Wednesday, October 12, 2005.
This morning I had to go back out to the client I had recovered yesterday and reconnect a network cable that I had 'stolen' from one machine for another. I'm supposed to be a very smart person. How does this stuff happen to me?
After that I had to go into Orleans right by the Lower Ninth Ward. I tried to go down Franklin Avenue to St. Claude, but Franklin was blocked and I had to back track to Elysian Fields. I wound up in the French Quarter instead, but finally worked my way east down some back streets and made it to the client.
I hadn't been to this part of the city yet. I have been to Lakeview, and that's really bad. I have been to the CBD, and that's not so bad. The eastern part of the city is just terrible. Even though I've seen a lot of pictures, I was quite shocked. It's not the damage, though, because the damage isn't that bad. It's the lack of life. There aren't very many people returning, and all the people I stopped to talk to in the area said they were packing up and moving out. While this has always been the 'wrong side of the tracks' in Orleans, I've always liked the area. The houses are very interesting, and most of the folks aren't bad people. While I'm never keen to go down there at night, it was sad to see the place deserted. I hope the good folks come back and the bad folks stay gone, but I have a feeling that it's going to go from bad to worse instead of from bad to better.
Here's the client's offices inside their warehouse. Luckily the computers had been 'evacuated' to the second landing. Notice the pirogue on sawhorses on the landing... You can see that the walls have been gutted to 4'. They had almost 2' of water.
The dryers pull moisture out of everything and collect it in the garbage can.
Here's what became of a full system. The server, a
workstation, and a printer. The first workstation I tried wouldn't
Luckily the server came up on the first try.
I took some shots on the way back up St. Claude and then Elysian Fields to the interstate.
Here's a metal roof crumpled on a grocery store.
A block building with the face torn off. The peak is
torn out of the pink building on the right, and most of the roof is blown
I guess the wind doesn't stop for signs...
The Coffee Shop didn't do so well...
The Mistic didn't do so well evidently. I guess all
those herbs, curios and religious supplies didn't do them much good.
Of course, I always thought it was spelled mystic anyway...
Some roof work getting done along Elysian Fields. These were the only workers I saw on the whole trip today.
I always appreciated the archetecture in this area. While it's considered a 'poor' part of town, the houses are very cool. Or they were... All of the people I talked to out here today are all packing up their things and leaving for good. There's going to be some great real estate opportunities in the near future.
Cars parked along the neutral ground (what Yankees call the median) on Elysian Fields. Folks do that when the water starts to come up, because it gives you a few extra inches before the car floods. All these cars were underwater at some point, though, so it didn't do any good this time. The city is trying to get all these vehicles towed somewhere, but it's slow work. Where to you put 100,000 abandoned vehicles?
The bar with the Mardi Gras theme isn't partying anymore.
Temporary stop signs have replaced downed stop lights - as clearly visible here. The water line is about 5 feet here, as can be seen by the On Top Hair Salon sign. No busses stop here now... Not too many people have come back to this area. You can tell because the houses don't look like they've thrown up. The odor in the area is rather strong, but not as strong as it once was.
The I-10 underpass. That's not a fancy paint job on that van. It's water lines.
Five foot water lines on fences and buildings.
I don't think the Mardi Gras Travel Plaza is going to be opening too soon...
Five foot water lines. I doubt that car was parked there before the flood. Yes, the house on the left is leaning pretty bad.
I like the color of the house on the left. Pity it had 2 feet of water in it...
The traffic light is out at I-610 too, so the temporary stop sign is king. This shot gives you a good idea of the state of the city. This is usually a very busy intersection at all hours of the day and most of the night. No other cars on the road except for the dump truck.
Interesting news of the day...
Reverend Jesse Jackson now acknowledges that at least 150 of the 200 people he bused into New Orleans were not local evacuees and that most were not even from southeast Louisiana. For that, Mr. Jackson gets the flaming idiot award.
Our other Flaming Idiot of the Hour, Pumpless Aaron Broussard threw a temper tantrum in the council meeting today and tried to blame a councilman for something that he isn't responsible for. you can watch the video here: Broussard, councilman spar over pump issue
For happier news, I was pretty pleased with this:
Government reconsiders ban on guns at FEMA trailer parks
03:15 PM CDT on Wednesday, October 12, 2005
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) -- Under pressure from gun rights groups, FEMA said Wednesday it is reconsidering a ban on firearms at a trailer park established to temporarily house Hurricane Katrina victims.
"We've got attorneys who are looking at that as we speak and they're trying to figure out who wrote the rules, what the intent was," FEMA spokesman Butch Kinerney said.
The dispute involves a nearly 600-trailer encampment that opened last week near Baton Rouge. Katrina evacuees will be allowed to stay there rent-free while they try to find permanent housing.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency said it has been general policy at FEMA for several years to prohibit guns at such parks anywhere in the country.
But the National Rifle Association threatened to sue, and another gun rights group, the Second Amendment Foundation, said it, too, was looking at legal action.
"Whether it's a national disaster, whether it's by nature like Katrina, or a flu pandemic or an earthquake, the Constitution can't be thrown out the window," said NRA leader Wayne LaPierre.
He said the NRA was outraged, and he warned that the organization would take its case all the way to Congress and president.
The East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office had asked that guns be banned at the encampment because the trailers are close together and have thin walls, according to spokesman Deputy Fred Raiford.
"If a gun was discharged in any of those trailers, it probably would go through three or four other trailers before it stopped," Raiford said.
(Of course, if one of the trailers catches fire, them being so close together, any number of them might burn, so maybe we should ban matches too, eh?)
But FEMA spokesman James McIntyre said guns would have been prohibited even without the Sheriff's Office request.
Now, the best bit of news may not seem all that exciting to some folks, but for me it is a VERY big deal. The Roman Candy man is back:
The Roman Candy wagon reappeared on St. Charles Avenue at Joseph St. Brian Tauzier, who has been buying the sweet stuff since he was a kid, purchases some of the candy sold there since 1915 from owner, Ron Kottemann, Wednesday October 12, 2005.
Photo by Eliot Kamenitz
Man! I wish I'd have known that. I'd have gone and bought a whole box!