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Thread: New Orleans

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    New Orleans

    Well, I'm headed to New Orleans bright and early tomorrow morning at 6:00 a.m. to do my part in helping with Hurricane Katrina rebuilding. Ordinarily I'd ask what's fun to do down there, but I'm pretty sure my time's going to be occupied. I'll talk to ya'll in about a week or so. Hope you don't miss me too much!


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    Re: New Orleans

    Good job... Very selfless act.


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    Re: New Orleans

    I went down there for the last two weeks of October 2005. I work for a company that makes valves for refineries, so they sent 5 man teams down every two weeks from October through December. They staggered the teams, so we actually had 10 guys down there at a time. We spent our days working in the refineries, but frequently spent any remaining daylight driving around looking at the destruction. It was incredible. Good luck to you, it will certainly be a once in a lifetime experience.



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    Re: New Orleans

    Quote Originally Posted by jdoggivjc View Post
    Well, I'm headed to New Orleans bright and early tomorrow morning at 6:00 a.m. to do my part in helping with Hurricane Katrina rebuilding. Ordinarily I'd ask what's fun to do down there, but I'm pretty sure my time's going to be occupied. I'll talk to ya'll in about a week or so. Hope you don't miss me too much!
    I'll be interested in what you have to say. We're having an industry convention down there in October. These destinations are usaully set 4-5 years in advance. I'd like to hear how things look.



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    Re: New Orleans

    I've been down there twice to help rebuild. I've actually lost some of the pity I've felt for the people down there, which is kind of contradictory to the fact that I went twice, but they were spring break trips with friends with beer drinking in the evenings on the beach. Just a couple examples:

    On my first trip, a middle aged physically capable man driving in what seemed to be a brand new Ford F-350 truck stopped and asked us where he could get himself some of that "free help." At the end of the day, the old lady of that house we were working on stopped by to thanks us. At first I felt really good that we were able to help this poor old widow, but then she told us how she was one of the lucky ones that had flood insurance too and she has never been richer. WHY IN THE HELL COULDN'T SHE HIRE OUT TO GET THIS WORK DONE THEN!!!! There is definitely more than enough contractors down there now, that's for sure.

    On my second trip, the agency we went down for had us build probably 10-12 decks and a fence, seemingly meaningless projects considering the type of destruction that is still evident down there and the skill of the workers that I was with.

    I know there are people that need the help and aren't physically able to do their own work or can't afford it, but prepare to be frustrated by the type of people you will probably end up giving your time and effort to. It's a different world down there, starting with the work ethic of the people.


    Last edited by clonefan_80; 06-23-2007 at 04:36 AM.

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    Re: New Orleans

    That was why they lived in the deep South in the first place - nice easy lving style except for the normal crime events. They call it he Big Easy for a reason. Always thoought the leaders pre ZKatrina had a very corrupt background. In fact, they fought some of the gates and levee projects in deference to building marina and other needed accessories. Priorities still continue to be a problem. Now they are alm,ost back to being good for a 100 yr event. Katrina was a 1 in 396 year event. Long ways to go go. Hope they avopid another big one for several years because then it will be open the pocket book. Many of the places were rented, so if renters left town, they may sit for awhile. People are very noiice but free help is free help. LlIKE LIVING IN A BATHTUB WITH THE LEVEES.


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    Re: New Orleans

    Great thing you are doing Jdogg! I am sure that there are many people who legitimately need a hand.

    However, I am willing to bet that between insurance money, charity and government assistance, the per capita assistance figure is probably quite ridiculous.



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    Re: New Orleans

    My brother lives in Slidell which is across the lake from New Orleans. He's commented that there are a lot of people down there who do work the system pretty hard and do take advantage of it. However there are a lot of honest people too. He sent up pictures and video after the Hurricane. The damage looks a lot like a bad tornado up here only on a much larger scale.

    For the life of me I can't understand why they want to rebuild in such an obvious flood plain. A lot of money would be saved in the long run if they just moved the city to higher ground.



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    Re: New Orleans

    Have a safe trip. Give us a good trip report when you get back.



