Blog Question #5:
Although I felt awkward doing it, I asked a few people about their personal experiences with Hurricane Katrina. I asked my cousin Kerrison Black, whose whole business was there and whose wedding was postponed because of the disaster. I asked my hairdresser, whose shop was in the basement of the Omni Hotel and I asked a young girl who was the shop keeper to a tobacco shop off of Bourbon.
My Cousin Kerry, owns a Production Company called SuperFly productions which is based almost completely in The center of New Orleans. The news of the Hurricane was extremely difficult for him and I had his people back up all electronic info and send it to New York where he would be staying for the duration of the Hurricane. However, he told me that it was in fact not his business that he was worried about but his November wedding that he and his fiance had been planning for over a year. There was nothing they could do and shortly after the Hurricane, Kerry asked his fiance whether or not she still wanted to have the in New Orleans. She told him that there was no other place where she could have a wedding like the one of her dreams so they waited until March to say their "I dos"
The next person I spoke to was my Hairdresser, Charles who ran the Keefer Salon in New Orleans in the basement of The Omni Hotel... He told me that he left when he heard that it was a level five, but did not expect to come back to an apartment with one wall missing and his place of work, underwater till early february. He told me that they had just opened the week before I had gotten there because before that, the bottom floor smelled completely of damp moldiness. He said he himself had to go down there and start salvaging what he could because non of his co-workers would be back for another month.
The last girl I spoke to was a young lady who originated from Chicago but seemed extremely adapted to the unique New Orleans way. She had purple and black hair and had a bull ring hanging out of the center of her nose, but she was very nice, none the less. She told me that about two weeks before the hurricane, for no reason, she told her roommate she was going to go back to Chicago for a about 2 months to see her family. She had set up a job there and she packed her stuff and left. Her roommate decided that he was going to move in with a friend and split the rent since she had gone. After the Hurricane the pair found out, that the roof of the the top floor apartment that they were living in had caved in during the storm. If either had been there, they would have been trapped and most likely died. She said if this were to happen again, she would stay, just far enough out of reach so that her cats would be safe..."The failure to adequately respond to the devastation caused by Katrina has had disastrous environmental and health consequences. Thousands upon thousands of residents continue to suffer exposures to contaminated soil, unsafe water and toxic mold, and the federal government is doing next to nothing to remedy the situation."
Jim Frederick, Assistant Director of the Steelworkers Department of Health, Safety and the Environment. (Source: uswa.org)