A friend of mine just returned yesterday from New Orleans and even surveyed the Lakeview area. She said that, despite reports that Lakeview is still under water, that’s not the case. She said almost all of New Orleans is free of water, but Lakeview (which is the area in New Orleans close to the 17th street canal levee break) is definitely drivable. She said there is muck everywhere it stinks like the world’s biggest and nastiest fish market.
The floodline is evident anywhere you look because everything above it is a normal color and everything below it is grey and dead. Another eerie thing is the markings on houses put there by National Guard troops. It’s like a morbid form of war-chalking because houses marked with signs like ‘SB 09/12’ mean that the house was searched on Sept 12th and no bodies were found. A marking of ‘XX’ means a body was found in that house. She saw several houses in Lakeview with XX markings.
My friend’s boyfriend is a cop in New Orleans and is staying there. According to her (and him) most news coming out of the city is stale by about 3 days. I find this hard to believe given the profusion of blogs and independent news sources. Then again it’s not like the communications infrastructure is humming along. So who knows?
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I drove into Lakeview this morning to get what I could out of my fiance’s and mine apartment on Memphis St. We met a few neighbors from down the street doing the same thing, even wearing the same steel-toe water proof boots from Walmart. It is bad in Lakeview – pretty much every single story house is going to have to be bulldozed – there’s nothing worth salvaging. The floors are all buckled, the mold is growing on the ceilings and furniture has floated everywhere and falls apat at a touch. No matter how good the neighborhood looks because it was standing, it’s a complete loss unless you had a second story at least 10 feet up. In that case, you can strip down to the studs, pressure wash and bleach the hell out of them and completely redo the first floors. But it’s only worth that trouble if yiou have a second floor to save, otherwise it’s simpler and probably cheaper and faster to start from the foundation. Insane.