Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Destruction

For several years I've been searching for a set of pictures I took when my mom and I drove over to the Mississippi Gulf Coast a few weeks after Hurricane Katrina struck the area in 2005. I will never forget what we saw that day, as dozens of elegant seafront homes had been obliterated by the ferocity of the storm surge, which was as high as 20 feet in some areas. All that remained of many buildings was a pile of wood. Boats, including a gigantic casino ship, had been deposited on land. Cars looked liked they had been run through a giant washing machine, left crumpled and shattered on the ground. Ancient oak trees had been stripped bare, and debris fields stretched miles inland. The devastation was complete and absolutely stunning.

A few days ago I was rummaging through the bookcase in my bedroom and found the pictures, 19 in all. For some reason they were taken on a disposable camera and not our old digital. I scanned them and they are included below. These aren't very good pictures, but they still give a good sense of what occurred there. It just so happens that yesterday my parents and I spent a few hours in the area (about a two hour drive east of New Orleans) and saw how the recovery is going. Many homes have been rebuilt on 15-foot high stilts, but many empty lots remain as well. The area will probably never look the same, but it was good to see that people have returned and businesses are open.



houses once stood here




all that remained of some houses were the pilings they sat on









If you would like to see what my house in New Orleans looked like after the storm, check out this post from earlier this year: http://mike-alongthemekong.blogspot.com/2012/01/wreckage.html

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