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R.I.P. Jean Gordon Elementary

A photoblog about the aftermath of Katrina for one acclaimed elementary school in New Orleans.
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The innundation of New Orleans (Interactive flash piece by the New Orleans Times-Picayune.) Be sure to check the link for the flood depth map.

Stories about John McCusker, a photographer for the Times-Picayune in New Orleans who is suffering severe psychological trauma after what he witnessed during katrina, and his recent arrest as he begged cops to kill him.

For some first-person stories, check out the Daily Kos Katrina Blog Project, which is collecting stories from people about their experiences and reflections on the upcoming one-year anniversary. I particularly recommend: "You can hear the dogs yelping" - A Katrina Diary, They Are Not Coming...A Katrina Diary, Katrina Blog Project: Filling the Void, and Katrina-The Abandonment of New Orleans (Photos). (There are many more, but I haven't been able to read them all.)

Also check out the Hurricane Digital Memory Bank.
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One of the most powerful and moving essays about surviving Katrina that I've seen:

They Are Not Coming...A Katrina Diary

Excerpt (this was the point, halfway through, where my heart started breaking):
Here is where I must depart from a straight timed narrative. 'Cause here is where time breaks down. Where everything breaks down. From Tuesday until Friday morning, the radio, the people, everyone kept saying the same things, over and over. If you went into New Orleans, what you heard was...

"Oh. My. God."


"We gotta get them folks outta there."


"They are not coming."

"They" were the Federal government. Regular ol' civilians brought their little flat-bottomed aluminum fishing boats into New Orleans because "We gotta get them folks outta there." Alotta those regular ol' civilians were named Bubba, alotta them were the folks that some few people here call "rural Southern fucktards". The Coast Guard went to work. The Louisiana Dept. of Wildlife and Fisheries went to work. And the "rural Southern fucktards" went to work, too.

But the Feds...They are not coming.

I don't have to tell you what happened. You saw it on tv if you were not here. They are not coming. Everything broke down. Everything. They are not coming. How could this be happening? They are not coming. Why the fuck? They are not coming. They are not coming. They are not coming. They are not coming. They are not coming.

...and after Forever, on Friday morning, the military was here. They were so here that they were refueling rescue helicopters in-air over Lake Ponchartrain. But not until Friday morning.

After seemed to still go on forever, even after the cavalry was coming.

How long did it go on? I don't know. I don't know. I was here, still I don't know.


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April 2017

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