Friday, August 29, 2008
Here we go again. Packing up to pull out. Three years ago, when Rita ran us out of town, I vowed to organize my family pictures and genealogy so that all I'd have to do is grab and toss in the car. I started...but never finished. So when we roll out of the drive on Saturday evening or Sunday morning, my mind's eye will be visualizing favorite photos and mementos I'm leaving behind.
But many people lost more--much more than family pictures.
Monday, August 29, 2005 - Hurricane Katrina was a Category 5 Storm with winds up to 175 miles an hour, but weakened to a Category 4 before making landfall below New Orleans in Plaquemines and Saint Bernard Parishes. The storm weakened the levee system which broke in several places [one place - the Industrial Canal - was weakened by a barge which rammed into it.] and over 90% of New Orleans was flooded. Katrina also devastated the Mississippi Gulf Coast and caused damage on the Alabama Gulf Coast. The official death toll is 1697; however, Columbia geo-physicist and earth scientist John Mutter believes that the number is "well in excess of 2000"
September 17-24, 2005 - Hurricane Rita hit South Florida and the Florida Keys as a Category 2 storm on September 20. As it moved away from Florida, Rita became Category 5. After weakening, Rita came ashore as a Category 3 between Sabine Pass, Texas and Johnson Bayou, Louisiana at 2:30 a.m. CDT.
On September 23, 2005, the outer bands of the storm caused a breach in the Industrial Canal levee in New Orleans in the lower ninth ward causing re-flooding of the area. The largest evacuation in Texas history was undertaken on September 22, 2005. The traffic was backed up for 100 miles on IH-45; and, 24 elderly persons died on the morning of September 23, 2005 ten miles south of Dallas when a bus exploded from oxygen tanks ignited by sparks from the brakes.
Can you believe three years have passed since Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans?
Can you believe there are still many people living in FEMA trailers?
Can you believe there are still areas in New Orleans that look like Katrina hit yesterday?
Can you believe today is Katrina's three-year anniversary and Gustav is on his way?
Weather guys say we could have two hurricanes--Gustav and Hanna--in the Gulf of Mexico within seven days. At this point, no one knows where Gustav will hit.
All prayers welcome--for everyone along the Gulf Coast.