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Tag: Katrina


I took these minutes on my 39th birthday, which was the day the University re-opened after the flooding of the city. What a strange day. We’d seen our city on the brink of annihilation, and the future was very uncertain. We came into our conference room, sat around the table, looked at each other and wondered, “What now?” That was five year ago today. I’ve edited this a bit to obscure individual identities and remove any information that might be considered sensitive.

Deaf Government Area

Deaf Government Area

This photo recently became my most “favorited” on Flickr. With 26 favorites it has surpassed Big Cloud, which is gratifying because I think this is a much more interesting shot.

I took this one on October 13, 2006 in Gentilly, on Mirabeau Avenue near the London Avenue Canal breach. In the background you can see vacant flooded homes becoming overgrown with vegetation. You can even see some waterlines on the sign itself.

Need I say more? I think the power of this photo is that it tells a story all on its own. You don’t really need any of my explanations.

Fever, Fire & Water

I see I have some catching up to do.

Last Tuesday night I started to feel like I was coming down with something, which was not surprising since Xy and Persephone have both been under the weather. When I woke up Wednesday I was feverish, but it was a big day for me, so I took some ibuprofen carried on. I conducted a session at work and then I rode down to the Presbytère for the “Katrina 5.0” symposium.

(I will pointedly refrain from grumbling about the fact that I showed up late for the panel. I was told 7:00PM and everyone else was told 5:30. Because I came “early” I didn’t miss much. Imagine my surprise when I was ushered into a room full of people, with the panel in full swing, and one empty seat — mine. It all worked out in the end, except that I was a little disoriented. The fever didn’t help. My only real regret was I missed my chance to read a post from this blog to the audience.)

By Thursday I was feeling worse, and as it turns out my doctor doesn’t “do” Thursdays. Xy’s doctor was on vacation, but I scrounged up an appointment with one of his partners. “Can you be here in 15 minutes?” Not quite — it’s a 25 minute bike ride. But I got a prescription for a Z-pack. I slept much of the afternoon.

Friday I took Persephone to the doctor, and she got on some amoxicillin. I kept her out of daycare. Soon our old friend Sue flew into town. The three of us went out for lunch, then walked through the rain to the University for a quick (and wet) tour of campus.

That evening Xy visited a walk-in clinic. (She has a one-month gap in health insurance coverage which is wreaking havoc on us in many ways. What a system.) So now she’s on amoxicillin as well. The whole family is on antibiotics.

Next day was Rising Tide 5. This is the why Sue was visiting. The conference was excellent, as always. I’ve posted a couple dozen photos.

By Sunday I was feeling almost 100%. Before taking Sue to the airport, we decided to do a brief disaster tour. We stopped by the New Orleans Katrina Memorial, which is in our neighborhood, and bumped into some guy named Mitch Landrieu. (Sunday was the fifth anniversary of Katrina’s landfall.) We drove through Lakeview and tried to visit the lake, but what with the road construction I couldn’t figure how to get there. We visited the site of the London Avenue Canal breach in Gentilly, then headed to the Lower Ninth Ward.

It was there that I took the following picture.


Unremarkable, except for the fact that I was standing in a nest of fire ants when I took it.

And I was wearing sandals.

Now if you’re ready for a somewhat disgusting sight, here’s what my foot looked like a couple days later.