Weeping Brick Walls, Collapsing Buildings: Ida’s Wrath Revealed
(Bloomberg) -- Downtown New Orleans was a tangle of busted bricks, tree limbs and wrecked vehicles after Hurricane Ida’s winds collapsed at least one building and blew the walls out of others.
At the Little Gem Saloon -- where Louis Armstrong once played -- the rear wall was destroyed, taking with it an iconic outdoor mural of jazz musicians. The remnants lay scattered across a parking lot on Monday morning.
Other structural casualties included The Original Italian Pie restaurant on Rampart Street: a nearby building collapse pushed a parked car into its facade. A large oak tree across from City Hall had its roots completely ripped from the ground.
“This right here, it’s bad,” Cy Henry, 54, said as he toured the disaster zone in the wheelchair to which he’s been confined since he got shot in 1983. “Whatever came through here wasn’t playing.”
In the French Quarter, the walls of Bridget Neal’s apartment were leaking water as the storm’s powerful winds pushed rain sideways during the height of the storm on Sunday evening.
“It wasn’t coming through the windows, it was coming through the brick walls,” Neal said as she walked around trying to find a store open to buy an extension cord. “We tried using towels and then bedsheets but after awhile we just gave up and said, ‘It’s in God’s hands.’”
Given warnings that power outages may last for weeks, one of her biggest concerns now is that mold will proliferate in her damp rooms. The extension cord was needed to plug her refrigerator into the landlord’s generator.
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