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New Orleans (road trip #9 continued)...

We visited New Orleans when we went for our visit to Slidell last weekend. We hadn't been to that area since Katrina, so it was pretty crazy to see how different it was. We spent some time driving around the 9th Ward. It was the hardest hit area and the area we used to live in (and I used to work in). We drove down street after street of houses that were still destroyed and unlivable. We could still see the spray paint on people's houses. You can see the "X" in the picture above (and the guy doing one in the pic below). They used those Xs as a way to communicate during the search and rescue time after Katrina. Different search organizations had different methods (and the animal search groups really confused things), but this is basically what they did:
When a team goes into the house, they paint one diagonal of the X, and where the northern quadrant would be, they put the date, and in the western quadrant, they put some indication of who searched it. After they're done searching, they put the other diagonal of the X. They fill in the southern quadrant with any people they found, living or dead (here they found nobody), and the eastern quadrant with any hazards that future teams should be aware of (such as unstable stairwells, missing floors, etc.)
When you're searching a large structure like an office building, you do the one diagonal going in, one diagonal going out, and you'd also put time in and time out in the north quadrant. That way if the SAR team itself gets in some kind of trouble in the building, the marking on the outside of the building lets other searchers know that there is still a team inside, possibly needing rescue themselves. (Was that too much information?)The area that was hit the worst of the 9th Ward was the Lower 9th Ward, that is where Brad Pitt is helping new houses to be built with his Foundation called the Make it Right Foundation . They had a competition with some architects to make new houses. Some of them are really crazy looking. Here is one below:
It was really cool to see all the rebuilding going on!
While in New Orleans we got to meet up with our friends E & M and their cute little girl Amanda. E & M will be joining us in South Asia in a few months - so we got to talk with them about how awesome South Asia is! Whoo hoo! See you guys in South Asia soon!!
We went to our favorite coffee place in the French Quarter - Cafe Du Monde ! They have the BEST Beignets !!!
We also got to enjoy some awesome street entertainment - you cant' beat it - it's a very fun place!
It was great to get to go and see everything again - what a cool place!


Roberts said…
Man I can't believe New Orleans STILL needs rebuilding. I didn't know all that stuff about the X's - very interesting. You are like wikipedia. :)
That's cool about the new family joining SA. I'm jealous. :) The place at the last picture looks really pretty!
Anonymous said…
That info on how they did the markings was interesting...We don't always get to hear about those things. We also enjoyed the New Orleans street entertainment when we went there years ago. Very interesting people doing very weird things!
Newberry said…
I love New Orleans too but haven't been back since Katrina unfortunately. Yall should watch the documentary done by Spike Lee on the storm and aftermath called When the Levees Broke. Really well done. It's sad how much needs to be done but I have hope that that city will rebound and become an amazing testament to what people are capable of when they love a place.
Deanna said…
Hey! Going back to old places can be such a great experience. Glad you got to go. Thanks for being such a faithful blogging buddy!
Brandy said…
thanks for sharing all the info. that's cool to know how they search the homes.
Sarah said…
I always wondered about the meaning of the X's, that's really interesting. I bet is was heart wrenching seeing the city post-Katrina after having lived there pre-Katrina.
DeeDee said…
I love Cafe DuMode.....and the street entertainment! My husband is in the ministry and we lived in HAttiesburg, MS for 6 yrs...made many a trip to French Quarters!

Of course, Central Market has the best Muflalatta's (spell)

Bless you in your mission.

Joy, DeeDee
Shannon said…
wow...interesting post, Andrea. Thanks for sharing all the detail - it wasn't too much - it really was interesting.

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