I offer some excerpts and photos, courtesy of the Huffington Post and photographer David Lohr. Read the full article here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/new-orleans-urban-decay_us_57c05e53e4b085c1ff2910ab
New Orleans’ Upper 9th Ward Resembles A Zombie Apocalypse. Uninhabitable flood-damaged homes, overgrown streets and the stench of mold are more suggestive of a horror movie than a suburban community.
Photos of the upper 9th Ward, a predominantly African-American area, tell the depressing story.
A 237-unit housing complex built in the 1970s, Press Park is chock full of flood-damaged homes.
A portion of Press Park was built atop a 95-acre landfill containing industrial waste. The EPA found the ground to contain more than 150 chemicals, 49 of which were found to be cancer-causing. In 1994, the federal government declared the area a Superfund site.
And here it sits, another eyesore in this forgotten neighborhood.
Some hardy residents returned after the hurricane and rebuilt their homes. One block of neat, single-family brick homes with well-manicured lawns is a breath of fresh air in the lower 9th neighborhood.
But just across the street is the abandoned Gordon Plaza Apartment Complex. A 128-unit low-income complex that housed mostly elderly residents, the apartments were shut down after Hurricane Katrina.
Eyesores can be found throughout the 9th Ward.
Closed after Katrina, this shopping center in the 9th Ward never reopened.
Some streets are barely passable, choked by vegetation and used as dumping grounds for garbage.
The worst example may be the Morton Elementary School.The $6 million school was closed by the federal government after it was revealed the school, like portions of Press Park, was built on top of a toxic landfill.
According to City of New Orleans Chief Resilience Officer Jeff Hebert, the state’s conservative property laws have made it difficult to completely eliminate the remaining blighted structures, not just in the Upper 9th Ward but also throughout the city. The law requires city officials to deal with each blighted property on a case-by-case basis — a process hindered by red tape. "There is a [lengthy legal] process we have to go through to either demolish or put them up for sale,” Hebert said. It remains unclear when the issues will be remedied, if ever.
So there you have it folks. A sad and sorry tale. It's been a while since the network news outlets, CNN and Fox News have taken a look at this mess. I think it's time they came back, don't you? Please leave a comment and tell me what you think!