It was five years ago.
But it seems like only yesterday I was on my way to Asia as Hurricane Katrina was bearing down on the Gulf States. At the time I remember being sick with worry as I boarded the plane, not knowing whether I would ever see New Orleans again. Since it's one of my favorite cities on earth, this was a horrible thought. The flight time to my first stop in Seoul, Korea was nearly 13 hours, which meant that Katrina would hit The Big Easy while I was in the air. There was no way for me to keep up with what was happening while in-flight, so all I could do was cling to the hope that some miracle would occur, and the hurricane would fade away before it ever made landfall.
But of course there was no miracle. At least not a miracle like that.
The struggle in The Gulf to recover from Katrina is ongoing.
Despite a number of people who believe that we should give it up. "Most of New Orleans is under sea level and can't be saved!" they say. "The city is in the bottom of a bowl and will be flooded again!" they cry. "Stop spending tax dollars on a losing battle!" they scream.
And yet... modern-day engineering can change the face of the planet. Technology exists which can accomplish those miracles. The battle over natural disasters cannot be won, but it's getting easier not to lose. Except it costs money, and cities like New Orleans are poor.
You'd think the same school of thought that calls for the abandonment of New Orleans would also apply to a city like San Francisco which is plagued by earthquakes, but it doesn't. Probably because San Francisco is one of this nation's wealthiest cities. Sadly, it's all about the money, as usual.
Though how people can put a dollar value on people is beyond me.
Laissez les bons temps rouler, New Orleans.