Yesterday, I went into New Orleans to check on my house for the first time since the storm. As my wife and I drove into the city we saw tremendous wind damage. We exited the interstate and snaked our way through neighborhoods attempting to get to our street. Much of the city was still cordoned off where standing water still filled the streets or downed trees and debris prevented navigation. Our hearts sunk as we saw the water lines on many homes and businesses reaching 3, 4, 5 feet and above. Pictures wouldn’t do the scene justice, especially for those familiar with what these historic neighborhoods used to look like.
Pulling onto Gentilly from Elysian Fields, hope began to spark as we noticed most of the older buildings sat higher than the flood line and did not appear to have taken in water. We slowly drove down our street trying to tell if the water had gone into any homes. Some did. Some didn’t. Many were too close to call. We could tell that the water had reached all the way to our front porch, but it didn’t look like it had ever topped it. Not until we opened the front door did we know for sure. I even reached down to touch the rug because after all I’ve seen over the past three weeks I almost could not believe it was dry. Everything remained where we had left it and nothing in the main house sustained any damage.
As I feared the old Magnolia tree fell in the back yard, but it fell away from the house. If it would have come the other way it would have taken out my office. The picture above looks out the back window.
The house’s old original attached garage had been enclosed and converted into an apartment years ago. It had a couple feet of water in it. No one currently lived there, but we are a little concerned that the mold could travel into the main house if our landlord doesn’t get in there soon. We also noticed several roof tiles missing and fear that a good rain could cause leaks. Our garage in the back did take in a couple of feet of water. The broken garage door prevented me from checking in on it but I’m sure we lost our washing machine and dryer and everything else in there. The shed in the back yard caved in, but it didn’t house anything of importance. Considering everything, we weathered the storm very well.
While most of our stuff didn’t sustain damage, we will not be able to live in the house for quite some time. We loaded my Dad’s SUV with as much as we could take. We packed it high with the kid’s musical instruments, computer equipment, pictures, keep sakes and some clothes. I’d like to get back asap to retrieve my library and other things to keep it from mold or roof leaks. With another storm in the gulf it looks like they have reclosed the city for now, so I’m not sure when our next trip will be.