Mark's trip to New Orleans
Debris sits on the side of a house. (Sorry about the photo quality!)
An abandoned gas station. Businesses don't want to return to New Orleans because very few people live there. It is a Catch 22 because people don't want to move back because there are no jobs.
This is a house about June 10th, 2008. The hurricane hit almost 3 years ago on August 23, 2005. So much still needs to be done.
Mark working under a house.
Below is a blog entry that I (Liz, Mark's wife) posted.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Mark is in New Orleans. He left on Friday <with our church's (Southside Bible Church) youth group> and returns on Saturday. I was feeling a little sorry for myself <because I was alone with the 3 kids> until I spoke to him last night.
Mark is working on the plumbing of a man named Dave. He has a large piece of land near New Orleans that was devastated by Hurricane Katrina. He owns a trailer that was 4 feet off the ground that was completely destroyed and he owns a house that was 9 feet (yes, you read that correctly) off the ground and that had serious damage done to it, too. He was not directly in New Orleans (he lives in an area similar to maybe Sedalia) and did not receive help from the Red Cross. His insurance company was procrastinating so finally he and his wife dug in the shed and found a very wet tent and cleaned it and aired it out. They lived in that tent for 8 months before they bought another tent. During that time they were try to salvage what they could and pick up the missing pieces.
The insurance company only gave this family half of the value of the house and nothing for the trailer. They have been working for 3 years and still neither is livable. Mark is putting new plumbing in the trailer so they have a place to live while they fix up the house.
Mark spoke with someone else about the families that have been separated. Can you imagine? Say something like that happened here. Everyone leaves the city in a hurry and all is in a state of disaster. You would lose contact with everyone. Cell phones are destroyed, phone lines are ripped out of houses. There is no internet. One person said that their son was missing (an older teen) and they found him a year later working in the city and surviving on very little pay trying to support himself. Another person said that they don't know where their son's family is now.
You would think that everything is coming together in New Orleans. All of the TV specials are done. We saw Oprah build 5 new houses. We saw people getting aid. Mark spoke to someone that said that the people with money are returning to life as normal because they had the money to rebuild. What about the people that were struggling? We saw people floating in boats to get out of the city. They couldn't leave because they didn't have the money to leave town. Where in the world are these people now? Don't think that the aid is getting to them. One thing about our government is that the people with money and education and resources are the ones who receive aid first. It's the squeaky wheel syndrome.
Anyway, I just wanted to share that with you. If you can find a way to help, please do it. We assume that things like this don't happen in America.