Friday, August 10, 2007

Not What We Expected

New Orleans - fun loving town - it is not the same. I kept wanting to stop people, interview them, and take photos. Homeless roam the streets - more than ever. Many old, familiar places we wanted to visit were closed. For miles coming into the city, it looked like a war had taken place. Indeed a war had taken place - a war for lives and for survival.

The desk clerk told us some of her story - her house went in the flood caused by the inadequate levy system that was in place, and rebuilt now to the same inadequacy. She lost everything. She is now living in the hotel where she works. She told us that one of the room service people drowned when the levy broke.

The city is now scheduling demolition for surviving damaged homes under a new ordinance and disregarding the necessity of following the old ordinance which had a procedure lengthy enough to prove that repairs were intended.

Note: I talked to a friend in this area as well who had an older home, undamaged by the hurricane, and was warned that his house was on "the list" for demolition. I don't know how many other communities are destroying people's homes. Then who will buy the land? I can only guess.

There are still unrecovered bodies in places. The newspaper told a story that the rest of the Country does not seem to know.....the water system is barely functioning.....the bridges covering large expanses of water have been rated as hazardous.

If you want to go to New Orleans to party, there is a small area that is able to accommodate those wishes. Otherwise be prepared for an experience - but one you probably aren't expecting!

Because of time constraints we were unable to drive the coast to view the other towns and cities that were hit by Katrina and Rita.

New Orleans in its resourcefulness has added a new attraction: a tour of the hurricane devastated areas of the City.

More later.....will visit ya'll this weekend. To those I need to call: I'm exhausted and will try to get to calling this weekend.


Candy Minx said...

Thank you for this post Gardenia...we're going to be there in October. Much to think about...I hope the money for the tours to the devastated areas is going to rebuidling and returning people to New Orleans.

Gardenia said...

Candy, some tours state part of money is going to devastated areas -

tweetey30 said...

You know I dont know anyone down there but everytime I read about this I get teary eyed and just hateful to the government how they are treating this. I mean this happened over two years ago now and they are just getting to certain things. I know they have mor pressing matters but peoples lives are in danger of all the mold and stuff there and its just plain sad how people are living.

Hattigrace said...

It is heartbreaking, huh?

mister anchovy said...

I've heard similar stories from others as well. We're none-the-less going to visit as part of our roadtrip with candy and stagg. I recall your president saying something about doing whatever is needed to help restore the city, but from what I've heard, the necessary aid has not materialized.

Gardenia said...

I think everyone should visit - and spread the word about the conditions there.

tshsmom said...

This travesty is the biggest gripe I have against Bush!
FEMA should be scrapped,restarted from scratch, and run by people who know what they're doing.

Red said...

This is so sad and yet, somehow, not unexpected.

Remember what Barbara Bush said about the locals? How they had fallen on their feet, since many of them would be getting better accommodation than they had originally? It seems to me that the only people who stand to make a gain from the hurricane are property developers. You are right: wealthy investors will buy up the land for next to no money and build multimillion apartment blocks.

It is scandalous, really. And even more scandalous is that two years later people are still living in temporary accommodation.

Wandering Coyote said...

Unbelievable - and unbelievably sad.

Gardenia said...

Oh, yes, I remember Barbara Bush's statement(s)!

On to more about New Orleans........