New Orleans, Still Desolate in Many Respects

Monday, December 19, 2005

New Orleans, Still Desolate in Many Respects

Jason Lewis, a New Orleans area resident, is maintaining a website of photo images taken from above the city. The latest photos -- posted on Dec. 10, more than three months after the Katrina-induced floods -- show a city with many residential areas that, in Lewis' words, "are still devastated and uninhabitable."

I have three co-workers who have homes, or whose parents have homes, in New Orleans. In each of these cases, the homeowner had flood insurance. Yet all three of my co-workers have described a nightmare of delays and other headaches trying to get insurance companies to send adjusters, file claims, approve payments and actually cut their checks.

Human beings have short attention spans, and the national news media is no longer talking about New Orleans and other Gulf coast communities that were pummeled by Katrina. It will be interesting to see if the seemingly slow pace of reconstruction and repair garners media coverage -- other than the predictable "N'Orleans, one year later" and Mardi Gras storylines.

Literally hundreds of refrigerators (above), damaged
beyond repair, are stored in rows on a flood plain on the
city's outskirts.

Likewise, thousands of cars that once belonged to
New Orleans residents are left in a makeshift salvage yard.
Their electrical systems were damaged by the floodwaters,
and many of the car bodies suffered heavy rust from
sitting for weeks in the salt water.

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