NPR logo After the Water, Everyone Went to St. Claude's

After the Water, Everyone Went to St. Claude's

St. Claude Used Tires in New Orleans
Noah Adams, NPR

A dispatch from Noah Adams, blogging from the Gulf Coast:

St. Claude Used Tires — not a single place more valuable or as busy after Katrina. It's outside the business district by a few miles (on St. Claude Avenue). When the water went down after a few days, if you had a flat, Joe Peters became your best friend. And because of all the junk in the water after the storm, he had a lot of best friends.

"Ambulances, Humvees, boat trailers... everybody who was in here was getting in trouble," Joe told me today. He was watching two of his men change tires for customers from a chair in the shade. I asked, "Did you have trouble with looters?" "No, everybody knows Joe. I've got a 12-gauge. I've got a big dog I tied up out front and I'd go to sleep inside."

I asked him if he raised his prices a little during that time. "Stayed the same," he answered. "$8.00 to fix a tire. Same today. I don't want to get rich on poor people."