Six months after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans and Mississippi, we are reminded of what a disaster it was, how many people are still reeling from the effects, and how poorly it was- and continues to be- handled.
Last week Oprah Winfrey dedicated a show to the Katrina aftermath, where the images of towns hit look like they were taken in the days after the hurricane, but astoundingly are actually current. People are still homeless, and reconstruction has barely begun. Hundreds of empty trailers sit in lots, inexplicably left undistributed to needy families. USAFreedom Corps and The Red Cross still desparately needs volunteers.
In yet another blow to President Bush and teh Federal government's response to the disaster, today a video was released by the AP that shows FEMA briefing Bush four days before the storm hit, outlining the potential for great loss of life, potential for catastrophe if the Superdome was to be used as a rescue headquarters, and the likelihood of levees breaking. Bush doesn't ask any questions during the briefing, but pledges his commitment to providing support. A clip is then shown of him appearing on Good Morning America after the storm hit, saying that "I don't think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees." That statement at least was quite apparently a lie.