hurricane harvey

Don’t let Hurricane Harvey become Hurricane Katrina

As I watched the horrific images of Hurricane Harvey causing catastrophic flooding in Houston, I was moved.

I grieved for the five people who’d lost their lives, and the dozen who’d been injured as of Sunday afternoon.  I empathized with the residents as the onrushing water destroyed homes and businesses. I hoped that as a nation we’d embraced the lessons from the last storm of this kind.

I prayed that we remembered Katrina.

As local, federal and state agencies raced to respond to the tragedy in Houston, conducting more than 1,000 high-water rescues along the way, I couldn’t help thinking of the last time a major storm hit the Gulf States in late summer.

It was August 29, 2005, when Hurricane Katrina made landfall. The storm was a Category 3, bringing 125-mile-per-hour winds to an area that stretched 400 miles. In New Orleans, a major American city where cultures both melded and clashed for centuries before Katrina, the storm was bad enough. Then the levees broke, and the resultant floods first destroyed communities, and for many, they destroyed hope.

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