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Flashback on Katrina

In World News on September 3, 2010 at 7:17 pm

By: Courtney Harrington

            On August 28, 2005, Hurricane Katrina tore through the city of New Orleans, leaving such extreme damage that even to this day things are not fully back to the way they once were. Hurricane Katrina hit the record book as a Category Three storm. Unfortunately, New Orleans is a city with land below sea-level, so when the hurricane hit, the state was instantly flooded.

            Hurricane Katrina was said to first hit land at Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana, which has become the last place to be rebuilt. “It looked like Hiroshima,” Peggy Martin, a home owner, said. Plaquemines Parish is located about 65 miles south of New Orleans where three people were killed in the storm. Today, only 3,500 people live on the Parish’s South and East ends and, nearly 700 families are living in mobile homes. “This community is still devastated,” Gary Bartholomew, an oysterman, said. Before Katrina, 15,000 people lived in Plaquemines Parish.  

Five years ago, Hurricane Katrina tore through New Orleans to leave behind heartbreak and disaster. Photo courtesy of Google images

             About a year before Katrina, the city of New Orleans was bringing in close to 10.1 million visitors annually. In the year of 2006, the number of tourists and visitors downsized to only 3.7 million. New Orleans is slowly recovering. According to Smith Travel Research, a hotel-industry tracking company, the city brought in about 7.9 million visitors last year.

           On the downside, the BP oil spill could have potentially put a damper on the reconstruction of the city, with the rig only being 100 miles off the coast of New Orleans. Luckily, the people have seen a small amount, if any, of oil or damage done due to the spill. “We have five different federal agencies performing thousands of tests, and not one of the samples has been contaminated with oil,” Director of Public relations for the New Orleans Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, Jennifer Day said.

           This past Sunday marked the five-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Gulf coast residents attempted to put this devastating day behind them. By doing so, they cast out wreaths into the water in remembrance of the hundreds of lives lost in the storm. President Barack Obama accompanied the people of New Orleans in their time of remembrance and remorse. On Sunday, Obama spoke at Xavier University, stating the progress that has been made in the recovery of the city. But unfortunately, he made it known that there are still multiple empty lots, several people still unemployed, and “too many New Orleanians who have not been able to come home.” Mississippi also had its own ceremonies to remember the 175 people killed by Hurricane Katrina, and in St. Bernard Parish, officials read aloud 163 more victims’ names.

           Although it has only been five years since the day Hurricane Katrina touched land, the states that fell short as victims are still not fully on their feet again. Fortunately, things are slowly beginning to look up for these states. “My administration is going to stand with you and fight alongside you until the job is done,” the President pledged. All they need is time. In the words of John F. Kennedy, “We must use time as a tool, not as a crutch.”

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