Sunday, August 29, 2010

5 Years Ago - Hurricane Katrina Hit

I feel bad for these people and that area. They have been hit by two big disasters in a 5 year span (Katrina and the oil spill). Though they have lost 1/4 of their population because people don't want to move back after being displaced, the city still has it's spirit and attitude in place which is good to have.

A category 5 hurricane, 80% of the city under water, people living in the Superdome until help was able to get there, billions in damage, thousands displaced, holy crap. Read more about it on Wikipedia

I am going to offer some criticism on this though too. Why is it that on a drop of a dime, we can be anywhere in the world and help everyone else, but we couldn't get anyone out there within hours of the hurricane passing? If our infrastructure goes (which it is starting to do), we're screwed. I'd hate to see how the Feds respond if a huge quake hits California again.

Where did all the money go? It seemed out of all the money raised and pledged for victims and rebuilding, half was already used up and no one knows where it went before anything was dispersed out to the people.

I don't like the way former President Bush was demonized for this and jackasses like Kanye West said that Bush didn't care for blacks that's why it happened the way it did. That's just stupidity. You can see where his career has gone now. Obama took almost twice as long to respond to the oil spill and that lasted over 60 days before it was capped off. The MSM gave him a free pass.

I remember briefly living in Houston and I went to Galveston and Crystal Beach and took some pictures. Galveston looked ok, but there was nothing left on Crystal Beach. Lots of rubble, water and hardly anyone living or rebuilding on the island.

Anyways, read some of the stories below and look at pictures and slide show on those sites. God bless and God Bless America!

Yahoo!/AP: New Orleans today is once again the vibrant, multicultural city of legend, hustling and bustling with seafood festivals, Mardi Gras celebrations, spicy foods and live music echoing from almost every street corner. But five years ago, it was a city of despair and destroyed buildings submerged under 12 feet of water, much like most of the Gulf Coast hit by Hurricane Katrina.

Katrina was the most destructive and costly natural disaster in U.S. history, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The National Hurricane Center (NHC) reported that the Category 5 hurricane killed a total of 1,833 people across five states, damaged more than 420,000 houses, and forced 1.2 million people to evacuate their homes.

Winds up to 135 mph tore off rooftops and four breached levees sent water gushing into the surrounding cities. Data from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reported that coastal cities suffered from 28-foot waves that penetrated six miles inland.

News helicopters captured images of desperate families stranded on islands of rooftops waiting to be rescued, while less flooded areas became rampant with looting and violence .

The damage cost an estimated $84.6 billion in insured losses, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA). Thousands of people lost family members, friends, jobs, homes, and businesses.

But five years later , the recovery has come a long way, with the combined effort of aid organizations, the federal government, and volunteers.

In New Orleans, average wages have grown 14 percent in the past five years, according to “The New Orleans Index at Five,” a report by the Greater New Orleans Community Data Center. It’s the first time wages have caught up to the national average since the 1980s.

The report found that more people are starting new businesses, surpassing the national average for the first time in a decade, and there has been significant growth in knowledge-based industries.

By 2009, jobs in higher education surpassed shipbuilding and heavy construction and engineering to become the fourth-largest economic driver in the metropolitan area, the report stated. The median household income has grown, as well as the number of middle- and upper-class families.

Quality of life has also improved. There are more arts and culture nonprofit organizations, and the education overhaul after Katrina has given residents access to better schools. The report also points out improvements in the criminal justice system, better health-care access and more dedication to restoring the environment.

But there is still a long way to go. The local economy continues to lag. The area's top industries, such as tourism, oil and gas, and shipping, have suffered many losses and setbacks, and now must deal with the aftermath of the recent recession and the BP oil spill as well.

According to the report, there are significant gaps in levels of education between racial groups, and the number of suburban poor people has increased to 93,000 compared with 68,000 in the city. Housing costs residents an average 35 percent of their income, and crime rates are well above the national average.

While there is still much to be done to help the Gulf Coast states recover, residents stay resilient. New Orleanians won't let the damage dampen the vitality of their city. The celebrations continue, and the bands play on.

Read some stories here and here from

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