If you can believe it, five years have passed since the city of New Orleans was left to drown in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.
Traveling through areas of New Orleans, one might think five days had passed since the flood waters abated. Coverage of the event was polarizing and emotional, and as the flood that covered 80% of one of America’s most culturally rich destinations finally subsided, between 1,500 and 1,600 residents lay dead- in flooded homes, in gutters and on sidewalks.
Louisiana senator Mary Landrieu lashed out at the continual lack of interest in rebuilding the city during an interview Sunday:
But many in the city argue that the flooding that caused most of the devastation came after the storm, when the pre-Katrina-standard levees failed, and that rebuilding them to the same specifications is pointless.
“It wasn’t a natural disaster, it was a man-made disaster,” Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu said Sunday on NBC, slamming both the infrastructure and the government’s limp response.
She called for more government-backed reconstruction, noting that of the 200,000 homes destroyed, non-profits had rebuilt only 5,000.
President Obama arrived in New Orleans today to mark the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. And Google marked it, not with a Google Doodle, but with a small and unobtrusive black ribbon memorial.