Sunday, August 29, 2010

Katrina + 5; New Orleans Today

Hurricane Katrina first hit the Florida coast on August 23, 2005, and then crossed the peninsula to the Gulf of Mexico, where it reorganized into a strong Category Three storm.

Five years ago on this date, August 29th, Katrina slammed into the Gulf Coast in Southeastern Louisiana. We all know the stories of the levies breaching, flooding New Orleans, causing more destruction than any natural disaster in US history.

When the storm finally fizzled out there were 1,836 dead and $81.2 billion in damages done to the Gulf Coast states, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida. Images shocked us then, they shock us still.

Most shocking of all were the images of New Orleans, a national treasure, 80% under water, with men women and children dead or dying in the streets, and on rooftops, and in the New Orleans Superdome waiting for rescue that too often came late or not at all.

There was recovery, but still work to be done in New Orleans and the region when the BP oil spill occurred, another blow to people of whom we must ask; how much more can they take?

But there is will, there is faith, there is progress....and New Orleans looks at tomorrow, hoping to never to repeat that chapter of it's past.

Below, video from NBC Nightly News. Brian Williams, one of the first journalists in New Orleans five years ago, comes back to take a look at the city. Among those he interviews are actor/activist Brad Pitt and New Orleans native, musician/actor Harry Connick, Jr.

What a story...I do believe they're going to make it.

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