Tropical Storm Issac is set to make landfall just as the anniversary of the devastating Hurricane Katrina, which claimed more than 1,800 lives, is marked.
Although Issac is only expected to be Category One to Katrina’s three, the timing is enough to put many residents in the storm’s path in mind of another storm that was fatally underestimated by nearly everyone in its path and the bungled recovery after the storm that still has not fully restored the Gulf Coast.
Katrina made landfall on Monday, August 29 of 2005, precipitating the worst civil engineering failure in US history when levees in the city of New Orleans failed and 80% of the city was flooded. The damage was immense, and the days and weeks following the disaster revealed a level of destruction and poor response unseen in the lifetimes of most Americans prior to the horrific natural disaster.
Issac is not projected to be nearly as serious, but the storm’s expected landfall on Katrina’s anniversary still makes many residents in the storm’s path uneasy. CNN spoke to New Orleans mayor Mitch Landrieu about sentiment in the city ahead of Issac, and Landrieu commented:
“[Issac] seems to be settling into a pathway and a speed that is becoming predictable… It is quite ironic that we have hurricane threatening us on seventh anniversary of Katrina. That brings a high level of anxiety to the people of New Orleans… There is nothing this storm will bring us that we are not capable of handling.”
Landrieu has assured New Orleans residents ahead of Issac that after Katrina, more than $10 billion was spent reinforcing levees and repairing infrastructure to prevent a scale of damage seen during the storm that devastated New Orleans just seven years ago.