The New Orleans house I'm sitting in at the moment is finished with meticulous detail: cypress crown molding and trim, recycled loblolly-pine posts, Art-Deco Oriental rugs. To my left, there's a bathroom with wood wainscoting and a refinished 100-year-old claw-foot bathtub on a decorative-tile-lined platform. Almost exactly five years ago, all of this was submerged by toxic floodwaters. Its restoration was made possible by two years of sweat, occasional tears, and a Road Home grant from the Louisiana Recovery Authority.
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