First, quick updates on where everyone is:
- Glen Cozzi sat on his roof, drank beer, and watched people getting rescued all around him. He eventually came down, got in a row boat and went down as close to the quarter as he could get, then walked down to Esplanade & Decatur. At some point on this journey he hooked up with Peter Lynch. They are both safe and hanging out with Harry Anderson (yes, that Harry Anderson - of "Night Court" fame) at Oswald's on the corner of Esplanade & Decatur.
- Sean and Juli Green are heading to Detroit for a "few weeks", and then will definitely head to Chicago. Their last message leads me to believe they are already on their way or soon will be.
- Fay is putting kids in school in Jacksonville, and then will try to get employment in the area. She has an offer to go work at the Chili House in Meridian, MS if all else fails.
- We heard Tom Taylor is going to Atlanta to stay with his sister.
- Travis Buzzard and Tom West went together to South Carolina. Tom is leaving from there to go to his family's home in Tulsa.
- Matt Gone flew to Florida today, where he will spend a couple of weeks before leaving for London, England to get his face tattooed. He says he is going to stay there 6 months, but I'll bet he is back at Coop's before that.
- Pam Campion called Janis. She is fine and in Minnesota. She is going to stick with her boss - right now they aren't sure where they will set up shop. Maybe Baton Rouge or Las Vegas.
- Barry called from Cafe Lou Lou in Louisville. They are having a Hurricane Relief party next Tuesday and want us to attend. We probably will, as the Bourbon Festival starts the next day in Bardstown, about 30 miles away, and that is something we always wanted to attend. Jim said he could put us up.
- Juli Green reports she heard from Jim Monahan, and he is still at Molly's, holding down the fort.
- Laura reports that as of last Wednesday, Mr. Lewis was still in his residence.
- Mona - and 36 family members - evacuated to Destin, Florida
- Angeline and Ross are in Houston
- Kevin and Bob are in Panama City
Mayor Nagin called for the forceable removal of all citizens from New Orleans in a proclamation that will keep us out if the city until at least 10/6. In the meantime, we have legislators in Louisiana calling for allowing residents back in to retrieve important papers and possessions. Those left in the city, including Glen, Peter, Harry Anderson, and Jim Monahan will now need to leave.
A house burned down in the Garden District, and it looks like the Governor Nichols Wharf has burned to the ground.
There has also been some news that indicates our house may be dry and not looted (there is also information on other areas):
From a resident of New Orleans who is now a newspaper man in Baton Rouge:
I went into downtown New Orleans for the second time today, this time spent a lot of time driving where I could. I'm going back tomorrow.
The difference from Friday to today is stunning: the authorities have control. I felt very safe. Buses streaming into and out of the downtown area through the only route: I-10 to I-310 over the Luling Bridge to U. S. 90 to Westbank Expressway, then over the Crescent City Connection (the double span downtown bridge.) Saw very little evidence of looting.
Floodwaters obviously receding.
THE CONVENTION CENTER CROWD: Most all of the people have been removed. Some still being picked up by buses when I left, but the difference between Friday and today was remarkable. I visited with some, and what hit me was all the people coming up to me begging me to put their names in the paper in order that their relatives would know they were alive. they had organized into various social groups, with adults taking turns sleeping while others watched the children and guarded the group from the few thugs that were causing trouble.
THE AUTHORITIES ARE IN CONTROL. They had secured most of downtown Friday, but had total control on Saturday. No signs of lotting or damaging homes in Warehouse Dsitrict uptown to audubon Park. I drove around a lot. Workers are everywhere. Convoys, buses, cops, helicopters, ambulances, airplanes streaming into New Orleans. Considering there is one way into the city, I think the response has been really good.
MY PLACE ON JULIA AT CAMP STREET: At 604 Julia Street, if the electricity and water were on, I could host a party tonight. There was no damage whatsover to any of the Julia Row Townhouses.
ST. CHARLES AVENUE: NOT ONE LIVE OAK ON ST. CHARLES AVE. IS DOWN!!!!!!! I finally had my big cry drving down St. Charles when I realized how very little damage.
There were only about 4-5 water oaks on St. Charles down all the way to Tulane. Both Tulane and Loyola look like you could hold classes tomorrow.Saw no damage to the histroic St. Charles Avenue mansions.
