Before my trip to New Orleans (post-Katrina), people who had been there would say to me in conversation, "You really have to be there to comprehend the devastation." I discovered how right they were. While I am posting some incredible pictures, it is truly not possible to understand the "armageddon-like" nature of the destruction, with whole neighborhoods being destroyed, without being physically present. The scene at the Lower Ninth Ward reminded me of some of the pictures I have seen of Europe just after the Second World War.
There is nothing left of these houses except for the foundations. This part of the neighborhood has been cleaned up. What is not certain is whether these houses were carried away or were so badly damaged that they have been bulldozed. It might be difficult to tell from the picture, but these homes were very modest in size
Here is a closer picture of one of the foundations.
One of the few street signs not completely washed away.
Looking down one of the streets of the Lower Ninth Ward.
It is not clear whether the debris behind this house was humanly placed there, or whether it just settled there after the floodwaters subsided.
Is it possible to imagine returning home after the flood subsides only to find that your house was washed down the street landing on top of your or someone elses vehicle?
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Some more pictures of the Lower Ninth Ward:
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This car came to rest on top of a fence ten months ago and it is still there; a reminder to all the work that still needs done as well as a warning that there are hazards. It would not be a good thing should this car fall with people working around it.
This is a picture of the rebuilt levee protecting the Lower Ninth Ward. As we stood by it we could clearly see that the area is below sea level, so that when it breeched, water from the canal poured into the Lower Ninth Ward like pouring water into a bowl.
My last post will focus on the reason tourists have traveled to New Orleans for many years, the historic French Quarter.