I was in New Orleans after Katrina. It had been a while and most of the levees had temporary repairs at the time and most of the water had been pumped out. There was still a lot of trash and more dead cars that I ever imagined. Most of the roads were passable by the time I got there but there were some with entire houses, buildings, boats, etc. just sitting there. Most roads were still lined with parked but flooded out cars. The ones that were in the way had been moved to large lots where they began stacking them on top of each other. There were so many cars just getting loaded up for scrap or whatever.
These cars had been sitting in water for weeks and not hours or days like in Harvey. Since NO is below sea level in most places, it took a while to get rid of all the water. Houston may be flat but the water eventually runs off. It all had to be pumped out after the breaches in the flood protection system were patched in NO so was there a while. It was also salty/brackish as it came out of Lake Pontchartrain so that did a number on the cars.
The cars that I saw had various water lines on them. You could tell there were pauses as the water was being pumped out. Most cars had the rims stolen which made their removal even more difficult. This was for multiple reasons. I saw some nice Cadillacs that likely had stylish rims on them that someone wanted so these rims got taken. Then there was the issue with all the trash and debris on the roads once the roads re-opened. People got lots of flat tires so would just take the wheels off the flooded out cars that matched their make/model. You saw cars up on buckets, block of wood, or whatever people could find so that they could jack the car up and remove the wheels.
Then there were the cars that only got partially flooded or where people had parked them on highway ramps to keep them dry. All the wheels were gone and the radios were stolen. There were a few nice Cadillacs that I saw that likely had some type of custom trim as I saw some where the trim had been removed. Then I came across a car that was flooded and it was filled with car radios. All I can figure is that they were stealing them as people evacuated and then got caught in the flood themselves. The wheels on this one were also missing and it was just sitting on the street.
I was there for two weeks and they were really starting to get the remaining cars rounded up by the time I left. I really don’t think anyone, even the most dishonest seller, was going to get much from these since they were underwater for weeks and in pretty bad shape.
Then there were the roads… The entire city is settling as the layer of peat and other organics dewaters, decays, and settles. The sewers and manholes are all situated many feet below the surface. As the surface settles these do not settle at the same rate and remain high points. All the sewer and manhole lids protrude and are scratched from all the cars driving over them and bottoming out. There was a pretty constant stream of traffic driving through the devastated areas from about 10AM to 4PM. People were driving slow looking at the damage. It was mainly tourists checking out the area. Some would be speeding and bottom out their cars but good. People quickly learned that you cannot speed in New Orleans as the roads were horrid.
Of course the French Quarter and downtown were largely spared as these are the oldest parts of town. The first to arrive claimed the high ground and all those that came later had to drain the swamps to reclaim the land. So, all the bars, sex shows, and such remained open most of the time. It was strange to walk through those areas with all the surrounding areas so devastated.
The media is of course biased against Trump. He is a bad guy if he visits but can you imagine the outcry if he didn’t? He may not have been my first choice either but it does seem like they can’t give the guy a break. This whole situation does seem to be getting handled better than Katrina on all levels so that is a plus.
The people being more self-sufficient is also a plus. I don’t believe in the whole living paycheck to paycheck although I have done it in the past myself. I will buy quantities of things that I know I will need when they are on sale. I always max this out even if I don’t currently need to change my oil. https://mobiloil.com/en/promotion/mobil-promotions They do this twice a year so get a great deal on 4x total oil changes with the rebates on quality synthetic oil. My girlfriend always thinks I am nuts for doing this but I tell here that the oil doesn’t spoil and that I get it for like $12 for 5 quarts at Wal-Mart which as a great deal on oil of this caliber. She does it the one time that she needs an oil change during the promotion and then pays full price the next time around. Her car requires synthetic by the way so this is a great deal for her. She has talked about doing extreme couponing. I think this isn’t a good idea as you can make more money working than you can couponing. Buying cheap synthetic oil like this is the extent of my extreme couponing.
The “paycheck to paycheck” people really come out on the days when the govt benefits are distributed. In my business they have money for about two days and then it is all blown on stupid crap. I mean you see people buying $300 worth of lottery tickets the instant they get their money!!! These days are when I know I need to batten down the hatches are prepare to deal with complete idiots.