Tuesday, August 29, 2006

New Orleans: One Year later

It was one year ago today that Hurricane Katrina struck the city of new Orleans. When the Hurricane weakened and moved inland, the devastation was clear. The city of New Orleans (as well as others east along the Gulf Coast) were nearly erased from the map.

One year later, though, what has been done?

Sure, the highly visible tourist areas of the city are rebuilt for the most part. But, once off the beaten path, the devastation is clear for all to see. Where is the great work? Where is all the progress? Well, of course, it is in the tourist areas of the city. The remainder, though, looks nearly unchanged from immediately after Katrina's devastating blow.

The billions of dollars appropriated to the area have made little if any dent in the work to be done. The vast majority of the ravaged area is still without the essential services the rest of us take for granted. Hundreds of thousands are still displaced from their homes.

What's the holdup? Would this be tolerated in other cities? If St. Louis, MO had been devastated by a flood, would our leaders drag their feet in the rebuilding process?

While nobody would agree on the answers to those questions I posed, most everyone should agree that the response time has been lackluster at best. We are supposedly the world's greatest superpower and we haven't yet rebuilt the levees protecting New Orleans from flooding. What has been done in those 365 days? While billions of dollars has likely been swindled away by the KBRs and Halliburtons of the world, the former residents sit stuck with property that shouldn't be rebuilt until protective measures are in place and is worthless until that time.

It's time to cut the red tape and get down to business. Quit the fingerpointing and name calling and show the world that despite the differing opinions we have, the citizens of not only Louisiana but the entire U.S.A. can work together to rebuild what was once one of America's great cities.

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