Friday, August 29, 2008

Three years later...

The only thing that could overshadow the third anniversary of Hurricane Katrina blowing ashore is the threat of another storm following its path. As I listened to a memorial service as the remains of 85 unclaimed victims of Katrina were laid to rest, my stomach felt as if it were tied in knots.

However, the sadness the memorial service evoked was only a part of the unsettling feeling in my gut. It was the lines wrapping around gas stations, the shopping baskets filled with cases of water as people filed out of Wal-Mart at 7:00 a.m., the sheets of plywood bouncing in the beds of pick-up trucks as I drove to the coffee shop this morning. That's what caused the sickening feeling. Anyone who has ever been through this ritual knows exactly what I'm speaking of. It's what you go through when a storm is headed your way.

Of course, we're still days away from knowing exactly where Hurricane Gustav will hit, but don't tell that to folks who are still living in cramped FEMA trailers three years after Katrina. For them, and many others in my neck of the woods, "it's better to be safe than sorry" is no longer just a cliche. They are words to live by.

Some time today, say a prayer for those we lost three years ago, and those who are trying to save what they have today.

Be safe, my fellow Gulf Coast residents.