Today is my husband’s birthday and this is how I never forget the day Katrina hit and ravaged Louisiana 5 years ago today.
At it strongest, Katrina was a category 5 hurricane with sustained winds up to 175 MPH. At the time, Katrina was the strongest hurricane ever recorded in the Gulf of Mexico. She was surpassed by Rita, which also hit Louisiana’s coast less than a month later.
When Katrina hit Louisiana and the city of New Orleans, it was a category 3 hurricane with sustained winds of 125 MPH.
I’m sure most of us remember the devastation that captured our media for days afterward.
New Orleans being below sea level and built somewhat like a bowl, retained the flood waters for days leaving thousands of people trapped in its path.
What I remember vividly about Katrina is the government’s incompetence before, during, and after the ordeal. Here is Lew Rockwell on the one event I was never able to forget:
“Perhaps the most astounding case of incompetence has received the least attention. It relates to a 500-boat flotilla stretching over 5 miles that left for New Orleans from Acadiana Mall in Lafayette. It involved 1,000 people who had hoped to rescue hospital patients and take them to safety. It consisted of private boaters, fishermen, hunters, and others who had spent their entire lives navigating Louisiana waterways.
“Once this caravan arrived, they were turned away by the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, which was now being run by FEMA. All five hundred boats were turned away and ordered out.
“Now keep in mind that this was three days after the hurricane hit. There were hundreds of people inside the Charity Hospital in New Orleans alone. They had no supplies and only three had been rescued. At this very time, the head of the FEMA-ized Wildlife and Fisheries Department announced to the world on television that it needed no help from anyone and that it had all matters under control.” For the rest Rockwell’s article, click here.
I knew some of these boaters and all they wanted to do was help their fellow citizens. Another friend of mine, who was a student at LSU’s medical school at the time, managed to rescue about a hundred people the day before with his boat and the help of a friend. He, too, was ordered out of the waters because he wasn’t a “government official.” Imagine what 500 boats could have accomplished!
What is your Katrina story? What do you remember most about the infamous storm and the days that followed?