On the twelfth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, Louisiana is sadly reliving the sentiment of unease as many of the state’s former residents proceed to evacuate from their neighborhoods once again, USA Today reports. These are among the estimated 250,000 refugees of the 2005 storm that came to Houston after Katrina, with around 100,000 that still live there today. For those whose lives have already been turned upside down once, a familiar sense of dread is settling in again.
As of Tuesday, Hurricane Harvey has broken the United States record for most rain fall of any tropical storm, Vox reports. While it still remains unclear how the impact of Harvey will measure up to its violent predecessor, there’s one thing that hasn’t changed in the past decade and change — our president still doesn’t give a flying f**k about us.
Back in 2005, President George W. Bush opted to do a low fly over in Air Force One instead of touching ground, The Hill reported. An infamous photo shows Bush boldly detached from the ground as he peered out the window at the destruction below. The way in which he handled this incident would go down in history as one of the biggest disgraces of his — or any — modern presidential legacy.
While the current president, Donald J. Trump, did not make the same mistakes of his Republican predecessor when it comes to appearances, his indifference to the devastation his constituents face is eerily familiar. The afternoon on which Harvey was supposed to make contact with the ground in Texas, Trump was busy tweeting (shocker) about his pardon of the former Arizona sheriff Joe Arapaio, who was convicted last month of criminal contempt for his tactics in hunting down and jailing undocumented immigrants. Asked to give a message to Texans in the hours before the storm hit, Trump — who still hasn’t appointed a new head of FEMA or the U.S. Coast Guard after plucking Gen. John Kelly, his new Chief of Staff, from the job — offered only a simple “Good luck.” The morning after the first wave of the hurricane hit, and the death toll was only at one, Trump tweeted a message to Texans that ended with “Thanks!” In other words, thanks for not dying on my watch, despite the fact that I did virtually nothing to help you.
On Tuesday, Trump touched down in Corpus Christi, one of the less devastated areas from the storm, which his current press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders claims was intentional. “The president wants to be very cautious about making sure that any activity doesn’t disrupt any of the recovery efforts that are still ongoing, which is the reason for the locations we are going here today,” she said to The New York Times. “As of right now, I don’t know that we will be able to get to some of the really damaged areas.”
If history proves anything, we shouldn’t hold our breath for our government to make their way to the “really damaged areas.” As we did in 2005, we still have a president who doesn’t care about how Black and brown communities are left devastated by natural disasters. We still live under an administration that refuses to even acknowledge global warming, let alone putting resources into examining how the impact it may be having on weather systems that have the potential to destroy lives and displace hundreds of thousands. We have a president that doesn’t want to see or set foot in communities that reek of destruction they’ve lead them into. We know that presidents don’t control the weather, but as the death count and water levels continue to rise in Texas and Louisiana alike and thousands of citizens cry out for help, we can count on the fact that our president will continue to turn a blind eye on the thing he can control: his compassion for those affected by it.
SOURCE: USA Today, Vox, The Hill, The New York Times
Here Are Ways You Can Help Victims Of Hurricane Harvey
NewsOne Top 5: 10 Years After Hurricane Katrina Where Does New Orleans Stand?
10 Years Later: Remembering Hurricane Katrina
19 photos Launch gallery
1. Governors Kathleen Blanco of Louisiana and Haley Barbour of Mississippi declared states of emergency, and advised many to leave their homes on Aug. 26. With little preparation, many stayed behind to fight the storm and were left stranded.
1 of 19
2. A family is seen trying to escape the wrath of Hurricane Katrina in the days it wreaked havoc in New Orleans.
2 of 19
3. Over 30,000 were left without their homes and possessions because of the hurricane.
3 of 19
4. The National Guard and UNICEF arrived in New Orleans days after the storm arrived in its worst hit area, the Lower Ninth Ward. In the nation's history, this was the first time UNICEF was called to provide aid in the United States.
4 of 19
5. Approximately 1,833 deaths were reported in the wake of the hurricane, but with no real memorial or list of the victims, many believe the number is much higher.
5 of 19
6. Former President George Bush was slammed for his delay in providing relief to the city, leading to an outburst from Kanye West, who stated the president did not care about Black people during a live telethon.
6 of 19
7. For a week, 30,000 people took shelter in the Superdome, where they were given food and water. With limited medical help, reports claimed 100 people died, when only four died from exhaustion, another from an overdose, and one from an apparent suicide.
7 of 19
8. More than a million housing units were destroyed during the storm. Half of them were from Louisiana.
8 of 19
9. Because of the storm, half of the city's population dropped from 484,674 in April 2000 to 230,172 in July 2006.
9 of 19
10. The difference in flooding was shocking to residents. While tourist areas were left undamaged, some places received one foot of flooding and others up to 10 feet of flooding.
10 of 19
11. The majority of relief funds sent to New Orleans by George Bush ($120.5 billion) went to emergency relief ($75 billion), not rebuilding.
11 of 19
12. Private insurance companies provided a total of $30 billion to residents, a lot less than federal aid provided.
12 of 19
13. A reported 600,000 households were still displaced a month after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans.
13 of 19
14. In the four days after the levees broke, 140 premature babies were brought to the Woman's Hospital in New Orleans.
14 of 19
15. Midwives helped deliver 20 healthy babies in the storm's aftermath.
15 of 19
16. While the city lost most of its residents after they were forced to relocate, a slight growth was seen in the city. In 2013, the Census Bureau reported a 2 percent growth (8,827 people) in the metro city area.
16 of 19
17. 11,494 fewer Whites live in New Orleans due to the storm, but the biggest loss was the African-American community, with 99,650 less. The numbers were not only from the storm, but encompass between 2000 and 2013.
17 of 19
18. From the Salvation Army: "@salvationarmyus continues to be a source of hope, stability, and service to the residents of the Gulf Coast 10 years after #hurricanekatrina. #doingthemostgood"
18 of 19
19. From photographer Paul Conrad: "Father Jim O'Bryan of St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Pearlington, Miss., gives his sermon Sunday morning October 2, 2005, one month after #hurricanekatrina . The church lifted off its foundation and floated to the middle of the road during the storm surge from Katrina. Work crews destroyed the remainder of the church when they cleared route 607 of debris."
19 of 19