Katrina in pictures and words

Pictures and Words of Katrina: Daniel Morris, of Slidell, takes us on a photo tour of his once-submerged house. He says, “The stench demands description, but you will need a better writer.” Then, in his next post, he says a whole lot more about the aftermath and media coverage. Read it.

Blame? Good God. Look, there are three issues: (1) What is happening now? (2) How can we improve that? (3) How do we prevent mistakes from replicating? That’s all; that’s it. We don’t have time for blame right now.

Having said that, answers along the lines of “We’re doing the best we can in a difficult situation, so don’t criticize,� fall flat. Those answers cover people’s asses, but that’s all.

Pictures with words: via Looka comes this 197-photos slideshow of images taken by Alvaro from before, during and after the hurricane in the French Quarter and surrounding areas. It begins Sunday, August 28 and continues over five days until Alvaro and his companion escape the city.

Very read-worthy is this Times-Picayune staffer Leslie Williams’s description of his week in Bay St. Louis during and after Katrina. He describes carefully picking over the wreckage to find the family photos that weren’t evacuated beforehand.

I open the garage door to get as much sun on the photos as possible. Many images from our childhood don’t make it through the recovery process. Water damage has made some faces unrecognizable. Pulling a photo out of a plastic sleeve tears away three or four children in a circa 1970s shot. Birthday celebrations are no more when the image comes off the page with the mud that must be removed.

The enormous value of these photos became evident to me early on. Whenever a visitor was curious about the family, my mother would pull out her photo albums and begin telling stories – some short, some long – as she paged through the ever-growing archive. Katrina has stolen the visual aids to that story-telling. The oral history from my mother’s lips will forever have missing parts. Like the current Bay Bridge with only pilings left, Mom will have no easy road back to the past.