September 2nd, 2008
03:41 PM ET

Times are hard in St. Bernard

Jim Spellman
CNN Producer
St. Bernard Parish

The sign reads "times are hard in St. Bernard" and whatever spray paint poet wrote it has got it right.

Its not so much that Gustav brought hard times, the damage here from wind, water and a few levee issues has been relatively minor, but walking the neighborhood’s streets here makes it clear that three years after Katrina, the mess from that killer storm still remains.

Across the street from the sign sits a house with another kind of spray painted sign–the familiar cross with the number that search and rescue folks left behind.

On September 16, 2005, this house on St. Bernard Parkway was searched. Thank God no one died in this house. It’s been gutted down to the studs. No one has come back to live here.

Some houses in the neighborhood have been fixed up and show signs of life. Other plots of land just have slabs, where houses stood before Katrina. No one has come back to build on them.

In the next day or so people will start filtering back into St.Bernards. They’ll be glad that Gustav wasn’t as bad as it could have been.

They’ll be glad to be back home, but the times will still be hard.

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Filed under: Hurricane Gustav • Hurricanes
soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. warren

    Just amagine if that was your home and a place where your family heritage got it's start from........how would you feel?

    September 2, 2008 at 10:52 pm |
  2. Jan Nistor

    If i lived in New Orleans, I'd want to let the sea claim the land it obviously wants before the sea claimed me!!!!

    September 2, 2008 at 5:53 pm |
  3. Cindy

    It's extremely sad that even after three years after Katrina that these towns are still not rebuilt and running. I hear so much about how NOLA is up and running again yet other places get no coverage. That is unfair!

    And BTW NOLA still isn't up and running because the lower to mid income places are still the same as the day Katrina hit! How fast these people are shoved aside like they don't matter. If they had 4 star hotels and such like the French Quarter then we wouldn't be having this conversation. It would have been rebuilt by now. Same goes for the towns such as St. Bernard.


    September 2, 2008 at 3:58 pm |