Post-Katrina Descriptions

The following is from an email with Jason Hoffman (aka strike300), a resident of Louisiana (and now Mississippi, post-Katrina).  We have been exchanging photos and information about the sites of hurricane damage and life around the area in general.  I thought this was a good description of some things I had seen and even more I didn't have a chance to see while I was in the area.

From my original message:
I appreciated those [pictures you sent]. The one thing they show is just how inadequate pictures are at conveying the scale. That's what I found when I came back with my shots, I felt like I only had a fraction of the pieces to put together a big jigsaw puzzle. The story just can't be told without driving and walking as much of the city as you can at a time. I still dream about the place. I didn't expect it to have much of an effect on me, but it still resonates in my subconscious even a month later.

Jason's reply:
Well, I've found that it's *impossible* to really get the big picture from a..... picture. I'm not the greatest photographer, but I understand the theory of good content, etc. I haven't had the time to stop the car, get out and walk around and take good pictures. I'm not sure that I could even if I had the time. It's hard to comprehend some of the damage and you can't tell what you're looking at when you see the  picture.

I went with a friend back in December and took a video camera. We went down Hwy 11 through Slidell where the damage was really bad. Even the video camera couldn't really capture what was happening there. Almost every camp was completely wiped out. The ones that weren't washed away were half-gone. Some of the piles of rubble were obviously collapsed houses with the naked eye, but when you take a picture, it just looks like a pile of rubble.

Some of the best shots we took were in New Orleans East where the houses are all still standing but there are water lines 7 or 8 feet up. When we went through there in December, most of them had not been touched since the hurricane. The neighborhoods were completely devoid of life.

There were also a few pictures of cars that were in places they would not normally be... and couldn't be driven to. Older cars that had good weatherstripping floated like boats and piled up on top of each other. New cars at the dealerships in the East were well sealed but the glass couldn't handle the water pressure I guess because they all imploded and stayed right where they were. Unfortunately, I don't have these pictures... my friend (who had moved to Georgia) took those pictures and is in the process of compiling a website. He's now moving back to Slidell and I'm going to try to push him to finish the site after he gets settled into his new place.

Copyright 2006 Alexplorer and Jason Hoffman.
Back to the Journal Index