Hurricane Katrina

I've put together two Hurricane Katrina albums from the pictures I have.  There is a one month after and a six month after.

All the pictures in the one month album were taken by Jen's dad.  At the time these pictures were taken the city was closed to the general population and only those who managed to secure a special pass were allowed back in the city.  At the time they were still living with us and really had no idea of the extent of the damage to their home or the surrounding area except what we could get from internet news forums and the pictures from Google statelite maps.

During this time he was only able to stay in the city for a short amount of time so the pictures focus on the areas in and around the house and City Park.  There is also a relatively small number of pictures, about 60 or so, in this group.

In February of 2006 we all went to celebrate the first Mardi Gras after Hurricane Katrina and during that time we toured a number of the areas that were hardest hit by the storm and the suffered the worst flooding.  I've heard a number of people describe it as something you really can't understand until you actually see the damage for yourself and I'm going to have to say the same thing.  Once we turned off the interstate and were driving in to the house it just hits you.  It's not 1 or 2 houses, or even 20 or 30, or 100 or 200, that have been affected, it's entire neighbourhoods, every single house, block after block of total destruction.  Every house experienced some type of damage and the further you drive the more of it you see, it just doesn't stop.   The other thing I noticed right away is that that all the stop lights are gone.  It's such a minor thing but every corner you come to there is just temporary stop signs sitting beside the road.

Only about 1/3 of the city has actually returned home which is pretty obvious because there is hardly any traffic in any of the nieghbourhoods.  Some of those who have returned are not able to live in their house since it is being repaired so it is very common to see FEMA tailors parked somewhere on the property that they are living in waiting for the house to be completed.  This picture was taken in a couple of blocks from the house pretty much shows the situation.

The church where Jen and I (and Kelly and Wade) were married ended up under a lot of water.  This picture clearly shows the water line running along the side of the building.

One of the most devastated areas was the lower 9th ward in New Orleans which received a lot of coverage on the news when the levee broke as this was the area that ended up getting completely flooded.  We drove down to that area and to be honest it's as if the water just receded yesterday.  The amount of damage is unbelievable.

Out of the six month album pictures 543 to 626 were all taken in and around the neighourhood.  Pictures 627 on were taken in the lower 9th ward area.  The very last pictures, 708, 711, and 712 are kind of blurry but I included them anyway.  In these pictures there are cranes working on removing a barge that floated into the neighbourhood from the Mississippi when the Levee broke.  It's absolutely massive and it's just sitting on the road and the backyards of peoples houses is hard to believe.