Our View: Sandy unleashes Katrina memories

Published 8:56 am Friday, November 2, 2012

Haunting images of cars floating in the streets, houses knocked off of their foundations, floodwaters turning city streets into raging rivers, grim searches for bodies, dramatic rooftop rescues, and a lack of electricity painting large chunks of a major metropolitan city an ebony hue have filled our mental images the past few days.

Only this was not a recurring nightmare of Hurricane Katrina, although video suggested otherwise, but another natural disaster being played out in the country’s most densely populated region and the world’s financial hub. Hurricane Sandy, later termed Superstorm Sandy, has left the Northeast corridor devastated. Similar to Katrina, the region received a double helping of wind and floodwaters, the latter aided by breach dunes that were protecting several coastal towns.

It’s a scenario that is eerily reminiscent of seven years ago when Katrina unleashed its fury along the Gulf Coast region.

Only this time, it was a rare fall storm that morphed into a Nor’easter, creating an unprecedented weather event that will leave areas from Virginia to Maine digging out for quite some time.

The New Jersey shore, famous for its beach, boardwalk and casinos, lies in ruins, certain of rebuilding but equally certain its original mystique will from this point forward be only a memory.

The Mississippi Gulf Coast and Gulf Shores, Ala., are testimony to this reality.

Once considered invincible, New York City is on its knees, crippled by record-level waters that left Manhattan resembling Venice more than the Big Apple. The subway system, which millions of riders rely on daily, is only open partially, with many lines still underwater. One can only imagine the difficulties commuters must confront not only getting to and from work but the management of their daily lives minus their major transportation source.

Although Sandy, fortunately, was no Katrina, those in the Northeast need our help. They, along with the rest of the country, have certainly come to our rescue in the past so now it’s time to repay the favor.

Southeast Louisiana residents are grizzled veterans of hurricanes and their aftermath so we are already aware of the basic necessities that will be required, whether it be clothes, food, or financial assistance. Open your hearts and reach out to those who so desperately need our help.

And offer the one item that comes at no cost but may carry the most significant impact: Say a prayer for those in need, just as millions have done in the past for us.