February 15th, 2008
03:12 PM ET
13 years ago

Blitzer: New Orleans still struggles

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/images/02/15/art.neworleans.getty.jpg caption="In New Orleans, the Ninth Ward struggles two years after Hurricane Katrina."] NEW ORLEANS (CNN) - The Lower Ninth Ward here in New Orleans is so depressing. I spent part of the day driving around the miles and miles of destruction. Whole blocks are just empty lots. Where homes once stood, there are now only concrete slabs left. You see an occasional trailer where a family has tried to re-establish their lives. Some of the residents are trying to rebuild their actual homes. But it’s extremely difficult.

My guide was Peter Kovacs, the managing editor of The Times-Picayune, the newspaper that won a Pulitzer for its coverage of Katrina. He’s been through this area so many times. He knows the empty lots and the missing people who have been forced to resettle elsewhere around the country. He’s not upbeat about the Lower Ninth Ward ever being what it was. What a sad story.

In the course of the tour, we came upon Charmyne Fluker. She was visiting there with her elderly mother who had lived in a home in the neighborhood for years – only to see it wiped away by the storm. They were forced to move to North Carolina. This was the first time her mother had come back to see the devastation and to understand why there was no real opportunity of actually coming home. Charmyne told me her mom had to see the area with her own eyes in order to reach finality.

There is so much that needs to be done. What is encouraging, Kovacs told me, is that about a million people from all over the country have come to New Orleans since Katrina to volunteer some of their time to help rebuild. Some spend a day; others weeks.

This weekend, the NBA is having its All-Star Game here. NBA officials, players, coaches, and fans are doing their part – painting, cleaning and building. But they are also doing their part by simply being here.

–CNN Anchor Wolf Blitzer

Filed under: Wolf Blitzer
soundoff (78 Responses)
  1. Jan

    The problems in New Orleans will all be solved when Obama is elected.

    The problems in the rest of the country will all be solved when Obama is elected.

    YES WE CAN... YES WE CAN.... But How is he going to do all of this. No one seems to have a clue, even Obama.

    Be very afraid America.....McCain is coming to the White House.

    February 15, 2008 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  2. RJB2

    You have to feel the sadness for everyone on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.
    Feel awe from the power of mother nature.
    Feel contempt for the levees that failed.
    Feel frustration from the total Incompetent of government.
    And feeling anger from the CONTINUING Incompetent of Government.
    But it is "OUR" fault...we elect and re-elect and re-elect these same people over and over again. When ask, people say that Congress is broken and useless. When ask further they say "Well my elected official is fine, it is everyone else that is bad. Congress is all in it together, everyone one from every state and county and city and town. We have to not re-elect OUR OWN elected officials. Everyone likes to blame President Bush for Katrina...(I do to). But the bulk of the blame is for others. Local Officials, State Officials, Congress, Senate. Think about it...this is a lot of people. And yes, there were and are a few good apples in this mess we call Government. But most are Incompetent and self serving. OUT, OUT...they all have to go. Not one incumbent should get re-elected. WE HAVE THE POWER. The sad thing is we do not use it smartly and effectively. When someone comes to Government that is NEW, SMART, VISIONARY, and does not fit the same mold that the others in Government have he is put down. So we are also Incompetent by re-electing the same people. When you repeat the same thing over and over and over again and expect a different result, this is what? Incompetents, Stupidity, Stubbornness, ignorance. WHAT? I do not know...but we continue to do it. And our Government will continue to do it.
    It is sad, because we have what we deserve... WHY? BECAUSE WE WILL NOT CHANGE.
    SAD... SO SAD.

    February 15, 2008 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  3. Kev

    For all of you that crying Hillary would do this, or Obama would do that, It does not matter who is president if the state and local government or corrupt. But then that was the problem at all levels.

    And to Mike who said, "its not the U.S Government's fault that people built a city under sea level and then complain that it got flooded". When the U.S. government went to France and wanted to buy that city that was under sea level, they gave it their blessing. And, if Bush did not cut the Army Corp money for his little war game, the leaves could have been built right. The money to build the leaves was appropriated by then president Clinton and was cut by Bush to go to the war effort. The A.C.E. knew that what they built could not withstand a cat 3 storm as it was commissioned to do, but no one wants to talk about that!

    February 15, 2008 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
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