Saturday, July 15, 2006

Biloxi, Mississippi

Please excuse our mess, the sign on the waterfront says. We're still cleaning up from the storm. But there's not so much of a mess now, not compared to New Orleans. No piles of trash, no flipped boats on the shore, no blocks of empty, broken houses. The beach, despite the sign, is clean.

Even looking at the wagon train of FEMA trailers, the visible signs of despair are absent.

New Orleans (XVI)

On the left side of the X, who came.

On top, the date.

On the right, the number of survivors in the house.

On the bottom, the number of bodies.

Friday, July 14, 2006

New Orleans (XV)

These last pictures are of the Lower Ninth Ward, but know that whatever you've seen here, whatever I've been able to show of any part of New Orleans, the reality of the Lower Ninth is worse. Going over the canal, the bridge arches to give a small panorama from which you can see entire blocks reduced to sticks and dirt. Those are the blocks nearest the breach of the Industrial Canal, where a barge rammed the levy.

The hurricane came 10 months ago, but to new eyes, it could have been last month, or last week.

New Orleans (XIV)

Using surface streets to trace Interstate 10 through New Orleans, you come across a long lot of cars parked under the freeway. The cars continue block after block, in clumps and in lines, whole and totaled. Some cars are missing their wheels, their seats, their doors. A few of these lie next to the cars they came from, but mostly they are gone.

You see men with ratchets and lever arms and tire irons, but whether they're thieves, you don't know.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006