Tuesday, 4 March 2008

Oh, by the way...

I woke up this morning and remembered a few things I wanted to say in last nights blog, but forgot. We spoke to a few locals about the effect of Katrina on New Orleans yesterday. Most people seem to feel very bitter towards the government here. They feel let down, unprotected, and forgotten about, it seems. Over 300,000 people have not returned to New Orleans since they evacuated. One man we spoke to said that he thought the figure was higher than that. He said that people need to return to set up businesses, but that no one will return as there are no businesses or jobs for them. Apparently there are areas here that are just desolate ghost lands. I'd like to find them and take a drive there.

The man at Destrehan mansion house told us that at this time of year they usually expected more than 100 visitors a day to the house. Consider that its not summer either. But now, he said, they are lucky if they get 20 a day. And those 20 or less will all be foreigners. We asked him why, and he said because there are no residents any more. It's certainly not easy to see this from within the bustling French Quarter, so I hope we are able to find these desolate suburban areas where people have not returned.

One local told us that the government and the insurance companies are fighting over who should pay out. Because of that, no one is receiving any funds to rebuild with. The government say the damage was caused by the hurricane, so therefore the insurance companies should pay. But the insurance companies say that it was caused by the flood, which was the fault of the government. So both are able to get out of paying anything to the poor people who's homes and businesses were washed away. It's no wonder that the people here feel let down and uncared for.

1 comment:

Julia and Samantha said...

Hi;
I am enjoying your blog about your RV trip in the U.S.. I just made a similar trip to the same areas just going in the opposit direction.
My visit was to New Orleans was an eye opener for me. You see the devastation in the state next to New Orleans was much worse and that state has made a remarkable come back in two years, whereas New Orleans has failed to make as much improvement. Part of the problem is the corruption and incompetence of the State and local Officials in Louisiana and New Orleans. This is nothing new it has been this way for hundreds of years and unless something like a revolution takes place nothing will change. I don't feel sorry for those folks they voted the officials in and continue to support them, even though the officials failed their constituents.
I like seeing how others see our country, there is a lot to see and most of us are a friendly if uninformed lot. We find folks from Ireland and GB very interesting and charming.
Best of luck to you on your trip.
Julia