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13: Katrina, waves and memories

Hurricane Science & Society / NASA / NOAA
Satellite image of Hurricane Katrina, August 2005.
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OKLAHOMA CITY – It was today, 13 years ago, that Hurricane Katrina was officially a hurricane and hurricane warnings were issued from Morgan City, Louisiana to the Florida-Alabama border (including Lake Pontchartrain) with New Orleans and the surrounding, low-lying environs. (For more, read my 2015 article "Katrina at 10").

With climate change came rising sea levels and 100-year storms become more frequent. The storm surge and the devastation left in its wake affected many thousands, if not more, along the Gulf Coast and inland.

Prof. Kerry Emanuel, who teaches atmospheric science at MIT wrote an article several years ago noting that Katrina was a warning. Look at 2017's Hurricane Maria, and the devastation it brought to Puerto Rico, resulting in the death of nearly 3,000 people.

And that an American city like New Orleans – if trends continue – will cease to exist in its current state by the beginning of the 22nd century.

Yes, folks, the future appears grim. And future generations will likely not know the coasts the way those of us born in the mid-to-late 20th century knew them.

But what is interesting is that folks down on the Gulf Coast are resilient. I decided to leave Louisiana after both Katrina and Rita struck the state. And I am ever-so glad I came to start over in Oklahoma and put Red Dirt Report out there.

Still, I miss the people and food and culture down there. So, catching Louisiana swamp-blues rocker Tab Benoit over the weekend at VZD's. Not getting down to Louisiana as much as I'd like, it was great hearing that bayou blues and soul on the VZD's stage. I miss it, that much I know.

And then, here, on the 13th anniversary of Katrina, I get a Twitter message from New Orleans rock band Cowboy Mouth, a group I've loved since the mid-90's, when their hit "Jenny Says" was on the charts. They have worked for several decades now keeping that New Orleans energy alive, sharing it with countless folks. 

Cowboy Mouth is one of the hardest-working bands out there. (Via Amazon)

Yes, out of the blue they kindly asked if I would share my thoughts on a new video for their uplifting 2008 song "I Believe," which first appeared on the album Fearless, in those years immediately after Katrina. I find I like this version better than the original. 

Some sample verses: "I believe in the spirit of rock n' roll / In the eternal strength of the immortal soul / 'Cause sometimes everybody's gotta let it go / I believe in the power of love."

"I believe in the sound of Sam and Dave / That little children should occasionally misbehave / That all that get is all that you gave / I believe in the power of love."

And I know the band would love it if you checked it out and left a comment. I wrote: "Am watching this on the 13th anniversary of Katrina becoming a hurricane and making landfall. A lot of emotions watching this fantastic video. Thanks, y'all!"

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Andrew W. Griffin

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Andrew W. Griffin received his Bachelor of Science in Journalism from...

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About Red Dirt Report

Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

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