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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Census-designated place
Country United States
State Louisiana
Parish St. Bernard
Elevation ft (0.9 m)
Coordinates 29°56′44″N 89°57′42″W / 29.94556°N 89.96167°W / 29.94556; -89.96167
Area 7.9 sq mi (20.5 km2)
 - land 7.3 sq mi (19 km2)
 - water 0.6 sq mi (2 km2), 7.59%
Population 32,069 (2000)
Density 4,369.6 /sq mi (1,687.1 /km2)
Timezone CST (UTC-6)
 - summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
Area code 504
Location of Chalmette in Louisiana
Location of Louisiana in the United States

Chalmette is a census-designated place (CDP) in and the parish seat of St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana, United States.[1] The population was 32,069 at the 2000 census. It is part of the New OrleansMetairieKenner Metropolitan Statistical Area.

The community was named after plantation owner I. Martin de Lino de Chalmette, whose surname in turn is derived from the French word chalmette — "pasture land, fallow land" (used especially in a mountainous area) — and has been traced to the Proto-Celtic *kalm.



Chalmette was the location of what is often called The Battle of New Orleans, where United States forces under Colonel Andrew Jackson defeated the British in 1815. The battlefield is preserved as a national monument, and the military Chalmette National Cemetery is adjacent.

Chalmette Battlefield, with house along the Mississippi River, and battlefield monument.
Location of Chalmette, Louisiana, between the Mississippi River and MRGO canal, east and south of New Orleans
Hurricane Katrina: cars in Chalmette, Louisiana post-hurricane.
Hurricane Katrina aerial photo of oil spill in Chalmette, Louisiana, showing oil slick on streets (September 2005)

Hurricane Katrina

On 29 August 2005, the 25-foot (7.6 m) storm surge from Hurricane Katrina overflowed through the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet(also commonly known as MR-GO) - a commercial channel dug by the Army Corps of Engineers in the 1960s - and flooded most of the town, with waters as high as 14 to 15 feet (4.9 m)[2] in some places. As a result, Chalmette was entirely destroyed. A majority of the population evacuated shortly before the storm hit, but there was still significant loss of life.

As of 25 October 2005, most of the buildings were deemed unsaveable. Despite findings published by the EPA, the toxic chemicals in the water from local oil refineries have been postulated to be an ongoing health hazard by several civilian ecological groups. Especially notable was the large oil spill originating in Chalmette's large Murphy Oil facility, where the storm surge knocked over a huge oil tank (see photo).

The parish administrative headquarters served as the site for a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) trailer park for numerous civil servants who were laboring in the rebuilding effort. A year later, parish employees were still working shifts around the clock to bring the community back to life.

Another center in the rebuilding effort was centered at Our Lady of Prompt Succor which served the congregations of the seven other Roman Catholic parishes as well as the main office of Catholic Relief Services. It also served as the only place to hold funerals for the first 12 months after Katrina.

Deputies working for the St. Bernard Parish Sheriff stated in early December 2005 that the oil tank floated in the flood. When the water receded, the tank settled on uneven ground. Its structural integrity was compromised and the oil spill occurred. By late November, the Murphy facility was functional, as was a small cluster of businesses around the intersection of Paris Road and St. Bernard Highway, on the least damaged River side of Chalmette. The devastated residential areas further away from the River were open during daylight hours for residents to salvage belongings from their damaged residences. The majority of people staying in Chalmette full-time were living in trailers, that started to be supplied by FEMA or private enterprise on October 12; although many who had been promised FEMA trailer housing were still waiting as late as March 2006.

"Camp Premier", now "Camp Hope", was established as a base camp for the community rebuilding efforts, facilitating the work of relief organizations, the National Guard and private individuals. As of August 2007, the camp is located to P.G.T. Beauregard Middle School and is operated by Habitat for Humanity to provide for relief volunteers in St. Bernard Parish. Other relief organizations, such as the St. Bernard Project, have also participated in the rebuilding of Chalmette, from distributing supplies, to clearing debris, to preparing damaged houses for homeowners to return.

