Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Katrina exhaustion, Rita amnesia.

The joke in Louisiana is that Americans are suffering from Katrina exhaustion and Rita amnesia. I think there is a lot of truth in that humor. One of the last places I visited was Cameron, in southwest Louisiana. This little town is right on the Gulf and most of it was blown, swept or washed away by Rita.

The local school was destroyed. It’s been untouched since the storm. This was the first school that I surveyed and it was very sad, sitting silently in its wreckage. I wondered in this rural community where all these kids were now going to school. I’m sure they are dispersed all over the area. It’s hard to tell when this school will ever be rebuilt. Recovery here has been slow coming, but the residents are quick to point out what is being done has been accomplished with their own sweat equity.

The beach in Cameron echoed my experience in Waveland, Mississippi. The homes that were on the Gulf are simply gone. There is hardly even any wreckage. Just some concrete slabs, a few traffic signs and what’s left of the roads.

The school auditorium.

This school courtyard became a catch all for storm surge debris.

School courtyard.

There used to be a road here.

Beachfront living, all to himself.

Just in case you didn't think I was actually there. After all we live in a James Frey non-fiction world.