Ten years after Hurricane Katrina’s assault, the story of New Orleans is very much a tale of two cities. In some parts of town, rebirth and restoration; in other parts, few signs of any recovery. Our Cover Story is reported now by Martha Teichner:
As if we needed reminding, even after ten years, how terrible Katrina really was — and what a colossal fiasco.
The horror show at the Superdome, where close to 25,000 people were trapped for days in the heat and stink. Desperation on overpasses, where thousands more baked along the Interstate, crying out for help that didn’t come.
More than 1,800 people died across the Gulf Coast.
How could this be happening in the United States of America? Who seemed more out of touch — President Bush, or FEMA director Mike Brown? (“Brownie, you’re doing a heck of a job!”)
New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin let loose on a radio broadcast: “Now get off your asses and let’s do something, and let’s fix the biggest goddamned crisis in the history of this country!”
Eighty percent of New Orleans was flooded. Billions and billions of gallons of water swept over the city, not so much because of the storm itself, but because the levees gave way. The floodwalls broke.