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alon504

Katrina...New Orleans & MS Gulf Coast..One Year Later..Thoughts on Recovery

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Try to keep it clean, and apolitical, but, one year is approaching to the anniversary...be truthful and tell your thoughts. The last comparison to this tragedy is the San Francisco 1906 Earthquake..a time when most of our great-grandparents, or great-great grandparents were our age. But, now it is 2006 and we are one year past the tragedy when over 1,800 people died from a storm in our modern country. Over 200,000 homes were flooded...with anywhere from 2 to 21 feet of water, and it lasted for over 2 weeks to 1 month within the homes in Metro New Orleans. How do you think our nation has responded? Did we take care of the people properly and are we today? Is the Gulf Coast and metro New Orleans rebounding? Has the media done a fair and proper job of representing this area since the storm? What should the government and the citizens of the US do about the levees that protect over 1 million fellow US citizens in the New Orleans area? What would you expect if it was your hometown? Do you think that the MS Gulf Coast should be rebuilt on the coast? They have no levee protection and there is no way to build one...it is being built on the water..as is Pensacola, Destin, and Ft. Walton Beach. What should the US do about these areas, as well as Tampa, and Galveston, which suffer the same vulnerability as New Orleans and the Gulf Coast of MS? What should we do for these areas to avert a future tragedy that we witnessed in Metro New Orleans with flooding and Katrina? But, more importantly, how do you think our nation is handling this tragedy and disaster and how long do you think is an (acceptible), time for recovery?

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Try to keep it clean, and apolitical, but, one year is approaching to the anniversary...be truthful and tell your thoughts. The last comparison to this tragedy is the San Francisco 1906 Earthquake..a time when most of our great-grandparents, or great-great grandparents were our age. But, now it is 2006 and we are one year past the tragedy when over 1,800 people died from a storm in our modern country. Over 200,000 homes were flooded...with anywhere from 2 to 21 feet of water, and it lasted for over 2 weeks to 1 month within the homes in Metro New Orleans. How do you think our nation has responded? Did we take care of the people properly and are we today? Is the Gulf Coast and metro New Orleans rebounding? Has the media done a fair and proper job of representing this area since the storm? What should the government and the citizens of the US do about the levees that protect over 1 million fellow US citizens in the New Orleans area? What would you expect if it was your hometown? Do you think that the MS Gulf Coast should be rebuilt on the coast? They have no levee protection and there is no way to build one...it is being built on the water..as is Pensacola, Destin, and Ft. Walton Beach. What should the US do about these areas, as well as Tampa, and Galveston, which suffer the same vulnerability as New Orleans and the Gulf Coast of MS? What should we do for these areas to avert a future tragedy that we witnessed in Metro New Orleans with flooding and Katrina? But, more importantly, how do you think our nation is handling this tragedy and disaster and how long do you think is an (acceptible), time for recovery?

__________________

It's ironic you posted this, just as the first part of the Spike Lee documentary on Katrina's devestation just finished airing on HBO. This storm and the response to it has bothered me greatly over the past year as I have family and friends in the affected areas (as many of us do.)

I think the nation's citizens responded overwhelmingly positive to help the people of this disaster. I can not say the same for the local, state, or federal government's response to this disaster. The ineptitude at the response was alarming at all levels, there is blame to go around to all levels of government in my opinion, no one is innocent in the shame that was the government's response to this humanitarian crisis on our shores.

There is still a lot of finger pointing going on to the fact if people were treated fairly and properly in this disaster. I would have to say that treatment was not fair but on many levels that was due to pure chaos in getting relief to the area.

The levees are in a precarious state and need to be improved. I know plans have been/are being drawn to improve this line of defense for this fragile city. This will take a major financial investment and may not be complete for a few hurricane seasons to come.

I would hope in my hometown that our investments in disaster plans and crosstraining between departments and agencies would help us to bounce back from a similar disaster better the New Orleans did. Hopefully, my home town will never be put to that test.

I think we need to have stringent local regulations which require sturdier construction and less building in flood prone areas. Also, "realistic" evacuation plans which take into account the poor, sick, homebound, and elderly who often can't flee on their own. Every City needs to have a plan in place to quickly evacuate their entire populace. Look at the debacle in Houston when Rita threatened a few weeks after Katrina.

