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Friday, August 28, 2015

UNDER THE WHITE-WASH -- KATRINA 10 YEARS LATER







Visit where the mayor's office would rather not have you come 

and see:

The corner of Flood and North Galvez streets, Lower 9th Ward, New Orleans.

This isn't the place President Obama crooned of Thursday, a city that "is coming back better and stronger."

No, 

this is where the ruins of sinking curbs and shattered concrete foundations betray the missing homes.

They speak of people lost and whole sections of community obliterated. 

They murmur of what has not -- and perhaps will not ever -- be replaced.

KATRINA

One word that symbolizes major failing and limited redress, for belated reaction, and selective improvement.

Ten years have not made New Orleans forget George W. Bush

the president who called himself compassionate 

while he had Air Force One fly over New Orleans during the city's many hours of tremendous need --

and never stop.

Early requests for transportation assistance went unmet 

and post-storm efforts to evacuate those in the worst conditions stretched well beyond reason,


WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN DONE?


Against the backdrop of my two urban fantasies, FRENCH QUARTER NOCTURNE and END OF DAYS

I reveal what might have been done -- and was not.

The tourists have returned to the French Quarter

 but in Orleans Parish, the share of people living below the poverty level has only grown.

Now, during Hurricane Season, the deeply personal knowledge that officialdom will not save you 

transforms small talk about the weather into animated, anxious faces that know 

they are alone in the storm.

13 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. I lived for a time on those flooded streets, and yes, it was heart-breaking, disgusting, and infuriating. :-(

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  2. Katrina's plight was shameful. I read about it in National Geographic shortly after the incident, and was stunned.

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    1. A friend was in England at the time and the British who watched the footage on the TV often commented that it was the fact that the faces in need were black that caused the shameful behavior on the part of local, state, and federal governments. :-(

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  3. The lack of response to this disaster still haunts me. I doubt if New Orleans will ever recover completely. Maybe the money would have been better spent by relocating the city

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. New Orleans is too profitable a port for it to be abandoned completely. It's all about the money to those in power in New Orleans. Sigh.

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  4. It was a horror. The image I have never shook is the woman who died in her wheelchair with a coat thrown over her near the superdome.

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    1. Yes, a true horror. That poor woman. There are none in New Orleans so little thought of by officials as those without money. Wretched summation of the city's politics, isn't it?

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  5. Hi Roland - and it's the black faces that continue to haunt and suburbs that apparently haven't been helped. We've seen some of the 10 years' after ... one house repaired and restored, the next one a battered wreck ... so difficult, while the whole disaster was just terrible - I feel for many ... Hilary

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    Replies
    1. Yes, it does seem what little recovery being done is a mockery to the overwhelming amount of damage still remaining, right?

      I feel as well. Thanks for caring. -)

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  6. The real tragedy came after the storm. All those people, help prisoner in the Superdome.

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    1. And in the Convention Center: little girls raped, women murdered -- with 250 armed National Guardsmen huddled in one section, hoarding what water and guns they had -- they later pleaded that they had no orders to help. Sigh, as if they had to be ordered to be decent human beings. :-(

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