Hopefully not again
by Sam Hanna, Jr. - posted Wednesday, August 29th, 2012 @ 1:01 pm
Hopefully not again] It's only natural that Louisianians get a bit nervous anytime a tropical storm starts swirling in the Gulf of Mexico. It's especially nerve racking when one of them evolves into a hurricane like Isaac did Tuesday morning, ahead of its expected landfall south of New Orleans.
It was seven years ago – Aug. 29, 2005, to be exact – that Hurricane Katrina skated past the Big Easy and roared ashore along the Mississippi coastline, sending a storm surge into New Orleans where the levees proved too weak to withstand the onslaught that only a Category 3 hurricane can deliver. Tens of thousands of people opted to ride out the storm in a city that was built in a bowl, below sea level. Homes and businesses were flooded. Lives were lost.
On a political front, Gov. Kathleen Blanco's career in politics was ruined because of her perceived mishandling of the crisis before the storm arrived and in its aftermath. It was so bad that she chose not to seek re-election in 2007. President George W. Bush was accused of dragging his feet in reacting to Katrina because New Orleans is a majority-minority community. An asinine accusation but it got legs thanks to members of the national media and some of their underlings here at home.
Yet, we seem to have learned a lesson or two from Katrina. Preparation is must, and when the authorities to tell us it's time to evacuate, we tend to do it. We saw evidence of that when hurricanes Gustav and Ike rocked Louisiana in 2008. Residents didn't hesitate when word went out that the storms could be dangerous. Thousands of our friends and neighbors from south of Interstate 10 took refuge in north Louisiana and points elsewhere.