By Edward P Richards, III
See www.epr-art.com for the primary collection of these and other images.
These photographs document the damage to the built environment - houses, churches, roads, bridges - done by Hurricane Katrina. My purpose is to show the magnitude of the physical damage, in many cases to the very land itself. It is critical for policy makers to understand that the power of a large hurricane greatly exceeds our abilities to protect coastal areas and areas such as New Orleans that are below sea level. Levees and other measures were wholly inadequate in the face of Katrina, notwithstanding that Katrina lost much of its power before hitting the coast. Nor was this unexpected - each of these areas has been ravaged by hurricanes in the past. The surprise was that New Orleans was not hit with a hurricane for 40 years between Hurricane Betsy and Hurricane Katrina, not that New Orleans flooded from Hurricane Katrina, as it has done on a regular basis for its 300 years of settlement.
These are low resolution scans from 4x5 negatives. The original images have much greater detail and provide a striking record of the storm damage. This catalog of images continues to be updated.
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