Tuesday, August 29, 2006
Hurricane Katrina Anniversary
Today is the first anniversary of Hurricane Katrina's landfall in the New Orleans area and Mississippi Gulf Coast. I couldn't let this day pass without commenting on what happened a year ago.
Many Houstonians have deep connections to New Orleans. It's just a five hour drive down I-10 or a 40 minute plane ride away. Whether it was weekend trips we made there to enjoy the city's culture, food, music and history, romance or just visiting friends and family who live in the area, New Orleans is never far from a Houstonian's mind.
As a toddler I lived on the West Bank for two years (in Marrero) when my dad was starting his radio career. If you get me around anyone from New Orleans for a long enough period of time my speech pattern will revert to Nawlinsspeak for a moment.
I made numerous visits to New Orleans over the years and my godsister still lives there with her husband and kids. I went through a lot of emotions in the days leading up to August 29 and afterward.
Concern about my godsister Angela, her family and my friends. Horror at the first pictures of the devastation. The torn roof of the Superdome. The chopped up I-10 bridges across the mouth of Lake Borgne where it meets the Gulf. Shock as the pictures of the Convention Center were broadcast on CNN and seeing the water pouring through the failed levees. Anger as people waited on I-10 for help that was too slow to get there and seeing the bloated bodies of the peeps that didn't make it.
Disgust as the Bush administration cavalierly waited for days before realizing they had a worldwide PR disaster on their hands and belatedly sent supplies in.
I want to say a prayer for the people that tragically didn't make it and the struggles that residents of New Orleans and the Missisippi Gulf Ccast are having rebuilding their lives.
It shouldn't be happening in the United States. But it is.