New Orleans residents had reason to rejoice yesterday (September 1) as a diminished Hurricane Gustav only caused minor damage in a city still rebuilding from the destruction of Katrina three years earlier.
On Friday forecasters ominously warned that Hurricane Gustav, which ravaged Cuba and Jamaica, would grow to a Category 4 storm on the 5 point scale, before hitting the Louisiana coast.
In preparation New Orleans mayor Ray Nagin enacted a mandatory evacuation of the city, hoping the rebuilt levees would prove strong enough to prevent the city from suffering any major devastation.
The levees did hold, due to Gustav arriving weaker than expected as a Category 2 storm.
Still, the hurricane hurt the citys sewer system and left 1 million homes without power.
Despite the damage, entertainment mogul and Ninth Ward native P. Miller (p/k/a Master P) was thankful his community was spared the repeat nightmare of another Hurricane Katrina, which killed 1,600 people in 2005.
It definitely had my people on edge and reminiscing on what happened with Katrina, Miller told AllHipHop.com. This is something you cant really challenge or stop. Its nature. Were just praying for the best.
City, state, and federal governments were better prepared this hurricane season, working together to ensure that 95% of the city was evacuated before the storm hit Monday morning.
With the third anniversary of Katrina just passing on August 23-30, P states his community still struggles to make sense of the aftermath, as thousands of displaced residents are still living in FEMA trailers.
Its almost like a curse. You look back and say wow, its only been three years and here it is happening again, Master P reflected. This is a serious matter and time for change. Before the people come back into the city we have to figure out how to make these levees work to where they dont break anymore.
Early reports indicate there was no flooding, but several traffic lights, lights poles, and trees had been blown down.
At press time, city officials are holding off on bringing residents back into the city until the full damage is accessed.
According to Mayor Nagin, this process will cover the next several days and be concluded by weeks end.