The Chalmette Battlefield was also partially flooded in low-lying areas, destroying the Visitor's Center, which was removed for rebuilding, and temporarily replaced with a house trailer to attempt re-opening the park for visitors in 2006.

Gradual recovery

Mardi Gras 2006 in Chalmette: float #10 "The FEMA Ship" (click to enlarge)

St. Bernard Parish has celebrated Mardi Gras with parades in Chalmette. In February 2006, the krewe of the Knights of Nemesis held a parade, past many buildings still in ruins, along the streets of Chalmette.

As of early 2008, many businesses have returned to the area, schools have reopened, although the population remains significantly below pre-Katrina levels.

Due to Hurricane Katrina, the St. Bernard Parish School Board succeeded get a school open despite considerable difficulties, including telling FEMA that it would not wait for the agency. The parish opened the St. Bernard Unified School as a K-12 school in late 2005.

With the opening of the 2006-2007 school year, the Unified school reverted to Chalmette High School and now houses grades 8-12. The former Andrew Jackson High School has been repaired and now houses grades PK3-5. Trist Middle School houses grades 6 through 7.

The Catholic and private school sector was lost to Katrina.

The archdiocese of New Orleans has consolidated all local schools into one on the Our Lady of Prompt Succor campus. It has grades PK-8.


Chalmette is located at 29°56′44″N 89°57′42″W / 29.94556°N 89.96167°W / 29.94556; -89.96167 (29.945504, -89.961602)[3], along the Mississippi River and has an elevation of 3 feet (0.9 m)[4]. It is located east of New Orleans, and is part of the Greater New Orleans Area.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 7.9 square miles (20.6 km²), of which, 7.3 square miles (19.0 km²) of it is land and 0.6 square miles (1.6 km²) of it (7.56%) is water.

Chalmette is on the east bank of the Mississippi River, just downriver from Arabi, Louisiana, approximately 2 miles (3 km) from the border of New Orleans.


As of the census[5] of 2000, there were 32,069 people, 12,321 households, and 8,821 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 4,369.6 people per square mile (1,686.9/km²). There were 12,896 housing units at an average density of 1,757.2/sq mi (678.4/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 92.69% White, 2.39% African American, 0.44% Native American, 1.80% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.95% from other races, and 1.71% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.81% of the population.

There were 12,321 households out of which 31.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.3% were married couples living together, 14.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.4% were non-families. 23.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.57 and the average family size was 3.04.

In the CDP the population was spread out with 23.7% under the age of 18, 10.0% from 18 to 24, 28.1% from 25 to 44, 23.9% from 45 to 64, and 14.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 94.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.1 males.

The median income for a household in the CDP was $36,699, and the median income for a family was $43,804. Males had a median income of $33,916 versus $24,896 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $17,480. About 9.2% of families and 12.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 16.5% of those under age 18 and 8.5% of those age 65 or over.


Chalmette is served by the St. Bernard Parish Public Schools district.

As of 2007, Chalmette is served by three schools in unincorporated areas:

  • Andrew Jackson Elementary School (in Chalmette)
  • Trist Middle School (in the community of Meraux)
  • Chalmette High School (in Chalmette)

Before Katrina, Chalmette was served by other schools including:

  • C.F. Rowley Elementary School
  • Joseph J. Davies Elementary School
  • Lacoste Elementary School
  • Lynn Oaks (K-7)
  • Our Lady of Prompt Succor Catholic School (K-8)
  • Chalmette Middle School
  • Andrew Jackson Fundamental Magnet High School (now the site of Andrew Jackson Elementary School, soon to be Andrew Jackson Middle School)
  • St. Bernard High School
  • Archbishop Hannan High School
  • Arabi Elementary (formerly Arabi Park Middle)
  • Saint Mark Elementary
  • Saint Louise Elementary

See also


  1. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2008-01-31.  
  2. ^ "Six months Later—A Vision of Chaos, Determination, Courage, and Generosity" (report), Heidi (health care worker), St. Bernard Parish Medical HHS Clinic, Chalmette, LA, webpage: ADC: notes how flood trapped people in attics, in standing water.
  3. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2000 and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2005-05-03. Retrieved 2008-01-31.  
  4. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.  
  5. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.  

