The Post-Katrina Explorations
I went home to southeastern Louisiana to visit my family over spring break.  Between family visits, Dani and I spent much of our time there checking out post-Katrina Louisiana.  Although I figured there would be a few interesting sights, I had no idea just how much devistation remained.

Post-Katrina impressions
Katrina hit August 29, 2005, roughly six and a half months ago.  There simply is no way for me to convey the scale here.  Words fail and pictures are a sorry approximation.  You really have to see the place and spend several days driving around, getting out of your car and walking, and then just dreaming about it at night.  That's exactly what I did, and I still can't get my head around the sheer enormity of it all.

Here are some interesting facts and notes I jotted down about post-Katrina Louisiana...
As of the middle of March 2006:

  • 50% of traffic lights are still not functioning in Orleans Parish.
  • The population of Slidell (north of the lake) has grown by 50% to 80%.  This is pretty obvious from the raffic alone.
  • There no still recycling program in Slidell.
  • The New Orleans public television station (WYES 12) is still not on the air.
  • NO East only has ~20% of population remaining.
  • Almost all of the traffic lights are still out in NO East and have been replaced with stop signs for the foreseeable future.  Not that it matters; there are so few people there it's like a small town now.
  • In many areas, the only places open are hardware stores.  Ace was the only place open on one previously busy stretch in Slidell... and its parking lot was packed to capacity.
  • A good primer to these galleries might be the entry on Hurricane Katrina at Wikipedia which does a better job of summarizing the details of the hurricane than I can here.  That entry can be found here.

    The galleries
    Some of these galleries might start to seem redundant in their repetition of scenes of devistation, but think about it in terms of the fact that it's one person's home after another and another and another.

    I look at the galleries that I'll be posting over the next few days as historical documents, as records of something that is (and hopefully will be) a once in a lifetime event.  If you see any of these pictures or my comments as exploitive or insensitive, then don't bother viewing this galleries.  You know I have (at my best) an ascerbic wit.  If you're still on my friend list, odds are you expect me to make light of even the worst.

    Oh, and I caught myself slipping up in these pages, so here's a quick key in case I missed any:

  • If I say "the lake" I mean Lake Pontchartrain.
  • If I say "the river" I mean the Mississippi River.
  • If I say "the Quarter" I mean the French Quarter.

  • Exploring
    For those unfamiliar with urban exploration, it's the act of exploring things that are man-made.  This could be abandoned buildings such as (e.g., houses, factories, etc.), drainage tunnels (my favorite, actually), or whatever.

    The basic rule is take only pictures, leave only footprints.  In short, for all these galleries, sure, there was some trespassing.  But.  There was no breaking in.  I only entered open doors.  Further there was no looting.  (This included passing over a pair of size 10 boots!)

    If you are an explorer, I recommend you Run, Don't Walk to New Orleans and the surrounding areas to check out these amazing sights.







    Also, see the following journal entries:
    Copyright 2006 Alexplorer.

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