Five years after Hurricane Irene’s damage, it still gets more coverage than Louisiana’s flood. Sad.
Interestingly enough, Louisiana’s flood crisis has been labeled the “worst natural disaster since Hurricane Sandy,” according to Washington Post.
You know who made that statement? Brad Kieserman, vice president for disaster services operations and logistics for the Red Cross.
And mind you, Sandy’s damage was estimated around $50 billion, with 200,000 homes lost — “second only to Hurricane Katina,” notes Live Science.
Yet, Louisiana’s massive flood has received nowhere near the coverage, support, or national outcry as Sandy or Irene.
Why is Hurricane Irene Trending?
As mentioned, Hurricane Irene made landfall in 2011; it’s the five-year anniversary.
Yes. There was definitely catastrophe. Actually, New York Daily News reports that — after a year of evaluation — the total damage was an estimated cost of $15.8 billion.
Now, if Louisiana’s flood devastation is as bad as authoritative representatives say, why aren’t flood headlines doing as well as “Hurricane Irene” headlines?
Is it not weird how the nation seemingly continues forgetting about Louisiana in its time of need? The same happened during Katrina.
This flood happened in and around the same city and region where Alton Sterling was murdered, where there was massive coverage in our faces day in and day out.
So, what’s different now?
The Real Reason Why Louisiana’s Flood Gets Little Love
What spurs your emotion? What makes you, as a reader, search for something informative? What catches your attention?
Here’s a little secret. In large, news media outlets only report what you find interesting.
Take Hurricane Irene for example. What was significant about 2011 that had many people around the world on edge?
In 2011, people were concerned with natural disasters because the world was supposed to experience horrific devastation in 2012. Remember the infamous “Mayan calendar”?
Shortly before that time, but definitely during the “calendar” watch, Hurricane Sandy had also made its round of disaster wrath. The world was primed and ready for “natural disaster” news.
And now? Police brutality — as can be seen from Alton Sterling’s coverage.
Five years later, after the Mayan calendar mayhem, we’re still here. Disasters aren’t “trending” now.
Louisiana Struggles for ‘Likes’ and Life
Hurricane Irene is currently trending because people remember its devastation and the feelings they had about it — just like Hurricane Katrina and Sandy victims.
This is Louisiana under water. No visit by Obama. Remember how the media portrayed 'W' after Hurricane Katrina? pic.twitter.com/Rx8wkhtkX0— Terri Green (@TerriGreenUSA) August 17, 2016
However, also like Katrina survivors, victims of Louisiana’s flooding will surely remember how alone they felt as the rest of the country went on about its life — wondering, rather, when Kylie Jenner’s sextape will release, or if Donald Trump will finally release his tax returns.
This was — and is — a statewide catastrophe which should’ve gained more national concern. It wasn’t some small flash flood.
According to National Public Radio (NPR), over 40,000 Louisiana homes have been found damaged, and the investigation is ongoing. Likewise, as concerns residents, at least twice that number are awaiting response from FEMA. The source mentions that the disaster stretches over 20 parishes (counties).
Do you realize the magnitude of this flood? That’s an entire state in other parts of the country. Some states don’t even have enough land for 20 counties.
The report notes that some people closely compare it to the devastation experienced during Hurricane Katrina.
Honestly, if you look at aerial shots from the hurricane and the flood aftermaths, it’s difficult to tell which photos belong to what disaster.
But, does the rest of the United States care?
While these concerns have always been at the forefront of news reporting, social media integration has not. Now, with just a click of a few pages, research organizations, television crews, etc. can see exactly what you like to watch or read via your timeline.
Not so? Look at your personal timeline.
See anything regarding contributions you’ve made to flood victims? If you haven’t even spoken about it in a week, the fact is you’ve moved on.
It’s a harsh reality of these United States.
[Photo by Andy Newman/Mike Silva/AP Images]