Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Remains of Katrina...

I was in New Orleans within months of Katrina and the devastation was immense.  Unlike the Mississippi Gulf Coast where the storm surge flattened buildings, much of the damage in the New Orleans area was from rising flood waters that, once they receded, left behind buildings that remained standing but were filled with mold and other post-flood problems.

Today, those buildings are being reoccupied in a tragic way as this story discusses the large numbers of squatters who are inhabiting some of New Orleans worst abandoned structures:

Since then, an outreach team has systematically searched the city’s estimated 55,000 derelict structures, and found housing for more than 150 of the most frail squatters, including Handy.

From street-level, building-by-building surveys conducted over the past two years in 500 randomly chosen census blocks, UNITY estimates that between 3,000 and 6,000 people are part of this invisible homeless population.

With the five year anniversary of Katrina just passed, it's difficult to fully appreciate how the effects linger on.

--Chad Emerson, Faulkner U.

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