LACK OF DAMAGE UPTOWN: There was very little noticeable damage to homes in the Lower Garden District or Uptown on the streets (I went all over, going from house to house of friends, saving Heidi Quenan's house). Now, something hit Heid's roof in the corner of her upstairs bedroom to cause a leak: a section of sheetrock about 4 x 6 feet had falen, but that's it: there was a candle still sitting on a table near the edge of her back porch. I say this by way of saying that while I was stunned - and overjoyed - by the lack of visible damage, I couldn't see everything, of course, but I was driving a 4-wheel drive jeep and meandered as I could. Lots of limbs down, but my companion, Jimmy Blanchard, the artist, designer and historical archivist and I were ecstatic that most of it is supervicial. Most of our trees are still there.
RED CROSS VERY VISIBLE: The Red Cross was visible, assessing damage to homes. The director, on, I think, State Street, told me he was very pleased with the lack of damage.
WAREHOUSE DISTRICT: There was little damage in the Warehouse District. I've seen more litter on the ground at Mardi Gras. As far as Julia Row is concerned, the New York Times and the Times-Picayune could have snapped those pictures they ran from the corner of Camp and Julia today.
AUDUBON PARK: I checked out a friend's house on Exposition on the edge of Audubon Park and it was fine. There were limbs, but very few trees, down in Audubon Park. Almost all animals survived at the zoo. Talked to the exhausted but happy zoo curator.
UPTOWN IN GENERAL: There were very isolated cases of trees down on houses: but here's the interesting part: the trees that were down fell in between houses or across the back yards, where the vortex of the which kicked them. I saw no major damage to homes on St. Charles.
FRENCH QUARTER: Signs still hanging from shops. Very little evidence of looting anywhere that I've been: which is the Quarter (went down Bourbon to te 500 block, then turned back and came back out Royal; also drove around the Chartres/Decateur area near Canal Place; none of it got went), Canal to Bourbon.
FLOODWATER: Water obviously receded quite a bit since Friday's visit.
The water from the lake and canal stopped on Canal in between Burgundy and Bourbon. The rest of the Quarter stayed dry. Water came to 4-5 blocks lakeside of St.Charles The water from the lake and canal stopped on Canal in between Burgundy and Bourbon. The rest of the Quarter stayed dry. Water came to 4-5 blocks lakeside of St.Charles.
Went to Audubon ZooAudubon Zoo from Tchoupaltoulas to 4-5 blocks lakeside of St. Charles. The water from the lake and canal stopped on Canal in between Burgundy and Bourbon. The rest of the Quarter stayed dry. Warehouse and almost all of Uptown stayed dry. Water came to 4-5 blocks lakeside of St.Charles. The water from the lake and canal stopped on Canal in between Burgundy and Bourbon. They sandbagged frantically in the quarter about 20 feet lakeside of Bourbon Street when the water started rising Wednesday.
Water came to 4-5 blocks lakeside of St.Charles.
LITTLE EVIDENCE OF LOOTING: Saw a couple of looted shops on Magazine near the nursing home, but that's it. The door to Whole Foods Store was open and those night lights. Now, to be sure, in a total of about 12 hours in the city, 2 of them spent in my own buidling.
AREA I HAVE VISITED SO FAR: Quarter to Conti, to Bourbon, down Royal, Chartres from 400 block to 200 block; all over Warehouse District, a bit of the Convention Center, Poydras (major damage to those very old live oaks in median while most of the fronds were still on the new palms at Harrah's two blocks away) Not much damge to live oaks in Lafayette Park. Been down St.
Charles from Canal to Tulane. State, Webster, Eleonore, Coliseum form Napoleonville upriver for 6-7 blocks. Meandered through uptown, as downed trees, limbs, powerlines, etc. blocked many streets. All the way down Tchoupatoulis; Lower Garden District, Magazine, Camp. Went to Palmer as far lakeside of St. Charles as I could go.
What's remarkable is the lack of major damage to this area.
I know this contrasts with the misery and suffering elsewhere in the city, but the old historic New Orleans is in fine condition.
Pray for the thousands believed dead. Pray for the dead pets. Pray for most of the rest of the city, since most of it will have to be torn down. Be very grateful to the thousands of guardsmen and workers who have already started what is going to be a very rebuilding. Be grateful you have a bed and access to a computer to read this.
