I can’t stop watching the coverage or reading about the ongoing situation in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina and the subsequent days of flooding have reduced the city to a watery hell of anarchy, death, disease and desperation. While taking in the information about the current plight of New Orleans, I’m filled with a great deal of anger and heartache. My anger is directed to many parties, specifically I have anger towards people taking advantage of the situation to pursue their illegal activities, anger and disbelief at whoever is responsible for the sniping at National Guard and copter rescue personnel, and anger to the Louisana state government & federal gov’t.
How could Louisana not have an adequate emergency plan in place? Why hadn’t more precautions been taken? Meteorologists have been predicting increasingly strong hurricane seasons for many years now. At least five years ago experts researched & presented the reprecussions a major hurricane on the city and state. I’m shocked and dismayed by the lack of preparedness and the make it up as we go mentality that seems to be managing the current efforts.
Through the years 2002-2004, every year I’d had the opportunity to visit New Orleans for one reason or another. It was most often attached to a convention or a business trip, but I had plenty of opportunities to explore and take the city in. The city has such an strong soul that I formed an attachement to. The music and food are fantastic, which shouldn’t come as a surprise. But I really fell in love with the history & culture of the city, the beautiful decay of the architecture in the French Quarter, and the southern elegance of the Garden district.
I don’t have an idealized tourist’s view of the city. I’m well aware of the crime problems present in there, the constant struggle with poverty that many in the city and throughout the state have to deal with, and corruption that has been present in the state government. I come from Washington, DC, I definitely realize that no city is perfect. But flaws aside, this was a beautiful city to me. One that I looked forward to visiting year after year.
The surreal images of familiar landmarks such as Canal Street looking very much like a canal or the bodies & desperate survivors outside of the convention center are just mind boggling to me. It is difficult to process that these streets and places that I walked through have been changed so drastically. My prayers are with all of those effected.
Though my blog has a considerably limited audience, I still want to place a link for the America’s Second Harvest website. This food bank network is putting a call out for donations of money or time to help those in need after this terrible disaster.