Monday, December 12, 2005

Back Home

Drove back home to New Orleans from Jackson yesterday. We got off later than we'd planned, so it was after dark when we got to the city. Coming in on the I-10 from the west you pass first through the suburbs of Kenner and Metairie, and they looked pretty much normal.

But you cross into the city proper by passing over the 17th Street canal, very near to the infamous levee break that took out the city, and there you meet with sobering reality. Lakeview, a vast area of land that should be filled with street lights and lighted windows, all of it pitch dark.

Of all the times I've seen the Superdome at night, this was the first time it was not brightly lit up with floodlights. It just hunkered there in the dark, looking as if it was ashamed of itself for existing.

But the house was in good shape, though I'd forgotten how messy we'd let it get. High priority will be getting it in shape again.

Drove around a little this morning looking for a newspaper, and even in areas that didn't flood there are mounds of debris everywhere. Three months after the storm and you can see signs of it everywhere you look. Tree branches, and lots of piles of housing material piled up along the streets. Roof tiles, damaged or soaked drywall, all sorts of stuff. It looks like anything that won't rot if you leave it there gets low priority for removal.

More later.

2 comments:

Don said...

ashamed of itself for existing

Not proud that it survived, but ashamed at how it survived?

Did the city seem to welcome you home? Or was it just tired?

Jean Lafitte said...

The city is busy and crowded, which is not what I expected, though I expect that means that everybody who is here is crammed into the least damaged areas. I'll write about that later.

As for "ashamed of itself for existing," I guess I was thinking of the rough time the people there had, though we know now that the most horrific rumors were just rumors. Best article I've seen debunking that is here: http://www.reason.com/links/links100405.shtml. An interview with an Air National Guardsman who spent the whole crisis inside the Superdome.