September 2nd, 2008
07:05 PM ET

Broken levees and saving a Cormorant

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/09/02/art.pj.bird2.jpg caption="Plaquemines Parish's Coastal Management Director PJ Hahn cleaning the distressed bird."]Kay Jones
AC360° Editorial Producer

I went about and hour and a half south of New Orleans to check out a potentially serious levee breech in Plaquemines Parish. Photographer Leon Jobe and I got on an air boat with a local guy, Jimmy, and the parish's Coastal Management Director PJ Hahn. What we saw was a major collapse of the levee, but fortunately no homes in immediate danger.

On our way back to the car, Jimmy spotted a bird in distress. The cormorant, which looks a lot like a seagull, was desperately trying to stay afloat. It was wrapped up in debris from the water, and being eaten up by fire ants. PJ reached in and helped free the bird of the debris, and washed the fire ants off. He then tried to check and see if its wings were broken. Luckily, it looked as if the poor thing was just exhausted more than anything.

We took the boat back to the levee and dropped off the bird. Hopefully, the poor thing had time to rest and get back on his way.

Here's one more picture: me and "local guy" Jimmy on an air boat south of New Orleans.

Filed under: Hurricane Gustav • Kay Jones
soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. Kristi in KC

    What good news - that the storm was not as deadly as it was feared to be. I read that a larger number of people evacuated than originally were predicted to leave, too. Maybe that helped keep the fatalities down. But in the long run, I wonder if leaving and coming back, and leaving and coming back, each time there is a storm that does little damage – leaves people complacent. Complacent enough so that when a really deadly storm does come through, they opt to try to sit one out.

    September 3, 2008 at 12:03 pm |
  2. Kaedra J. Arnold

    Let me start by thanking God that in His Infinite Wisdom and Mercy lavished much grace on the Gulf Coast residence.

    I am a resident of Ascension Parish, LA. I evacuated to Dallas, TX. I have left many friends and business associates behind. In an effort to keep them informed about the conditions and available services around Baton Rouge and its surrounding parishes, I have been intently watching the National News. It is clear that Gustav did not damage New Orleans and its surrounding parishes as did Katrina. I thank the Lord God for that; however, I do believe there should be more focus and attention given to the areas where devastation did occur. The parishioners of East Baton Rouge, Ascension, Livingston, St. John the Baptist, West Baton Rouge, etc. need better information about their environmental conditions and availability of services. I realize that it is important to focus on the RNC; however, I beg you not to forget about the residents in LA that have suffered extreme damage and power outages making communication extremely difficult. Thank you for this opportunity to express my concerns. I trust this opinion will be elevated to those who can make a difference.

    September 3, 2008 at 11:35 am |
  3. Annie Kate


    Glad to know that there are no houses in danger from that levee. Hope it gets fixed soon so it isn't an issue in the next storm. I'm also glad that you and your team rescued the cormorant. I'm sure it appreciated it too!

    Annie Kate
    Birmingham AL

    September 2, 2008 at 11:26 pm |