Tag Archives: hurricane katrina

Katrina – 10 years later

new orleans post katrina VIII

From the Center for American Progress:

Tomorrow marks ten years since Hurricane Katrina’s landfall in New Orleans. The storm flattened entire communities, took the lives of 1,800 people, displaced more than one million others, and caused more than $100 billion in damages, making it the costliest national disaster in our nation’s history. Hurricane Katrina drew attention to the consequences of poverty, segregation, and police brutality, a decade before Black Lives Matter activists began fighting to protect and invest in black communities. (Editor’s note – Although Katrina was a Catergory 3 hurricane, the real damage to New Orleans came from the Levees failing. This should never be forgotten. Most if not all of the pain and severing that is associated with Katrina was man-made. )

The storm devastated the city of New Orleans, but the damage was not equally distributed. As a result of years of segregation and disinvestment, the city’s poor and African American communities were disproportionately harmed. Today, most of the city’s neighborhoods have restored 90 percent of their pre-storm populations, but in the Lower Ninth Ward, the city’s poorest neighborhood, only 37 percent of households have returned. The Lower Ninth Ward also suffered the most in the immediate aftermath of Katrina. For weeks after the storm, up to 12 feet of water remained stagnant, leaving many people stuck without power or water service. Under those dire circumstances African American residents were quickly labeled “looters,” and automatically seen as criminals.

The chaos after the storm led to police brutality not unlike the kind that sparked the Black Lives Matter movement. In the time immediately following the storm 11 people were shot by law enforcement officials. These incidents helped sparked a wave of activists speaking out about the relationship between police and African American communities. Indeed, there is a connection between today’s Black Lives Matter movement and the violence seen after Katrina, as Tracey Ross explains here.

Yesterday President Obama visited New Orleans to commemorate Katrina and celebrate how far the city has come. In his speech at a new community center in the Lower Ninth Ward he spoke of the city’s resilience in the face of the storm and the growing threat of extreme weather events. Across the country, as in New Orleans, African American and poorer communities are much more vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, including the risk of being permanently displaced from their homes.

And as climate change threatens to make severe storms more extreme, these communities are increasingly at risk. Because of its disproportionate impact on African American and poor communities, climate change has become a civil rights issue, but it is one that can be addressed with investment in at-risk communities. In this video, Sam Fulwood, Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress, discusses the aftermath of the storm and what we’ve learned since.

BOTTOM LINE: Hurricane Katrina was the costliest storm in our nation’s history, but climate change threatens to make storms that severe the new norm. Without investing in our most vulnerable areas the same issues of poverty, segregation, and police brutality will continue to devastate communities across the country.

News Roundup – Galaxy Note 5, PGA Championship, Trump

Galaxy Note 5 by Samsung. I love the Note 4. It is the best phone that I have ever owned. Great camera. Great battery life.

One of the truly funny and amazing things about golf is that the supposedly “smart guys” will set up a scenario. For the PGA championship the scenario was Jordan Spieth versus Rory McElroy. They want this rivalry to develop so badly but it just hasn’t. At the beginning of round three, Matt Jones, somebody most of us had never heard of, is leading the tournament by two strokes. Jason Day is in second. Should be some good golf this afternoon.

It’s kind of funny how Donald Trump is driving the Republican field mad. Oh, did Roger Ailes declare an unconditional surrender to Donald Trump? Looks like he has.

July unemployment numbers continue to slowly improve. The unemployment rate remained unchanged at 5.3%. The economy added 215,000 new jobs.

Melissa Harris-Perry along with her husband James Perry have written a great article on Black Lives Matter and tying it to New Orleans and Hurricane Katrina. She argues that the movement really started back in New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. I think she’s right. This article is worth a read (here are a couple paragraphs) –

Hurricane Katrina did not hit New Orleans directly, and the city would have recovered swiftly from the extensive but manageable damage caused by winds and rain alone. But in the hours after the storm hit, several critical levees failed as powerful storm surges swept against decades of inadequate infrastructure. This part of the Katrina story is old and simple: By refusing to invest adequately in the public infrastructure needed to protect the most economically vulnerable and racially marginalized communities, the federal, state, and local governments left New Orleans open to massive devastation and long-term economic losses that affected every single neighborhood.

A decade later, we remain locked in maddening partisan battles as our public infrastructure crumbles beneath us—as if the consequences are irrelevant, or distant, or easily contained. ­Katrina already taught us that the fate of black lives cannot be separated from that of whole communities. Black lives matter.

The federal deficit continues to shrink as thoughtful economists said it would.

AT&T helped the US by on Internet traffic. Are you surprised?

I am completely confused by the young couple in Mississippi that are linked to ISIS.

Former President Bush Opens His Library

I will refrain from the jokes because there are plenty. Today President Bush opened his library. (BTW, why did he think that the word awesome needed to be used 100 times?)

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George W. Bush can believe that he stood for Freedom. That’s fine. I will say that I’m glad that his father was able to be there. That had to be a very special moment.

That’s it. That’s all that I’m gong to say about George W. Bush and his library today. Continue reading Former President Bush Opens His Library