It’s pretty hot in Louisiana!
New Orleans was a great time. From crawfish and gumbo to the French Quarter and Uptown, NO has a lot of food, culture, and jazz to offer. It also has a lot of volunteer work to offer as well. Some parts of NO have been completely restored while others resemble ghost towns.
Some stats from UMSLDR:
- Unemployment is around 50%
- Slidell, a town on the north of New Orleans have been 85% restored
- New Orleans proper is around 10% restored.
- Suicide rate has tripled.
- Takes UMSLDR $25,000 on average to restore a home.
- UMSLDR has a 90 day goal to restore a home but it usually takes longer (depends on amount of volunteers)
- Habitat rebuilds homes around $95,000
- In some areas, the flood levels reached as high as 12 feet.
The Lower Ninth Ward was hit the hardest. The houses that had some hope of being restored were left, the others were demolished and cleared away. Most of the foundations of the homes were left.
Google Map of the location of the pictures above:
View Larger Map
We worked on two houses. The first house needed side paneling finished on the remaining two sides. In addition, the 2nd floor of the house needed to be gutted (removing sheet rock, insulation, debris, nails, etc). This house belonged to a woman named Pam. The trailer you see outside the house belongs to her and she’s been living in it since 2005. She lives alone and spends most of her day working and taking care of her 90 year old mother. The next steps to restore her home is rewiring, plumbing, and sheet rock. Parts of the roof need work as well.
We never met the owner of the second home. They are relocated elsewhere and are waiting to return. This house was at the beginning stages of restoration (needed to be gutted and sprayed and washed of mold). It got pretty hot in those marshmallow suits. We found a dead bird in one of the rooms.
The spray painted X shape on the house was a common sight. Each of the quadrants indicated various information such as: date inspected, team inspected by, and body count. Another common sight were FEMA trailers in front of destroyed houses.
We also saw a lot of New Orleans. Here are some pictures from our excursions.
New Orleans needs more help! I can help you out if you are interested in going.