It is hard to believe Hurricane Katrina was five years ago. There are plenty of TV news specials this week but here are two pictures that in some ways are worth 2,000 words.
This is a side-by-side comparison of my sister's block in New Orleans (left side is a year before the storm, right side is a few days after). The house we grew up in was sitting in ten feet of water for two or three weeks. It took us that long to get any real news about her street. We knew that the city was 80% flooded but we didn't know how badly till we saw this shot on the internet. The water is up to just under the gutter.
This is a more recent aerial view. As you can see, many lots are vacant. Many houses could not be rehabbed, so they were torn down and the owners either can't or won't rebuild at this time. My sister's house is the one in the center. It took two years of stubbornness and determination for her to get back into the house.
New Orleans is still hurting. I'm sharing this as a reminder on a very personal level. Devastation can happen anywhere.