Mike's Katrina Page

Levees for New Orleans  MRGO Class Action

I am a resident of Austin, Texas who grew up in Chalmette. I am using this page to document the effects of Hurricane Katrina on the New Orleans area, and St. Bernard parish in particular. I set up this page mainly for the benefit of members of my family whose homes have been flooded. When Katrina first hit, I began using high resolution satellite images along with photo editing software to identify specific locations in the flooded areas. In the months following the storm I posted photos and video obtained from various sources as well as photos I took on my many visits during that period.
If you have any current information on St. Bernard or any stories or photographs you would like posted, please email me at mcollins1@austin.rr.com.

Please do not send photos that have been posted elsewhere on the web. If you know of a site that contains good photography or information, send me the address and I will post a link. This will allow me to conserve disk space.

This is a personal web site that I maintain in my spare time. I am not associated with any governmental, charitable, or any other type of organization. I am doing this purely as a good will gesture and am not responsible for the accuracy of any information contained herein. Please utilize appropriate sources for official information. I have included several useful links below for this purpose.


Here is a story written by Judy Young describing St. Patrick's day in St. Bernard. Click here to see pictures of the parade.
Here is a story written by Tony Landi describing her trip to St. Bernard on January 30, 2006.
The Miracle on the Bridge, by Michaele Lux, describes the ordeal of her last minute evacuation.


Before and after pool pictures courtesy of Jay Otillio
A statue stolen and returned

A new kind of before and after:

My brother John's pool just after the storm. Same pool in September, 2006

Here are some pictures I took on September 23, 2006.

The above video is from of my first trip to Chalmette after Katrina, taken on September 17, 2005.
Here are some pictures I took on March 12, 2006 of the St. Patrick's parade in Chalmette. Click here to read about Judy Young's experience at the parade.
Here are some pictures I took during the last week of December, 2005. Chalmette appears to be coming back to life.
Here are some pictures sent to me by Wade Frey on 11/30/2005. They show some of Chalmette in the days immediately after Katrina struck.
The Callaway Video web site has some really good video of St. Bernard after Katrina.
These pictures were takes on 10/29/2005. They show Today's Ketch, which is now open, along with some cleanup on Charles Drive. It also shows some pictures of the activities going on in the Wal Mart parking lot.
These pictures were sent to me by Michelle Turner.
Mark Rayner's web site has some pictures of Metairie and New Orleans.
Here's another gallery from Mark Rayner with a look at New Orleans East, parts of uptown New Orleans and inside shots of the inside of Brother Martin H.S.
The cleanup begins. These pictures were taken on 10-15. They mostly show cleanup activities on Charles Drive.
360 Panoramic shot of Val Riess Park
Pictures taken on 10-8 and 10-9. They include some cleanup on Charles Drive as well as photos of Palmisano at the 40 Arpent canal.
360 Panoramic shot from Charles Drive taken in front of my brother's house can be manipulated with the mouse to show the view from any angle.
Pictures taken on 9-27 and 9-28. They include Corrine Estates, Meraux, Violet, Lexington, and Angelique Estates, as well as some Chalmette streets toward the 40 Arpent canal.
Panoramic Shot of Village Square.
Two panoramic shots of Trist Middle School. (Entrance and Drop Off/Pick Up area)
Panoramic shot of Meraux looking north from Judge Perez Drive next to the Wendy's.
Pictures taken on 9-17-2005.
My original picture page showing satellite shots, video, and flood map.
Pictures people have sent to me via email.
Pictures of Meraux sent by Lou Duracher and Cliff Loescher.
Dance Backwards Photo Gallery has many good pictures of St. Bernard.
Here is a link from Webshots with lots of good pictures.

Note: 360 degree panoramic shots require the Java Virtual Machine. This can be downloaded at www.sun.com.

All pictures have been reduced in size for display on the web. I have high resolution copies of all pictures on this site (except for links that point to other sites). If you are interested in any of these, let me know and I will email them to you.


Here is a very emotional and moving video called "home" by Matt Faust. Matt can be contacted at is web site http://mfaust.wordpress.com.
Here a slideshow by Richard Crichton showing the recovery efforts.
Here's a video of the band Cowboy Mouth performing their song "The Avenue" on the Ellen DeGeneres show.
The South Cypress Speedway site contains links to a couple of good videos.
Here is a video documentary by Adam Finberg. This is the best documentary I have seen so far showing the state of affairs in the area.
DoYourPart.org is a volunteer organization dedicated to helping the victims of Hurricane Katrina.
Here are some pictures takes by Toni Landi in mid January.. Toni grew up in Chalmette and currently lives in NYC. Toni sent me a very touching and well written report of her recent trip.
http://www.st-bernard.la.us/ is the official web site of St. Bernard Parish.
http://www.sbpg.net/ is another official St. Bernard Parish web site. This one seems to have more timely information. I would recommend this site for getting the latest news and press releases.
http://maps.google.com has satellite imagery of the affected areas.
St.Bernard Forum is a discussion thread for St.Bernard Parish residents to share information.

