Sunday, September 18, 2005

Homecomings 2.

The following email is from another very good friend of mine. He's an New Orleans artist and architectural designer, who you figure would be working on the New Orleans thing, but no - he's down in Pensacola working on Hurricane Ivan damage. Go figure.

Anyway, he gives a great heads up on two parts of New Orleans, and apparantly doesn't care for capitalization.



Jenny and i just returned to baton rouge from a day trip into new orleans. we went to visit our home to access damage. i am pleased to report that my primary dwelling is dry. the water rose to the 4th of 5 steps, remaining just clear of the floor joists. what this means is that my floor did not take water (as best as i can tell). my entire hvac system was submerged which will likely require all new ductwork, return air, furnaces and air handlers. my studio took 2-3 feet of water and suffered some wind damage, this is probably my greatest personal loss as all of my slides and records were in a cabinet that collapsed into the fetid drink. more importantly some 15 recent paintings were destroyed. oof. in addition to this damage my fences were torn up and a large section of my back deck was somehow lifted from its foundation, twisted and deposited onto another portion of deck, on top of this pile lies a very large felled tree which mercifully missed my roof by mere inches. o yeah, the honda is on the neutral ground with a thick layer of sluge on the floorboards, i imagine that many vehicles have met with this same fate. nasty. we are probably the luckiest homeowners on audubon street between claiborne and willow as the waterline sits clearly above the first inhabitable floor of probably 85% of these homes. there is also an abundance of wind damage to weatherboard siding, windows and roofs (projectiles and tree limbs mostly). my neighbor had a laundry shed, it was completely shredded by wind, all that is left is the washer and dryer and some other crap that he kept in there, but there is no sign that any of it was ever enclosed or under roof. speaking of washers and dryers, i went to check on the hardies house, i could not get into the gate because his washer has been dislodged from its normal location and deposited against the gate. i could tell that he like the rest of the broadmoore neighborhood fared much worse than audubon street. the watermark on his first floor reached my chin, i am about 5'-11". this particular area, while much better off than the lower 9th, st bernard, plaquemines, lakewood south, mid-city and parts of lakeview (my prayers are with you keith and nicole, courtney and michael, jo-harriet, the gilbert family, and so many others), was very hard hit. many of the houses in broadmoore will have to be razed, the storm leveled several structures (including hardie's neighbor), but mostly it covered the area with very high floodwaters. it is strange to see cars parked on neutral grounds for safety that were clearly covered with water probably 2 times their height. my uncle jimmy lives on bienville between city park ave and carrollton in a raised cottage just like mine his house was almost covered, it's a total. my mother's father was on virginia ct in mid-city (the house my mother was born in) behind parkway/par 4's it was a raised cottage, it took alot of water and it is a total. speaking of that area, as you might expect, there is a lake of stagnant water sitting in that dip in front of plantation coffeehouse, it smells absolutely disgusting. as does it all, everywhere. my fathers house lost a significant amount of its roof, the walls and ceilings are either down or incredibly moldy; his father lives on metarie court at the levee and took a good bit of water, but like the soldier that he is he has already personally torn up the flooring and the walls and disposed of the furniture, he'll be living at home before any of us, he is 87 years old.

There is a disgusting smell that permeates the city streets, all of them that I visited. It is nasty. If you are coming back anytime soon, bring sanding masks to breathe through when inside, some of that menthol to spread under your nostrils to mask the putrid smells of you refrigerator, mold and any sewerage. It is clear that it’ll take all of us to fix this, the residents will be doing a lot of the clean up and repair, many have nothing material to repair only their spirit. clearly we will have to be there for them in particular.

The times pic said mardi gras will happen this year. I am looking foreword to that. Come see us, we’ll be somewhat better by then.

Oh yeah, you know the big root beer mug on top of the frost top on clairborne ave. it is now ON claiborne ave.


(another Jeff, not the same one as before)


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2:07 PM, September 18, 2005  

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