My heart goes out to everyone on the Gulf Coast who is suffering through the misery left by Hurricane Katrina. This shows what kind of fury God's earth can unleash. I heard one forcaster say during the hours before the hurricane made landfall that if New Orleans took a direct hit, the city would never be the same. I thought it was a hyperbolic statement at the time; the news has a tendency to overblow things for the sake of ratings. However, watching the devastation... its true. The city of New Orleans as we knew it will never exist again. I visited New Orleans once before and hung out in the French Quarter and the Garden District. I had a fabulous time with my friends and soaked up the beauty and history the city had to offer. I breaks my heart knowing that when we are able to travel to the Big Easy again, its quite possible that many of the places where I have fond memories will no longer exist. What hurts my heart even more is that the people who live down there... their lives have been destroyed. Their homes, possessions and memories have been washed away. Who's to say how many will actually return? Will the city of New Orleans return to its former glory? Will they even think to rebuild in the same risky location? Think about it... who thought it was a good idea to build a city below sea level in a bowl shaped depression between massive Lake Ponchartrain , the Mississippi River and the Gulf of Mexico? Didn't someone think that one day, something like this was going to happen? They know now that its very possible that it could happen again. In my true nerdy fashion, I looked into some almanac weather forecasts. Apparently, this episode, not to mention Florida's devastating hurricane season last year, is just the beginning of an active hurricane trend that could last anywhere from the next 8 to 35 years! I truly think that the risks should be weighed when considering rebuilding New Orleans. If there is anyway to move the city to a safer location in the area (say, above sea level) that option should be explored. Relying on a system of levees to protect them obviously did not work. Its time for an engineering miracle to emerge from the nightmare.
I'm praying for the people down there... in particular:
Bunchie- my friend Nechi's grandmother
Teach for America- New Orleans Corps Members
Daniel Konecky and Family
I'm planning to help in any way I can. Our local news station KYW-3 on CBS is sponsoring a telethon in conjuction with The Red Cross. It called Operation Brotherly Love (yay Philly!)
The link to that website is in the title of this post and below. Its a small way to help, but if everyone does a little, the results will be great.