Monday, August 28, 2006

At 6:10 a.m. on August 29, 2005, hurricane Katrina made landfall over Buras, Louisiana

As overwhelming as all of the barrage of images in Katrina's wake around the Gulf Coast have been, last year as I listened to the first news reports that the hurricane had made landfall over this tiny village downriver from New Orleans, I recalled that I had first come to know of this place through the WPA Guide to New Orleans. As the storm passed, and authorities were able to assess the damage, even before the levees in New Orleans had failed, I waited to hear of the fate of Buras. I didn't see any news crews make their way that far down the Mississippi, although I'm sure some must have.

Here was a village, described by locals as a virtual paradise on Earth, that bore the full brunt of Katrina's fury.

With all of the attention on New Orleans tomorrow, I wanted in some small way to remember the town of Buras, and ask that as you recall the events of a year ago, that you pan you vision out of the city to remember the countless villages and hamlets affected.

Their stories of loss and survival number in the thousands. So many of them will in all likelihood never get told. Of all the benefits, fundraisers and relief efforts for those affected around the Gulf Coast, I hope you will think of those towns like Buras. Think of them as your town. They are, after all, part of America. Your America. This could easily have been the town whre your family lived, where your roots were. When the next disaster hits --and there will be a next time, these images well be from the place you call home.

The header at top has a link to the Plaquemines Parish, where many more images of the destruction and recovery efforts may be found, as well information on how to assist. When an entire town is flattened, I'd think there is no contribution too small or insignificant that one could make. The worst you could do is to look away.

And then who would you have come to your aid, when disaster strikes?


Jodie Fultz said...

Thank you so much for remembering Buras. While stationed at Hill AFB in Ut. my husband & I became friends with a man named Paul Cook who grew up in Buras. When he left the Air Force he & his wife moved back home. We were sad and sickened by the destruction to the town he had told us so much about, we tried to find him and heard through various contacts that he was safe but have not been able to contact him. It's sad this small area that was so devastated has received so little attention. As the first area hit and one so completely destroyed the people there deserve more.
All our thoughts and prayers to the people of Buras-James & Jodie Fultz. Satellite Beach Florida

circuitmouse said...

Thank you - PBS aired an excellent pair of documentaries recently on the devastation and recovery of the Gulf Coast, paying special attention to those small towns and hamlets that the news media couldn't even reach during -or after- the storm. Buras and Port Sulphur were featured among the locations they documented for the anniversary of the hurricane. In no small part because my father comes from a small town very much like Buras, and my mother had relatives in New Orleans, it was especially poignant to me.