Action Report: Couple says Lower 9th Ward blight ruining their life

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wwltv.com

Posted on April 3, 2012 at 5:21 PM

Updated Tuesday, Apr 3 at 5:36 PM

Bill Capo / Action Report
Email: bcapo@wwltv.com | Twitter: @billcapo

NEW ORLEANS -- Ronald Allen looks at the building where he rented his first apartment.

"I used to live right here, upstairs," remembered Allen. "Sister lived here, my brother lived on the other side. ... It was good then, but after the storm, they never came back and did anything."

There are three blighted structures in a row on this block, the two long abandoned four-plexes, and a one-story house next to them where a large section of the roof has caved in.

"It's horrible, it's horrible," said Allen. "If you go in there everything in there is tore up, and the roof is about to fall in."

He worries about his parents in the neat house next door.

"It is not nice, because I've got roaches and everything," said his mother Edna Noel, who said she has never had roaches in her life.

But Noel said the scary part for her and her husband is the fear of fire from vagrants in the abandoned houses.

"She doesn't even go out at night anymore," said her son.

"I'm too old to be trying to get out of a house on fire," worried Noel. "He's 94, and I'm 80, now you think we can do any running? Uh-huh, we'll be roasted up in there."

You can still see the high water mark from the post Katrina flood here. But Noel is so worried she is thinking about leaving this area entirely, maybe leaving the city.

So I'm contacting the mayor's office, asking them to make sure these buildings are secure at first, but then to look at them to see if all three should be torn down. It would certainly give the neighbors some piece of mind.

"Tear it down!" Noel demanded. "They need to tear it down."

A spokeswoman for the mayor says city officials are looking into this.

 

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