Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Lucky Lafourche

Heading south on route 1 almost due south of New Orleans that runs alongside the Lafourche Bayou the scene stunned us. Lafourche Parish (instead of rivers and counties Louisiana has bayous and parishes) seemed out of place. I heard someone describe nearby Plaquemines Parish this simply: "All that was missing was the mushroom cloud."

We already had preliminary plans to go there Friday so with nothing on the plate today, we figured we'd document the damage in another parish. When we turned onto route 1 we stopped for food and gas, figurning it could be a while before we found the next place that sold any of either.

As we waited for the wasteland to begin, we began having the oddest mixed feelings. While happy for the people whose region appeared to have miraculously survived the destruction all around it, we were supposed to be shooting hurricane damage and as mile after mile ticked by, we had yet to see any.

We'd see some debris piles on the side of the road and some "blue roofs," those that were using blue tarps to cover holes or leaks but nothing like we had seen Saturday in Slidell.

This radio tower torn down in the storm was one of the few exceptions. Its lying down made it stand out. Most of the buildings survived the storm intact, even wooden homes built along the Gulf. Water had risen and done some damage but you would never think that just 30 miles east entire towns had been flattened.

Next time we have a free day we'll go to either St. Bernard or Jefferson Parishes. We know there's wreckage there.

And our mixed feelings will be far different.

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