Archive for August, 2005

Really? 90% Destroyed or Damaged

Wednesday, August 31st, 2005

Wondering about this quote attributed to Da Mayor on CNN today:

Across Lake Pontchartrain, in Slidell, Louisiana, Mayor Ben Morris was among thousands of homeless residents who have been unable to communicate with anyone outside Slidell.

Morris estimated 90 percent of the city’s residences were destroyed or damaged and that half of its 30,000 residents will be left homeless.

Given the reports that are sent in, that we’re finding on the Web and what I’m hearing first hand from people going in, this seems off to me.  Way too high.  Unless you call a down tree ‘damaged’.  Some of the mental images you get are of the entire town wiped out.  Now, I’m sitting 600 miles away, so I can’t second guess.  But, seems high.  Kind of like Nagin saying that ‘all of Slidell is under water.’  No, it wasn’t.  It’s tough to find out the real scoop.  What do you all think?

Stewart Rennie Writes In

Wednesday, August 31st, 2005

With this report:

Report from Slidell residents this morning (8/31/2005):
Bon Village: Streets were high, but minimal to no houses flooded by lake/surge water.  Heavy tree losses, estimate 2-3 plus homes a street with trees on them.
Heritage Estates: Similar reports, no standing water on Tuesday, heavy tree damage.
Audubon Drive (only): Trees scattered all over, nothing else noticed.
Lakewood: Took some water damage toward southern end, but very heavy tree damage, multiple houses with several trees on them.
Brownswitch: Lots of trees down, little access to subdivisions off it.
General notes:
South of Gause Blvd. generally had some type of water damage/flooding, north of Gause Blvd. focused on wind damage.
Aldersgate UM Church lost the bell tower siding.
Slidell Police and Sheriff’s department out in force and very vigilent.
Rats Nest Road reported as "gone".
Chamale Cove was still underwater as much as over first floor on Tiesday.
Phone service restored for local only access in a few areas, text messages as spotty.
St. Margaret Mary church has severe roof damage, but other portion generally intact…water tower is standing.
I-12 to Hammond, clear but power out until west of Hammond.  Cell phones useless until near Baton Rouge.

Extensive Trip Report From Utility Co. Employee

Wednesday, August 31st, 2005

Posted at the WWL Forum:

All, I work for a utility company and I have a company truck so I was allowed to enter places the normal citizen, under the current circumstances, would not be able to enter. I went to a few areas and below is a list and conditions. Keep in mind, I just moved to Slidell approximately one year ago.

-Neighborhood on South side of Gause (Across the street from Firestone - Florida St.): Little flooding, if any, but many trees down and a saw a select few that fell on homes - not many though.

-Willow Wood - a few homes flooded, but not bad at all. My friend had about 3 inches in his home and he lives on Silverwood. I have another friend on Goldenwood with no flooding. Trees are on a few houses, but not many.

-South of Fremeaux on Front - A lot of subdivisions to the eastside of Front from Times Restaurant to Pontchartrain look flooded, but I did not go into the neighborhoods.

-Pontchartrain Dr. - Subdivisions on both sides of Pontchartrain are flooded and look to be bad, but I could not go into the subdivisions. Subdivision behind Blockbuster Video seems to be real bad. Neighborhood by Our Lady of Lourdes and Salmen seem to have water, but not a lot of flooding.

-Oak Harbor - Here is where I live. I parked my truck by the Porthole and it looked horrible b/c all the debris & pieces of homes from Eden Isles floated up the canal during flooding. It looks like all camps are pretty much gone down Hwy. 11, but I could not get further than the Porthole. I saw the water in Cypress Lakes (I live here) and it scared me at first from the site, but homes do not seem to be flooded and no wind damage excluding one home under construction. Water is up to the front door in most homes in Cypress Lakes, but I peaked in the window in two homes and NO WATER!!!!!! Residents of Cypress Lakes: I would recommend you thank God and help those in need for the blessing that you received. Masters Point and the Moorings seem to be ok, but I did not go that far. I did see a fire coming from The Moorings area, but it could have been further south.

-Briar Lake in Lacombe - Lots of trees down, but no flooding and looks ok. Saw a few homes with Pine trees on top of them, but not many.

-The Trace off of 190 - Didn’t see any flooding or Wind damage. Looks good b/c of retention pond.

-Sterling Oaks - Seems to be ok with very minimal damage.

In conclusion, I do believe the damage to the Slidell area as a whole was inflated to a degree on the radio and TV. I am not making light of the situation b/c it is severely damaged in some parts, but the media focuses on the bad parts of Slidell which is essentially their job. However, people of Slidell that stayed during the storm are livid b/c the media is making it sound like the area is uninhabitable. In my opinion, it is very possible for the city to be partly functional in a shorter period of time. A Cleco employee told me part of Slidell will be with power within a few weeks and it will go in stages thereafter.

