DARC Ethiophile Chronicles (Eyewitness account)
On this day
August 29, 2005…a day that residents of the U.S. Gulf Coast can never forget. Hurricane Katrina brought devastation in record numbers and above all, was an absolute political failure, which will forever tarnish and yet, shed light on the reputation and the agenda of the United States.
Those that were able to heed the warnings of government officials and then New Orleans, L.A. Mayor Ray Nagin did. They gathered their families and necessary possessions and headed to the nearest safe haven as soon as they could.
Others who may not have been able to, or who just simply did not believe in the severity of the storm’s power stayed and prepared for yet just another tropical storm.
The storm began to pass just as any other, leaving in its wake power outages, knocked down trees and other various pieces of debris. It indeed caused severe injuries for ones that were daring enough to, or perhaps had no choice but to brave the conditions without shelter. For a while it seemed as if the worst was over until the levees broke.
There where over 50 failures of the levees and flood walls protecting New Orleans, and its suburbs following the passage of Hurricane Katrina which actually made landfall in Mississippi. The levee and floodwall failures caused flooding in over 80% of New Orleans and all of St. Bernard Parish.
It took more than 5 days for the government to implement any type of evacuation plan for residents who were rebranded as refugees. Those that were able took shelter in places like the convention center and what was then called the New Orleans superdome. Panic struck, disease spread and lives were lost while waiting on assistance from the U.S. government.
Once aid was distributed, many were bused to cities like Baton Rouge, Shreveport, Atlanta, Houston, and Dallas just to name a few. There were even reports of some going as far as Utah and Montana. Many people were further away from home than they had ever hoped to be. Some took the opportunity to start fresh and make a new. Others went home only to find that nothing was the same and new plans were in place to ensure that. Since Katrina, the once bad-luck Saints have finally won the Super bowl and gentrification in the city of New Orleans has been soaring! Once predominately Black areas like Gentilly in the 7th ward are now being bought renovated by those who can afford to do so. In areas like what was once the St. Bernard projects are now high-end condominiums, which the majority of the neighborhood’s previous residents have no way of accessing.
It has been said that New Orleans is the only city that you don’t just live in, it lives in you. Though many have attempted to stamp out its authentic flavor the essence and vibration of the city lives on through the people. Once New Orleans losses it’s people for good, New Orleans will loose its soul forever.