It’s been almost six months since the Gulf Coast was devastated by the overwhelming power of Hurricane Katrina, and all of America has fully indulged in its fair share of finger-pointing.The problem is all those fingers are pointing at each other and not at solutions. While countless displaced New Orleans residents remain estranged from their homes and much of the Ninth Ward is still closed in nighttime hours, our government continues to turn a blind eye towards the suffering of the victims in favor of the squirming of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff in his hot seat.
It is understandable that those on Capitol Hill would want to get to the bottom of the FEMA debacle, an organization that senator Joe Lieberman, D-Conn., said has become “a joke, a four-letter word.”
But there is a time and place for such disciplinary action. The beginning of hurricane season is less than four months away, and the Army Corps of Engineers has yet to figure out how the levees in New Orleans broke, much less how to rebuild them properly.
Aren’t we missing the bigger issue? Why are the most recent media releases all centered on the meetings in Washington and not on the status of the Gulf Coast?
Here’s an update: there were 484,674 men, women and children listed as living in New Orleans in the most recent census. City officials estimate about 200,000 are now living in the city. Factor in an official death count of a little more than 1,300, and it becomes plainly evident that there are still hundreds of thousands of people still without permanent homes.
FEMA and the national government have already failed to both provide for and protect the Gulf Coast once in the past six months – they should suspend their blame game and their accusations before it happens again.
Sports editor Travis Stewart for the editorial board