NEW ORLEANS -- For Lawrence and Cynthia Wharton, a morning cup of coffee on the back deck is much more enjoyable now that the city cut the badly overgrown lot behind their home.
'I opened up my blinds and I looked out there and I called my husband and said, 'There's a big hole where the grass used to be.' And then I immediately called you,' Cynthia said, smiling.
'I say OK. I'm going to call what I'm looking at the wide open plains,' Lawrence said. 'I said, you know, it's good because I can come out and I can look out my window, and I can see the next street over.'
When Hurricane Katrina flooded their home, they had to sleep in their car. Then last year Hurricane Isaac tore the roof off, so as they rebuilt twice, they spent years asking the city to cut the overgrown lots around them.
'I can't really tell you how many times, but it was always the runaround,' Cynthia said during the Action Report last month.
So when the city responded after the last Action Report, it meant a lot.
'You see me looking that way,' Cynthia said, referring to outside her home. 'I can't stop looking that way, because I couldn't see anything. It's like being surrounded by a little jungle.'
But there's a lot of jungle left on the lots around them.
'I got grandchildren,' Lawrence said. 'I don't let them in the yard because of rats.'
I contacted the mayor's office, and they said this property is on their radar and that inspectors are doing the research on it. Then they'll hold a hearing.
The next step in the process is to eventually get it cut.
'It's a start,' Cynthia said. 'I need the rest of it to feel like I'm totally at home.'
'This is irritating, so hey, get it cleaned,' Lawrence said. 'It's just that simple.'