The Last FEMA Trailers

Just over a week ago, I toured an area of New Orleans known to its residents as "Zion City."  Once home to many small churches that made it a hotbed of Gospel music, the area was heavily damaged during Hurricane Katrina.

During my walk through the neighborhood with a resident, I came upon this man who pointed out his somewhat unorthodox FEMA trailer alongside his former home.

The City of New Orleans, at its most recent BlightStat meeting, put out a few statistics regarding the remaining FEMA trailers in Orleans Parish.  A total of 224 FEMA trailers remained as of mid-December.  Letters have gone out to residents notifying them that building codes relating to trailers will be enforced going forward.  The final deadline for removal is apparently January 1, 2011.

It's amazing that well over five years after the storm, FEMA trailers remain scattered in a few pockets across the city landscape.  While I hope that everyone who remains displaced is ultimately returned to a proper home, I do think it would behoove the city or some other organization to preserve one or two FEMA trailers somewhere as part of the legacy, no matter how painful, of a major and unforgettable chapter in the city's history.