That's how Monday morning was described as daylight revealed the pile of rubble where historic jazz landmarks once stood.
The day before, Ida, now a tropical storm, battered the state as a Category 4 hurricane.
But the storm was too strong for the Karnofsky Tailor Shop and Residence, a building with a rich history that once served as a second home for the great jazz musician Louis Armstrong.
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According to the National Park Service, Armstrong worked for the Karnofskys on their coal and junk wagons, even eating meals with the family.
The Karnofskys also loaned Armstrong the money for his first cornet.
Morris Karnofsky, who was also Armstrong's childhood friend, opened the first jazz record store in the city, Morris Music. Armstrong would often visit the store.
The shop is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
But on Monday, it was unrecognizable along with a mural on another building in the Central Business District that featured cornet player Buddy Bolden and his band.
Bolden is widely considered the "father of jazz."
The massive artwork created by artist Brandan Odums, now ripped apart due to the storm, was on the wall of the Little Gem Saloon. All that stands now is the phrase "One time in New Orleans."
"This was one of the jazz locations that was very famous a long time ago. Buddy Bolden, Louis Armstrong, they played here, and so there's been a lot ongoing as to what to potentially do with these buildings, and unfortunately, now there's not much to do," said Helena Moreno, New Orleans City Council President.
A nola.com report in 2019 detailed some of the landmarks that still needed renovation, including the Karnofsky Shop, that had otherwise fallen into collapse.
Moreno said that when she heard what happened, she had to come see the building for herself.
"Daylight is here, and we know it's going to be a really rough day in New Orleans," she told ABC13's Ted Oberg.
While New Orleans isn't facing the extensive flooding that it did 16 years ago during Hurricane Katrina, the city is now facing a catastrophic power situation.
More than 1 million people are without power in Louisiana and Mississippi.
A message from the city's power supplier, Entergy, said the power failure was due to "catastrophic transmission damage."
"It's pretty catastrophic. It's not going to be a quick fix. It's likely going to be a bit complicated," Moreno said.
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While Ida has weakened, it's not done yet.
It's expected to dump rain on the Tennessee and Ohio River valleys Tuesday, the Appalachian mountain region Wednesday and the nation's capital on Thursday.
The storm has been blamed for at least one death.
Louisiana family sheltering in attic during Ida landfall was 'the only thing' they could do
The Associated Press contributed to this report.