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Remembering Katrina

by Erin Z. Bass

Today is the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. This deadly hurricane made landfall as a Category 3 the morning of August 29, 2005, near Buras, Louisiana. Almost 2,000 people died as a result, making Katrina the deadliest U.S. hurricane since 1928. Some residents of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast are still displaced after the storm and may be remembering Katrina in other locations across the country today.

For those who have moved back to New Orleans and towns like Biloxi (pictured are “steps to nowhere,” all that remain from a house located across from the beach there) and Gulfport, Mississippi, it’s been a week of remembering and rebirth. President Obama will give remarks at Xavier University this afternoon regarding the anniversary, and a commemoration and march were held in the lower Ninth Ward earlier this morning. This afternoon in Gulfport, Gov. Haley Barbour hosts a memorial event. Exhibits related to the storm were also announced this week, including The Historic New Orleans Collection’s “Katrina + 5: Documenting Disaster” on display now and the Louisiana State Museum’s “Living With Hurricanes: Katrina and Beyond,” which includes one man’s rescue boat and Fats Domino’s storm-ravaged piano, opening Oct. 26.

No matter where you are today, we ask you to take a moment and remember Katrina, the city of New Orleans and all of the people across the country who were affected by this storm. And tomorrow, August 30, the movie, “The Big Uneasy,” shows for one day only in theaters across the country. New Orleans resident Harry Shearer shares the inside story on the disaster by speaking to investigators about the cause of the levee failure in this documentary. Click here to find out if there’s a screening in your area.

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  • Marilyn K. Martin / August 29, 2010

    The summer of Hurricane Katrina is seared into the memories of all of us who live on the Gulf Coast. Beyond the horrific storm drowning a city already below sea level, the widespread human suffering was in sharp contrast to the endless series of mis-steps and too-little-to-late state and federal response.

    Even now, too much FEMA money has gone missing, with homes reported “repaired” that are still living under tarps for roofs. At times, it seems like (movie star) Brad Pitt’s slow but steady rebuilding of the Ninth Ward homes may end up as the most positive contribution to those storm-ravaged neighborhoods.

    But the New Orleans spirit lives on. Mardi Gras next Spring should be glorious!