Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The Gulf Coast - Two Years From Katrina

I'm not sure what else I can add to the reports by MSNBC, the Times Picayune, and others who have reported from around the Gulf Coast that was utterly decimated by Hurricane Katrina when it came ashore in 2005. New Orleans is struggling to rebuild, and its crime rate remains out of control.

Mayor Ray "Whiplash" Nagin continues to run the show in New Orleans, despite his utter inability to get the job done. The Army Corps of Engineers continues work on a levee system that utterly failed the people of New Orleans and they sought to shift blame onto the storm, even as evidence shows that it wasn't the storm but human failures that contributed to the disaster in New Orleans. And the fixes being implemented by the Corps are insufficient to defend the city from future storms.

Indeed, the geology of the region continues to work against New Orleans. It continues to subside - sinking into the Gulf - meaning that the levees are sinking right alongside the city. With everything subsiding, you have to continually bolster the levee and flood protection systems or else the system would be overwhelmed by even minor storms before long.

Yet, there has been some progress to rebuild and clean up. The pace of the rebuilding depends on who's paying. That's been the issue from the outset (and not isolated to Katrina, but to all natural disasters regardless of the scale - Katrina affected more people, so the pace of rebuilding is thrown into stark contrast based on the sheer numbers affected). Some were better at compensating people whose property was damaged or destroyed by the storms than others.

President Bush sounded upbeat in his visit to the city today. I think there's quite a bit to go before you can sound upbeat, especially when the local officials have done such a poor job in using monies provided. The TP says that Mississippi got more money than Louisiana and are griping that they deserve more.

Others blogging: Seawitch.

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