September 23, 2005

"It's like looking at a murder... The first time is bad. After that, you numb up."

Watching the re-flooding of New Orleans. "[A] waterfall at least 30 feet wide poured over and through a dike that had been used to patch breaks in the Industrial Canal levee," and Rita has not yet arrived.

6 comments:

John said...

What an interesting quote for the context of this story and an even more interesting analogy.

Call me what you will, but I can't relate to someone who "numbs up" after seeing their first murder.

Ann Althouse said...

Yes, I thought it was a spooky quote. Well, who looks at two murders, anyway? I have no idea how you would feel. But this man is expressing his feelings, vividly.

downtownlad said...

Obviously rebuilding any part of this city that is below sea level is sheer idiocy.

Donna B. said...

I think that quote is also a statement about conditions in New Orleans before Katrina.

doctorj2u said...

As a New Orleanean, I understand his quote completely. He has seen his beloved city die once before and it was painfully awful. This time he is just numb.

Elizabeth said...

I agree, doctor. And I feel the same way. I was in New Orleans Sunday and Monday, trying to gather some things and secure my home a bit better, and suddenly here comes Rita, and I had to evacuate again, without finishing what I came there to do.

downtownlad--it's true that some areas will not be rebuilt, but it's unlikely that that will be true for all areas under sea level. There are other factors that matter--the adequacy of the levees that failed, re-assessing some of the waterways the Corps of Engineers have built over the years and which may have closed off natural wetlands that absorb and move water out of the city and suburbs. If most of the structures in a section have to be razed, then it will make sense to fill in the area and raise the land level, as Galveston did in the years after the 1900 hurricane, and build on that higher ground.

It's just unlikely that more than half of the city will be abandoned.