Katrina changed all of our minds, of course, we former and temporary New Orleanians watching in horror from televisions around the country and the world as the city we loved filled with water that had no way to flow back out. We were horrified at our former cavalier attitude to storms.
But now it’s six years on and I live in another big city with a population that doesn’t have cars (55 percent of New Yorkers, as opposed to 27 percent of New Orleanians). Evacuation isn’t easy even if our billionaire mayor declares it mandatory, and with a citywide shutdown in public transit, New York will grind to a halt. I have a dog anyway, so without a car I can’t leave. Time to hunker down and ride it out, but the thoughts on my mind morbidly keep returning to Katrina. To wondering who will be blamed if poor neighborhoods flood, if the power doesn’t return for days and people grow desperate. To remembering who was accused of “looting” and who was given the benefit of the doubt.
I wrote about Katrina, Irene, and who gets hit hardest by natural disasters.
Another great piece by Sarah Jaffe.
(Follow her blog and read everything she writes. You won’t regret it.)