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Just Getting By in Slidell

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posted on Sep, 25 2005 @ 07:39 PM
I just returned from a mandatory evacuation of Corpus Christi, TX. Since I have friends in Slidell, LA, I went to stay with them.

Slidell is on the north side of the I-10 twin span from New Orleans. Many people who work(ed) in New Orleans live(d) in Slidell. The southern portion of the city was submerged. Many homes were completely lost. High winds and tornados wrecked destruction throughout the city. Homes that dodged the flooding still suffered water damage due to compromised roofs.

Streets and medians in residential districts are pile high with tree and house debris. “Blue roofs” are abundant. Many businesses are still closed due to the ongoing cleaning and unsafe conditions. Many businesses will never reopen. There are a few fast food places open. The only restaurant I saw that was open was on limited hours. The Japanese restaurant, where I spent many an evening chowing down on sushi, had proudly hung a banner over their entrance stating “WE OPEN”. I had to smile. Smiles do not come easy there.

Most people are unemployed. There are no houses or apartments available for rent. Most of the motels are too damaged to open their doors. St. Tamany Parish has about 80% of their electricity restored. There are a handful of gas stations open and most have lines still. The stores that are open, have sparsely filled shelves. Most of the people there are relying on food stamps to feed their families. Slidell feels like a city forgotten in the shadow of New Orleans.

People tend to forget the victims after a few weeks. Slidell is not unique. There are cities and towns just like her on the coast that are struggling to get back on their feet. This crisis is not over.

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