Convalescence Not Recovery

Personal Writings Rebuild New Orleans

katrina-new-orleans-flooding4-2005New Orleans Moving into August, the “Katrina” month, in New Orleans forces a renewed reckoning with the status of the city’s comeback.  Wildly spinning stories this week expressed surprise with the robustness of the “recovery.”

  • The city’s population has now reached 76%+ of the pre-storm number putting us over 350,000 and rising.  Observers were shocked, since they had predicted a falloff after the 3rd year bump.
  • Similarly a report today on a “windshield” survey of housing stock indicated that there had either been full rehabilitation or substantial work done on more than 75% of the damaged houses.
  • Driving by the old St. Bernard housing project in the city, structures are finally framed, roofed, and skinned, and work seems to finally be moving apace.

Make no mistake though.  This is four years on since the storm.  This is not recovery.  This is long term convalescence.  This is not acute care, this is only a notch better than hospice treatment where the doctors are surprised the heartbeat and willpower to live are still so strong.

New Orleans will make it, but after four years is it too much to ask that our governments finally take this all seriously and pull together and really give us a hand?