Sunday, August 29, 2010

New Orleans Today, Five Years After Katrina

New Orleans is in the news this week as we mark the Fifth Anniversary of Katrina, and the devastation wreaked on this city. It is remarkable to see how much has changed, and how much hasn't.

But who could forget the images from the Superdome, both the structure itself, and the refuge it provided for numerous people. Look at it now:

What a remarkable difference between then and now. But there are still major issues that need to be addressed, like transportation and housing:

No doubt, people are still angry in the New Orleans area. How could they not be? They lost so much, homes, pets (one of my best friends adopted a dog who was displaced from the Hurricane Katrina. He worked with an organization in NC to provide shelter for these animals.) People moved away in droves from the New Orleans area, and many have yet to return.

Dr. Dale Archer, a psychiatrist who grew up in Louisiana, talks about the issue of people not yet returning, and other pressing issues facing New Orleans:

New Orleans (and its surrounding environs) are only five years into a twenty year rebuilding plan. They still have quite a ways to go, especially when, as Dr. Archer pointed out, they are also contending with the BP oil spill, along with the rest of the Gulf States. The impact of the BP oil spill cannot be minimized. It was a huge blow on top of the current regrouping underway post-Katrina.

All of that is to say, the people of New Orleans continue to deal with a lot, but they are a resilient people. Those who stayed are working hard to breathe new life into this one-of-a-kind city. They need our continued support, as well, both on a governmental level, and with our tourist dollars. If you can, go visit. And have a beignet for me at Cafe DuMonde.

Go, Saints!

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