"New Tour of Katrina-Hit Area Is Sold Out"
January 04,2006 | NEW ORLEANS -- Mountains of debris, collapsing houses, a weather-ravaged stadium: It's yours for $35 a person -- $28 for kids.
Gray Line New Orleans began a bus tour Wednesday of the devastation wreaked by Hurricane Katrina, and demand was high enough that the company added a third tour on the first day.
Some New Orleans residents have questioned whether such tours are morbid exploitation, or a good way to help people grasp the enormity of the disaster. Even some of those on the first tour Wednesday morning had mixed emotions.
"I felt guilty about going out and looking, but it's something we had to do," said Toni Stone of Harrisonburg, Va., who took the tour with her husband.
The three-hour tour, called "Hurricane Katrina -- America's Worst Catastrophe," takes passengers down Canal Street, where many businesses remain boarded up after the floods that hit 80 percent of the city and the widespread looting that followed.
It swung by the Superdome, where thousands took refuge and awaited rescue for days. A bright white temporary coating, contrasting with the dirtier off-white color of the original roof, covers the holes Katrina ripped open Aug. 29." (more)