Middle Class Devastation


Today I got my first tour of some of the worst hit neighboorhoods in the Lakeview section of the city. These aren't the poor African-American neighborhoods that you've seen on TV — these were once middle class and affluent communties, people who were professionals and business owners who have literally lost everything. The places I'm going to show you are in neighborhoods that are mostly or completely uninhabitable, and the remaining residents are fighting for their turf, as you will soon see.

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My morning started out with a gorgeous view of St. Charles Avenue at a historic Garden District bed and breakfast. The rest of my day, however, was not anywhere near as pretty.

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Signs like these are a good clue that you're about to get a huge dose of reality. In this neighborhood, water got as high as fifteen feet and it reached the second floor of these houses.

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Not a sight you see in your nice typical suburban neighborhood.

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This is an orthodox Jewish synagogue in Lakeview. Notice the eight foot high water stain. This temple lost its 19th century Torah scrolls as a result of the flooding and had to bury them, along with all their prayer books.

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One of the several "tent cities" spread throughout the city.

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One of the city's turn of the century pumping stations. When the levees broke, New Orleans was inundated with so much water that they were completely submerged over ten feet high, knocking out the electical motors powering the pumps.

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These election signs are all over the place.

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This was in a previously affluent neighborhood.

IMG_2738.JPG Here is a schematic of the levee failures and the worst affected neighborhoods. Click on the photo for a full size picture.

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4 Responses to Middle Class Devastation

  1. I’m glad you got over there. It’s hard to imagine until you see it.

  2. I just came across your site after browsing the Fitzmorris forums today looking for info on Cochon (the new Donald Link website)… I’ve been reading it all day and have really enjoyed it. You’re doing a great job of capturing our local culture (danged AWESOME job on the trip to Hubig’s), and I appreciate it. In fact, my beau and I have just planned a trip across to the West Bank for pho at the Hong Kong Market, thanks to you.

    One tiny thing… first reference in this particular entry you have “Lakeside” though you do have “Lakeview” elsewhere…

  3. geez, Nolagrl, “Donald Link *restaurant*,” not “website”… see, it happens to everyone :-)

  4. Thanks, I made the correction.

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