I've been thinking a lot about what to say about Hurricane Katrina here. My day-by-day account of the storm wouldn't be all that enlightening, but there are some points I do want to make.
1. Katrina was a Category THREE storm when it went over my head here in Jones County. Ninety miles inland, thousands of trees down, thousands of houses damaged or destroyed. I was without running water for two days, without power for 11 days, and without phone or cable or internet for weeks. But I have a job and a roof over my head, so it's all good for me. But the storm hit Mississippi and stayed hurricane strength at least to Meridian, maybe all the way up to Oxford.
2. It's not back to normal in most places. Half of Orleans Parish still looks like the end of the world. You can stand on a corner in Gentilly and looking in all directions, see wreck and ruin. Every house either has its guts on the lawn, rotting, or is rotting from the inside out. You can smell the mold and mildew from inside of a moving car, windows up. I haven't been to the Gulf Coast, but it's not normal there, either.
3. Everybody I know in New Orleans has post-traumatic stress. The city itself has PTSD. Maybe someone from New York can help us figure out how to deal with it.