Watching The City Die

Aug 30, 2006 by

It was a year ago today that the real disaster happened. The largest engineering failure in American History: Levee Failure.

Here are the posts made from the hotel in W. Memphis as we watched in horror. We were some of the few people not from the 9th Ward, and as we watched the city drown the fear and pain were palpable.

Here are the voices of two residents of the Lower 9 that afternoon while we watched the devatation unfold:

Then news of looting, which really angered me. New Orleanians take care of each other after hurricanes. It was just wrong.

We were in a beat up hotel room with condensation on every surface, crammed in with the cats and fellow evacuees. Every window in the place had some kind of animal or child visible in it as the entire population of the site was made up of refugees. (Yes, refugees. When you are forcibly displaced that is what you are and no amount of PC verbal dancing changes that). It was at this point that we realized we were not going home for awhile if ever.

The fear and uncertainty of that day hangs heavy in my heart still. There is nothing, thank god, that can equal that first blast of images across my screaming retinas images heretofore relegated to news feeds of natural disasters or wars overseas. Little did I know that the true horror would be the lack of response.

Yesterday I realized that I was constantly going back, in my mind, to the events of a year ago. I would think, “Just now we were waking up to the news after finally getting some sleep,” or, “Oh god, right about now was when I ran into that guy hauling ass to the lobby yelling “the levees broke!” Since I cannot get the running taly out of my mind I will be flashing back to it here on the site. Each days pot will have a link at the bottom to the one I made exactly one year prior.

This is why we CANNOT forget!

Leave me a comment. Where were you the day the levees failed?

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