I think our nation has a lot of "soul-searching" to do after Katrina and her response to see how we can handle this better in the future and be better prepared. As far as time of recovery, no city can bounce back from a disaster of this magnitude overnight and it will take years for New Orleans to be the shining gem she once was. Let's hope this tragedy helps to make us a better nation and people as we will have many similar challenges in our future.

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At my job in Massachusetts, this disaster inspired them to do an extensive evacuation routes report. We found that many evacuation routes ended at town lines, while in other cases one town would be sending people into the bordering town, while that town would sending people right back to the first town. Also, many of the emergency shelters would be under water if a Cat 3 hurricane hit. This will hopefully inspire MEMA to do a REGIONAL evacuation plan instead of leaving it up to individual towns to do the work and screw it up.

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The response was pitiful on all levels... I'm not too sure about the recovery and I really don't know what to make of it being an outsider with no in depth knowledge of the situation down there. Of the neighborhoods that haven't been rebuilt, how many simply won't be rebuilt because of population losses or danger of future flooding? I know that a lot of people are rightfully upset over the speed of the rebuilding process, but how much of that is what you'd expect from our beaurocracy?

Oh ... and being from CT and reading what Recchia said. Yeah.. all of a sudden the media has been active with the "it could happen here" stuff, mentioning frequently the 1938 hurricane. A 1938 repeat would probably be a comparable mess to what happened in Mississippi, only it will obiviously be in a much more densely populated area which at the same time is less prepared for a major hurricane.

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I can't believe it's taking SO long for so much to get moving. Only now are many houses getting cleared and either refurbished or completely rebuilt. It's too bad, really.

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I can't believe it's taking SO long for so much to get moving. Only now are many houses getting cleared and either refurbished or completely rebuilt. It's too bad, really.

Legal issues, insurance issues, and the life cycle of the emotions the surviving victim's are going through are a big part of the delay...we are starting to see some significant activity in flooded areas in the last month or so..the water was deep...it was real deep and it stuck around for 2 weeks to a month in many areas.

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I'm gonna keep it real. New Orleans officials KNEW eventually we were going to get slaughtered by a major storm, and it just so happens Katrina was the one storm that did the city in. With that in mind, the levees should have been fixed up years ago so when Katrina did hit, the damage would not have been as serious. Of all the hurricanes that took place, they have all bypassed N.O. That made people think the city was never gonna get hit, but you saw what happened on August 29th. Response has been piss poor. At the same time, THE MINUTE there was word of Katrina approaching New Orleans, people should have gotten out of the city immediately. Some people left a week or two before the storm hit (I was one of them). I understand that most N.O. residents are poor, which means they didn't have the means to leave the city. We had school buses that could have taken residents out of the city. Why were buses from as far as Houston sent to N.O. to pick up evacuees when there were buses in New Orleans that could have been used to get everybody else out? That's what I don't get.

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It's hard for me to say much on this because I'm not from New Orleans, but I think it has been a failure on all levels of government.

Local and state government need to have a better, more workable plan on getting residents out of the city in the event of a major hurricane.

Emergency shelters should be set up in designated "safe zones" that are strongly fortified, have infrastructural accessibility in and out of the city with the supplies necessary for people seeking shelter within the city. Generators should be set up for emergency services like medical help, sanitary, and cooking services.

People without cars should have a way of identifying themselves before the storm comes by having a "no-car" list. Buses should pick up evacuees at pre-determined pick-up points throughout the city.. much like city school bus routes. Evacuees should be taken to the shelters furthest away from the city first and then brought closer to the city as those shelters fill up. Communication should be strong between shelters and bus drivers.

Local law enforcement should stay behind and be offered quarters should their homes not be adequate to withstand a hurricane.

The gulf states should have a regional working plan to coordinate with each other on evacuation, shelters, traffic, etc... so people from LA aren't heading to MS when the hurricane is predicted to hit both places.

And the federal government should be responsible for providing disaster relief if such help is needed like trailers, flood insurance, and making sure that all dykes and levees are built to withstand category 5+ hurricanes.

I think the problem is that the levels of government were not coordinating with eachother enough. If local governments don't have the money implement these plans, then something is fundamentally wrong with those politicians and they shouldn't be in office...

But a multi-level and multi-state effort would be integral in avoiding another Katrina disaster.

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