It just doesn’t seem fair that on the three year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina’s destruction, the Gulf Coast is facing yet another force of nature: Hurricane Gustav. While some residents and pets have been pro-actively evacuated, FEMA, the Red Cross and other agencies are preparing for yet another potential disaster. Today New Orleans takes pause amid impending disaster to hold a memorial service and bell-ringing.
And after three long years working to rebuild the city and the afflicted Gulf, the media spotlight is looking at what has and hasn’t been accomplished. Many of the recovery efforts have stagnated in the past year – tens of thousands of blighted properties, lack of affordable housing for essential service and construction workers, sparse public services, and a broken health care system continue to plague the city and region, according to the Brookings Institute. reports residents feel divided by class and race, and feel forgotten by the rest of the country and the federal government.

And from the UK Guardian, comes this take:

While tourists long ago repopulated the French Quarter, 57% of New Orleans’ black population – against 36% of whites – have yet to return to the city. Many never will. This is because since Katrina, developers have clubbed together with the authorities to complete New Orleans’ makeover into a playground for wealthy tourists.
As house prices soar and homelessness rises, the authorities are quietly doing away with the city’s remaining stocks of affordable housing in moves that the UN has recently claimed constitute human rights violations. The fact that these demolitions will overwhelmingly affect black people has led some to call this ethnic cleansing.

14 replies on “Katrina: 3 Years Later”

  1. My wife and I visited NOLA in June for a week and were horrified to still see displaced persons living in tent communities built under highway overpasses.
    We saw a housing complex completely devoid of life as it was explained to us the local government ordered the tenants to evacuate on the cusp of Katrina, and have not yet, as of June 2008, authorized anyone to revisit the property to live or even collect their belongings. You could see rooms full of personal belongings through the windows as former residents paced back and forth outside the fence surrounding the complex as if somehow, they were the ones inside a cage looking to get out.
    The first thing we did upon arriving home was donate a considerable sum of money to the Lower 9th Ward rebuilding project on behalf of Friends of New Orleans.
    Heartbreaking what happened down there and nothing more than parlaying a natural disaster to justify gentrification and the commercialization of New Orleans.

  2. Danny, we were there in January and felt the same. We were also really shocked at how high real estate prices are there now. It is hard to imagine how ‘regular folk’ could ever afford to live there again.
    Profiteering from a disaster like this is disgusting in the extreme.

  3. It’s call disaster capitalism, using a devastating crisis to take economic advantage of the weak and the poor. A particularly disgusting face of radical “free market” capitalism.

  4. (So much for the welfare state and those Democrats that created and maintained the 9th ward and failed to do their duty before and during the storm… Nagin and Blanco– and Bush– showed their, uh, compassion…).

  5. Mom has an empty lot in NOLA not too har from the 17th street canal.
    She is dreading anothere harsh NJ winter. Imagine an 80something year old woman waiting since her Dec. 06 meeting with the Recovery Authority to have a resolution.
    The whole process is a farce.

  6. Maybe it’s time to accept the notion that the climate has changed, at least for our lifetimes, and cede NOLA to those who can afford it and the sea. It would seem that waterfront property in general, as well as lower than sealevel areas are at “unreasonable” risk, does it not ?

  7. Mikey, that was one of your more disgusting posts. Have you been reading “Das Kapital,” you dizzy nitwit?
    And I’ve been in that marvelously well-run “Crescent City” about 15 times over the last 20 years, and there have always been tent cities under highway overpasses there. There really is a very stubborn segment of society there which attempts to live solely by its own odd rules, and I even think they might take in Comrade laserlumpenprole if he showed up and asked niucely.
    Dannyboor, what on earth are you on about re the “gentrification and commercialization” down there, too? You’ve never noticed the condos and the touristic shops before? Relax, lad, don’t gnash your teeth too much on this one (brucellosis can prove such a bitch to one so callow as thee), the wards where you still find “shotgun” houses are a long way from being developed, if only because for decades they haven’t been very safe places to live in and NO has a notoriously corrupt and ineffectual PD.
    Which makes me also wonder if Comrade laserlumpenprole has ever pondered why so many of NO’s “finest” fled during Katrina and never returned at all their jobs (despite the opportunities they offer for bribery). Whatever happened to working class solidarity, eh, mikeypal?

  8. Cathar, serving the rich and powerful. Stepping poor and weak. Looking good elitist… looking good.

  9. Let’s also watch what happens to the offshore drilling rigs today.
    Drill here, drill now – McCain

  10. Dick…shhh….it’s Labor Day. Take a day off from being an asshole. And careful, you’re liable to work yourself into a tizzy and have your aging heart explode in your chest. I’d suggest taking your own advice and relaxing, perhaps take up meditation, maybe a nice pet, or at the very least, stop gnashing your teeth. Then again, are dentures actually your teeth? Do they wear down? Whatever, go say “Hi!” to the sun today. You’re not young enough to worry about skin cancer.

  11. Gee, dannyboor, for one so clearly ill-educated and callow, you certainly sound vociferous. What’s the matter, did you find some new hair in your ears while looking in the mirror admiring your receding hairline?
    Or did you just have trouble digesting the sour grapes that clearly serves as your feast of choice? I recommend prune juice. Even if in the form of the writings of Edmund Burke.

  12. Ahh cathar. Living proof of de la Rochefoucauld’s observation, “Intellectual blemishes, like facial ones, grow more prominent with age.”
    Keep on fighting, Dick! You may yet beat the reaper through sheer orneriness!

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