I was thinking of putting this in MPSIMS but figured the pit would probably be more suitable.
My family history in New Orleans stretches back five generations while my wife’s goes back a bit further. We both grew up here and never planned on moving. Our house is nice, the neighborhood was quiet and crime free, we live close to our jobs and most of our family lives near us. All of that was before Katrina. Now we are watching the crime rate go through the roof as displaced gangs move into our area and the city still can’t seem to get a handle on getting back up and running.
I never expected miracles but I certainly thought more would happen than the current sit on your ass and beg the Federal government for money attitude. FEMA may have screwed up but damnit people, do something. There are fleets of cars under the interstate still sitting in the same place where they flooded during Katrina. Mounds of garbage are all over the city and the litter around here is insane. People just don’t seem to care anymore. Traffic has become a complete nightmare as populations shift to the more habitable areas. The pre-Katrina problems remain but are much more concentrated now.
With all of that said, it’s with no sadness that my family(mine and inlaws) officially gives up on New Orleans. We had a family meeting and decided to relocate to another community. We will take our education, incomes and community involvement and go somewhere else that has some pride and offers our kids a chance to grow up where the main attraction isn’t getting drunk at parades. In July we leave the city for good. I’ve been encountering a steady outflow of the best and brightest of New Orleans. If the trend continues, New Orleans is doomed, no matter how many years till the next hurricane hits.
A minor, personal pit that will most likely not make too much sense to people not living here but I’ve been thinking of writing this for awhile. Any typos are due to the late hour and total disgust I feel as I write this.
Face it, nobody cares about New Orleans or the Gulf Coast. Entire communites were wiped off of the face of the Mississippi coast from Katrina. Nobody gives a damn.
I’ve not forgotten that stupid e-mail making the rounds about how folks in the North came back from blizzards and didn’t complain, like people did after Katrina (complain I mean). WELL HELLO I’m sure when the snow melted you still had your house, your workplace, your children’s school, the hospital …
knock knock THERE’S NOTHING LEFT THERE ON THE COAST! It looks as if God got a broom and just swept everything away, from a mile inland to seven miles inland in some places.
Huge mounds of debris are all that is left. My daddy’s home in New Orleans is unihabitable; there is still no power, water or sewer in that area. EIGHT MONTHS LATER. Yeah, we can go across the ocean and rebuild Iraq, which IIRC is not one of the 50 states, but we can’t heal New Orleans and the Coast.
…umm, slightly major nitpick, but the honest truth is that you haven’t been able to rebuild Iraq-in fact after three years of occupation many would argue that things have gotten worse. But lest we move off topic…
I’ll be honest The Long Road, but Katrina and its aftermath haven’t really been in my thoughts as of late. It really has moved off the general public’s radar-but reading your OP is a vivid reminder of how far things have to go before the area comes close to nearing normality. Thank you for posting this as it serves as a great wake up call-it sounds like you have made the right decision for you and your family, I wish you all the best for your future.
Hopefully this guy can bring more attention to the situation over the next few years. Of course it may not matter as, despite the fact that “billions” have been spent on recovery, it’s still a shithole in so many areas. I don’t think I’ll ever leave, though, unless a job depended on it. It’s too much a part of me, and I’m not good at meeting new people.
Hey, Long Road, have you considered moving to Jefferson Parish? I know some parts, Harahan for example, have enough elevation so as not to get flooded. The house in Harahan that my parents used to own stayed dry.
He said his kids’ schooling was an issue, and I’m pretty sure JP is still a mess. Kids had to share schools with New Orleans folk, with one going in the morning and another going at night, I think 6 days a week even.
I have to say I cannot blame you for packing up and getting out.
The whole situation is still a mess.
Lack of planning and having competent people in place to deal with the hurricane was bad, the finger pointing and blame game and continued incompentence is disturbing. I do not see it getting any better for a long time.
Now with the Brain-drain coming, rebuilding will be slower. Moving will be a better situation for the children.
The whole situation is disgusting and depressing. Sometimes I have to wonder if it isn’t all on purpose (tin foil time maybe). I wonder how long it will be before the fat cats move in, take all that land, and convert it into a tourist center for other fat cats. There has been too much gross incompetence, on too grand a scale, to be entirely “accidental”.
Despite the fact that the city has been here since the late 1700’s without any major flooding problems, I can’t imagine that the land will be worth jack shit until they fix the levee system.
BTW, although you have your reasons, it’s sad to see anyone leave the city. I’ve been fortunate enough to have just one family member and no friends leave as a result. The one that left was in the medical field, which was dead for a while, but now there’s a shortage that I hope coerces them back.
Somehow I have the feeling that the region will be getting a lot more attention a couple-few months from now. Complete with screaming.
Hope I’m wrong, though. Or rather, what seems like the best halfway-realistic thing to hope for is that a hairy-scary close call or two refocuses public attention on the Gulf without causing any more actual damage to it, and that the attention stays focused there long enough to produce genuine reconstruction and reform.
I f mayor Nagin can’t figure out how to get rid of 5000 junked, abandoned cars, I would say NOLA has more serious problems. My take is that you are right to leave-I think such an area will become a more difficult place to live in. And with government like that you can’t count on things getting better.
I don’t want to antagonise anyone, and I realise that there is a great deal of emotional investment in the area, but- why are people still living in New Orleans at all? I may be wrong [very, very wrong], but I was under the impression that most of the shipping that was the original reason for NO’s location has now dryed up, that most of the nice/historic buildings were destroyed by Katrina, and that the whole city is 5-ish feet below sea level in a hurricane zone. Why not just abandon the Lake of New Orleans and build a new city further inland/up the coast/on a hill?
I don’t think the city should be abandoned, and economically I don’t think it can be. That said, I wonder if New Orleans residents aren’t making a huge mistake by again trusting Nagin and the federal government to help them if a storm comes their way.