MRGO Storm surge:

This photo shows the storm surge under the Paris Road bridge during Hurricane Katrina. It has been circulating on the web and has been the subject of some controversy. The photo has been misinterpreted by many, but is easy to understand when put into the correct context.
Click here to see my explanation.

Below are some new storm surge pictures I got from the WWL news site. (Thanks to Jay Vice)
Click here to read the story.


Added Michaele Lux story.

Added Chrichton slideshow and Cowboy Mouth video.

Added Judy Young story.

Added Toni Landi photos and story.

Added Wade Frey photos.

Added Callaway Video link.

Added some pictures taken on 10/29/2005 showing Today's Ketch and Wal Mart.

Added Mark Rayner link amd Michelle Turner photos.

There's nothing new to post these weekend. I may make another trip next weekend to finish cleaning out my parents' house. I have lots of pictures from last weekend that I haven't posted. There are tons of pictures on the web of devestation from Katrina and from this point on I will be focusing on the cleanup effort. Most new photos from this point will show cleanup and rebuilding.

Updated MRGO page. Added pictures taken under the bridge to show the location of the storm surge photo.

Added MRGO page and more pictures.

I have just returned from a two-day trip to Chalmette help my family retrieve valuables form their houses. St. Bernard has just been re-opened to residents. Not many showed up at first but more are arriving as the week progresses. I took more pictures this time, trying to capture some areas not seen before. This includes Corrine Estates, Meraux, Violet, Lexington, Angelique Estates. See the "Pictures" section for a link to these photos.

I have added some new pictures. Please see the "Pictures" section.

I have moved all the previous photos and video to another page to allow faster loading. The return schedule has been temporarily suspended due to Hurricane Rita, which is now in the gulf. Please check the St. Bernard parish web site for details. If you have Microsoft PowerPoint, you can view a moving slideshow of Katrina's wrath by clicking here (thanks to John McAlonan).

I would like to thank all who have sent in pictures. I travelled to Chalmette yesterday and took over 500 pictures. I will try to post as many as I can in the next couple of days.

I have to admit that the level of destruction I saw was much worse than I expected.

All of the photos I have received show pretty much the same thing that I saw yesterday. It can be summed up in two words, TOTAL DEVESTATION. Yes, there is a lot of wind damage. However, the worst part of all this is what happened INSIDE of the homes. The storm surge and two weeks of standing water have pretty much gutted all the houses in St. Bernard and destroyed their contents. In the houses I have seen, very little, if anything, can be salvaged.

If you will be returning soon to assess your damage, you will be well advised to prepare yourself mentally for what you are going to encounter when you get there. Make sure to bring all the items reccomended on the St. Bernard Parish web site (boots, gloves, coveralls, mask, etc). You are going need them!

9/15/2005: Important - Return Schedule Announced

St. Bernard parish will be allowing residents to return on a limited basis starting Saturdey, September 17. Please see the St. Bernard parish web site for details.

You can click here to download the big (4.2 MB) satellite photo showing all of Chalmette under water. This is the photo that I used to create many of the pictures below. If you have photo editing software or Windows XP (preview function), you should be able to zoom in and find your neighborhood.

Here is a slideshow containing 217 recent photos of Slidell, New Orleans East, Chalmette, and Meraux, courtesy of Lou Duracher and Cliff Loescher.

Flood Mapper: Below is a link to an interactive map with current flood levels. It allows you you click on an area and see the water level. (Thanks to Robert Hingle)

I have been getting a number of requests for pictures of specific locations in St. Bernard. I will try to accomodate as many of these as possible as time permits. Bear in mind that this is subject to the availability of satellite and aerial imagery. In the mean time, a good way to get a general picture of your neighborhood is through Google Maps. This site has both maps and satellite imagery of the entire United States. If you zoon down to South Louiaiana, you will see that a "Katrina" button has been added. If you press this button you will see recent imagery that was taken after Katrina passed through the area.

All pictures have been moved off of the main page. Please refer to the Pictures section.

Document last modified $Date: 2008-08-30 20:52:27 -0500 (Sat, 30 Aug 2008) $