Thursday, July 16, 2015

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Katrina +10

The tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina is coming up (August 29th), and the internet has been very busy as of late posting myriad "then-and-now" essays and photo collections that are supposed to be showing how far we've come, what we still need to do, and what has been forever changed. I'm really not sure how I feel about all of it at this point, but I do agree that many things are gone and aren't coming back; in spite of that, I think New Orleans is in much better shape than people predicted it would be ten years ago.
My contribution here is a simple 35mm black and white photo that was taken September 26th, 2005 in the Lake Catherine community. We were making our first visit to the island to see what little remained of our island home, which mostly vanished in the storm, along with about 600 other homes in the area that just seemed to evaporate and leave nothing behind but empty pilings. This view normally would have shown a row of happy camps and piers looking out onto Lake Pontchartrain. Instead you see what Katrina did to our island. The high water and strong wind on the flag were caused by Hurricane Rita, which made landfall 300 miles away in Cameron Parish the night before. I still miss living on the island and think about it pretty regularly. I remember being able to jump in the boat and zip down to the marina at Chef Menteur Pass for breakfast; sitting on the back porch watching the clouds go by on the lake. I remember we figured eventually when we got a home in Algiers Point we'd keep the camp for weekends. The lot where our camp used to sit is now completely grown over and inaccessible. The bayou in our backyard is probably still filled with debris, no longer serving any purpose.