Our trip to New Orleans was a lot of fun. It is great to see how the city is rebuilding and it was nice to drop a bunch of money into the economy there. The problem is, it’s the tourist areas that have been repaired/rebuilt everything else is still fucked.
On I-10 right outside of the downtown area you can still see houses with their roofs torn off, houses with all of the windows broken out. The homeowners are all being screwed over (be it by the government or the insurance companies.) They lost everything and many can’t afford to go back.
RPhGuy is from NOLA and his family moved back there. We were talking about it and he has a very good point. It was important for New Orleans to get the tourist areas fixed. That is their economy right now. They had to get that looking relatively normal to bring people back in. It’s still surreal to drive around outside of the French Quarter and the Garden District to see the destruction this long, almost 2 & 1/2 years after Katrina.
You can still see water lines on some of the buildings. Houses still have the FEMA codes spray painted on the front of them. I read somewhere a while back that some of the residents are keeping it up even when they repair their houses to remind people of what happened. It’s uncomfortable to look at it. It really brings home the realization of what these people went through (and are still going through) but I think it is important that no one forgets it.
We drove through the east side and people are slowly rebuilding in subdivisions. You can drive down a street and see the FEMA codes on all the houses, roofs with holes in them, walls completely missing, then one house out of the 20 or so on the street looks almost normal. Many people have FEMA trailers parked in their front yards, with the house behind them destroyed.
We didn’t know what the FEMA codes meant, but at one house it said 2 dogs. Stupid me thought “Oh good, they found someone’s dogs.” Then I realized that the dogs were dead and the date on the house was 09/30/05. It took them that long to get to this neighborhood. What if there were people trapped inside some of these houses?
I want to pay closer attention to the debates, I want to vote for Obama, but I want to hear what the democrats are going to do in places like NOLA. Louisiana overwhelmingly voted for Obama in the primary. Hopefully that’s a step in the right direction.
I’ll put up pictures once hushbear gets them off of the camera, or I may borrow some from one of my friends. He took more than we did, hushbear was driving and it didn’t occur to me to take the camera from him.