As soon as the levees were breached and New Orleans started flooding after hurricane Katrina, I tried to impress on people that this tragedy affected all types of New Orleanians, not just the ones we saw on TV who were did not get out ahead of time: white and black; poor, middle-class, and wealthy (though some were obviously more seriously affected than others. That’s a discussion for another post).
As I’ve thought about this, I’ve concluded that standing water flooding is its own type of hell because it leaves your house and it contents in place for the most part, but also pretty much completely ruined. If your house is blown away by hurricane winds or washed away by torrents of water, it’s certainly tragic, but you pretty much know that you start over from scratch. But with standing water flooding, you eventually have to return to figure out what to do with everything–what stays, what goes, do you repair the house or rebuild, etc. This Flickr photo set shows what one New Orleans family returned to.

Categories: Intellectual