Under the Extreme Circumstances of Katrina
Many elected officials in Louisiana and many residents get annoyed, even after ten years, when people refer to the devastation from hurricane Katrina. They know that a Category 1 storm hit New Orleans, and that it was the collapse of the levee system, built to Category 3 standards (in theory) which failed and caused the destruction. The flooding of New Orleans was a man-made disaster.
As long time residents of New Orleans we have seen a lot of ups and downs: the oil and gas crash of the 70’s, and again in the early, then still again in the late 80’s, the failure of the World’s Fair. But the devastation of Hurricane Katrina was something else again. The world turned to New Orleans to try to help. Once the military was in charge of logistics, life in the city started its long road to “the new normal.” Here is a perspective from “PLACE” people concerning the early couple of years after Katrina. Despite the efforts of people inside and outside of New Orleans, there was an utter failure of professionals to plan and execute in the chaos left behind and of government at all levels to address what needed to be done. (More on this subject will be posted over time in our blog). This is not a condemnation, it is a real look at the vulnerability of places ecologically and within our social system. This experience has shaped our understanding of the issues and opportunities facing our world, place by place.