Sunday, August 29, 2010

Reflecting on New Orleans

Gazing out the car window while driving from Alabama to Louisiana during the spring of 2006, it was impossible to miss the destruction left behind by Hurricane Katrina.

As we approached New Orleans, the frequency of abandoned cars on the interstate increased, and many homes appeared to have been vacated completely.

The image that really stayed with me was that of a home along the interstate in which the occupants were clearly forced to their roof during the flooding, and they painted the word "HELP" up top, which still remained all those months later.

Now, five years to the date after Katrina first hit, I wonder about those homes I saw that day.

Did the occupants return? (Or even survive?)
Has the paint been scrubbed clean?
Were the residents able to start their lives again?

It's sad, really, that although stories such as Hurricane Katrina are mainstays in the news during their peak, they then disappear from the headlines once more.... leaving us only with questions of, "Whatever happened to.....?"

Unless, of course, you live within the story's vicinity, in which case I'm sure there's no escape from the mental and emotional destruction that is left behind.


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