This breaks my heart, completely. I am in my office, preparing for student conferences, crying. Ouch.
*From The New York Times*
March 22, 2006
Evacuees' Lives Still Upended Seven Months After Hurricane
By SHAILA DEWAN, MARJORIE CONNELLY
and ANDREW LEHREN
Nearly seven months after Hurricane Katrina flooded New Orleans and forced out hundreds of thousands of residents, most evacuees say they have not found a permanent place to live, have depleted their savings and consider their life worse than before the hurricane, according to interviews with more than 300 evacuees conducted by The New York Times.
The interviews suggested that while blacks and whites suffered similar rates of emotional trauma, blacks bore a heavier economic and social burden. And even as both groups flounder, most said they believed that the rest of the nation, and politicians in Washington, have moved on.
"I don't think anybody cares, really," said Robert Rodrigue, a semiretired computer programmer who has returned to his home in the suburb of Metairie. "New Orleans is kind of like at the bottom of the country, and they just forget about us."
The Times study is the first major effort to examine the lives and attitudes of those displaced by the storm's devastation at the six-month point, a moment when many must decide whether to establish a life in a new place or return home.
Fewer than a quarter of the participants in the study have returned to the same house they were living in before the hurricane, while about two-thirds said their previous home was unlivable. A fifth said their house or apartment had been destroyed. Many have not found work and remain separated from family members.
Still, most of those interviewed favor returning to the city, expressing a sense of optimism about the recovery process or, more often, a fierce yearning for home, as if staying away from New Orleans were like trying to breathe air through gills.