Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Katrina Remembered

Today is the first anniversary of when the worst hurricane in recent history hit the LA/MS coastline. Belo's New Orleans station, WWL-TV is doing all day coverage of this event and remembering the people lost and commemorating rebuilding. I remember this time last year, it was the first day of school at UNT and while I was working, I had a screen with WWL in one corner and WDSU (the local NBC station) in the other listening to their coverage of the event. Right before I had to go to class, I remember one of the stations reporting that there was a hole developing in the roof of the Superdome. I remembered going to the Superdome for the New Orleans bowl back in 2004 and I couldn't fathom so many people in that stadium. It was already in bad shape compared to other stadiums that I have been to, so that certainly did not help their situation. It was such a horrible situation. It was very sombering to watch people go through loosing their homes and personal possessions and sometimes, even family members. I have never been in that situation. When I lived in the Greater Houston area, we experienced many tropical storms and minimal hurricanes, but we were never in a position where our property or face any type of evacuation. I think that Tropical Storm Allison in 2001 was the worst that I had been through, and even then, we did not have any storm damage in my area. The worst that I had to deal with that was when I was working and trying to check out the long lines of people who depleted supplies at the grocery store.

This former hurricane will be remembered forever and will always be used as the comparison, similar to how people used to compare Hurricane Andrew in 1992 to every other storm for the longest time. Prior to Katrina, Andrew was the most costliest weather disaster to date. It will also be used as the reminder to people that it is important to evacuate when it is needed. It is sad that people need that push and reminder of what happened with this storm to take the situation seriously. Katrina also has given citizens more reason to be suspicious of their governments. Some people hold the government responsible for the lack of response to this disaster, and as they should. The government was not quick to respond to this disaster, and this could be partly due to the movement of FEMA under the Department of Homeland Security. That movement just added an extra layer of bureaucracy that is just unnecessary.

With all of this rememberance going on, there is a minimal tropical storm heading towards the Miami/South Florida area. It only has 45 mph winds which is a minimal tropical storm. They should get a good rain with some gusts of winds. However, experienced Floridians are preparing for the worst, which is the smart thing to do.

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