Katrina Revisited

Two years ago today, Katrina roared ashore and devastated a large part of the Gulf Coast.  The next day, I posted some pictures that still take my breath away.  Last year, the recovery had just begun.  Today, we’re further along, but we’re not there yet.

But much of New Orleans still looks like a wasteland, with businesses shuttered and houses abandoned. Basic services such as schools, libraries, public transportation and childcare are at half their original levels and only two-thirds of the region’s licensed hospitals are open. Workers are often scarce. Rents have skyrocketed. Crime is rampant.

Along Mississippi’s 70-mile shoreline, harsh economic realities are hampering rebuilding. Cities like Biloxi and Pascagoula are making progress, but areas nearer to Katrina’s original landfall look barely improved, with most oceanfront lots still vacant and weedy.

Pam has a good overview, with links to several Gulf area blogs, at her place.  Our memories are short, but the need remains.  Let’s not forget.

8 Responses to “Katrina Revisited”

  1. HypoChristians in the midst of us (2 years ago yesterday).

    Saw the Spike Lee film ending last night on HBO – “I’ll Fly Away” at the end is beyond description.

  2. PTSD Mom says:

    The picture I cannot get out of my mind is the deceased grandmother parked in her wheelchair against a building covered in a sheet. I try to fathom what would happen to my heart and head if I had to leave my loved one’s body like that. Of course, that is a tiny part of the picture but it remains in my head.

    I am also angered that the LA Attorney General pressed charges on the doctor that gave the dying sedatives so they would not feel so much of the heat, etc. It doesn’t at all sound as though she killed them; just tried to make the end better. Thankfully, the Grand Jury, did not indict.

  3. Paul says:

    Two things I believe we need to remember:

    Although most of the Katrina focus was on New Orleans, Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast from Mobile on west. There are still sections of Mobile that have not been rebuilt from two years ago.

    The destruction of most of New Orleans was not caused by Katrina. It had downgraded to a Category 3 when it struck Louisiana and the city withstood the blow fairly well. It was the next day when the levees holding back Lake Pontchartrain collapsed that the city was flooded, leading to the humanitarian catastrophe that resulted. In effect, the devastation of New Orleans was a man-made disaster.

  4. PTSD Mom says:

    Yes, Paul you are correct. It was a man-made disaster. It is true that most connect Katrina and New Orlean and there is no longer focus on the other towns that were destroyed. The pictures in New Orleans are burned into our minds.

    Why do you think Biloxi has faired so well in the re-building?

  5. PTSD Mom says:

    Not sure but hasn’t Mississippi, overall, done well as far as federal monies?

  6. Moderate Libby says:

    You guys might be interested in this

    “The federal government has promised more than $116 billion in recovery aid, but residents of the still-devastated Gulf Coast wonder whether the check bounced.”

    “This article is taken from the new report compiled by the Institute for Southern Studies called, “Blueprint for Gulf Renewal,” giving a voice to grassroots advocates calling for greater federal accountability in the Gulf Coast rebuilding process. The report is available at: http://www.southernstudies.org/BlueprintShort.pdf.”

  7. Don says:

    Harvey Jackson, a professor and chairman of the history department at Jacksonville State University, in his weekly column “An anniversary I’m not celebrating” in the Anniston Star, has an interesting take on the “man made” aspect of the flooding of New Orleans that can read @ http://www.annistonstar.com/opinion/2007/as-columns-0829-hhjacksoncol-7h28s5441.htm

    It seems that some people (or government in this case) never learn from past mistakes.

  8. Kathy says:

    Don, I meant to post that editorial. It is, as usual with the Anniston Star, well done and right on point. We’re not very good at thinking outside the box, especially when developers are in a hurry to slap up expensive housing and new hotels/casinos. I understand when people who’ve lived in an area for years (maybe generations) want to see everything go back to the way it was, but more objective parties ought to be looking for better methods of restoration — particularly when those methods will go a long way toward mitigating damage from future storms.

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