State of New Orleans' Lower 9th Ward 'Shocking'

As residents are allowed back in to their flood-damaged neighborhoods, the world is beginning to learn the extent of the devastation in New Orleans' Lower 9th Ward.
December 8, 2005, 10am PST | Michael Dudley
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"The condition of the houses and roads was shocking. I have NEVER seen such devastation. Every house had severe damage: roofs collapsed, rotting wood, rooms broken off, water lines now over the roof. Trees were down, debris was all over the small roads along with 2-3 inches of dried brown sediment...The homes on larger roads had truckloads of debris bulldozed on the lawns to clear the street. Bicycles were in trees. Coolers were on roofs. It took me a minute to realize that people were living on the roofs, and the coolers were dragged up there to store food. Each house was marked with a spray painted X and coded with number of people and animals found and/or dead. Electrical wires were down, phone poles snapped. Cars were all over, encrusted with mud. Many cars squashed in carports or by trees and roofs. The huge piles of debris looked like mounds of snow after a blizzard. One church was completely squashed. It was about 4 feet high with only the steeple left."

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Published on Wednesday, December 7, 2005 in CommonDreams
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