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Despite the good news, the stories coming out of Houston resurfaced the 12-year-old scars left by Hurricane Katrina.
“[Houston] is very reminiscent of Katrina,” Williams said. “I was very fortunate to leave before the storm, but it’s exactly what I saw. We were lucky, but it hurts to see a city like that — especially now.”
At a press conference Tuesday, the 12-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, Landrieu called for a moment of silence to remember the storm that ravaged his city — and to memorialize the more than 1,800 people who died in the flooding.
“Everybody remembers all too well, especially in light of what’s going in Houston, that 12 years ago Katrina changed New Orleans forever,” the mayor said. “We lost 1,800 of our fellow Americans, a million people were displaced, one million homes were damaged, and another 250,000 homes were absolutely destroyed.”
The levees in New Orleans broke during Hurricane Katrina, which flooded 80 percent of the Gulf Coast city and destroyed lives. Landrieu said the images and survivor stories “were seared into our souls forever.”
“We unfortunately have to watch our friends [in Houston] and other parts of Texas experience a similar hardship,” he added. “We will never forget the incredible compassion that the people of Houston particularly and the people of Texas, as well … showed us when we needed them most.”
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Some in New Orleans also hoped that their city’s slow recuperation after Hurricane Katrina could inform the Harvey recovery.
Tulane School of Architecture Professor Richard Campanella, who has written extensively about New Orleans and studied its recovery after the storm, said there were “multitudes of lessons” learned from Hurricane Katrina and the immense infrastructure damage it wrought — destruction New Orleans is still recovering from even today.
“All of this water affects all the infrastructure and urbanism beneath it,” Campanella explained. “It will affect roadways, it will affect underground infrastructure, it will affect pipelines, electrical systems, not to mention building structures … so expect that this water will have multitudes of repercussions of urban infrastructure writ large.”