Saturday, May 26, 2007
Thursday afternoon, I headed east, anxious to visit as much of the central Gulf Coast as I could in the 48 hours I had allowed myself. Slidell is located at the east end of the I-10 bridge across the mouth of Lake Pontchartrain. The shoreline homes and fishing camps, many of which had been located on piles over the water, were leveled by the hurricane. Many of the new subdivisions that surround Slidell were also hit badly - some of these are simply carved out of the coastal marsh - dredge canals into the wetlands and use the dirt to build slightly higher ground on which to build upscale housing developments where everyone has a place to park their boat. Doing this went out of style, or became illegal, in much of the country in the 1970s, but it clearly continues here. Eden Isles north of I-10. Massive new development just south of I-10. Thank goodness for federal flood insurance - someone's got to pay to rebuild these communities every few decades.