Wednesday, August 31, 2005

The Path of Katrina

Last year, when I was traveling by train from California to Florida and back, the route took me through New Orleans, Gulfport, Biloxi, and Mobile. The tracks run all along the Gulf Coast, and the Sunset Limited has stops in all of the cities severely affected by Hurricane Katrina.

I can see the areas now, only this time they have been ravaged by wind and water. The highways have been obliterated in sections, as, I am certain, are the train tracks. The devastation is actually almost unimaginable.

I met several very personable young men of other ethnic backgrounds on the train. They were sitting in some of the seats across from me. We spent days conversing, and at least a couple of them were originally from New Orleans. They were returning home for the holiday season. One of them is a filmmaker in Los Angeles, attending school and also working in the industry. It was a very enjoyable time, and the hours passed sort of quickly, although things are not that fast on that particular train, it seems.

All of these great guys warned me that I should never visit New Orleans during Mardi Gras. They explained that it is a very dangerous place to be at that time, and that seemed amazing to me, based on the fact that they are all young and seem to be able to handle any situation.

In years past, I visited the city with my daughter, Coral, and we had fun walking around in the “tourist area”, then driving through streets with wonderful old homes. I also have been there with an ex-husband who is a truck driver. We were delivering frozen food to locations in the heart of the city, and I had a chance to walk around checking out the wonderful old cemeteries. That is rather vivid in my mind, as I had never seen above ground graves such as the ones in New Orleans. The walls around the cemeteries were interesting.

I am truly saddened that I won’t be able to visit New Orleans at all for some very long time, although the hardest part is to know of the huge amount of suffering which is transpiring in that city at this time.

It makes one wonder why “we” build cities and communities in places fraught with such dangers, although some people will always want to be located near large bodies of water, places with a view, places to swim or go boating. And why build a city that is below sea level, although it has been done in other countries as well.

Even I desire a home with a water view, and have plans to perhaps relocate to a hurricane-prone area. I do not know whether or not I am having second thoughts about that.

I may be able to reap some first-hand information from my niece about conditions in New Orleans. She is in the Navy, and is on her ship traveling from Virginia to Louisiana. I do hope that they are able to alleviate some of the suffering.


  • At 7:55 AM, September 07, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Buffalo picture album, some of the comments are interesting.


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