Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Two Years

Two years ago today, Hurricane Katrina made landfall in Buras, La., forever changing the lives of Louisianians, Mississipians, their families, and their friends.

It's true. Many places are rebuilding. More services, stores, and restaurants become avaialable every day. It's great news. But not great enough. People are still stuck in FEMA trailers that give off formaldehyde fumes. The levees are still in a sorry state.

Drive around any of the hardest hit communities from New Orleans to the Gulf Coast, and the picture is eerily the same. It's hard for your mind to process the scenery. Did it happen two years ago?

It looks like it happened 10 years ago. Entire neighborhoods are gone, only to be recognized by the clusters of foundations of houses long razed. The once, proud-looking New Orleans East sign that sits off I-10 is now nearly obscured by tall grasses. Some newer buildings that appear to have been relatively undamaged by the storm sit abandoned, and the weeds have bolted up through the cracks in their parking lots.

It looks like it just happened yesterday. Many houses still wear their "temporary" blue roofs. Piles of junk sit on street corners. Anyone who has ever been through a hurricane, knows the familiar, post-hurricane scene of the bustling Home Depot. Two years later, the scene is the same. Don't plan on finding a parking spot at any Home Depot in the suburbs. All the spaces are taken, leaving many more people (and contractors) to park their cars and trucks by the roadside.

It really has been two years. For those who are still struggling, and those who lost their loved ones, it has probably felt more like a lifetime.

See the Hurricane Katrina Memorial here.

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