This is the one year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. In a few weeks it will be the five year anniversary of 9/11. Interestingly, when it comes to discussing that awful day of terror, five years is "too soon." Yet there seems to be no apprehension about discussing the death and destruction of Hurricane Katrina after only one year. My opinion? It's a chance for Democrats to dominate the news cycle for 24 hours and continually remind you that "George Bush hates black people." And no one is going to give up an opportunity like that.
(ADDED: Actually, most of the coverage I saw was pretty much devoid of anti-Bush bias, which I found rather surprising. So I'll admit I was wrong about that prediction.)
If you want to really know what happened a year ago, check out my Hurricane Katrina blog archive. Click the link, scroll down to the bottom and start reading. You'll find pretty much everything there: the utter failure of the City of New Orleans to evacuate its indigent citizens, the complete collapse of New Orleans police and emergency response network, the grossly misleading and inaccurate reporting of the mainstream media (babies being raped and bodies stacked to the ceiling at the Superdome), the heroic and downright awe-inspiring rescue missions mounted by the National Guard, the idiocy of Sean Penn, the kooky conspiracy theories of Louis Farrakhan and Spike Lee, the failures and waste of FEMA, the utter incompetence of the Army Corps of Engineers, and egregious finger pointing by federal, state, and local officials.
And don't forget the efforts of conservative bloggers to raise money for Katrina victims, while the left half of the blogosphere was engaged in full-tilt foaming-at-the-mouth Bush-bashing; the suffering of thousands in Alabama and Mississippi and in the suburbs surrounding New Orleans, who lost everything but whose stories were ignored because they failed to ignite a sufficient amount of Bush hatred; the thousands of volunteers who donated money, facilities, clothes and commodities, and time to help Katrina survivors; the cities like Houston who opened their doors to over 100,000 Katrina evacuees; the thousands of volunteers, mostly from churches, who have journeyed to New Orleans over the last 9 months and have helped hundreds of families clean out and rebuild their homes; and the struggling survivors who have returned to New Orleans and faced mold, slime, garbage, and a host of other ills as they try to rebuild their lives.
God bless the people of New Orleans. Keep them in your prayers; they are still going to need them for some time.
ADDED: WizBang blogger Paul, an engineer and New Orleans resident, has compiled perhaps the best archive of writings about New Orleans and Hurricane Katrina on the web. His ultimate Katrina post presents a smoking gun home video that shows, conclusively, that the water levels at 17th Street Canal Floodwall were NOT at a critically-high level when the floodwall broke. The wall was -- literally -- undermined by only a slight increase from the normal level of water. It began seeping from underneath, then began to erode away and finally collapsed completely.
Besides the now-accepted (but criminally under-reported) conclusion that the Army Corps of Engineers built a poorly designed floodwall system -- and was therefore responsible for the flooding of New Orleans -- this video seems to underscore the fact that Katrina actually saved lives in New Orleans. Why? The approaching hurricane spurred the activation of emergency shelters and evacuation efforts before the flood occured. Had the wall broken at another time (which now seems very likely) then tens of thousands would have died and rescue operations would have taken weeks longer. Frightening indeed.
(Several WizBang commenters pointed out that other areas of the city were flooded by overspill or storm surge occurring at other containment walls. Although Katrina caused only a moderate amount of wind damage in New Orleans, it did pack a pretty good storm surge. But Paul's post seems to clearly show that the 17th Street floodwall, the one whose breach flooded most of the heart of N. O., collapsed without a significant increase in the water level.)