Hello all-- my husband was able to get back in to our house (Carrollton neighborhood) this past Thursday. He drove in on Oak St. past Jacque-Imo's and the Maple Leaf -- some of the owners of businesses in the area stayed and kept an eye on the street, so there was no evidence of looting. Also no evidence of water, contrary to the "10 feet of water" report I read a little further down. Our house had no water in it, and he was able to drive down St. Charles and into the Garden District, as well as parts of Magazine. The National Guard had a very strong presence already, and only a few streets weren't cleared of trees. Very little water damage anywhere uptown, so Brigtsen's, One, Mat n Naddies, Clancy's, Upperline, Crepe Nanou, Gautreau's, etc should all be fine. He even drove by Commander's, and said it looked like that particular intersection might have gotten some water, so they may have a little cleanup. He said Uptown had almost no power lines down. He saw very little evidence of looting anywhere, except near the drugstores on St. Charles.
Also, the toxicity issue: this is speculation and hearsay, but we ran into a lady yesterday who has a friend who cleans Superfund sites. She described New Orleans as nothing at all to worry about. It will take the lake a while to recover from all the junk being pumped into it, but I think the media is whipping everyone up over the environmental aspects. Don't get me wrong, it's not good, but it's not the apocalypse. As soon as Jefferson Parish is up and running, Uptown won't be far behind. Take care, everybody.