being renewed.

Subscriptions. Memberships. Reward cards. Starbucks cards. These are things you think of being renewed. Not coastlines and bayous and neighborhoods and bridges. But since 2005, that’s been the case here in the Gulf Coast Region. The road that runs from New Orleans East along the bayous up to the Mississippi Gulf Coast winds through the path where the winds and water of Katrina left their mark. In this area, you can find the actual aftermath of the hurricane herself, not just the flooding she caused afterward, like in New Orleans.

To put it into context, here are two pics I found that my Dad had mentioned to me. The first was taken by a power company worker who rode out the storm at a power plant in the area. The pic is of the 28 foot storm surge that swept through an area from New Orleans East to Gulfport, MS (an area about 45 or 50 miles wide). The wave swept away everything in its path through the bayou and flattened everything in its path for over a mile inland along the Mississippi Gulf Cost.

Katrina Storm Surge

The second picture is an example of the aftermath from the surge. This is a picture of what remained of the I-10 bridge between New Orleans East and Slidell. The bridge spanned a six-mile stretch of Lake Ponchartrain just north of where that lake meets Lake Bourgne. The western side of Katrina’s eye passed through there as did the surge that toppled the bridge.


Now that we have the context of our chosen travels, here are some pics I took today (Tuesday, May 26th) when Dad and I decided to get away and breathe some fresh air and catch a glimpse of all the gone-ness and new-ness and renewed-ness along Hwy 90 between New Orleans and Gulfport.

By the way, I took all of the pics with my iPhone. Not bragging about having an iPhone, just saying I can’t believe the quality of pics it takes sometimes. Also, thanks to my friend Adam, I enhanced a few pics with iPhone  apps that I downloaded last night.

Once we got out of New Orleans East and into the bayou area between Lake Ponchartrain and Lake Bourgne, this was one of our first stops – rebuilt lake homes in the midst of abandoned pilings that once supported pre-Katrina lake homes:


Here is a shot of those abandoned pilings that I took with the “Pano” app that takes panoramic shots:


This pic was wild! Only one room of the washed-away home remained:


This is a pic of the old waterpark and wavepool that Erik and friends and I would drive over to have fun at when we were growing up. Nothing but a slide is left:


This was Dad feeling the ocean breeze through the opening in his neck collar while preparing to iChat on his computer with Jen and my kids. I took it with the panoramic app, too, and blurred it a bit for effect:


Here are leftover pilings with a rebuilt home in the background:


Here is a pic of a “Katrina Cottage.” Many of these were pre-engineered, sold, and brought in for people to live in while they cleaned up and rebuilt:


Here are several very nice rebuilt homes, all brand new:




Here is an example of a very common scene – a washed-out plot of land with a for sale sign:


Here are some pics of a washed-out plot we drove upon. Great opportunity for some great pics, including one really cool panoramic shot I took with the “Pano” app:






Here are a few pics of a church building and steeple that were impacted by Katrina’s winds. Remember, all of this happened almost five years ago:




Here are four pics that I took and then enhanced with the app “CameraBag” before I downloaded them:





The drive ended with a visit to O’Charley’s. Dad and Mom have stopped there in the past for a meal several times when they have been traveling through this area. Here’s Dad before we ordered:


After supper, we headed back to New Orleans to get Dad to bed. He told me that he really enjoyed the drive and the afternoon. He said it was the most restful and refreshing day he’s had in quite some time. I told him we needed to do a lot more of these in the future. Life’s too short.

I was excited to get Dad out of the city and out among some fresh air. I knew he would like the look back and the look ahead of the “ground zero” corridor for Katrina. I was praying and hoping that he would feel refreshed. I think he was. Especially once the Magic won game four. 

Speaking of being renewed, Dad is definitely being renewed since the accident, in many ways. His neck and arm and legs are getting better and better. He used his walker today more than his wheelchair. He did really well. 

Mom is being renewed, too, little by little. You can read about her day by going to the Caring Bridge site we have been keeping for Mom and Dad.

Thanks for your prayers and support. Hope you enjoyed the pictures!!!

4 thoughts on “being renewed.

  1. i’ve mixed emotions about seeing folks put up grand homes there again. unless the coastline gets a little (wellno, a LOT of) renewing going on, those areas are way too susceptible to another katrina-like tragedy.

    great to see your dad out and about and progressing so nicely!

    blessings to you and your folks, brother!

  2. These are some beautiful pictures that you have taken. Yes, I am so thankful that Dr. Dukes got out for a relaxing ride to see the scenery. We are praying on both for Jimmy and Reita on a daily basis. Always glad to hear the GOOD NEWS! Would someone call me or email me and give me an email address to write you a note, and an address so I can mail you a Starbucks or PJ’s card. Glad to know that Jimmy enjoys his coffee! May God Bless and Keep You!
    Rita Mixon McDonald
    Michael P. McDonald

  3. Just to let you know, that picture you have of a “28 ft storm surge” is one that’s been circulating around the net quite a bit. It’s actually a photograph taken from an Entergy substation of water overtopping the Intracoastal Canal under the Paris Street Bridge south of New Orleans. Surge in that area hit about 16-18 ft, high enough to flow over the top of the levee. The website below has details on this image:

    • thanks man. that helps. i had been given bad info then. may this comment strand stand as a correction.

      by the way – i grew up in NOLA. Live in Orlando now. Used to be a big fan of Bobby Hebert. I know there are a lot of Hebert’s around there. You kin?

      Thanks again!

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