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