Saturday, December 03, 2005

New Orleans Reality. . .3 Months Later

From top left these images reflect the amazing devastation suffered by the city of New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina:

1) A typical midtown neighborhood suffered flood waters up to 7 feet deep--houses destroyed inside, cars washed up on sidewalks--clean up makes the city look like a massive eviction notice has been ordered.

2) Giant oak trees have been lost.

3) Every home in the city has been surveyed and "marked" in an effort to be sure all survivors, as well as deceased, have been located.

4) Churches all across the city have been flooded, and many have been demolished by the combination of wind and high water.

5) The feel of displacement is overwhelming.

6) Most homes look almost normal on the outside, but when you step inside the reality is very different.

7) Of course, thousands of homes will need to be bulldozed.

8-10) What's left of the housing stock presents a major challenge to come back efforts.

Prayer for the city and her people. . .we must not forget them at this crucial time.


Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, if you look at the recent budget laws passed . . . we have forgotten them.

Larry James said...

Anonymous, thanks for the post.

Regarding the FY2006 federal budget, it has not been finalized or better, reconciled. The House version calls for more severe cuts directly hurting our poorest citizens while handing the wealthiest 3% another round of big tax cuts. The Senate version is not so severe.

Contact your U. S. Representative and your U. S. Senators and urge them to adopt the more reasonable Senate version and while you are at it, recommend that the tax cuts be reconsidered.

owldog said...

Millions and Millions were donated to the Red Cross for this tragedy. Since that entity was started by the government, why can't that money be used to rebuild? Have they spent it all on housing and such for the people let without homes?

Larry James said...

The American Red Cross is a private, non-profit organization not connected to the U. S. Government. You would need to ask the Red Cross for an accounting of the money donated to date.

But your question points up something most people don't understand: the scale and magnitude of this and a number of public problems. The rebuild effort will not require millions, it calls for billions, as do many other public needs/challenges. The private sector cannot cover the spread. This is why we have government--a collective force for addressing issues like this. Unfortunately, our current government has been inattentive to many, many public matters, leaving our public infrastructure designed to address such matters in very bad need of an overhaul. Sadly, in New Orleans it has now been 3 months since the storm. The people there are working incredibly hard, as I saw last Wednesday, but they need more help, more money and more of our concern.

jduckbaker said...

I just spent time with some of my friends who live on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. They are also still in desperate need. One of the women said that many are still living in tents and plan to be in tents for the next year.

She was feeling so guilty for not being able to "get over it" because it had been 3 months since Katrina. But she has to get up everyday and see images similar to the ones you posted of N.O.

It's devistating. And not just for physical structures, but also on the emotional and spiritual plane- and these conditions have also led to physical sickness, due to stress, mold, and the like.

Thank you for the post.

Jeremy Gregg said...

"The rebuilding of New Orleans should occur through a phased process that accommodates the immediate needs of its downsized population, and which poises the city for future growth as it evolves from recovery to restoration, reform and rebirth, according to a panel of land use experts representing the Urban Land Institute (ULI)."