|info on downtown
received this from a friend of a friend who works for gannett
news service in new orleans, or something along those lines.
technically, i'm supposed to give some sort of
intellectual property rights disclaimer, but whatever. hope
little free time these days, so I created this list to send
out news from New Orleans. If you want off this list, just
send something back to me.
But there are so many of you
who are from New Orleans, lived there or have an interest in
the city, are my friends, have sent me emails inquiring about
you, or whatever, that I decided to send you all a group email
I went into downtown New Orleans for the second time
today, this time spent a lot of time driving where I could.
I'm going back tomorrow.
The difference from Friday to
today is stunning: the authorities have control. I felt very
safe. Buses streaming into and out of the downtown area
through the only route: I-10 to I-310 over the Luling Bridge
to U. S. 90 to Westbank Expressway, then over the Crescent
City Connection (the double span downtown bridge.) Saw very
little evidence of looting.
THE CONVENTION CENTER CROWD: Most all of the
people have been removed. Some still being picked up by buses
when I left, but the difference between Friday and today was
remarkable. I visited with some, and what hit me was all the
people coming up to me begging me to put their names in the
paper in order that their relatives would know they were
alive. they had organized into various social groups, with
adults taking turns sleeping while others watched the children
and guarded the group from the few thugs that were causing
THE AUTHORITIES ARE IN CONTROL. They had secured
most of downtown Friday, but had total control on Saturday. No
signs of lotting or damaging homes in Warehouse Dsitrict
uptown to audubon Park. I drove around a lot.
everywhere. Convoys, buses, cops, helicopters, ambulances,
airplanes streaming into New Orleans. Considering there is one
way into the city, I think the response has been really good.
MY PLACE ON JULIA AT CAMP STREET: At 604 Julia Street, if
the electricity and water were on, I could host a party
tonight. There was no damage whatsover to any of the Julia Row
ST. CHARLES AVENUE: NOT ONE LIVE OAK ON ST.
CHARLES AVE. IS DOWN!!!!!!!
I finally had my big cry
drving down St. Charles when I realized how very little
There were only about 4-5 water oaks on St.
Charles down all the way to Tulane. Both Tulane and Loyola
look like you could hold classes tomorrow.Saw no damage to the
histroic St. Charles Avenue mansions.
LACK OF DAMAGE
UPTOWN: There was very little noticeable damage to homes in
the Lower Garden District or Uptown on the streets (I went all
over, going from house to house of friends, saving Heidi
Quenan's house). Now, something hit Heid's roof in the corner
of her upstairs bedroom to cause a leak: a section of
sheetrock about 4 x 6 feet had falen, but that's it: there was
a candle still sitting on a table near the edge of her back
porch. I say this by way of saying that while I was stunned -
and overjoyed - by the lack of visible damage, I couldn't see
everything, of course, but I was driving a 4-wheel drive jeep
and meandered as I could. Lots of limbs down, but my
companion, Jimmy Blanchard, the artist, designer and
historical archivist and I were ecstatic that most of it is
supervicial. Most of our trees are still there.
VERY VISIBLE: The Red Cross was visible, assessing damage to
homes. The director, on, I think, State Street, told me he was
very pleased with the lack of damage.
There was little damage in the Warehouse District. I've seen
more litter on the ground at Mardi Gras. As far as Julia Row
is concerned, the New York Times and the Times-Picayune could
have snapped those pictures they ran from the corner of Camp
and Julia today.
AUDUBON PARK: I checked out a friend's
house on Exposition on the edge of Audubon Park and it was
fine. There were limbs, but very few trees, down in Audubon
Park. Almost all animals survived at the zoo. Talked to the
exhausted but happy zoo curator.
UPTOWN IN GENERAL: There
were very isolated cases of trees down on houses: but here's
the interesting part: the trees that were down fell in between
houses or across the back yards, where the vortex of the which
kicked them. I saw no major damage to homes on St. Charles.
FRENCH QUARTER: Signs still hanging from shops. Very
little evidence of looting anywhere that I've been: which is
the Quarter (went down Bourbon to te 500 block, then turned
back and came back out Royal; also drove around the
Chartres/Decateur area near Canal Place; none of it got went),
Canal to Bourbon.
FLOODWATER: Water obviously receded
quite a bit since Friday's visit.
The water from the lake
and canal stopped on Canal in between Burgundy and Bourbon.
The rest of the Quarter stayed dry. Water came to 4-5 blocks
lakeside of St.Charles The water from the lake and canal
stopped on Canal in between Burgundy and Bourbon. The rest of
the Quarter stayed dry. Water came to 4-5 blocks lakeside of
Went to Audubon ZooAudubon Zoo from
Tchoupaltoulas to 4-5 blocks lakeside of St. Charles. The
water from the lake and canal stopped on Canal in between
Burgundy and Bourbon. The rest of the Quarter stayed dry.
Warehouse and almost all of Uptown stayed dry. Water came to
4-5 blocks lakeside of St.Charles. The water from the lake and
canal stopped on Canal in between Burgundy and Bourbon. They
sandbagged frantically in the quarter about 20 feet lakeside
of Bourbon Street when the water started rising Wednesday.
Water came to 4-5 blocks lakeside of St.Charles.
LITTLE EVIDENCE OF LOOTING: Saw a couple of looted shops
on Magazine near the nursing home, but that's it. The door to
Whole Foods Store was open and those night lights. Now, to be
sure, in a total of about 12 hours in the city, 2 of them
spent in my own buidling.
AREA I HAVE VISITED SO FAR:
Quarter to Conti, to Bourbon, down Royal, Chartres from 400
block to 200 block; all over Warehouse District, a bit of the
Convention Center, Poydras (major damage to those very old
live oaks in median while most of the fronds were still on the
new palms at Harrah's two blocks away) Not much damge to live
oaks in Lafayette Park. Been down St. Charles from Canal to
Tulane. State, Webster, Eleonore, Coliseum form Napoleonville
upriver for 6-7 blocks. Meandered through uptown, as downed
trees, limbs, powerlines, etc. blocked many streets. All the
way down Tchoupatoulis; Lower Garden District, Magazine, Camp.
Went to Palmer as far lakeside of St. Charles as I could go.
What's remarkable is the lack of major damage to this
I know this contrasts with the misery and suffering
elsewhere in the city, but the old historic New Orleans is in
I will continue going in and will send you
more reports. I have so little free time (it's 11:20, and I'll
be back at work at 9). I will try to read emails, but I'm
losing ability to keep up with it.)
Pray for the thousands
believed dead. Pray for the dead pets. Pray for most of the
rest of the city, since most of it will have to be torn down.
Be very grateful to the thousands of guardsmen and workers who
have already started what is going to be a very rebuilding. Be
grateful you have a bed and access to a computer to read this.