Special notes after Katrina, 8/29/05
General Post-K recovery notes
See updated pictures, http://www.loyno.edu/~brans/katrinapics, taken a few days after the storm, by a crew from the public radio station in Lafayette. These are mostly taken from around Canal Boulevard, starting at the Railroad overpass near Metairie road, then I-10 overpass, and on out to parts of Lakeview. They were sent to us by a friend so I am not really sure of their ultimate provenance. The smiles on the faces of the crew boating along is striking. Remember all of this was the result of human failures in levee construction and canal pumping protocols and performance. Without the flooding the wind damage would have been relatively minor.
Mostly news for friends and family
Anna and I started our return from Texas around September 21 when we heard hurricane Rita was aiming for the Houston area. Unfortunately, most of Houston seemed to have the same idea, so we had an “interesting” 20 hour drive home (normally about 6 hours). Anyway, our house had only very minor wind damage, with no flooding in our suburban area of River Ridge, Harahan, etc., and we had full services: power, gas, cable/internet, local stores/gas stations opened, when we returned. Similarly, Loyola University had relatively minor damage, so I and some other faculty and staff were able to come back in early October. Also, fortunately, none of the physics faculty or staff had serious damage to their homes. But sadly this was not true for many faculty members from other departments. Now, 1/9/06, Loyola has re-opened for class and the campus is again crawling with eager(?) young students. The estimated population is close to “normal” for the spring semester, but a crucial next step is to see what the freshman enrollment will be for fall 2006. I have been back to steady work on the exotic smoothness and physics book with Asselmeyer for a couple of months and am beginning to think we may actually finish it sometime before I reach 90.
The Tulane campus took much larger damage, including a devastating blow to its uptown campus and to its medical teaching hospitals. Consequently, they have already made major cuts to quite a few programs. However, they are scheduled to resume class 1/16/06, and we all wish them the very best. Other local schools are also trying to come back, facing varying degrees of difficulties.
My e-mail and phone contacts have reverted to PK (Pre Katrina) ones: firstname.lastname@example.org and 504 460 3586.
Personal Pictures (1/9/06)
There are many professional sets of pictures of the general devastation of the New Orleans area, but Anna has compiled some slide shows from pictures she has taken. Of course, as usual, you have to actually experience this personally to get the full effect. Anna’s pictures can be seen with Adobe at this address with a specific index file, http://loyno.edu/~brans/katrina.html
Old stuff as of 9/13/05
Most importantly, Anna, I and all of our sons and their families are safe. Jack and Henry went back for a tour of the city on Monday, September 5. They found Jack’s house and ours high and dry with very little damage. Our houses are pretty far (10-15 miles) from the “New Orleans” of the CNN and other TV coverage. For better or worse, the news concentrates on the true disaster areas in the central and eastern parts of the city. The western suburbs, such as River Ridge, where we live, and Algiers, where Jack lives, received only wind damage, and in our case, nothing very bad. Also, we are told that the main Loyola and Tulane campuses also received only minor damage. They could be fully functional at any time, save for the loss of electric and other infrastructure and mandated evacuation orders. So both schools are closed until January. The Loyola Administration has moved to Alexandria LA, and our IT people have set up a mirror site there which you are probably now accessing. (Torsten: our cbta site is back in service). My email@example.com is now (9/13/05) my primary address, but I will also check firstname.lastname@example.org.
Anna and I are fortunate to have use of a house on a ranch about 15 miles out of Brenham TX, which is about 80 miles west of Houston. Of course, as someone said, all is relative, so in Texas these are manageable distances. Kim and Rennie are staying with Tommy in Houston while Jack will return to N.O. with a group contracting with FEMA for re-building. Because of the 504 congestion we have changed our cell numbers to 979 (Brenham) ones. Carl: 979 203 4556, Anna 979 203 4554. Anna and I will return to River Ridge as soon as it is legal to do so.
Thanks for your interest and concern. I will update this sporadically.
Last Modified:February 2005