I also received this report from a relative who noticed a post on nola.com from a realtor who somehow convinced authorities to allow him in so he could retrieve important papers from his house:
After convincing guards at three different checkpoints that I had to make emergency entry/exit to the city, I gained access yesterday. Had to rescue inlaws pet and my computer. Generally, there is very little structural damage between St. Charles Ave, the river, Washington Ave, and S. Carrollton. Most damage limited to windows, doors and roofs. There was limited flooding in Touro area.
BEWARE: If you gain entry, you have a high probability of getting a flat due to all of the roofing materials (i.e. nails) on the streets.
Sadly, there are many beutiful trees uprooted.
On a more positive note, I saw no houses that appeared to be looted...even those that had doors blown opoen or off. National Guard surrounded us when we drove up Sixth St to my house and left us alone when they saw me pull out my keys and unlock the door to the house.
Generally speaking, residents south of Freret St. have nothing to worry about other than minor, annoying damage
Good luck to you all.
C J Gordon, Realtor
I received some interesting emails over the past couple of days Keith Davis sent me the following note that says a lot about what conditions were (and are) like. Keith moved from the Upper Peninsula of MIchigan to Ponchatula, LA. Most of the people who received the email live there, thus the reference to the "UP" and his comments about the importance of ice. Here's his email:
Dear Friends, (Thursday, late August something, 05)
It is the littlest things which mean the most. During the past several days we have met some the the nicest people you can imagine, most of them stranded on the road, as we were, none of us knowing if we had homes to return to. We have learned now that many of our new friends are, indeed, homeless.
The gift of electricity from a neighboring camper is priceless. A fresh banana is a thing of beauty and truly, a gift from the heart. You know the half-filled bottles of water you may leave around, only to be thrown out later? Every drop is used here, and when we can find safe water, the hoarded empties are refilled.
We were blessed. The storm went about 35-miles east of here. We ran to Vicksburg, Mississippi midday on Sunday and even though we were nearly 100-miles from the eye-wall of the storm we were churned about. When we left Vicksburg on Tuesday we drove over 100-miles south before we found a gas station that was open as there was no electricity to be had to run the pumps. The only stations open are on generators and as you might expect, are clogged with cars.
Ponchatoula has been damaged but will recover. Hammond suffered great wind damage. Neither saw any flooding. New Orleans has ceased to exist as a major shipping port, a tourist destination and an oil center. Over 1.3 million.......1,300,000......persons, about 5 1/2 times the entire population of the UP, have been left homeless by the storm in Louisiana alone. Mississippi, however, took the full force of the storm, and even though are much closer than you are, we have heard little news. Since we can’t run on a TV and radio is reporting less and serving as a family-contact service there really is little news. Perhaps this is best. With the great loss of life south and east of us the not-knowing may be better than the knowing.
My minister just stopped by and will bring us a battery for the camper. He has two really good ones, they are in his cars crushed by trees beside the parsonage.
Winn-Dixie Grocery Store is giving away bags of ice. You see ice about 7-months a year so the value of a bag of ice is different to you than it is to us here, where daytime temps have been running at 95-degrees.
But, the storm was in and out in about twelve hours. Now the lawlessness has begun. Roving gangs are armed with AK-47s and are doing as they please. Politics and mis-guided common sense has kept the police from simply killing them.
Please remember those less fortunate in your prayers and when refugees from the the hurricane zone move into your communities, welcome them and make them feel at home. If there are drives for clothing and donations, help in any way you can. We are here and can attest to the fact that help is needed.
Keith and Diane Davis
(Sept 3, 05)
Things have changed a little........longer gas lines, less food. Where we are there was not the heavy damage that affected the areas south and east of here, so while we are not swimming, or waiting on rooftops, the grocery stores are not open yet along with other basic services. Those persons needing prescriptions are often going without, etc. Social unrest is just one step away and here that means looting, beatings, killings and rapes numbering in the thousands, even if your local and national TV chooses not to report it this way. For the first time in my life I am wearing a gun on my hip, openly, in public......and I’m not alone in this. When was the last time you got out of your car and walked into your church with a .38 in your belt? I can’t believe it either. My Pastor, a great and loving guy, is covering his generator with a 12-gauge.
Enjoy the peaceful lives you are living, wherever this email may find you.
