Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Flood Street-Still in Ruins From End to End

This morning I rode my bike the length of Flood St. in the Lower 9th Ward, from the wharf on the riverside to the levy. Flood Street is in very bad shape. Little has been rebuilt. I passed only a couple of construction crews and a handful of volunteers who were doing some landscape- 
work. I called a friend to get a reminder of what the codes painted on the homes by rescue crews stand for. 
The number at the 6 o’clock part of the X, is where the number of dead is recorded. Zero, in the case of the turquoise home I photographed. My friend looked up my coordinates on google maps and told me it looks like a sea of blue tarps from above. The scarred landscape and homes with boarded up entry points, illustrates Katrina’s story. A telling hole in a roof of one building looks too deliberate to be wind damage. Someone must have hacked the roof open while escaping the rising water.
 I first visited Flood Street in November 2006. The irony of a street called Flood Street, was one too rich to pass by. 

The Battle Ground Baptist Church, closer to the levee where the water went over the roofs of most of the buildings, is still standing. Benches remain inside, but the mud and other rubbish has been cleaned off.

At 1806, I went in to reshoot a home I shot in April 2007. More of the contents have been removed and the lawn was now landscaped, but there are no signs any re-building. In the middle of the house was a picture of Jesus, that is no longer behind glass, as I found it in April, looking back at anyone who enters the empty room looking up at them. The most noticeable change since my last visit in February 2008, are the street signs. At that time most were still hand painted on posts. Now the street intersections sport new shinny signs marking Flood Street and its’ recovery.


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