The Mid-City neighborhood in New Orleans remains offically closed, but people are getting in every day and posting reports and pictures to blogs and message boards. I read all this sitting here 800 miles away.
So I’m heading back to New Orleans later this week with Michael. We hope to be able to sneak to our homes, salvage a few possessions and survey the damage. I’ll take pix for insurance purposes and shoot some video for ROX.
I’m prepared for the worst. Our house could be falling in upon itself. It could be burglarized. It could have burned down. The lower level, which was flooded, is undoubtably covered in mold. Reports have indicated people can’t breathe in some of these houses even with respirator masks. I’ll open the windows to air the place out. I wish I had some kind of rig that could spray vast amounts of fungicide, but probably there’s very little clean-up that I can do without electricity, a clean water supply, lots of time, professional help, and a hardware stores.
Hell, I may not even be able to get to the house. But I’ve got to try. And as long as we’re driving a van down there, we hope to bring some supplies to a free medical clinic set up by some grassroots activists in Algiers, the neighborhood right across the river from the Quarter. (They were there well before the Red Cross arrived, and they’re looking to set up another clinic in the 9th Ward, and they’re also looking eastward to Mississippi.) They need things like glucometers, oxygen tanks, allergy medicine, etc. Also more banal stuff like power strips and extension cords. And Malik Rahim has requested canned goods and personal hygiene items which he’s distributing to people who need them.
To that end, I’ve begun collecting supplies from the local community here in Bloomington. The response so far has been heart-warming.
Michael arrives tomorrow (Wednesday) evening. We’ll spend Thursday collecting more supplies, and we’ll drive down Friday. I think we’ll stay at Howie’s house.
Of course, Hurricane Rita could throw a wrench in these plans — but I don’t think so.