Monday, September 18, 2006
Demolition Standards Differ
in Ninth Ward and Lakeview
At about minute 6:24 into the first video, an unidentified person takes the cameraman on a tour of a demolished home in the Ninth Ward and one in Lakeview, and points out an important difference: in Lakeview slabs are removed and utilities are pulled back to the street, and lots are filled and graded and ready to build.
Not so in the Ninth Ward, says the unidentified man on camera. Utilities are left in place and so are slabs, and the lots in the Ninth are not filled and graded. The Lakeview lot "is ready to build," says the unidentified person speaking, implying those in the Ninth Ward are not. "That's what happens when you have money."
Some immediate questions that come to mind: were both houses in the video demolished by FEMA contractors, or was one perhaps done by a homeowner or their insurance company? What are the addresses involved so we can find out more? Who is the unidentified guide in the video? If it turns out that both were done under a similar FEMA contact, then there is a major disparity that needs to be addressed.
Most of the video is a set of man-in-the-street interviews with New Orleanians, and I found it generally interesting. People who've been following closely for the past year won't hear much else new here, but this video is well worth the fifteen minutes of your time.
I'm going to try to get in touch with the producer and 1938 Media, so we can identify the gentleman talking at 6:24 and learn more about how there are two standards for demolitions: one ready-to-rebuild in Lakeview, the other incomplete and substandard for the Ninth Ward.
If this is generally true (that is, applies to all demolitions in Lakeview and the Ninth), someone in FEMA or City Hall owes the property owners in the Ninth Ward the difference, so everyone can have a ready to rebuild lot at government expense.
This is an important new angle to the story of disparities between the east and the lakefront, and I hope other New Orleans bloggers would put aside any animosity of the past and help get this new wrinkle out into the public eye.
Katrina NOLA New Orleans Hurricane Katrina Think New Orleans Louisiana FEMA levees flooding Corps of Engineers We Are Not OK wetlands news rebirth Debrisville Federal Flood 8-29 Rising Tide Remember 1938 Media Loren Feldman
It left me wondering how it is determined what is demolished and where and when. Does anyone know?
the slab thing confuses me. all the houses i knew in the lower nine were on piers vs. the homes in lakeview on slabs.
again i think it goes back to people who have resources who are able to come back and rehab before their insurance and the lra money comes in.
you cant participate from miles away....
yah it's fucked up but go to that for the
All of the demolitions I've seen in Lakeview and Gentilly appear to have been private contractors.
I suspect that the demolitions in the Lower 9th are FEMA or City contractors demolishing condemed houses. Very few houses in Lakeview were condemed.
I know many more houses in the Lower 9th were damaged by flowing water, especially near the breach. The breaches which filled Lakeview did so slowly so the water merely rose adn fell, relatively slowly, doing much less structural damage.
Also, I signed up for and was told I qualify for city/FEMA demo, but as far as I've heard, New Orleans has not yet begun to do voluntary demos, only mandated demos.
For argument's sake, I'd say that FEMA-funded demos should include slab removal if the owner chooses. But demos that are done because of safety should NOT include slab removal because the slab poses no danger.
That's my two cents!
Links to this post:
"And when we speak we are afraid our words will not be heard nor welcome, but when we are silent we are still afraid. So it is better to speak remembering we were never meant to survive." -- Audie LordeAny copyrighted material presented here is done so for the purposes of news reporting and comment consistent with USC 17 Chapter 1 Title 107.