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.