It is becoming increasingly clear this morning that as the result of a breach of the 17th Street Canal levee, has in fact resulted in the beginning of catastrophic destruction of the city of New Orleans. This “after the storm” cruel twist is a blow to New Orleans residents who thought they may have escaped the pre-Katrina dire warnings.
The effect of the breach was instantly devastating to residents who had survived the fiercest of Katrina’s winds and storm surge intact, only to be taken by surprise by the sudden deluge. And it added a vast swath of central New Orleans to those already flooded in eastern New Orleans, the Lower 9th Ward and St. Bernard and Plaquemines parishes.
Beginning at midday, Lakeview residents watched in horror as the water began to rise, pushed through the levee breach by still-strong residual winds from Katrina. They struggled to elevate furniture and eventually found themselves forced to the refuge of second floors just when most in the neighborhood thought they had been spared.
“It would have been fine,” refugee Pat O.Brien said. “The eye passed over.” But his relief was short-lived. “It’s like what you see on TV and never thought would happen to us. We lost everything: cars, art, furniture, everything.”
New Orleans is one of my favorite cities. I am so sad about what is happening there today. One of my most memorable vacations (the 1988 Sugar Bowl) was in the Big Easy. And I have a special bond with Louisiana as I was born in Shreveport. My heart aches today.
I join with other GP readers who urge everyone to contribute to the charity of their choice that is involved with the disaster relief efforts along the Gulf Coast.
Katrina Aid Agencies listed here.
-Bruce (GayPatriot) – firstname.lastname@example.org