Friday, July 11, 2008

Signs of Life in St. Bernard Parish

A playground now stands in a park formerly filled with FEMA trailers.

Approximately one-half of the business are now open.

Sheriff sub-stations housed in temporary trailers sit throughout the county. One sheriff told us he was present when the first outside aid reached the county after six days: the Royal Canadian Mounties.

Volunteers from around the country help St. Bernard Project rebuild homes.

The public library re-opened in temporary quarters in January 2008.

A local restaurant showcases a picture taken of the establishment after it was flooded post-Katrina. Lindsey and Caitlin stand under an oval plaque noting the water line of the flood waters.

I was last in St. Bernard Parish in May 2007. Happily, I witnessed many signs of rebirth this year that were absent during my last visit:

· street signs were up
· a playground was in a park that formerly contained hundreds of occupied FEMA trailers
· a library has been opened since January 2008- housed in a temporary trailer
· several sheriff substations were housed in similar trailers throughout the county
· more than half the homeowners have returned - compared to approximately 25% last year
· more homes were owner occupied
· approximately half the business were open - many with pictures of the Katrina damage prominently displayed

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