Ten Years After Katrina

The Superdome provided shelter for victims of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, but was described as a "hellhole."

The Superdome provided shelter for victims of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, but was described as a “hellhole.”

Ten years ago, a powerful hurricane ripped through the Gulf South and decimated the City of New Orleans, as well as much of the coast along the way. We saw powerful images of people seeking shelter in the Louisiana Superdome, people on roof tops waiting for help, and entire neighborhoods left uninhabitable after the storm had past. The devastation to the city of New Orleans was so dramatic that some neighborhoods were never rebuilt, and the population has never really recovered since. The Governor was politically destroyed by the event so that she couldn’t even run for re-election. The President was damaged badly as well, and his approval never recovered.

I put the events of Katrina on par with 9/11, because we saw the images of human suffering on our televisions, and we knew right away that action was needed after. Now, many of us understand to heed the warnings of the National Weather Service, and authorities who are telling us a storm is dangerous. We understand also though that government failing to plan properly for our safety is also not an option.

Katrina opened up a lot of emotions in America. We discussed the safety and security of our poorest in disasters. We also had to discuss race. Katrina laid bare a lot of ugly truths about American society that we couldn’t deny anymore, or hide from. Ten years later, many of those same debates remain open, or we are trying to ignore them as best we can. Either way, Katrina opened a lot of wounds in America, and for some, they remain unhealed.


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