21 August 2006

Katrina: Then and Now

Seymour D. Fair has asked me to give an outsider's perception (albeit a Louisiana native's one) of what I have seen in New Orleans post-Katrina, since I have lived in Missouri for the last two-plus years.

I was able to get down there for the first time about a month ago. I spent two days looking, one supervised by Seymour, one unsupervised. I saw all of the big-name places: the 17th Street Canal breach, Lakeview, Ninth Ward, Jackson Barracks, New Orleans East, St. Bernard, Chalmette, etc.

I was going to say something about it, but I don't know what to say that hasn't been said before. But in the last few days, we have had orientation at the university where I teach. My colleagues all knew I spent half the summer in Louisiana, so they asked me how the city was. So now I have come up with my blanket response:

A lot of New Orleans looks exactly the way it looked in the second or third week of September 2005--except for the four feet of grass which now surrounds many of the houses.

TAGS: Katrina, New Orleans, NOLA, Lakeview, Lower Ninth Ward, New Orleans East


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