A year later
Rising costs becomes big problem for homeowners
After all, I only lost part of a fence and a few shingles in the storm, not loved ones, a house, a job or a business. However, watching the individuals stranded on roofs and in the Superdome and Convention Center brought back the emotions many of us felt a year ago when seeing a large part of our state totally devastated.
There is still numbness emanating from the aftermath of Killer Katrina in too much of the damage zone. St. Bernard Parish, lower Plaquemines, New Orleans East, the Ninth Ward, and pockets of other areas still lack the basic services necessary for ordinary living. Beyond utilities and infrastructure, the question of safety hangs in the air above every canal, pumping station and levee. The federal government says it is committed to rebuilding the hurricane safety net to "pre-Katrina" levels, but even that insufficient level of protection is months if not years from being in place.
Meanwhile, problems are crying out for solutions, and those who need the help most are not enamored with much of the leadership in place. The housing shortage remains critical a year after the storm. The release of the "Road Home" grant money to affected homeowners will help some, but too much of Louisiana is still years away from having enough affordable housing to bring back the area's displaced workforce.
Those who have come back are encountering problems they did not think about when they left. Utility costs are soaring, due to the huge amount of expensive infrastructure that utility companies are in the process of replacing. Property owners who are back in their houses and businesses are often finding huge increases in their property taxes. Then there is the insurance crisis. The problem is not so much the high cost of insurance—certainly a huge problem in and of itself. Even worse for property owners is trying to put in place the same amount of coverage they had before the storm. The evaporating insurance market is having a critical impact on both residential and commercial redevelopment in the disaster zones. Thus far, our elected officials have done little to stabilize the rapidly deteriorating insurance marketplace in Louisiana.
In my last visit to New Orleans, the most positive experience I encountered, I was talking to the waitress who served my breakfast. I asked her how she was doing in the aftermath of the storm and she replied: "I'm doing fine. I am a woman of faith, and the first thing I have faith in is me. I take on my challenges, one at a time, and solve them myself. Those who blame others or wait for help aren't going to make it. I will."
I gave her a hug and told her she should run for public office.
Subscribe Today and Save!!!
St. Charles Herald-Guide is an award-winning newspaper that covers all aspects of St. Charles Parish - from schools and parish government news to social events, features on our local residents and sports.
Order your subscription today!
New coach, new offense, new defense, new quarterback – this year the Hahnville...
A Wisconsin organization has sent another letter demanding the St. Charles Parish...
The St. Charles Parish School Board wants to install a comprehensive video...
The St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office is still looking for the body of a man who...
At this time last year, toddler Noah Townsend was near death....
After a heated battle that lasted through the spring and summer, Destrehan head...
Boudreaux's Collision offers quality auto body shop repair. Whether it's a major collision or paint touch up, we get you back on the road fast!
Rolling road block in both directions of Hale Boggs Bridge Saturday - 1513 views
There will be a rolling road block on both the southbound and northbound lanes of the Hale Boggs Bridge on Saturday from 6 a.m. until noon because a car commercial is being filmed in the area.