Monday, September 19, 2005

Damn Spam

Sorry folks, I had to turn off the anonymous post feature for comments becaue I was getting killed with Spam. Don't these people know we've been through a tragedy!?!

Bienville Resident Checks In

First, we went to high school together (jon's note: this is a miracle, I went to high school with about 6 other people) Thank you for the postings. It has been very helpful sharing my experience with others just through your blog. Thank you for all of the photos.
I did get to my house on Bienville on Saturday. We live by the Moral house. Our house was nasty. Jon, today my brother and I went with my mother and grandpa to their homes in St. Bernard. We really are lucky with just a few feet of water in our house. There house was like the contents and walls were thrown in a blender and thrown back in. The lower area by Six Flags stunk. As we drove toward the checkpoint, the mud was knee deep, boats tossed like bread, and cars moved to the road sides for safe passage. It really looked like a bomb went off. It was spooky. We were able to take out only a few personal items from both homes.
Rob lives in Mereaxu. He has oil in his house. He may not be able to recover anything. His wife is newly pregnant.

Keep your spirits up. You are doing us a great service.
Again, thanks for the postings.
Roblynn (Gass) Sliwinski -

Palmayra and Gayoso Check In

I see that my neighbors Adam and Megan from Palmyra and Gayoso posted. We're going back this weekend to try and salvage. Wedding dress and family art, stuff we should have brought with us. We got an email from Dr Paul and Helen Gailliunas who lived on Cleveland around Cortez. They sent photos. Looked like water got up to three feet above the floor, and they were about four feet from street level as I recall. Most worrisome was the mold that looked like it was thriving. Hope y'all are well. Mitchell and Liberty

Dr. Leon Fletterich question

Louie and I continue across the country, though we're planning to return that 1st week of October. I'll go nuts soon otherwise. Have you heard anything about Dr. Leon Flettrich and his staff? We'd love contact info if you have it.

Bell Street Question

Can any one tell me the condition of the houses on the 3000 block of Bell Street. More to the point at the intersection of Bell St. and N. Gayoso St.

Thank you.
D. Ashley

Tips from Brandy Sheely

I went back into Mid-City on Friday with a pass and a police escort. I saw two men walking down the street who were promptly arrested by the NOPD. If you don't look "official," be prepared for jail.

Compared to Uptown and the CBD, it was deserted, dirty, and depressing. My house (4420 Iberville) was dry in the front and wet in the back. Probably no more than 1-3 inches came in at the back of the double, but it was a raised house. Unfortunately, I could not find a mask, so I have no idea what awful things I have in my lungs now. My advice is not to go back until you have a couple and about 20 pair of gloves.

That brings me to my question -- are there any recommended vaccinations I should get? I got tetnus the night I got back. I've heard Hep-A is good, too. Any others???

A heartbreaking post

(it killed me to read this and post this - jon)

Hello Mid City!
I was able to go to my house this past Saturday. We left a little late, arriving in the city at 6 pm. We were never stopped. I live in the 400 block of South Solomon, off of Carrollton and Banks. The entire neighborhood was grey....sediment and mud filled the streets. Fallen trees and branches were in abundance. When we pulled into our drive way, we found our window pane of our door broken (it is large enough for a child to enter). I Peeked in and saw that my belongings were scattered. In my naivety, I thought we had been broken into. But upon entry I realized that the standing water had shifted our furniture. Our block had up to 7 feet of water. My boyfriend had a record collection of 10,000 plus LP's and EP's (can we say obsessive?). Most of those shelves had collapsed and 20 something years of record collecting just disappeared literally under our feet. We were able to take very little, but grateful for our measly leftovers. Thick black mold was growing furiously on the bottom half of our walls. The stain and varnish on our floors had been stripped, and our floorboards were bowing. The smell of the neighborhood had to have been the worst part of this experience. It was the most pungent, nauseating seaweed-like odor that seems to envelope itself into everything that is left of your home.
We returned to New Orleans the following day, Sunday. We were stopped by the National Guard, did not have a business pass (I had a letter from my father's business). We were allowed in. My neighbor's were at their house when we arrived. They had been to their home about 5 times post-storm, and it had been secure up until Saturday. Someone had broken in. I noticed that there were virtually no National Guard in my Neighborhood. Perhaps it has to do with how worthless our homes are now, or the income level of my little area of Mid City.
Once we had taken everything that we could out of our house, we locked it up, knowing we will never return. I loved the little house and life that I once had. I will miss my hometown, my family, and friends. I wish those that are staying good luck and good health.

