Times-Picayune, New Orleans, on rising from the ruins of disaster:

August 16

Times-Picayune, New Orleans, on rising from the ruins of disaster:

In the early days after Hurricane Katrina and the levee breaches, it was hard to imagine that New Orleans could rebound from such devastation. With 80 percent of the city under water and 200,000 homes across Southeast Louisiana in ruins, the task of rebuilding seemed overwhelming. But with the eighth anniversary of the disaster upon us, the transformation is stunning.

Recovery is evident in refurbished parks and repaired homes, in the expansion streetcars and renovations at Louis Armstrong International Airport, in the 72,000 Saints fans who fill the Superdome for every game and the 9 million tourists who visit each year.

Renewal goes deeper, though, as evidenced in the “New Orleans Index at Eight” report released by the Greater New Orleans Community Data Center this week.

The Data Center found that the New Orleans area fared well when compared to job growth nationwide and among other cities. ...

The growth in entrepreneurs in the New Orleans area reflects a 129 percent increase over pre-Katrina numbers.

It is not surprising that a community in recovery would attract some entrepreneurs. But these numbers bespeak an extraordinary level of optimism and energy. ...

Groups like Citizens for One Greater New Orleans, which came together in November 2005 to push for levee board reforms, have continued to hold public officials and agencies to high standards. That is crucial long-term.

The Data Center also highlighted the high level of creativity in our community. The New Orleans area has more than double the national average of arts and cultural groups per 100,000 residents.

In an indication of improved quality of life, New Orleans spent significantly more on recreation in 2012 than the city did pre-Katrina and has added more than 40 miles of bike paths.

Despite all the positives, though, serious problems remain. ...

The restoration work itself can energize parts of the region’s economy. If done properly and successfully, the report’s authors said, restoration could “become the defining event for New Orleans — instead of Katrina.”

That is a hopeful thought as the eighth anniversary of the disaster approaches. And it would be an amazing accomplishment. But why not? Hard work has brought our region back from unimaginable damage, so why shouldn’t we be able to save the coast as well? And really, we must.



St. Mary Now & Franklin Banner-Tribune

Franklin Banner-Tribune
P.O. Box 566, Franklin, LA 70538
Phone: 337-828-3706
Fax: 337-828-2874

Morgan City Daily Review
P.O. Box 948, Morgan City, LA 70381
Phone: 985-384-8370
Fax: 985-384-4255

Follow Us