Today marks 10 years to the day since Katrina smacked the southeastern Louisiana coast as a Category 3 hurricane. This was a few miles from New Orleans, but it would be the Big Easy’s levee failures that would result in the massive and deadly flooding in the Lower 9th Ward that would define this storm.
On a recent Anderson Cooper CNN special, he noted that the exact number of deaths was still not known. This frustrated one of the subjects he interviewed, moving him to tears. Cooper had even tracked down a family member of a dead man he’d seen while on a boat through the ward after Katrina.
The solemnity of this day is not lost on the residents of New Orleans or any of the victims’ families. The day is particularly poignant given the tropical storm churning near Florida as this examiner writes. It is unclear whether Tropical Storm Erika will spin up the Gulf, intensifying or turn more easterly up toward Alabama, or dissipate entirely near or on Florida’s shores.
But back to Katrina. Today we honor nearly 2,000 victims of a natural disaster made far more tragic by the failure of the levees in late August, 2005. The Army Corps of Engineers would later be sued; and then mayor Ray Nagin would go to jail for corruption.
Day of Service
Today, though, is a day for positivity and moving forward. Mayor Mitch Landrieu has deemed the past week as a time for volunteering in this great city, and today specifically is the citywide Day of Service.
At 7:30 a.m. volunteers reported to their project sites, which are located at the following spots:
- Florida/Desire & Lower 9th Ward – Sanchez Center | 1616 Caffin Ave.
- Central City – AL Davis Playground | 2600 LaSalle St.
- New Orleans East/Village de l’est – Einstein Charter School | 5316 Michoud Blvd
- Lake Area/Mid-City/Gentilly – Pontchartrain Park | 5600 Press Dr.
- Treme/7th Ward – Lafitte Greenway/Sojourner Truth Community Center | 2200 Lafitte Ave.
- Algiers – Behrman Stadium/Behrman Memorial Park | 2529 General Meyer Ave.
Organizations involved in the Day of Service include but are not limited to Green Light New Orleans, NOLA Trash Mob (Central City), Crown Community Garden, Gentilly Terrace Charter School, and American Red Cross of Southeast Louisiana (Central City).
Greenlight New Orleans says, “Whatever your passion is, you will find the project for you from education, faith-based, environmental, community beautification, and more.” They encourage everyone to continue volunteering in this great city, and today, taking “whatever time you need” to reflect.
Citywide activities include everything from picking up trash to building homes, and to date the Day of Service organizers had nearly reached their goal of recruiting 10,000 volunteers to help, with 8,756 on board.
For more information please check out the Day of Service site and get in touch with the folks. It is not too late to race down to your nearest volunteer location and help out.