Today I took my first trip into New Orleans since Katrina. I drove around the area called Lakeview which is right where the 17th street Canal ruptured flooding much of the city. It was really quite a surreal experience. The damage in Kenner has been extensive but nothing like what I saw in Lakeview.
When I to the exit off of the interstate it was almost like driving into an old black and white photo. Most of the color usually present from the grass and many trees was gone. Houses had a film left from flood waters and many cars that were left behind had residue from being under water. The flood line on most of the houses looked to be 7-9 feet. Mud is piled up on the edges of the road where trucks obviously had to make a path. Most folks you see down here have a glazed shocked look on their faces. As you get closer to the area where the 17th street canal broke you see cars pushed up the sides of trees and houses that have been pushed into other houses. So much destruction. It will take this area a long time to come back.
What was really wierd was coming out of that area on Veterans avenue. As you cross from Orleans to Jefferson parish over the 17th street canal you return to a world where businesses are open, grass is green, everything all technicolor.
Many of my friends lived in Lake View. They have lost everything. They need our prayers and friendship more than ever.
Our church began delivering hot meals into the area and our plans are to move our relief center from Kenner down closer to that area. Hopefully we can bring some peace and comfort to these people who are hurting real bad.