St. Charles Herald-Guide

Photographer Alfonso (Pompo) Bresciani takes his work seriously

By Allen Lottinger - August 30, 2006

When he heard Ye Publisher and his wife toured the devastation in New Orleans via Louisiana National Guard helicopter soon after Katrina, he pleaded - - “Please, please, next time, take me along.”

So he came along this past month when another such tour was scheduled by Louisiana Press Association. And his pictures tell the present day story very well.

We started off at the 17th Street Canal where a flood gate has been installed and then went over battered sections along the lakefront. After passing the totally destroyed sections of populated St. Bernard Parish, we viewed how the St. Bernard wetlands that used to buffer storms moving toward the city are now almost all water, unable to stop any deadly surge.

From there, we flew to the mouth of the river and over Grand Isle which miraculously is almost normal. And nearby Fourchon is booming with more business going on there than ever.

The tour ended in the lower Ninth Ward where National Guard headquarters is located in Jackson Barracks. Several damaged buildings at the Barracks have been repaired and others will be demolished and replaced. But the rest of the ward is almost totally destroyed and may be a candidate to join the wetlands as a buffer zone.

Pompo’s pictures tell the story of what’s going on one year after Katrina hit. and sent its surge up the wetlands of St. Bernard and the Mississippi River-Gulf Outlet (the despised MR-GO). Much has been done but there is a long, long way to go.

These two boats, still lying along a roadside, look like candidates for the wrecking ball when it gets to them. A lot of other debris remains.
Photo by Alfonso Bresciani
These two boats, still lying along a roadside, look like candidates for the wrecking ball when it gets to them. A lot of other debris remains.