Ike is the first major hurricane to hit a U.S. metropolitan area since Katrina devastated New Orleans three years ago.
I beg to differ.
With the passage of sixteen days since Gustav hit Louisiana, I’ve become more and more angry. And while I’m still concerned about what is going on in Texas, I’m having a really hard time with what’s going on here.
You see, WE also had a hurricane. And the area I live in — a metropolitan area of almost 1 million people, yes, thank you very much — was hit hard. Extremely hard. Hurricane Betsy, which hit the Baton Rouge area in 1965, is the barometer, if you will, by which we measure every other storm that has hit this area. Hurricane Andrew. Hurricane Katrina. Hurricane Rita. We suffered severe damage from each of those storms. But none of them – even Betsy – did as much damage as Hurricane Gustav did on September 1, 2008.
Trouble is, the media didn’t see it as an ‘event.’ Because we had a governor and a mayor this time around that saw fit to be proactive instead of reactive. Because people in this area saw fit to heed the warnings and get out of harm’s way. Because we took care of ourselves. We didn’t spend unnecessary time and energy looking for the next tv camera. We spent that time and energy picking up the pieces. And when we were done, we helped our neighbors to pick up theirs.
Sixteen days later, many are still without power. Sixteen days later, businesses are still closed “until further notice.” Many small businesses will go under because they won’t be able to recover. Sixteen days later, busy intersections in THIS metropolitan area are still working on the four-way-stop method. Sixteen days later, this and this are what people are going through.
I guess if there’s nothing that will further the national media’s agenda, it’s not worth reporting.