How did Hurricane Katrina affect New Orleans?
The dikes should have been built higher (people of New Orleans have complained about this for years including the mayor), but my own personal opinion is that no matter if it had been higher it still wouldn't have stopped the flooding because New Orleans is below sea level. Further investigation found that the dikes had weak spots and broke loose and some people contemplated the fact that it had not been an accident, but done on purpose (explosives) but that fact has never been proven to be true. The devastation was massive and the city was unprepared. As much as they would love to blame the mayor he did the best he could. The many school buses that could have been used for evacuation were on low ground and rendered useless and the mayor was blamed for this, but he fought back saying there were not enough drivers to move the buses. When evacuation procedures were on-going it was never taken into consideration that the poor had no vehicle and no way of getting out of New Orleans. Some refused to leave their homes or their dogs. Considering most of the devastation was in the poorer sections of New Orleans it was the greatest loss of life. Some buses were able to take a few people (along with their dogs.) People were herded into the dome without proper care from FEMA (the lack of quick response from FEMA is being investigated to this day.) The people lived in terrible conditions with not enough bathrooms, food, medicine for the injured etc. The heat and odor were horrific. An American reporter and his crew were in the dome and taped much of what was going on. He was extremely choked up at what he witnessed and wondered himself when help was coming and did everything in his power to get that help. The mayor even made statements (in a no nonsense way to get help there NOW!) When help (miraculously) came for the reporter and his crew they felt so bad they had to eat their small amount of rations secretly because there was not enough to share with the many other victims and it would have caused a riot. The heat was part of the factor and baby's and the elderly were often the victims from the heat and lack of clean water. One of the many devastating factors was nurses and doctors leaving the elderly in a nursing home unable to fend for themselves or save their own lives. An investigation is on-going with this as well. The nurses and doctors excused themselves saying they had asked for help, but non came and therefore they evacuated themselves! I found it disgusting and it appeared there was no effort to relocate as many of the elderly to the roof top as possible. As if all this weren't enough, the flooded waters were filled with gaters and snakes and many of those that might have survived were killed by both. People and pets alike were abandoned on the roof tops of their homes, some never making it out alive simply because there was not enough help or boats to get to them. Most of the victims of course were Black Americans simply because much of New Orleans has a higher rate of black people. This lead to rumors of genocide, but this too is simply an unreliable source and I would hate to think this true, and simply blame mother nature and the fact that New Orleans is below sea level with bad dikes and the rest is history. The sad part about the loss of New Orleans is the many years of history that has gone. Graves were flooded so many families now have nowhere to go to visit loved ones that have passed on. Old buildings, homes, are gone. Can they rebuilt? Not for a long time. The waters became putrid with dead bodies and animals and some bodies are still missing. The ground will not be suitable for planting for many years to come. Bourbon Street seemed to have come through all of this unscathed with little flooding. Basically, "the beat goes on." New Orleans counted highly on Mardi Gras and tourists and of course the tourist trade has dropped considerably. Bourbon Street continues to do business, but tourists enjoyed seeing the heritage of New Orleans as a whole. The end result is there are still arguments as to who is to blame for those dikes and the rearing of the ugly head of the snake screaming "genocide of black Americans" as well as why didn't President Bush get help there sooner and why was FEMA late helping those people. FEMA use to be a large organization, but due to politics it was meshed in with other organizations and received little funding so it was no longer as powerful as it once was and simply lacked funding. New Orleans is just another blight on President Bush's record and the people of New Orleans have made no qualms about that one. Most of the people that were flooded out (black and white alike) have had to relocate. It's a trauma to say the least. Many lost all their family and some lost a few, while others were lucky. Some of the survivors are scattered all over the U.S. living with relatives. One good samaritan (a wealthy man who did not want his name given out) build some low-rental housing for some of the survivors. One good thing that did come out of this is that people helped each other the best they could; strangers came forward to help out; other countries such as Canada sent water, clothing, food, etc. Many gave blood and medical supplies. It brought humans together even though it's a tough way to find out what our fellow man is made up of in these modern times. It appears for the way things are today that most humans are pretty decent people when it comes to disasters and it doesn't matter what color a person's skin is.