News is beginning to swell over the hurricane projected to make landfall in the Gulf Coast on Saturday. The Times‘ lede read "Tropical storm Gustav was…putting officials in Mississippi and Louisiana on high alert and sending jitters through the oil industry for the fourth straight day." Following this lament about oil executives’ anxiety levels, the article mentioned the storm’s already devastating effect on the Dominican Republic and Haiti where at least 15 people died. In the third paragraph the article gets to New Orleans which tomorrow will commemorate the third anniversary of Katrina. As Jordan Flaherty writes in LeftTurn, the city is still reeling from the Katrina:
More than one in three residential addresses – over 70,000 – remain vacant or unoccupied… Lower Ninth Ward… ranks far behind other neighborhoods in recovery, with only 11 percent of its pre-Katrina number of households. The same report notes that since the devastation of the city, rents have raised by 46% citywide (much more in some neighborhoods), while many city services remain very limited – for example, only 21% of public transit buses are running.
Bobby Jindal called in the National Guard in preparation for this next storm, declaring a state of emergency and undoubtedly bringing chills to those Black New Orleanians who saw their city militarized after Katrina. Residents and those still displaced all over the country continue the slow process of rebuilding their lives after 1500 of their neighbors died, a process that continues without support. Meanwhile, the Times reports on the rising price of oil as if this looming storm were at fault and as if that should really be out largest collective concern in the face of another blow to New Orleans.