Thank you for this insightful and intelligent piece. Two brief comments - while it is true that Hurricane Katrina was a natural disaster, in point of fact, the flooding here (80% of the city) was the result of catastrophic levee breaches and was the result of a failed system built by the Army Corps of Engineers. You can learn more about this at www.levees.org.
With regard to the Lower Ninth Ward, where I have the privilege of both living and working, you write "A few people live here. Those with a choice have moved." Nothing could be farther from the truth. In a neighborhood in which 100% of residential properties were rendered uninhabitable in 2005, the population return as of the 2010 census was 24% (significantly lower than the city average). Many were told the City of New Orleans would not provide infrastructure to support their return (sewerage and water, electricity) well into 2006.
We have battled black mold, toxic FEMA trailers, discriminatory recovery programs, Chinese sheetrock, and a catastrophic oil spill here in Louisiana, and still families who lived here in 2005 return and rebuild. They work incredibly hard to do so, and we do, too. It is a privilege to live in the Lower Ninth Ward, and in all our city's beautiful neighborhoods.
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Indy Week • 201 W. Main St., Suite 101, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
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