I drove around my dad’s condo, which is in Uptown near the zoo. Trees are down everywhere. Many streets are impassable. Power lines are strewn about. A few uptown residents were on their porches sitting in stunned silence. Some were on bicycles. Some nefarious types were on motorcycles obviously preparing for a night of profitable looting. The police cars were patrolling too so no doubt the criminals will face opposition.
Most uptown houses were fine, some roof damage and some broken windows but most houses were boarded up and were fine. My neighbors (at least the tech-savvy ones) have text messaged me asking about their houses. I’ve been able to answer their questions b/c SMS works but not phones. I’m going to start trying to figure out how to post pictures and where to find wi-fi. I’m posting this via SMS with a friend who can get to my blog.
I haven’t heard radio reports but it’s pretty clear to me that this city isn’t going to be even marginally operational for at least a couple of weeks or even a month. It’s hard to walk around and think "we dodged a bullet" because the basic infrastructure is still so damaged. A guy named Alex summed it up when he told me, "Forget Betsy and Camille. I don’t want to hear people say they lived thru those storms. I saw Katrina and she was the meanest bitch of ’em all."