The remarkable racial divide in the days after Hurricane Katrina

28 Aug 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

17 Of The Best Things Ever Written About Hurricane Katrina.

Ten years ago, storm waters from Hurricane Katrina topped levees designed to protect New Orleans, leaving the city and Gulf Coast region trapped in a cloud of chaos and tragedy.NEW ORLEANS (AP) – Visiting residents on tidy porch stoops and sampling the fried chicken at a corner restaurant, President Barack Obama held out the people of New Orleans on Thursday as an extraordinary example of renewal and resilience 10 years after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. “There’s something in you guys that is just irrepressible,” Obama told hundreds of residents assembled at a bustling new community center in an area of the Lower 9th Ward that was once under 17 feet of water. “The people of New Orleans didn’t just inspire me, you inspired all of America.” Still, Obama acknowledged that much remains to be done.

And after walking door to door in the historic Treme section of a city reborn from tragedy, he cautioned that “just because the housing is nice doesn’t mean our job is done.” In his remarks at the community center, Obama blended the same themes of resilience and renewal that he drew from encounters with the sturdy residents he met along Magic Street and at other locations. Fink won a Pulitzer Prize for this investigation into why doctors and nurses at Memorial hospital in New Orleans decided to euthanize more than a dozen patients during the chaotic days after Katrina hit. Writing in his 2010 memoir, “Decision Points,” the 43rd president said “in a national catastrophe the easiest person to blame is the president,” and “Katrina presented a political opportunity that some critics exploited for years.” He said the poor Katrina response, combined with the “drumbeat of violence in Iraq,” made “the fall of 2005 a damaging period in my presidency.” The fallout from Katrina also dusted his Democratic successor, Barack Obama.

As New Orleans and its iconic landmarks, like the Superdome, were ravished, the preponderance of local businesses— including a professional football team—had no choice but to relocate. She pronounced herself a fan of the man, saying he’d handled “a rough road.” Chase — who’s known as the “Queen of Creole Cuisine” — said, “That’s all you have to do: handle what’s handed to you,” voicing what could be a credo for the city.

In an SI.com exclusive oral history, players and executives share their memories from the year of the displaced New Orleans Saints and the miraculous revival of their stadium. Whenever there was a problem – whether the BP oil spill, the Ebola crisis or even his decision not to attend a memorial march for victims of the terrorist killings at the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine in Paris – his critics suggested it could be “Obama’s Katrina.” Bush, whose brother, Jeb, is now running for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination and whose father, George H.W.

— Nick Baumann This piece doesn’t directly pertain to Katrina, but to the vast challenges facing coastal Louisiana that were both revealed and exacerbated by the storm. The state is losing a football field of land every 48 minutes, land that could protect citizens from the next big storm, and this ProPublica interactive highlights just how dire the situation is for wetlands in the region. They will observe the 10th anniversary of Katrina at the Warren Easton Charter School, which benefited from the Gulf Coast School Library Recovery Initiative, established by the Laura Bush Foundation for American libraries. — Kate Sheppard Thompson’s reporting — conducted over 18 months — established as history what had once been considered rumor: that after Katrina, white New Orleanians took the law into their own hands, killing black neighbors they suspected of looting. Video of residents seeking refuge on rooftops, inside the Superdome and at the convention center dominated news coverage as Katrina came to symbolize government failure at every level.

As Katrina was making its way, I thought, ‘man, this is a humongous storm and if it stays on the track it’s on, this is going to be bad.’ Saints defensive end Will Smith: We didn’t think it would be severe at all. But Bush admits he should have acted sooner. “I should have recognized the deficiencies sooner and intervened faster,” Bush wrote in his 481-page memoir on his two-term presidency. “The problem was not that I made the wrong decisions; it was that I took too long to decide.” Some asserted that Bush didn’t care about the tragedy. The area is filled with vacant lots where houses used to stand, so overgrown that local residents sometimes refer to it as the wilderness and worry about snakes hiding in the grass. Colette Pichon Battle, executive director of Gulf Coast Center for Law & Policy, cautioned against slapping too happy a face on New Orleans, saying “rebuilding since the storm favors privileged private enterprise and this illusion of recovery is not progress.” “I think we have a long way to go,” said Lisa Ross, 52, an appraiser.

