Among the many ungraceful ladies to visit Louisiana — Katrina, Irene, Rita — Karen was the best. There was sunshine in New Orleans, and only a little rain in Baton Rouge from a cool front that steered the tropical weather away.
The only tropical storm of the season to menace the Gulf Coast was a fizzle. She provoked some online humor, such as the photo of a single overturned lawn chair: “Hurricane Karen. Never Forget!”
Mocking aside, even a fizzle like Karen has significant cost, as authorities from the president of the United States on down have to ensure the safety of the Gulf Coast and its people. In this case, the preparations were rightly ordered by Gov. Bobby Jindal, Mayor Mitch Landrieu and his peers around the region and into Mississippi and Alabama.
They made the right call in preparing ahead of time. We have seen too often the results of failing to prepare. The cost of preparation is small compared with the cost of being unprepared when a storm really hits.