Timber Ridge Report

Wednesday, August 31st, 2005

Jessica deBen writes in to report: 

Slidell Timber Ridge Subdivision near North Shore Square Mall and Tammany Trace Bike Path did not flood. The houses on streets Timber Ridge and Maple Ridge made it through the storm without much damage. No power/water/phone but otherwise the area looks good.

Interactive Google Map

Wednesday, August 31st, 2005

Picture 6.pngOkay, this is a bit of a challenge to use, but here is an annotated Google map.  Zoom in to Slidell and start clicking the links that mark observations.  Tell me what you think of it.  [Thanks to Alex Muse for finding this for us.]

“I’m OK” Forums @

Wednesday, August 31st, 2005

Here is the link to a forum on the wwl website.  It is an "I’m OK" forum  to Get out messages to let loved ones know that you are okay.  Rock on Karen Spencer.


Photo: Overhead Hwy 11

Wednesday, August 31st, 2005

An amazing photo overhead Hwy 11.   Mr. Wadleigh, your house is still there.  [Click for full photo. Double click again to enlarge.]




Pelican Point Apartments

Wednesday, August 31st, 2005

From the WWL Forum:

Hi everyone… it’s holly the asst. manager at Pelican… my husband has been back there two times and said that overall the apartments faired well. no water in the units but some shingles off and some siding. of course there are tons of power lines down and trees blocking the roads. as you know it could be quite a while before we get power restored. I’ll try to let you know if I hear anything else and I have been in contact with Cindy to find out when she plans on returning . Hang in there

Red Cross Activity in St. Tammany

Wednesday, August 31st, 2005

From the blog:

 St. Tammany announcements
A 9 p.m. to 7 a.m. parishwide curfew remains in effect for St. Tammany Parish.

Although water service in Covington has been restored, there have been problems with water pressure in some areas, city officials said. Residents should not drink the water unless it’s boiled for at least 10 minutes.

More than 20 Red Cross disaster relief vehicles have arrived in St. Tammany and are dispersing bottled water and commodities in neighborhoods throughout the parish, officials said.

St. Tammany Parish officials are asking the heads of homeowners groups throughout the parish to contact the parish via the internet so officials can coordinate recovery efforts with the associations. The e-mail contact is Suzanne Parsons-Stymiest at

Some 1,500 St. Tammany residents remain in shelters throughout the parish.

An Info Request from Down Under

Wednesday, August 31st, 2005

A reader from Oz writes:

Does anyone have any information regarding the whereabouts of the residents from Northshore Living Center?
My brother (who lives in Cross Gates) said that Slidell had a mandatory evacuation order and so he assumes the residents were evacuated, but he has no idea where or how to contact them.  He and his family went to Jackson, MS and are now on their way to Indiana. I live in Australia and as you can imagine it is not easy to get much info all the way down here.
Many thanks,
Stephen Kent, PhD
Senior Lecturer
School of Psychological Science
La Trobe University
Bundoora, VIC 3086
phone:  +61 (03) 9479 2798
fax: +61 (03) 9479 1956

Looking for the Cheramie Family in PR

Wednesday, August 31st, 2005

An angel in Seattle sends the following request (email her info at

Looking for Mark Cheramie and his wife Eva Gaines Cheramie of Pearl River they live on Highway 41. Son and daughter in law of Vera and Henry Gaines of Slidell and good friend of Steve Singleterry. Charlie Gaines with the sheriff dept is also related and believed to still be in the area so may have information regarding them

Andree’ says:

Peggy and Millard Cheramie (Mark’s parents are the ones looking)

Fritchie House

Wednesday, August 31st, 2005

Just saw a blip of the Fritchie House on a video I linked to earlier.  Looks sound to me — trees down and water receded away.  Could not tell from that brief glimpse about how much water would have gotten in. 

Cleco timeframe estimate

Wednesday, August 31st, 2005

From the Katrina blog:

7:53 P.M. - Cleco estimates one month minimum to get power back to all customers. 

Eden Isles Tornado?

Wednesday, August 31st, 2005

Report from a bit ago on the Katrina blog:

7:17 P.M. - Cleco says it’s likely that a tornado touched down in Eden Isles. 

Forum Poster Tours Town

Wednesday, August 31st, 2005

Kellyhi over at the WWL Forum reports:

i have been staying in baton rouge, but visited slidell today to check on my mother that stayed behind. There is a lot of misinformation about slidell that i would like to correct. I exited i12 at brownswitch road where the chevron accross from mcdonalds sustained a lot of damage, however the mcdonald and burger king were fine. the audubon gates apts looked fair. some apts looked damaged. most of whisperwood did not even flood, however there are a lot of power lines and trees down. North wood also looked fair - a lot of roofs damages slightly. Pelican point aprt looked fine. didnt really see any damage. the winn dixie by buffalo wild wings was also fine - along with bowling usa (small patch from the back of the building missing - but it looked like a sign fell on it). Have read on this forum both were highly damaged - not the case. Also st. Margaret mary church and school sustained A LOT of damage - however appeared to have not flooded. mostly roof damage. dougs restaurant has a tree onthe roof. Robert rd. covered with power lines and trees - hard to pass. My home in lakewood did not flood and my home is fairly close to fremeaux. however lakewood did have a lot of trees and powere lines down - actually trees and power lines were down everywhere. i dont believe we passed a clear street. On Gause. Outback did not have any damage. Racetrack was damaged, but was not destroyed and certainly not burned down. The awning was down and the gas pumps wer all knocked down. Did not see any damage to slidell memorial, but did not drive around the whole thing. Military also had a lot of trees and powers down. the schools there did not appear to have flooded, but difficult to tell really. Forest ridge subdivisoon looked fine also.

