16 February 2006

New Orleans Photos: 13 January 2006

About a month ago--the day after "the heckuva town" drive-thru appearance--I decided to check the progress of the not so "the town I used to know" areas of New Orleans checking out Lakeview, the Lakefront, Lakefront Airport, the University of New Orleans, Gentilly, the Seventh Ward, and the Lower Ninth Ward. Outside of Uptown and the CBD virtually every traffic signal was not operable. Most signals lacked power and instead temporary four-way stop signs had been placed at nearly every normally signalized intersection. I will attest however, that in the following month some progress has been in made in regards to the traffic signal problem (at least on the sliver), but nearly all in the heavily damaged zones still remain dormant. It's truly amazing there hasn't been a rash of traffic fatalities from this--although there have been some.

The photos taken on 13 January 2006 can be seen at my flickr photostream here.

A few observations illustrated in the photos:

In Lakeview, signs announcing an intent to return are in the yards of many, many homes which is encouraging to see. Concurrently, many houses are also posted for sale in Lakeview.

Sections of Lakeshore Drive took a pounding from the storm surge knocking down light posts and eroding the soil between the street and seawall.

As noted in an earlier post, the city's Southern Magnolias seem to be the species of tree which fared the worse with the two plus weeks of standing water. It appears that most other tree species will survive, although low-lying plants throughout the flooded parts of New Orleans are deader than Elvis. Paris Avenue featured an allee of Southern Magnolias the entire legnth of the street. Now the median contains their skeletons.

Lakefront Airport got hammered. Many of the hangers and buildings at the airport got blown out by the tidal surge. Nearby Lakefront Arena suffered major wind damage tearing metal siding from the building.

That particular day was the day that landfill fires were burning in New Orleans East. The plumes of smoke can be seen in several of the pictures taken from the Lakefront as well as in the Lower Ninth Ward.

The downright violent destruction in the Lower Ninth Ward may be more brutal than the storm surge damage on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. And I don't say that in anyway to downplay what the coast looks like. It's just that bad in the Lower Nine.

The new normalacy apparently includes military helicopters landing at the Downtown Heliport at the Superdome.


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