What’s most shocking to me — although I shouldn’t be surprised — is that a major U.S. region became a third-world disaster area overnight. I don’t think that we have had a situation like this in our country before, a huge area with no electricity or basic services, millions displaced or stranded, rampant crime. Is this a failure of our vaunted technology, or a failure to plan? Is this retribution for building cities in such dangerous places — marshes and deltas, under sea level — and relying on insufficient levees to hold back the water?
What now? How many years will it be before the region is restored, before people can resume their lives?
And I wonder if this disaster will change the way we view disasters in other parts of the world. Yes, we tend to be generous when a disaster hits elsewhere, but then we move on and forget. I wonder what’s happening in south Asia right now, where another disaster hit 9 months ago? Are they still rebuilding?
Someone in New Orleans is blogging from their office. It’s eye-opening. It’s like war.