Six Flags New Orleans was devastated in 2005, when the federal levee system failed after Hurricane Katrina. Since the park itself is surrounded by a six-foot flood berm, it retained several feet of brackish water long after surrounding areas had been drained. In July 2006, Six Flags Inc. concluded their damage assessments and declared the park to be an effective total loss of $32.5 million due to the damage caused by long term saltwater immersion.
Three years later, the City of New Orleans fined Six Flags $3 million and ordered the park to vacate its lease on the property. The corporation has effectively scrapped the site for parts, and relocated the single salvageable roller coaster ride to their San Antonio, TX location. The park in East New Orleans presently looks like something out of a doomsday sci-fi movie, with alligators, cottonmouths, shattered windows, and graffiti amidst the encroaching swamp.
More recently, a company based in California called Southern Star Amusement has introduced redevelopment plans that will fully restore the existing park area and double its size, with the addition of a water park and a movie studio catering to the burgeoning film industry in the New Orleans area. The corporation has posted a letter of intent that outlines a lease agreement with the city and their ideas for utilizing the property, but for the time being they are tasked with a huge clean-up and repair initiative. Six Flags New Orleans continues to stand as a grim reminder of Hurricane Katrina’s toll on the Gulf Coast.