Once a gleaming icon nestled in the heart of New Orleans’ central business district, the Superdome is now an icon of a different sort. The Times Picayune reports:
"the Dome now looks like a beat-up car that has lost its primer. Sixty percent of the roof was damaged, said Doug Thornton, regional vice president for SMG, the company that manages the state-owned facility. Thornton tagged the cost of damage at between $50 million and $100 million, less than some that have been tossed around in recent days, but substantial nonetheless.
Inside, the Dome’s 1.8 million square feet looks trashed. Its floors, concourses, ramps, meeting rooms, offices and restrooms are littered with debris and refuse from the evacuees who endured hellish living conditions in the building for as many as five days after the storm.
The floor and Momentum Turf playing field have been transformed into a mushy lake of inch-deep black water. The fetid soup coated a sea of trash and spoiled food. The bathrooms on the 200 level overflow with human feces and urine. In one men’s room, the human waste spilled out of the entrance and into the concourse. Blood stains several walls. Stagnant for days in the still air, the water, spoiled food and human excrement will require decontamination and will be removed by professionals."