Even for Hurricane Katrina, passage of seven years somewhat dims the recollections of many Americans about the events of what just about every Louisianian remembers as “the storm year.”
And for at least one good reason, successful evacuations and thus a small loss of life, it is even harder for Americans to remember Hurricane Rita.
Just a month after Katrina, for the first time on record, a second Category 5 hurricane arrived in the Gulf of Mexico in the same hurricane season. Because of the devastation of Katrina, particularly in metropolitan New Orleans but also elsewhere on the Gulf Coast, the U.S. government and responders at all levels made huge efforts to prepare for Rita.
Part of Rita amnesia is failing to recall that the biggest impact on many Americans was Rita’s huge footprint over the energy-production heart of the Gulf.
We’ve had some significant storms since, but that year of two such devastating blows is seared into our consciousness in Louisiana. We applaud the strides made in hard-hit parishes of southwestern Louisiana since Rita, and hope we don’t see her likes again anytime soon.