New Orleans

A realistic plea to help save the city we love. By Dave Brinks

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Dave Brinks here. Just able to check emails now from PC. I'm back in  New Orleans as of yesterday, this being the fifth time in four weeks. Am here to  stay and help move forward. I'll be staying above the saloon in the french  quarter as our house isn't liveable right now (we had 5ft water there before it  drained).



We need to get in touch with as many people as possible to help get people  back to homes and begin heavy duty clean ups. Many neighborhoods can  be helped from so-called "demolition" if we can just get people in and stop  further damage from mold. It's imperative that we do this in order to restablish  people

and businesses so that eveything doesn't get swallowed up by  further damage.



While there are hard hit areas which will be difficult to salvage in New  Orleans East, some of Gentilly, and the Lower Nine, and further to the  East, there are many many neighborhoods, for instance all around midcity,  neighborhhods around the Community Book Center near Broad, the 7th ward, the  Treme, upper ninth ward, and areas off both sides of lower Canal Street  - all of this can easily be saved if we get the word out to help begin  restoration & immediate clean up inside these homes. We need to organize a  real hard-nosed effort, flesh & blood, New Orleans people on the ground  here, and get this process moving asap.



Having been through these neighborhoods many times, yes,  some were flooded up to the porch, others inside anywhere from a few  inches to several feet, but this flooding was not toxic or severly  contaminated (as some media reports as a dangerous health  hazard), and does not preclude hard-nosed work from

getting in  and beginning the process of bringing the structures back. Of course, many  of these houses and businesses are not newer slab foundations  and WILL BE ABLE to sustain themselves structurally if they are  given the proper attentions and repairs.



Also, contrary to what people have been told by various media,  you won't die breathing air in a room that has black mold on the walls while you  are cleaning up. I have done this already in some houses, wearing a simple  mask; yes eveything doesn't smell like mama's kitchen on monday  afternoon, but, as one doctor friend from Oschner Hospital told me,  the threat of illness would only

manifest if I carelessly or stupidly  ingested the bacteria orally, or didn't use gloves, or didn't use  bleach, and all the other normal precautions one might observe under these  circumstances.



Of course dealing with the removal of soaked rugs, carpets, mattresses  and furnitures means you must have the hepatitus and tetanus shots in order to  be safe while getting the work done.

updated 8 years ago