Six Months After Katrina… …slow Recovery in New Orleans Thomas McGuire, Author, Amsco School Publications
New Orleans has expanded from the natural levees (the high ground) near the Mississippi River into lower, former swamplands drained and now protected by high, man-made dikes.
Compare satellite images before and during the flood. (Dark blue is water.)
Red dots where bodies have been found. Note the highlighted areas of Lakeview and the Lower 9th Ward.
In the background is one of more than half a dozen breaks in the man-made levees around New Orleans, this one in the middle class Lakeview neighborhood.
The latest in city-wide architectural style is the pervasive FEMA blue tarp roof.
Even homes that look relatively undamaged have FEMA trailers parked outside which tell the real story…
…this one the inside story. (Once water gets into the walls, this is the only way to fix it.)
But Katrina saved it’s greatest destruction for the mostly-black 9th Ward. (This is a street.)
The force of water is evident. Note that this house shows no water level, as it was totally submerged.
Large parts of the lower 9th still look like a war zone, even after six months.
Reconstruction the breaks in the dikes took first priority as officials debate costs and benefits of better protection from re-engineered levees.
Signs like these remind us that these are not just houses but people’s lives, waiting for the next phase of a long chain of demolition and disappointment.
Credits: Thomas McGuire is the author of several of Amsco’s Earth science books including his 2005 textbook “Earth Science; The Physical Setting.” www.amscopub.com Special thanks to Dr. James H. McGuire of Tulane University and his wife who sold the house with the FEMA trailer outside (and the gutted interior) two months before Katrina. They now own a townhouse on the north shore of Lake Pnnchartrain. The new owners are in the reconstruction process. The aerial and satellite images as well as the newspaper map are not original. All other images are by the author. Author’s images taken at Mardi Gras 2006