Before Hurricane Katrina happened, travel to New Orleans typically included a visit to one of the famous above-ground cemeteries, so integral to the culture of this low-lying city and nicely framed by this Studio Red Dot podcast.
By 2005, no one really knew the full extent of what happened until Save Our Cemeteries, Inc., posted a webpage listing the destruction being cleared in various cemetery locations. One in particular, Metairie, appeared to have weathered Katrina well enough with the location itself, rather than the actual tombs, experiencing the most damage.
Three years later, the ruins linger, although the voyeuristic demand for “disaster tours” thankfully seems to be dwindling. What is not yet fully known, is how much more damage Hurricanes Gustav and Ike may have added - particularly in the cemeteries as these were not necessarily a cleanup priority in Katrina’s aftermath.
As of September, 2008, hurricane season is still going strong and it remains to be seen what will be the final outcome on these historical sites.
(c) 2008 by G.E. Anderson