A few hundred of the victims from Katrina were brought into Charlotte yesterday. Not many, when you look at the big picture. We put them in the Coliseum, which seats 20,000+. Of course, there are people locally who have the ability to offer free housing, or a room at least - and hopefully they'll get the information and take them up on it.
So I guess they're finally getting the left-behinds out of NOLA, and some part of my mind wants to say, "OK, the people are out, it's over." But it's only beginning. I wonder how they'll handle it, what kind of rebuilding process there will be, and how long it will take. I wonder where the citizens will go and what they'll do until it's all put back together. I don't know what I think about it even being put back together - seems a bit like dousing yourself in gas and walking through a Zippo convention, but I suppose I can understand why people would want their hometown rebuilt.
The ecological ramifications really worry me too. What will happen when water with a high enough chemical content to leave chemical burns on the legs and feet of a FEMA worker are pumped into a lake or the open ocean? People can be rescued, levees and homes can be rebuilt. Business will inevitably return. The people of NOLA are strong and soulful, resilient and apparently stubborn as hell - and will find a way to put their lives back into some semblance of order. But how do we fix the ocean? How do we fix the earth?