Maitri from VatulBlog gave this excellent summary in concluding one of the Rising Tide Panels she moderated…
One year ago, Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans and the Mississippi Gulf Coast. As the natural and man-made disasters engulfed the region, the nation turned its attention to the storm’s immediate aftermath. However, a year later, the crisis continues.
Today, less than half of pre-Katrina New Orleans residents have been able to return home; over 70,000 of them are living in 240-square foot FEMA trailers (which are particularly vulnerable during the hurricane season) and many people are still waiting for trailers to be delivered; the state’s charity hospital system is in shambles and psychiatric care is non-existent; most of the Lower 9th Ward is still without potable water; 6,000 criminal defendants await trial, many of whom do not have attorneys; 60 percent of the businesses within the city limits have probably not reopened; federal officials have doled out only about 40 percent of the $110 billion promised to the Gulf Coast; not a single dollar of federal funds to rebuild houses has made it to Louisiana homeowners; and renters have been virtually left to fend for themselves.
But the numbers do not tell the whole story. The pain, the frustration, the anger, the desperation and the anguish are still as real today as they were in the days after the tragedy first unfolded. The Gulf Coast residents have not forgotten – they are still living the tragedy. And we cannot forget, either.
I request all of you to keep writing and spreading the word about our city. Continue to talk with everyone. Engage those in discussion who are of an opposing mindset and let them know that We Are Not Ok. Thank you.
And on a personal note it was great to meet the wonderful Maitri and all the other great NOLA bloggers