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    Re: New Orleans

    I am active duty military and just transferred out of New Orleans (NOLA)two weeks ago. I live there for 4.5 years and grew up in NW Iowa in the 1980's.
    My family and I found some good things about NOLA, the music scene, restaurants, and most people are genuinely nice. The "not so good" parts of NOLA included catastrophic crime, absolutely no customer service or satisfaction, and race always being the issue with everything.
    My family and I evacuated 2 days prior to Katrina (August) and lived in Memphis, TN until October (my family stayed in Memphis until January). We remained in NOLA until two weeks ago.
    Growing up on a farm in NW Iowa and being in the military for nearly 20 years, it's hard for me to envision any situation that teamwork, hard work and determination will not solve...none of these charactersitics I saw on a consistent basis in NOLA. Race is such a dividing issue there, it really prevents most problems from being solved...everything from next door neighbors' issues to city-wide political issues.
    I applaud anyone who spends time thinking of others instead of themselves, not seen often these days but I also need to believe people want, and are willing to work, for improvement. The few people from small town Louisiana I met do not consider New Orleans to represent the "honest, and hometown" appearance of actual Louisiana's people. Many feel that it is full of dishonest, crooked, people and politicians. That is quite a generalization but many feel like that.
    It's good to be in Virginia Beach, VA and away from New Orleans.


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    Re: New Orleans

    That's an interesting comment on race relations. You know some times that whole issue seems like the little boy who cries wolf story. I'm not trying to belittle the issue at all. It just seems as you mentioned that it gets in the way of solving other problems.



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    Re: New Orleans

    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclonepride View Post
    However, I am willing to bet that between insurance money, charity and government assistance, the per capita assistance figure is probably quite ridiculous.
    You'd be surprised. I've been down there twice in the last few months for work, and many insurance companies are still fighting tooth and nail to not pay victims. They argue that damage is caused by the flooding (which is, I think, the city's responsibility), while the city claims damage was caused by wind (insurance company's problem). There are a ton of businesses still standing empty, and there has been an upsurge in crime.

    Kudos, jdogg!!!


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    Re: New Orleans

    Sorry I got in late on this thread. I grew up in Iowa and have lived all over the country. I now live in Louisiana (Baton Rouge) and have for about 7 years. I am in New Orleans frequently for business.

    A few observations:

    We are all hoping that Katrina was a "once in a lifetime" event.

    If you are coming to NOLA for a convention and you just stay downtown in the CBD or Quarter you will not really think that much has changed in the city. If you want to see devastation you will need to go to Lakeview, the Lower 9th or St. Bernard Parish.

    The state of Louisiana is very similar to the state of Iowa...with the exception of NOLA (agricultural based, lots of small towns, a few larger towns, good people, etc). Most residents of Louisiana consider themselves separate from NOLA and most residents of NOLA consider themselves to be separate from the state.

    New Orleans has been a very disfunctional city for some time. In my opinion, this is due to unadulterated liberal Democrat leadership that has been in charge of the city forever. It is a city where corruption runs rampant. Many of the city's residents are "wards of the state"...totally living off of government assistance (and it was this way long before Katrina). I agree that the work ethic in NOLA is very weak...with the exception of how these people "work the system". In short, NOLA is a great place to visit (food, music, culture) but a terrible place to live (crime, race relations, corruption).

    Having said that, you should come visit the rest of Louisiana...it is wonderful (just like Iowa but with better food and weather)!



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    Re: New Orleans

    It's kinda nice that I do have computer access down here, so I can give ya'll a brief update...

    A lot of people mention that there is a lot of people working the system down here, and that is true. I am just glad I'm down here with Operation Blessing, because they do background checks in order to make sure they are helping people who aren't trying to work the system (i.e., have tons of money, are looking for quick investments to make quick money, etc.). They aren't interested in helping those. They are looking to help those that truly need it, and quite frankly, there's still a lot of those down here.

    From what I hear a lot has changed over the last year. The nice areas and populated areas have for the most part been rebuilt. it's the "in the middle of nowhere" and slums that are still far behind.

    Anyway, today we went to this workshop and tore down the half of the roof that was remaining. that was pretty sweet!

    If I have any more time I'll give more updates.

    talk to ya'll later


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    Re: New Orleans

    Quote Originally Posted by jdoggivjc View Post
    From what I hear a lot has changed over the last year. The nice areas and populated areas have for the most part been rebuilt. it's the "in the middle of nowhere" and slums that are still far behind.
    You should be commended for your service! Thank you!

    However, the person that told you that the nice affluent areas have been mostly rebuilt and the slums are far behind is exercising a subtle form of class warfare.

    If you go to Lakeview (a predominantly "white" affluent area) you will still see tremendous devastation. If you go to the Lower 9th Ward (a predominantly "black" poorer area) you will still see devastation. If you go to St. Bernard Parish (a middle class area) you will still see devastation.

    The bottom line is that this storm had nothing to do with race or class...it treated all people regardless of race or income the same way. And the rebuilding has been the same arduous process regardless of race or class.



    I cheer for two teams, Iowa State and whoever is playing the hawkeyes.

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