St. Charles Herald-Guide

Southeast Louisiana needs unified approach

Our View - May 24, 2006

Now that the New Orleans area has gotten politics out of the way, it is time to get down to the business of unifying southeast Louisiana into a big and effective metropolitan area.

At the present time, that area extends all the way from Baton Rouge and as far west as Houma. Thousands of people commute those distances daily.

One thing that should unite us is the fact that we are all affected by hurricanes that make landfall in our area such as Katrina. We need to move forward in building up our wetlands to protect us from surges of future storms. We need to have an effective levee system that will help protect the entire area.

We need to promote building residential areas that will not flood when at least a category three comes through. We need business and industrial areas that likewise can stand up against the storms that come our way.

Katrina should be a catalyst that pulls us all together, politically and economically. We are all dependent upon one another.

Gov. Kathleen Blanco and Mayor Ray Nagin should lead the way in making southeast Louisiana an example for the rest of the country in how a unified approach can benefit an area. Our parish president and others in the area should join them in adding to that unity for the betterment of southeast Louisiana.

This hurricane season, which begins next Thursday, should be a time for preparation to evacuate if necessary, of course, but should also be a time of reflecting upon how dependent we are upon one another. Many more people would have died in Katrina if it had not been for their brothers’ help.