Both times I've returned home to Chicago from New Orleans since Katrina I've told people that the devastation is so much worse than it looks on television. When I return home after this trip, I'll surely be telling people that there is SO MUCH MORE devastation than you ever see on television. It's mind boggling to think that after three days we still haven't even seen any damage caused by Katrina, only Rita.
As you drive across the Gulf Coast one thing that's striking is how much work is being done, yet how little progress seems to have been made. I don't mean that as a slight to the thousands of workers I've seen from all over the country - they're away from their families, working 18 hour days, living in motel rooms if they're lucky, RVs or tents if they're not. It's just that the job is so massive, it's almost like trying to move a boulder by dripping water on it.
But there are small signs of a divot in that boulder.Yesterday I left Cameron Parish to scout ahead for today's story. Driving through the heart of Cajun Country I saw literally thousands of brand new power line poles - the wood so fresh it was still green - dotting the wreckage of small towns along Highway 82. In many places these poles were the only thing standing.