Pray for all of us here and especially the metro areas, including Baton Rouge and Houston, etc where the evacuees are being carried by the tens of thousands.
When your church passes the hat for the storm zone, give what you can, there is no adequate description of the need here.
Thinking of all of you and happier days gone by,
Love, Keith and Diane Davis
Another beautiful day here, sunshine and not too hot.
Good news, no police at the pumps, employees are directing traffic and that is a good sign.
Still few groceries are on the shelves and that is really the only place people act rude or pushy. Overall, this is still a pretty polite bunch of folks.
We are still well and pretty safe. Worry if you must, about the million people displaced from their homes. Support American businesses damaged and displaced. for now, the Made In China tag should be left in the stores, we need our retail and manufacturing dollars to stay here in America.
Thank you all for thinking of us and for your prayers and calls.
Here's an email I received from Allan Fickling:
Greetings from Tampa!! We made into Tampa last night and met up with Laura (Roe). Being the perfect bartender she is she had our favorite beers and Kathleen's wine. Sierra Nevada Pale Ale never tasted so good. We will be driving on to Sarasota later today and will have computer access there.
We are all doing as well as could be expected. Our jobs have made a tremendous difference in our live. Whole Foods is giving me one month of pay and Kattai is getting two months from her hotel. I will start working later this week at the Whole Foods in Sarasota. Don't know what kind of hours I'll get but I will be working and can take care of my new nomadic clan. The return of tribal living. It is slowly starting to process, the extent of what we are now facing and it hurts a lot. I wish our extended Coop's family could be together to help each other but it seems like that is naturally happening anyway. Please tell your sons I said hi and think of me when you do a shot of Jameson. Perhaps one evening we can get on the phone and do a shot together.
I also received an email from Laura Roe:
I got through to Teddy an old neighbor on Dumaine (remember there are still working land lines). YESTERDAY FOLKS CAME OUT IN COSTUME AND PARADED! Southeren Decadence. I asked her to put up a sign @ Molly's asking for Jason, Travis, Peter to check in I gave my # here (last nite I destroyed my new cell oops so I didn't have any of the new non 504 #s). I also asked her to put up the address of Chuck's site.
I am in Tampa @ Jennifer Jackson's, Mama, Kattai, Allen and Ariel just left, last nite I was able to serve everyone their regular beverage. We talked of Coops east as so many of us seem to be landing in FL. When we do get home it will be one hell of a bash!
Love to all, keep your chins up! Miss Laura
This has turned into a very long update, and I know those of you who know these people - or just love New Orleans - are hanging on every word. But I want to close with a very poignant email I received today. In trying to keep up with my day job, I mistakenly replied publicly with a private message. Many people were irate and furious. I felt I had no choice but to play the "Hurricane Card," which in this instance was indeed the reason for my misstep. I apologized and told the people on the list they would not be receiving any more. I received many emails of support, but this one stuck out:
As a 78 year old retired professor, I am some one who about 65 years ago, in my native city of Novi Sad, in then Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenians, have risked my life for many days, helping our soldiers, firemen, police, and grown up volunteers, rescuing people from their homes, and throwing into the large rowboat as many of their most precious and useful belongings, often seconds before their mud-brick houses would collapse.
My family was evacuated into the attic of a large,three story, hard brick and concrete built house, at the higher and more prosperous end of our street. Pandemonium ruled on the other side of the elevated railway tracks, which acted as a dike, or levee, as you seem to call it.
On one occasion, at least, i escaped certain death, when at the frantic urgings of the soldiers that I leave everything, and jump out, through the window into the rowboat. The momentum of my body flying out was of critical help to those pushing way from the house by their rows. Otherwise, I would not be here to tell you this story.
You do not need to apologize for anything. I believe that even those who have never shared my, and yours now, experience with floods, let alone one created by the largest ever hurricane, would have anything but compassion and empathy for you in these circumstances.
Allow me also to tell you that I have great admiration for you and your collaborators for the work you do in your normal life.
Fater of Three, and
Grandfather of Four
Those of you reading this who are not from New Orleans should indeed feel blessed. Those of you who were should be grateful for what you had, as well as what you will have in the future as New Orleans rebuilds.
I hope to do many updates to the site in the coming days, addressing many of your comments and concerns, and adding the people you have requested.
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