Hi folks, NOPD Homicide Detective Frank Renzi here. I've been quiet lately, no posts for a while, but this is a special day for me. On this day 10 years ago Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans, my adopted city. Be careful. Some of the photos below are graphic.
Today, I pay tribute to the people who died, to those who survived and to the NOPD police officers who stayed in the city to help save lives.
Officers from District-8 station alone rescued more than 100
people stranded on roofs or in flooded homes.
NOPD Officers on duty in other districts saved hundreds more.
But make no mistake. Hundreds of people died.
Some died in their homes. They couldn't leave and they couldn't swim.
Some died in the water.
Some died on roofs
Some died at the Superdome
Some died at the Convention Center.
Why didn't they leave?
From the comfort of their middle and upper-class homes, people around
the country watching this on TV asked: Why didn't they leave? Here's why. They didn't
have cars. They had nowhere to go. They didn't have money.
Forget credit cards. They didn't even have bank accounts.
had was family and hopes and dreams for their children, hope that
turned into desperation, when no help arrived. No food. No water. No
buses to take them someplace safe. These are
the faces of poverty when disaster strikes large cities.
To be sure there were failures at the local and state levels during
Katrina. But the biggest failures fall upon the federal government. Long before Katrina the federal Army Corps of Engineers FAILED to
build and maintain the levees around New Orleans. When the storm surge hit, the levees FAILED and water surged into the city
In the aftermath of the storm, federal officials downplayed the disaster. While millions watched the plight of New Orleans citizens at the Superdome and the Convention Center on TV, officials in air-conditioned hotel rooms with working toilets denied the extent of the disaster.
But at the Superdome there was no electricity or air-conditioning.
No electricity, air-conditioning or working toilets at the Convention Center.
TOO LITTLE, TOO LATE
Even when the enormity of the disaster became evident, help did not
arrive for days. And more people died.
Sometimes when disasters happen the federal government steps in to help people. But during Katrina it was clear that the most vulnerable citizens in New Orleans could not rely on the government to save them.
Ten years after Katrina, parts of New Orleans are almost back to normal. Other sections of the city are not. Some people evacuated and never returned. Some evacuated and died a few days later, far from home.
Let us rejoice about the good news and hope the lessons learned during
Katrina serve as a wakeup call to mayors of other big cities:
Chicago, Baltimore, Los Angeles, New York and Boston. If disaster
strikes your city, do you have a plan to save your most vulnerable
citizens? If not, many of your sick, elderly, and impoverished
citizens may perish.
September 29, 2005
Got comments? add them to the comments box, below.
To read more about how Katrina affected the NOPD, read DIVA, a crime novel set in New Orleans 14 months post Katrina. http://susanfleet.com/fleet-diva.html