Flyover Country

Crossposted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

I imagine that today one can hardly get away from reports about the aftermath of Irene.  I say I magine it because the most serious effects here in Stars Hollow were losing a chunk of shingles (pretty expensive but not devastating) and cable TV (an annoyance) so I cannot report from first hand knowledge.

It’s easy to forget what happened a mere 6 years ago.

Hurricane Katrina makes landfall

The New York Times

Published: Monday, August 29, 2005

NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana – Hurricane Katrina slammed ashore early Monday and charged toward low-lying New Orleans with 150-mph (240-kph) winds and the threat of an extremely dangerous storm surge.

Katrina turned slightly to the east before slamming ashore early Monday with 145-mph (233-kph) winds, providing some hope that the worst of the storm’s wrath might not be directed at this vulnerable, below-sea-level city.

But National Hurricane Center Director Max Mayfield warned that New Orleans would be pounded throughout the day Monday and that Katrina’s potential 20-foot ( 6-meter) storm surge was still more than capable of swamping the city.

Has New Orleans recovered?  Not as much as you might hope.  As noted in last night’s Evening Edition

42 6 years later, Lower 9th Ward still bleak

By CAIN BURDEAU, Associated Press

5 hrs ago

NEW ORLEANS (AP) – In New Orleans’ Lower 9th Ward, the grasses grow taller than people and street after street is scarred by empty decaying houses, the lives that once played out inside their walls hardly imaginable now.

St. Claude Avenue, the once moderately busy commercial thoroughfare, looks like the main street of a railroad town bypassed long ago by the interstate. Most buildings are shuttered, “For Sale” signs stuck on their sides. There aren’t many buyers. And the businesses that are open are mostly corner stores where folks buy pricey cigarettes, liquor and packaged food.

Six years after Hurricane Katrina slammed into the Gulf Coast, the New Orleans neighborhood that was hardest hit still looks like a ghost town. Redevelopment has been slow in coming, and the neighborhood has just 5,500 residents – one-third its pre-Katrina population.

And let’s not forget this-

Officers Guilty of Shooting Six in New Orleans


Published: August 5, 2011

NEW ORLEANS – In a verdict that brought a decisive close to a case that has haunted this city since most of it lay underwater nearly six years ago, five current and former New Orleans police officers were found guilty on all counts by a federal jury on Friday for shooting six citizens, two of whom died, and orchestrating a wide-ranging cover-up in the hours, weeks and years that followed.

The defendants were convicted on 25 counts, including federal civil rights violations in connection with the two deaths, for the violence and deception that began on the Danziger Bridge in eastern New Orleans on Sept. 4, 2005, just days after Hurricane Katrina hit and the levees failed.

“The officers convicted today abused their power and violated the public’s trust during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, exacerbating one of the most devastating times for the people of New Orleans,” Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. said.  “I am hopeful today’s verdict brings justice for the victims and their family members, helps to heal the community and contributes to the restoration of public trust in the New Orleans Police Department.”

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