Mississippi River Tour - Off To A Rough Start

My 2012 Mississippi River Tour got off to an inauspicious, if not completely unexpected, start this morning. The plan said I should drive about 40 miles south of New Orleans along the east bank of the Mississippi River to a ferry landing. This ferry is the very southernmost point to get a car across the river and I thought that would be an appropriate start for this tour. Most times, this would be right but this year, it wasn't.

As I drove south along the river, I was confronted first with a police checkpoint and then with this. It's a flood control device, a concrete wall about 20 feet tall. There is another panel that slides in place to block the road when necessary.  As it happens, it was necessary just last month when Hurricane Isaac blew through. 

DSC_1232I knew there was severe flooding in places outside of New Orleans, but I didn't know where. Now I do. Everything south of that big concrete wall was badly flooded. I drove about 15 miles and observed dozens and more homes that had been flooded to the rafters. Everywhere that had been lawn was now a scoured sheet of mud. The levy had debris scattered all the way along, there were FEMA tents and various other efforts to organize the clean-up all over. 

When I got to the house that was washed half-way across the road, and with 20 miles to go, I decided to turn around and skip this crossing. The ferry might be running, but they really didn't need another tourist this day.

Click through for a few more pics of flood damage from Hurricane Isaac. Stay tuned for more positive results from the rest of today. I did cross 5 bridges and 1 ferry and of course I do have pics and stories to tell.






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