Today is August 29, 2008. Do you remember where you were 3 years ago today. Sadly enough, I don’t. But I am sure that there are thousands of people that do remember where they were and what they were doing. Those are the people of New Orleans, Louisiana and the surrounding areas. Here is part of the Wikipedia entry about Hurricane Katrina.
Hurricane Katrina of the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season was the costliest hurricane, as well as one of the five deadliest in the history of the United States. Among recorded hurricanes, it was the sixth strongest overall and the third strongest to make a landfall in the United States. Hurricane Katrina formed over the Bahamas on August 23, 2005, and crossed southern Florida as a moderate Category 1 hurricane, causing some deaths and flooding there before strengthening rapidly in the Gulf of Mexico. The storm weakened before making its second landfall as a Category 3 storm on the morning of Monday, August 29 in southeast Louisiana. It caused severe destruction along the Gulf coast from central Florida to Texas, much of it due to the storm surge. The most severe loss of life and property damage occurred in New Orleans, Louisiana, which flooded as the levee system catastrophically failed, in many cases hours after the storm had moved inland. The federal flood protectionsystem in New Orleans failed at more than fifty spots. Nearly every levee in metro New Orleans was breached as Hurricane Katrina passed just east of the city limits. Eventually 80% of the city became flooded and also large tracts of neighboring parishes, and the floodwaters lingered for weeks. At least 1,836 people combined lost their lives in the actual hurricane and in the subsequent floods, making it the deadliest U.S. hurricane since the 1928 Okeechobee Hurricane. The storm is estimated to have been responsible for $81.2 billion (2005 U.S. dollars) in damage, making it the costliest natural disaster in U.S. history.
The failure of the New Orleans flood protection system prompted a congressional investigation into the Army Corps of Engineers, which by statute has sole responsibility for it. Other congressional investigations were launched into response of the federal, state and local governments, resulting in the resignation of Federal Emergency Management Agency director Michael D. Brown. Conversely, the National Hurricane Center and National Weather Service were widely commended for accurate forecasts and abundant lead time. Three years later, thousands of displaced residents in Mississippi and Louisiana were still living in trailers.
It is 3 years later and thousands are still living in trailers or half-finished homes. In the summer of 2007, I along with my husband and daughter, had the privilege of going to Slidell, Louisiana. Slidell sits northeast of New Orleans across Lake Pontchartrain. While there we held a Vacation Bible School for the children in a neighborhood that was hard hit. We also then were able to travel into New Orleans to the Lower Ninth Ward to see first hand the destruction that was caused by the Hurricane and the work that still needed to be done there. We also were able to do work at a few different sites in the area, cleaning up yards, helping people, and other such work.