Six months ago…
I did a post called “Something Happening Here …. for Congress” Here’s a summary of what occured 6 months ago. Congress critters were in NOLA to view the devastation. They were going to come to Lakeview. I got there early and there was a clean up crew (which I found to be a rarity in Lakeview that day) cleaning up a small area of Bellaire Dr by the 17th St. Canal levee break. The contractors under the Army Corps of Engineers said that “we want to show we’re getting something done.” Residents had gathered to wait to see and speak with the elected officials and some to protest the lack of accountability for the Corps of Engineers. The Congress folks were very late and rumored not to be coming. Stupidly I left as I had an interview with some other folks scheduled. Well they did show finally but just drove past the remaining people and never stopped…….
“Of course, they all come by but they don’t stop,” she said. “I wish they would have stopped. I would have told them that we were not supposed to flood.”
Some of the lawmakers peered out bus windows at a man holding a sign in the air along the street criticizing the Army Corps of Engineers, which constructed the levees. “Get out (of the bus), why don’t you,” the man shouted as the bus rolled past.
So today I decided to go back to that place and see what it looked like now. I mostly wanted to see what was happening with the levee. So that first….. At the very beginning of the first video below you’ll see workers cleaning driveways in front of houses. On August 9th the Army Corps of Engineers began demolishing those homes (all are gone now) to improve the levees behind them. The levees there were not the large earthen structures one may think of but basically T walls. There was no room for large based earthen levees due to the homes. Now if the Corps had bought up that property……..But alas no. So now they’ll have to do so. But wait….they still haven’t. The people’s homes have been demolished but they have not been compensated….
Beth LeBlanc, who bought her one-story brick house at 6780 Bellaire Drive for $135,000 five years ago, explained her predicament.
“I can’t get a FEMA trailer because I can’t put it on my property. I’ve gotten no help finding another place. And they haven’t paid me for my home,” said LeBlanc, who has been living in a friend’s trailer.
She’s not the only one waiting.
“They told us they’re going to make us whole, but I didn’t get a penny yet,” said Marlene Boudreaux, a retiree who co-owned a duplex at 6816 Bellaire Drive with her sister Claudette Heintz.
Well someday. Just have to trust the Corps I guess. Oy!
Now back to the Congress side show…….
So here are 2 videos. The first video is from 6 months ago of the clean up for Congress and is 1 minute long…
The second video is what that small half block looks like now. (2 minutes) At least the house in the middle of the road is gone. I’ll give someone that much. 6 months ago I wondered if the Congress critters ever realized the area had been cleaned up so they could see “progress” and get out amongst the people and not get dirty, even though they didn’t bother. Now I wonder if they know how bad it still looks 6 months later. Any guesses…anyone?