New Orleans: Then and Now

Two years ago I was in New Orleans for the change of command for Adm. Totushek and his retirement from the U.S. Navy. I never got the photo set completely finished and between work and other commitments, it wallowed in my to-do list and just never got done. I fixed those photos and uploaded them this week and have rolled it out.

You can browse the photo gallery (from my pre-flickr days) and read my commentary on some of the images. It’s kind of odd to look at these and imagine that most of this area is completely decimated now.

There’s been a lot of stuff going on all over the web this week including the guy that runs DirectNIC at The Survival of New Orleans blog. (linked via Waldo). It’s pretty crazy to watch it unfold. Especially the looters and documentation a small group of people can provide.

And in regards to Waldo’s post on letting New Orleans go, the issue is that people will live in crazy areas no matter what we say. What should happen is that the local and state governments should institute much stricter building codes. In California, buildings have to handle extremely strong lateral loads for earthquakes. Why does New Orleans not have similar codes in place for extreme wind and water issues (granted many houses are pre-code historic)? Why has the federal government completely underfunded the maintainance and construction of taller leeves?

They will rebuild. But why not do it right? why not refuse to insure buildings that are not up to code?

  1. rach says:

    I think that it would be foolish to rebuild New Orleans in its current location. Is it really worth the pain, loss of life and financal cost to rebuild every 40 years? I was in N.O. in May and my cab driver told me how he remembered Camile and described a horrific sceen (like the images we are seeing now). As humans, we need to understand that it is not wise to try to engineer around mother nature. What we need in that area is a nice wetland; a floodplain for the Mississippi river. I would like to see New Orleans, but please please lets hope we do not make the same mistake of rebuilding in an area that is 7 feet below sea level. By the by: can someone please tell me why the poor and car-less were not bussed out of the city last weekend? Direct hit was predicted by Saturday. This is just another example of the less fortunate getting the short end of the stick and it makes me sick!

  2. roboboshi says:

    Also, two articles from back in the day:

    <a href="http://www.sciam.com/linktous.cfm?articleID=00060286-CB58-1315-8B5883414B7F0000&chanID=sa006" rel="nofollow">2001 - Scientific American "Drowning New Orleans"</a>

    <a href="http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?articleID=0001A913-EAE9-1315-AAE983414B7F0100" rel="nofollow">Why Save New Orleans</a>

  3. Diana says:

    This author is fairly controversial, but I think the Rick Bragg story below is the most beautiful piece of writing about New Orleans---not just the most beautiful written after the hurricane, or the most beautiful I've ever read, but the most beautiful possible.

    <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/09/01/AR2005090101813.html" rel="nofollow">http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/09/01/AR2005090101813.html</a>

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