Monday, May 15, 2006

That 25-Foot Wall of Water Nonsense



It wasn’t long after I moved to New Orleans that I first read the famous Times-Picayune article about what would happen to the city if a major hurricane were to hit. Old timers scoffed, remembering Betsy and Camille and the many hurricanes that struck before they had names, like the one that howled ashore the night my Uncle Bob was born back in 1915. But those hurricanes landed in the days before the US government, in its infinite idiocy, build the Intracoastal Waterway and the Mississippi River-Gulf Outlet (known locally as the Mr Go), which experts warned would act together like a funnel to direct a storm surge straight at the city. It was also before an uncontrolled oil and gas industry wiped out mile after mile of the coastal wetlands that once acted as a buffer for the city.

I have a writer friend who is also an attorney, locally born and bred. I met her for the first time just hours after I had read that Times-Picayune article. I guess it cropped up in our conversation, and I expressed my alarm about the article. I don’t remember that part of our meeting, but my friend does. She told me the other day that ever since, she would sometimes quietly laugh to herself at the thought that I actually believed that twenty-five-foot wall of water nonsense.

After she told me this, we both had a laugh, one of those it’s-not-really-funny-but-if-we-don’t-laugh-we-might-cry kind of laughs.

6 comments:

Sphinx Ink said...

Hi Candy, this is your native-born-writer-friend-who's-an-attorney, the one who used to snicker at your "naive" belief in the 25-foot wall of water...First, I compliment you on your eloquent posts. Lovely blog, and I'm glad you've started it. Second, pride does indeed go before a fall. Katrina humbled me completely. As you know! As she did all of us....I'll keep checking in with your blog--your thoughts are fascinating,

Sphinx Ink said...

whoops, that posted before I was finished...your thoughts are fascinating, and so beautifully expressed. Gives me a chance to enjoy your writing in between releases of your books.

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