Monday, October 17, 2005

My first post-Katrina trip to New Orleans

The little I saw of Jefferson Parish looked kind of messy, but that was all. I went to uptown New Orleans, where the strangest thing was the lack of traffic, and especially the absence of the St. Charles Avenue Streetcar. The few cars had smooth passage, and there were plenty of parking places. Only one coffee shop was open in the neighborhood I was in, and when I walked up the steps, New Orleans' best known bookseller was holding court on the porch. I got my coffee and sat outside--the weather was lovely--and I was soon reminded of why we love New Orleans (even those of us who hate it, too): I met a woman who had lost her house and everything in it--but she had saved her 147 tiaras.

I found out that a woman I know is living in a tent in Jefferson Parish. Down the road from her are a number of empty FEMA trailers.

In Pensacola, Florida, There are many FEMA trailers that FEMA never managed to distribute to evacuees in the aftermath of Hurricane Ivan--shocking, I know. They could easily be moved to Louisiana and Mississippi, also.

A lot of the debris has been picked up in uptown New Orleans, though there is still quite a bit on the street. I saw several moving vans.

It turns out that the pumping station employees in Jefferson Parish were evacuated far away (too far away, no matter what the reason) because there was only one safe house available. More are being built, but the construction has been slow because the money has had to come out of the parish budget--the Bush administration has refused to fund them.

6 Comments:

My husband and I drive through New Orleans on our trips to Florida and when we go to Alabama. We go out of our way to drive through and while we never have much time to visit we love the city. We are both saddened that we missed the pre-Katrina NO and the next visit to Florida we are going to spend more than one night there. It's funny that we don't miss what we had until it is gone are almost gone. By the way, can the tree be saved?

By Blogger zelda1, at 5:52 AM  

The tree is standing straight, so all that needs to happen is for that limb to be cut off. The rest of the tree will be fine. Unfortunately, the expanded golf course will stay, too.

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