Harold Washington, 54, a military retiree studying at Tulane, said the city is “better than it was.” But he was sad that children are now bused all over town rather than attending neighborhood schools. It does so through the eyes of people who lived through New Orleans’ destruction and rebirth in different ways: writers who chronicled it at the time; Mayor Mitch Landrieu; the Saints’ owner, coach and former players; and longtime residents trying to rebuild. Haley Barbour whether they were getting the federal support they needed, and both said they were. “That Mike Brown is doing a heck of a job,” Bush quotes Riley as telling him. “I knew Mike was under pressure, and I wanted to boost his morale. It was a natural disaster but also a manmade catastrophe — a shameful breakdown in government that left countless men, and women, and children abandoned and alone. “In the years that followed, New Orleans could have remained a symbol of destruction and decay, of a storm that came and the inadequate response that followed.

It was not hard to imagine a day when we’d tell our children that a once vibrant and wonderful city had been laid low by indifference and neglect. … He uses a canoe and travels the city to help rescue people in the aftermath of Katrina, but in the chaos, he winds up getting put into a detention facility because of his nationality. (After the book was published, Zeitoun was charged with — and acquitted of — trying to murder his wife.) — Ali Watkins Salvage the Bones won the National Book Award, and for good reason. Thornton: A lot of our employees heeded the Mayor’s orders but we knew there would have to be a number of essential employees that came to the Superdome to keep it running, mainly to man our central plant where the generator is located.

It’s from the perspective of a young girl who discusses the storm as a sort of supernatural force that impacted her relationship with her family members forever. Her voice is beautiful, powerful, and solemn — she gives equal weight to the events every kid goes through growing up as she does to the tragic hurricane that forever changed her life.

We had about 225 other Superdome workers, inclusive of their families who couldn’t get out before the roads were shut so they came here and we put them to work. We kept people confined to the lower level because we had a football game scheduled the next week and we wanted to keep the stadium in tact in case we played it. For the big-picture overview of what went wrong — particularly the tragic planning failures by local, state and federal officials — there’s Breach of Faith by Jed Horne and Path of Destruction by John McQuaid and Mark Schleifstein. In 2002, they wrote a five-part newspaper series called “Washing Away” that foretold it all, from the breaching of levees to the stranding of low-income residents with no viable transportation out of town. After the storm, Rose, a news reporter who had migrated over to the newspaper’s entertainment staff, began producing a real-time chronicle of Katrina’s psychological impact — on the community as a whole, on his neighbors and eventually on himself.

Meanwhile, 2,200 miles away from New Orleans, nestled in the safe confines of the Fremont Marriott, the Saints watch the city’s devastation unfold on television. What a train wreck that place is.” In the days that immediately follow: The team enacts on-the-fly contingency plans about the season’s future while juggling personal affairs in the midst of chaos. October 3, 2005: Thornton visits the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) office in Baton Rouge to seek financial assistance for rebuilding the Superdome. October 30, 2005: On the morning of the Saints’ first of four “home” games to be played at LSU Stadium, a move by the NFL to promote connectivity to the recovering region, NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue, NFL executive vice-president, chief operating officer Roger Goodell and NFL executive vice-president Joe Browne, in town for the occasion, request a meeting with Thornton.

January 18, 2006: The Saints announce the hiring of new head coach Sean Payton, who was an assistant under Bill Parcells in Dallas but was still a relative unknown with no head coaching experience. “There was nothing conducive to having a team that might be remotely successful. March 14, 2006: Free agent quarterback Drew Brees signs with the Saints right after the Miami Dolphins pass on him due to concerns about a recent shoulder injury. Steve Gleason’s blocked punt that teammate Curtis Deloatch landed on in the end zone on just the fourth play of the game set the tone for the game and the season.

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