Saturday, October 01, 2005

Today we went into Chalmette to see my grandma's house. She passed away almost two years ago (my grandpa fourteen years ago?), and my parents and my mother's side just finished getting the estate in order before Katrina. My parents took out a loan and bought the house to keep it in the family, so a lot of the furniture was out of the house already (unfortunately some of it was at my place), though there were some things left in the house. I drove (which is why I don't have as many pictures as I'd like) with my parents in tow. The press pass came through again, since we got through the easy way instead of having to essentially circle the city on the interstate to get in the back way.

If Mid-City is bad and the lakefront area is worse, Chalmette is the end-all-be-all bottomless pit of despair and destruction. At first glance you may not be able to locate a waterline on most houses. That's because the waterline was above the houses. On our way down the street where my grandma's house is, we were blocked by a house in the middle of the street. That's right. A house in the middle of the street.

We doubled back, went down a side street and up our street. We were again blocked by a house, so we got out and walked the rest of the way. Another house was kind of in the street, to our left, and I recognized the dark yellow siding. My mind knew what it was but still told me that it couldn't possibly be what I thought it was. We walked up to where the house was supposed to be only to find this.

My mother realized where the house was and kind of shrieked, I guess, I don't really know. I was just astounded that the house had moved to a completely different lot, the house that was supposed to be there in its own backyard. This is the view from the street.

We chatted with some neighbors, people my mother grew up with, and they all were aware the area's going to be demolished. It has to be. What else can be done with it?

My dad and I went into the house, through the "front" door, and as depleted as the house was, stuff was still spread everywhere. These are some pictures of the house. We couldn't get into the den because the floor had evidently collapsed (I'd have been more surprised had the floor not collapsed, honestly), so these are the bedrooms. You can see a bit of the den through the kitchen shot.

And a shot of the "front" of the house.

We didn't stay over there long, so we went by my uncles houses. It was more of the same, really. No other houses in the street, but the same type of damage I've seen already. I offer this picture only to show the vast amount of mud caked up around the house. In parts of New Orleans (like around Crescent City Comics) you can hear the ground crack with the breaking of dried up mud. This was still wet. And deep.

I'm getting tired of all this destruction. Going to drink tonight and watch football tomorrow. No more of this stuff until Monday, at least.
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