All the excessive news coverage for a Category 1 hurricane is baffling. It was unfortunate there were 42 deaths, however it could have been much much worse if this hurricane would have been a Category 5 like Hurricane Katrina. August 29 was also the sixth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. One can’t help to make comparisons. The death toll for Katrina was 1,800+ as many people were just “missing” and unaccounted for. Louisiana residents were heard saying:
I know there were more deaths cause I saw them loading up dead bodies in trucks in the middle of the night, then leaving.
Only when a Hurricane hits you with 150 mph winds and waves of 30-40 feet will Washington understand our predicament here in Louisiana. Fortunately for Louisiana, by the time Hurricane Katrina hit, winds had decreased from 175 mph to 125 mph. Hurricane Katrina was a Category 5 hurricane and Hurricane Irene was a Category 1 hurricane. See why it’s hard to get excited? They wouldn’t dream of telling us on National TV that we didn’t use the “proper chain of command” or “express just the right amount of distress in our voices” so that the President could understand the gravity of our situation. Mayor Nagin had to get on national TV and “holler” just “holler” and still the President resisted and there was a delay in sending help. Only when the outpouring of affection and help came from OTHER countries did that make the President act. Shameful. Shameful. Memories, memories bad memories. This Examiner also recalls the two TV programs being watched day after day showing the same two videos of the hurricane, over and over wondering why they kept repeating themselves. Note: If there are newscasters videotaping the news and on “live” TV, the disaster isn’t that bad. It’s when you hear absolutely nothing that you should worry. Lesson learned.
Now, six years have passed and a hurricane has actually hit the East Coast with 60 mph winds. It’s called Hurricane Irene, a Category 1 hurricane. Louisiana residents and our Northern neighbors were all tuning in to The Weather Channel to see how our Northern neighbors fared. Could these people be addicted to the Weather Channel and the changing weather? Are they Hurricane chasers? They must be suffering from a “Weather Channel Addiction.” You know those people. Those people who tune in to the Weather Channel to make sure it’s gonna be a “rainy day” or a “sunny day” orrr what other kind of days are there? In Lafayette Louisiana, when the weatherman makes a prediction, he’s wrong. Louisianans learned that in kindergarten. Actually, Louisianans and their Northern neighbors show signs of being addicted to the Weather Channel. They are addicted to the weather and the changing weather. Must be planners on the MBTI personality scale. They need to plan out their life one day at a time, one minute at a time. They’ve got the umbrella when it’s raining. They prepare for hurricanes months in advance and leave a week in advance. You know the type.
For over 50 years Louisianans have been leaving their homes waiting for the hurricane to hit. We’ve been so incredibly lucky. God has truly smiled upon Louisiana for such a long time. In fact, at the last minute Hurricane Katrina turned and hit Mississippi. The loss of 1,800 + lives was a horrible loss but it could have been so much worse. If it wouldn’t have been for a few levies breaking, we would have all just turned out just fine. It was the gazillions of gallons of water from the Gulf of Mexico that came pouring in searching for lower ground that did in New Orleans.
Hurricane Katrina ended up costing $100 billion versus the $5 billion estimated cost for this Category 1 storm. Perhaps the $5 billion was for TV news coverage. For the record, the number one storm for loss lives was The Great Storm that hit Galveston back in 1900. Ten thousand lives were estimated lost. Because of the missing and lack of records, it’s been estimated that the lives lost were between 6,000 and 10,000. Those are the kinds of losses that New Orleans COULD have had had it been a direct hit at 175 mph winds. Because of the meandering nature of the hurricane, it actually made landfall at 125 mph and was downgraded to a Category 3 at the time of landfall. The point being that New Orleans is unable to withstand a Category 3 hurricane much less a Category 5 hurricane. New Orleans could have been easily wiped out just like Galveston was back in 1900.
Galveston lost its appeal as an important port leaving the door opened for Houston to take over that position while Galveston was being rebuilt. Now, Galveston is mostly known for its vacation destination appeal. In Galveston, there is a great wall 15 ½ feet high protecting the city from the strongest waves from the Gulf. What has Louisiana done? Very little to nothing. Some people were fired. The Corps of Engineers loss a few law suits but basically those parts of the city which were devastated remain so. There are laws now in place directing you to rebuild three to seven feet high above sea level in those areas that residents wish to rebuild. Most have not rebuilt and have moved away. What Louisiana needs is a great protective barrier like the collective North Sea Protective Works, one of the 7 wonders of the modern world. Perhaps the one dollar the Mississippi River Bridge authority collects everyday for passing motorists can pay for that.
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