Monday, August 3, 2009

The Ninth Ward - New Orleans, Louisiana


While in New Orleans we decided to take a drive to the Ninth Ward - the hardest hit and most destroyed part of the city after Hurricane Katrina. CJ said we would get shot by squatters hiding in the wreckage, but we went anyway.


Welcome to the Historic Lower Ninth Ward...we couldn't really figure out where the upper half is. First sign I see after entering:


I thought it was pretty funny until I found out ACORN stands for Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now. Not so funny anymore. Once we turned off the main road things got a lot quieter. Cement foundations were all that remained of some of the houses. There were no cars or people to be seen anywhere and the only sound was the wind blowing through overgrown weeds. It was eerie.



While driving around everything looked pretty much the same. There would be three or four abandoned houses in a row followed by one or two that were fixed up and had families living in them again.



The "X" mark was on all the abandoned houses and was placed there by rescuers / search parties after the hurricane. It varied a little from house to house, but basically showed the date the house was searched, the search party organization, any hazardous chemicals found inside, and how many alive / dead were found.





A lot of the houses had broken windows and no doors. The one above was missing a door and you could see up to the second story. In many of the houses the previous occupant's furniture and miscellaneous items were visible through the broken windows.


About an hour later we left the Ninth Ward having managed to not get shot. The few people we did see were either residents occupying the fixed homes, or old men staring off into the distance and sitting on the porches of abandoned houses with crumbling walls and no roofs.