Via Media

I had wondered about this – never have been there, so I’ve never seen the country south of New Orleans, but my impression, via the movies, is just of swampy almost-islands, ready to sink into the Gulf. So I have, for the past week, been wondering how they could have survived. Some didn’t.

This town is no more. Neither are Delacroix, or Reggio. Thanks to Hurricane Katrina, neither are most of the towns and fishing hamlets of rural St. Bernard Parish.

The uniformity of the destruction is astonishing. This town is worse than Reggio. There is nothing left whole in Yscloskey but a coiled hose and a fluorescent light bulb.

"Awful," said Henry Rodriguez Jr., parish president, as he rode Saturday on recently cleared roads and viewed the disaster damage with the sheriff and the director of port operations.

"It looks like a war zone," he said as they stopped their black sport utility vehicle on the road between what was once Yscloskey and Reggio.

Blocked by receding waters and foul, sticking mud, emergency workers and parish officials had to wait until Saturday to see this part of the parish and how badly it was affected.

The devastation they found was total. Waves wiped entire towns from the map.

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