Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Devastation in South Louisiana: Leeville Bridge

Before Katrina

After Katrina

My brother's future father-in-law, Karl, works offshore in south Louisiana and he sent me these aerial photos taken today. Directly above is the Leeville Bridge as photographed before Katrina and again after Katrina. Fifteen miles to the south is the offshore oil entry point of Port Fourchon.

There is no doubt of the power of the storm or the tidal surge when looking at these pictures of such horrific damage.

UPDATE: After further searching, I found a picture of the Leeville Bridge as it looked prior to Katrina. I have added the "Before Katrina" picture to give a little perspective of not only the damage but how unprotected the Mississippi Delta is/was in the path of a hurricane.

I found the picture on a website entitled LA 1 Coalition: A Non-Profit Corporation Working to Improve a Critical U.S. Energy Corridor. LA Highway 1 serves as the only access to Port Fourchon, the entry point for approximately 18 percent of the United State's energy supply. Ironically, the mission of the LA 1 Coalition is to improve this sub-standard, low-lying two lane road so that it is less prone to tidal flooding. The website is a very interesting read in light of the current situation and includes several pictures of previous hurricane conditions as well as the proposed replacement freeway bridge. Implementation will most likely be further postponed as the priority will be to rebuild cities first, however Katrina has certainly proven that as long as the US energy policy is based on oil, LA Highway 1 is a vital supply artery and should be safeguarded as such.

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