Elizabeth Broussard

Leda and Verna Court

From Kim Clayton: I went in today... The whole area is SO depressing!! I can see how spending any amount of time in the city right now could make someone be REALLY down in the dumps (I guess because, technically, you'd be in a dump. What a mess!!).
Anyway, I've got some pics of Verna and Leda Courts, across from Cabrini. I will be happy to send invites to my Yahoo album. Anyone interested can email me at
I will also be uploading many Mid City pics as well... and will be glad to share them when I am done. I have a horrible internet connection where I am and it's a slow, tedious process!
Hope this finds you doing as well as can be expected...

3000 Block of DeSoto

do you have any information on this area?? we live on the first floor of 3001 desoto st. diagonally across the street from the krishna temple. rachael -

Really Good N.O. Water Info

(From Naomi Duffey) John, I tried to email Elizabeth Milhouse, but every one has come back. If you hear from her, please tell her I'll try to call her. I remember her 5 years old, in costume at Halloween, with her mom dressed as a sexy black cat.
Also, I told another neighbor, James Hicks, to get in touch with you, who has shots of our street, Hagan. I don't have the computer power to forward them. We're in Minnesota tonight, in a motel. Last night we camped out on Elk Hill in South Dakota. Did you know elks never shut up at night, and sound like cows pretending to be coyotes pretending to be ghosts? We've heard our zip opens first week of October.

Here's some advice for people going in before water is really available. I sent it to my neighbors list, but thought you might want it for the site. Our friend Neal here suggested that the water in the hot water tank will be good. To access that water, close the inlet valve before running ANY water in the house. That will give you 30-40 gallons of good water from the drain plug. Don't run water IN the house because you'll bring in contaminated water, requiring complete flushing of the system later, a big pain. There's a drain valve on the bottom of water tank, and a 2nd valve - an air valve - at the top. First, TURN OFF THE GAS/ELECTRICITY TO THE TANK. Then, open the top valve to allow air in the tank, which will allow water to come out of the bottom valve. Don't turn back on until all is clear.

The other suggestion Neal has, who is a licensed electrician, is to turn off the main breaker on the panel box to your house. You don't know what problems may have developed.

Greetings from St. Louis

my name is allison smith. we moved from new orleans (to st. louis) 2 years ago. i just wanted to thank you so much for your blog, all the wonderful info, and pics. i've been checking daily. we miss new orleans every day and had always thought we'd move back someday. i'm so glad to get the updates on our neighborhood. we lived on st. john court. have you (or anyone) heard from helen (eams) ball and her kids, avery and joseph? they lived on The Court too. i haven't been able to reach them, but i'm assuming it's because they evacuated. god bless new orleans and all you wonderful people. thank you again for maintaining your site. the next time i'm in new orleans, i'll make sure to visit your store. (although i never need an excuse to buy good wine!!). warmest regards, allison

My buddy Marc throws his hat in the ring.

I've finally gotten attacked by the blog bug and have posted my thoughts and many photos relating to my experiences away from home as a result of Katrina.

the address is:

3200 block of St. Philip

Please let anyone asking for information on the neighborhood know: Water was only in houses that sit on the ground or especially low, and it DOES NOT stink -Nicole Martin

Pet Recovery Question

Like too many of us, I have a cat stranded in my apartment (at 41 Allard Blvd) while I commute from Baton Rouge to Ochsner for work (I am an RN in the Transplant Stepdown unit). I am ready to go get him anytime, but I am alone and have no pass to the area. Could I enlist your help in some way? Since we are currently reduced to a barter economy, I would gladly trade a few days of hard labor helping you clean up in exchange for a chance to rescue Sam (angry, lonely cat). I have contacted many working rescue groups already, but I have no idea if they have been able to get to my pet. If there is another way I can help you, please let me know. You have no doubt received many other requests for aid, so I do understand if there is nothing you do for me in this matter. My email is (obviously) and I can be reached in BR at 225-767-9417 (home of Catherine and Chris DeJohn-Plauche)

Ville St. John

I am/was a resident of Ville St. John condominiums, located at 818 Moss St. (in between St. Ann and Dumaine). I am trying to find out the condition of the building and establish contact with the other residents. Anyone with information may email me at Thank you, Rose