External links

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
(Redirected to Chalmette article)

From Wikitravel

Chalmette is a suburb of New Orleans in Louisiana, USA. It, like New Orleans, was damaged severely by the flooding which came with levee failures from Hurricane Katrina in August of 2005. While 20% of New Orleans was above the flooding, Chalmette experienced the disaster of 100% flooding. As of December 2007 the major work of rebuilding is still ongoing, as locals gut and repair their flood devastated homes and and businesses, rebuilding the home town they love.

Monument at site of the "Battle of New Orleans", which actually took place in Chalmette.
Monument at site of the "Battle of New Orleans", which actually took place in Chalmette.

Chalmette is the "Parish seat" (equivalent to a county in other states) of St. Bernard Parish, known to locals simply as "The Parish".

The largest concentration of businesses and restaurants back open are along the major streets of Paris Road, St. Bernard Highway, and Judge Perez Drive.

Get in

From central New Orleans, drive down Claiborne Avenue, which becomes Judge Perez in the Parish, or Rampart Street/St. Claude Avenue in New Orleans, which becomes St. Bernard Highway in the Parish. From I-10 in Eastern New Orleans, take Paris Road.

Get around

Drive. If you get off the main thoroghfares, drive with extra attention, as deep pot holes and tire puncturing debris are still not uncommon, and many areas are still without streetlights at night.


Battle of New Orleans site [1] 8606 West St. Bernard Highway, Chalmette. This is where Andrew Jackson stopped the British invasion during the War of 1812.

"Rocky & Carlo's" Restaurant -- plain on the outside, delicious on the inside
"Rocky & Carlo's" Restaurant -- plain on the outside, delicious on the inside
  • Armond's Eatery, 808 E. Judge Perez. Southern, local, and seafood. Bar. Mon-Sat, 11a-9pm. tel: 271-2009
  • Bubble T 4217 E. Judge Perez A, Mereaux. Bubble teas, smoothies, ice cream. Mon-Sat 10a - 7pm, Sundays Noon - 6pm. tel: 277-6405
  • Caffe Italiano, 323 W. Judge Perez. Coffee, gelato, breakfast, sandwiches. Wi-fi. Mon-Thurs 6:30a - 8:30pm, Fri 6:30a - 9:30pm, Sat 9a - 9:30pm, Sunday closed. tel:277-4439
  • Da Parish Coffee House 2625 Paris Road. Breakfast food, hot & iced coffee drinks. Wi-fi and computer rental. Mon-Sat 6a - 8pm, Sun 7a - 7pm.
  • Jeanfrau's 2324 Paris Road. Half grocery store, half restaurant, serving po-boys and simple local fare. Mon-Sat 8a - 7pm.
  • Papa's Pizza 2625 Paris Road. Pizza, subs, calzones. Multiple pizza by the slice options in the restaurant. Delivers in area. Mon-Sat 11a - 9pm, Sun 12 noon - 8pm. tel:277-4666
  • Rocky & Carlo's Restaurant & Bar, 613 W. St. Bernard Hwy. A favorite local institution for generations, serving ample portions of po-boys, New Orleans style and Louisiana Italian cooking. Lunch and dinner, tel: 279-8323
  • Seafood Hut 2625 Parish Road. Chinese food, Po-boys, and seafood. 11a - 9pm daily.
  • Rocky & Carlo's, listed above

More bars on and around Paris Road at St. Bernard Highway. Community Grill on Judge Perez Drive in Arabi Par 3 Diner - Wednesday's & Saturdays - 16oz T-bone steak special


Telephone area code is 504, same as New Orleans.

  • Caffe Italiano listed above.
  • Da Parish Coffee House listed above.
  • Surf & Sip Internet Cafe & Gaming Center, 1000 block of East Judge Perez at Veronica Drive.
  • Fishing trips
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