homes on the other side of fremeaux i fear are not so lucky. the water did reach fremeaux because the cemetary next to the alfred cemetary seemed to have at one time had floating "coffins" and my mother told me that yesterday there was water there and were not allowed past there.

Im sorry, but i cant speak to specific subdivisions because i only checked on my house and family members homes and didnt enter any other subdivisions. but the city did not look as bad as i feared. it is a mess, and will be a long time before back to normal, but that side of town i would not call devasted.

Carolyn Park?

Wednesday, August 31st, 2005

Anyone have any reports about Carolyn Park area?

Looking for Helen Boyen

Wednesday, August 31st, 2005

A reader writes in: 

Hi Brian,

Could you please post this message on the Slidell Hurricane Damage Blog?  Thanks so much - you’re doing a fantastic job.


Its been over 2 days and we haven’t heard from our sister and her boyfriend, Helen Boyen (Kott) and Gerald Sciacco. They reside at:

414 Moonraker Drive
Slidell, 70458

We’re pretty sure the entire neighborhood is under water, and our family is very concerned. If anybody knows of their whereabouts, please contact us at any of these numbers:


Frank & Mary Palmroos
Largo, FL

Landsat View of NO/Slidell

Wednesday, August 31st, 2005

Landsat_Gallery_411_1_full.jpgHere is a landsat view of some of the flooding.

Info Request on Trinity Healthcare

Wednesday, August 31st, 2005

Does anyone have an update on these patients?


I know you’re looking for info…not requests, but I have a bit of a

My brother, Anthony Richard Fiori, is a diabetic dialysis patient at Trinity
Healthcare in Slidell La. @1400 Lindbergh Ave PH (985) 641-4985.  I last
spoke with him Monday morning, before the storm hit Slidell.  My family and
I have attempted to contact Slidell police, local Red Cross, local
hospitals…you name it, with no info yet.

If you have ANY info if the bldg is still in tact, if patients have been
relocated….really any info at all, it would really be appreciated.

Thanks so much.



Brian Fiori
VP of Research
Current TV, LLC

work    415-995-8326
fax     415-995-8201
cell    415-517-3334

Current TV
118 King St.
San Francisco CA 94107

Where are they taking Slidell refugees?

Wednesday, August 31st, 2005

Angie asks:

Where are they taking the people that they find in the Slidell area. My mother is there and I am sure that her car is not operational. I would like to know where they are bringing them so that they can be picked up. I know that the people from New Orleans are being brought to the Astrodome, but what about the residents of Slidell. Slidell’s citizens cannot stay in those conditions for very long. The water supply is compromised. If anyone knows how I can find out where they are bringing people being resuced from Slidell please give me a call at (706) 228-4725 or send me an email at



Turtle Creek Update

Wednesday, August 31st, 2005

From the WWL Forum:

A friend’s father managed to get over there yesterday. He said that from what he could tell most of the neighborhood was fine. I took the most of the neighborhood as he didn’t go through the entire thing seeing as he doesn’t live there. I don’t have specific information about where he went or what he saw, but I hope this helps. 1/2 of Slidell Houses Flooded

Wednesday, August 31st, 2005

Sorry so long to post this, from earlier this morning:  (of course, the key question we’re trying answer — which half?)

Half of Slidell-area homes swamped
Wednesday, 11:20 a.m.

The number of people in evacuation shelters in St. Tammany Parish rose to 2,168 Wednesday morning, according to Mayor Ben Morris.

Although western St. Tammany was largely spared devastating flooding, offficals estimate that at least half the homes in Slidell and the surrounding areas were inundated with water.

Morris said restoring electricty to Slidell and the surrounding areas won’t be restored for 6 to 12 weeks.

Missing: Frank & Joanne Stewart

Wednesday, August 31st, 2005

A post we came across:

e-mail address:
310- 828- 3051

Send Slidell Photos

Wednesday, August 31st, 2005

Everyone wants to see photos of their neighborhood.  Help us get images to them.  Email us your damage photos to  I’m adding other bloggers to help us get all this posted faster.



Photos from Indianapolis TV Segment

Wednesday, August 31st, 2005

Also a video here.  Here are a few of the pics:






And here is an excerpt from the story:

A storm surge covered the road and everything alongside it. Once the water receded, the breadth of the damage became more apparent.
"There were homes that were totally destroyed and were no longer on the lots," St. Tammany Parrish Sheriff Jack Strain said. "Apartment complexes, with multiple housing units are no longer there. They are totally gone."