Via Media

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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posted September 11, 2005 at 12:51 am

So unreal. Like something out of a Gabriel Garcia Marquez novel

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posted September 11, 2005 at 8:17 am

Very well said! Thank you. Just another example of why the NCR is so “yesterday”. Sad that it isn’t even aware of it.

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Sandra Miesel

posted September 11, 2005 at 10:39 am

St. Bernard Parish is east and a little south of New Orleans. A barge broke their levee. The WSJ had a harrowing article last week about a group of survivors who were eventually rescued by a private individual in a boat who came from the other side of Lake Ponchatrain. This is an area whose plight was ignored to focus on New Orleans.
As for the deep bayou country south of NOLA, one shudders to think what… won’t be found.

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Jeanne Schmelzer

posted September 11, 2005 at 8:05 pm

I don’t think that it is as bad in bayou country. My daughter lives on the Northshore and it may have been worse with the trees blown down and water in the houses than bayou country. The storm hit more easterly. They have a vacation place on Grand Isle. By all accounts it should have been wiped off the map but wasn’t and the road to it comes through the bayous.

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Sandra Miesel

posted September 12, 2005 at 9:52 am

The WSJ for 12 September has a feature story on the plight of St. Bernard Parish which you might like to link. Besides a huge oil spill on top of the mud, there are virtually no houses standing in the entire parish of 60,000 residents. There have been at least 100 deaths, doubtless more. But the faces of the victims won’t make it on TV because they’re not black and therefore their suffering doesn’t fit the image of the tragedy that MSM wants to portray.

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posted September 12, 2005 at 11:45 am

The other day on some useless Saturday afternoon am radio talk show, someone called in and starting going on about how the host should have David Duke on because David Duke would have some truth to reveal, and that what we have in St. Bernard Parish is “white genocide,”…etc.,etc.,,
The conspiracy theories about this disaster are…astonishing.

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Sandra Miesel

posted September 12, 2005 at 2:03 pm

The president of the Illinois State Senate was quoted in a syndicated column this morning comparing the Astrodome to a “concentration camp.” A ridiculous remark from a rather more important person than some caller to some radio show. Or shall I cite Jesse Jackson’s likening the evacuation of the Superdome to Africans getting on slave ships? Or some “volunteer” on an NBC feed this morning attributing holdouts’ reluctance to evacuate NOLA to their fear of armed men in uniform, the victims apparently unable to recognize American soldiers when they see them.
St. Bernard Parish, 90% white and mostly Catholic was severely underreported and saw no outside relief at all for five days after the hurricane. The MS situation was also underplayed despite total devastation along the coast and many deaths.
Oh but it’s Bush’s fault that Gatemouth Brown died.

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