As a native New Orleanian and resident of Baton Rouge for the last thirty years, I would far prefer to see the city evacuated needlessly than to ever, ever go through the anguish of these last three years.
The media only presents to the rest of the nation human interest stories. New Orleans is not rebuilt. Most of it lies in ruins. My cousin lives in Chalmette (a suburb southeast of NO) and has only just begun to rebuild his home. The third anniversary of Katrina is Friday.
The idea of another Category 3 hurricane hitting southeast Louisiana scares the living daylights out of me - and the Governor as well. I don’t have any faith whatsoever in the U.S. Corps of Engineers who say that the levees have been rebuilt. I was 13 (almost 14) years old when Betsy hit in 1965. Katrina was not supposed to happen. Yet she did. And now the Corps blythely says that “all is well”. “Hello, I’m here from the government and I’m here to help you!”
We can’t control our politicians. Governor Jindal has been pro-active rather than reactive. I don’t think you’ll see him with a wide-eyed “deer in the headlights” look. Lessons learned from Katrina.
But I ask your prayers for us. We have not recovered from Katrina/Rita and I don’t mean just NO. Southwest Louisiana got devastated (never made the news). The Mississippi Gulf Coast got lauded for its “recovery” (meaning the casinos). It looks nothing like it did before Camille (1969) and Katrina finished the rest off.
I’m frustrated because the media is not giving all the rest of you an accurate portrait. For all the Brad Pitts and the Musician’s Villages in the Ninth Ward, there are a whole bunch of people in Lakeview who are reconstructing on their own with no help from the government. I spent the first five years of my life in Lakeview and I thank God that the Archdiocese of NO kept the parish in which I was baptized and attended Primer opened.