7. A picture is worth …

Some 28 Hibernia offices either were heavily damaged or destroyed by the Katrina, Rita and and the flood.  Many others sustained lesser damage.  In all, the bank sustained in the neighborhood of $40-million in repairs.  Photos of offices in this section —  a small sample of all the locations — show better than words can describe, the destruction that was visited on Hibernia’s branch network.

HARD TO BELIEVE: This Meraux office was'blown out,' probably by a tornado during Katrina / Photo: Tommy Doiron

HARD TO BELIEVE: This Meraux office was’blown out,’ probably by a tornado during Katrina / Photo: Tommy Doiron

 

 

NEARLY UNDER WATER: This Slidell office (at right) appears to be sinking into the sea / Photo: Tommy Doiron

NEARLY UNDER WATER: This Slidell office (at right) appears to be sinking into the sea / Photo: Tommy Doiron

 

IN A LAKE: This eastern New Orleans branch on Crowder Avenue was one of Hibernia's busiest. It was filled with 7 feet of water that stayed three weeks / Photo: Tommy Doiron

IN A LAKE: This eastern New Orleans branch on Crowder Avenue was one of Hibernia’s busiest. It was filled with 7 feet of water that stayed three weeks / Photo: Tommy Doiron

MUDDY WATER: This Chalmette office was flooded by about 7 feet of water that left 8 inches of mud inside  the building and across the property / Photo: Tommy Doiron

MUDDY WATER: This Chalmette office was flooded by about 7 feet of water that left 8 inches of mud inside the building and across the property / Photo: Tommy Doiron

RITA DAMAGE: This office in Cameron was destroyed -- blown completely through -- by storm surge estimated at 25 feet / Photo: Tommy Doiron Staff

RITA DAMAGE: This office in Cameron was destroyed — blown completely through — by storm surge estimated at 25 feet / Photo: Tommy Doiron Staff

 

LAKE CHARLES LANDMARK: This city's main bank building was badly damaged by hurricane Rita's 120-plus m.p.h. winds / Photo: Tommy Doiron staff

LAKE CHARLES LANDMARK: This city’s main bank building was badly damaged by hurricane Rita’s 120-plus m.p.h. winds / Photo: Tommy Doiron staff

Postscript

One of the more unusual results of Hibernia’s damaged offices came from an odd source — eBay, the online auction website.  Around the end of November,  a listing went up on eBay, offering a “brick salvaged from Hibernia bank.”  It was accompanied by a brief write-up and a photograph of the Meraux branch (see above).  The seller said, “I’m auctioning a brick that I salvaged from a branch of Hibernia Bank in New Orleans when I was in Louisiana assisting with hurricane relief efforts.  As you can see in the photograph, the branch was destroyed.  Hibernia Bank no longer exists as it was acquired by Capital One on Nov. 16th.  People interested in Hibernia, Capital One and New Orleans generally could find it interesting.”  On Nov. 21, the brick attracted one bid of $10.

Fairbank visit

On Feb. 8, 2006, Capital One CEO Rich Fairbank came to New Orleans to address Hibernia employees and to see the city’s damage first hand.  In a tour of bank offices and neighborhoods, Hibernia’s CEO, Herb Boydstun, and others showed Fairbank what had happened to the bank and the city.  Some of what they saw is captured in the photos below.

Mud and debris covers banking office floor / All photos: Russ Hoadley

Mud and debris covers banking office floor
/ All photos: Russ Hoadley

More mayhem behind the teller line

More mayhem behind the teller line

Topsy turvy desk

Topsy turvy desk

Ron Samford points to ruined vault, drilled and cleaned out by maintenance crews

Ron Samford points to ruined vault, drilled and cleaned out by maintenance crews

Dry mud covers everything

Dry mud covers everything

Next stop: Lower 9th Ward

After visiting the once bustling office on Crowder Boulevard, Boydstun showed Fairbank and his team other areas of the city, including the Lower 9th Ward where a barge had crashed through the Industrial Canal.

Herb Boydstun and Rich Fairbank walk near huge barge high and dry next to Industrial Canal levee

Herb Boydstun and Rich Fairbank walk near huge barge high and dry next to Industrial Canal levee

Myles Reidy describes to Rich Fairbank how the barge came through the levee

Myles Reidy describes to Rich Fairbank how the barge came through the levee

The barge towers over Herb Boydstun

The barge towers over Herb Boydstun

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