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Monday, September 04, 2006

A Year Later

A year after Katrina we still have one HUGE problem from the storm, unrealistic expectations.

With possibly 100,000 homes and businesses either destroyed, or so badly damaged they need to be leveled, the expectation that a year later everything would be cleaned up and back to normal is unrealistic.

As a point of reference a 250 home subdivision is going in near me. They've been working on it, 5 days a week at least 8 hours a day for over a year, and aren't finished. Yet for some reason folks think that New Orleans and the rest of the Gulf Coast should be finished with reconstruction in that same time frame.

(This wasn't finished when I accidently hit publish earlier today, here's the rest).

People also forget that if you go through the Florida Panhandle you'll still see blue tarps on roofs. These aren't from Katrina, but hurricanes in 2003 and 2004, when they saw half a dozen storms hit in the area. The gulf coast construction industry still hadn't caught up with those two
years, and then was itself devastated by Katrina.

The other unrealistic expectation is of the lack of human loss to storms. As long as there are folks who want to "ride them out", there will be death, and harrowing, though totally avoidable, tales of woe from wrath of nature.

Many want there to be zero deaths, injuries, or displaced people, but that's not going to happen, ever. Too many people, even after recent history, believe that "I made it through Betsy (or Camille) so this won't be that bad". Well, when it is, and they don't make it, people naturally look for someone to blame. It must be FEMA, the state, or some other federal agency's fault, because we can't just blame the moron who didn't leave when a hurricane was coming. Unlike tornados and earth quakes, you have days of warning for a hurricane.

The final unrealistic expecation, as noted in Shoprat's comments, is that the government is going to be able to do everything you need done in time of emergency. That's never been their function, regardless of what some would like you to believe. Our country was founded on the principle (oft forgotten these days) of limited government and a self sufficient population.

Today, many it seems want an omnipotent government, and not to be responsible for anything they should take care of on their own, or with the help of family and friends.

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Blogger Rightwing Guy said...

And yet they still blame Bush for Nagins mistakes.

3:57 PM  
Blogger shoprat said...

Don't you know, all the Donks have to do is go "bippity-boppity-boo" and everything will fix itself because they are in power.

The government is supposed to be omnipotent (it isn't thank God) and do anything it wants with no regards for money or the laws of physics.

These are people who have been taken care of their entire lives and reality does not exist for them.

6:10 PM  
Blogger Mark Folse said...

Thanks for your realistic commentary on the pace of reconstruction. However, please keep in mind we did not expect the free militia of New York to invade Afghanistan to root our al-Qaida. There are some things we have to rely on government to do, and responding to a disaster this massive is one. There are a quarter million people home in Orleans, St. Bernard and Plaquemines Parish with only minimal government aid (of the $110 billion appropriate, less than half is spent and virtually all of that has gone to FEMA and their contractors for immediate aid).

What the nation faces in the reconstruction of the coast is the massive unpaid bill for the rape of the coast of Louisiana for cheap oil, which denuded the coast of protective wetlands. and to a lesser extent for the impacts of the channelization of the Mississippi to provide navigation essential to the heartlands agricultural industry.

It is not a question of the nation "bailing out" the people of Louisiana (or Mississippi), it is a matter of paying the enourmous arrears owed for a half-century of oil and gas exploitation on the coast.

9:58 PM  
Blogger ablur said...

Sorry Mark, but you can't sell big oil as the cause for all your woes. Mother nature has designed a system that feeds storms of epic proportion into that area every year. Look back in history and you will find that man has taken huge strides to over come the inevitable. Storm damage is greatly reduced and lives are saved because of man made interventions. Yet, we are no match for the full thrust of mother nature. We need to climb off our god pedestal and realize that we are but a speck.
It isn't big oil or man that increased the cause and effect, Katrina was big and bad and mother nature dishes one of these out every once and a while like it or not. We tiny gods need to realize we are powerless to the full thrust of nature. Now accept the facts and move forward.

8:27 AM  
Blogger PlaidBaron said...

It's like Ronald Reagan's qoute "The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help.'"

2:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Has anyone blamed big tabacco yet? If not I call dibs.

1:11 PM  
Blogger Wyatt said...

Cripes, we can't get a few days in the 90's without a few deaths, and people want death-free hurricanes. I mean, give me a break!

3:10 PM  
Blogger Gayle said...

Yep, hurricanes cause deaths unless you get out of there way. Strange that people still try to sit them out. Also very strange that Nagin was far more worried about the businesses in downtown New Orleans than he was about people who lacked transportation. I can still see those empty buses standing in water!

I've never driven a bus, but if it had been a matter of life and death, I'll just bet I could! Nagin said he didn't have drivers for them. Sheesh!

3:29 PM  

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