I was sent an article by The Guardian on the recent storms that plagued my state. The article was centered around Lake Charles, which again suffered the worst of these storms, and I actually found myself feeling rather fortunate that the flash floodwaters only reached the top of my bottom step. I still made preparations (I have a friend with a boat if the worst ever happens) and only lost power a few times in April and May due to the storms. Overall, reading these stories from an international news site kind of created a surreal feeling.
And the odds show it will most likely get worse. We had hurricane-like weather in May that impacted not only Lake Charles, but many southern towns and cities across the state. I have friends who were flooded out of their homes last month, and my home was one of a small handful that didn’t have floodwaters rise into my living room.
Neighbors down the street lost everything, and just as their homes got cleaned up, another storm came, bringing more flash flooding. Some of the homes down the street aren’t properly lifted off the ground as mine is. Some are, but then are located downhill. My home is on the higher end of a hill and I’m around 5 miles away from the Mississippi, which is far enough not to be impacted if the river is to crest and flood downtown.
The Guardian’s piece shared a reminder of what happened to our state last year with the two major hurricanes, but it neglected to mention that Louisiana was hit by more than two hurricanes last year. We had three deadly ones and had to brace for hurricanes at least six times last year. What the article did share awareness on is Lake Charles’ dire need for help. Yes, they need help even now. Mayor Nic Hunter also explained how unusual such events are historically.
“This has got to be a wake-up call to Washington that Lake Charles and south-west Louisiana is languishing right now,” he said. “We need help. These monstrous events are wreaking havoc upon systems designed 40 or 50 years ago to deal with events that happened once every 100 years. Now we are getting these events happening multiple times over the past 14 months.” He’s absolutely right. These storms are fueled by the warming of our planet, and Louisiana isn’t the only place that will be affected by these intense storms — any coastal city that isn’t prepared will be heavily impacted.
Is This Karma For Louisiana’s Love Of Big Oil?
I have seen so many negative comments to some of my pieces covering the plight of the people of my state, people saying that we deserve this or to not to ask for help when another hurricane hits. Many of these comments are on Twitter and other social sites. People think that we deserve to have our homes flooded all because of what our politicians do. As a voter who didn’t vote for some of the politicians in power, I feel saddened that many people would think I deserve to have my home flooded because of something that I had no control over.
I shouldn’t be blamed or hated for what my politicians (especially those who I did not vote for) do, nor should other Louisianans be blamed for the groups of hateful individuals that happen to reside in our state, as they do in every state to varying degrees. Politically speaking, I feel as if both sides — Democrats and Republicans — have some type of agenda. I just vote for the ones whose agendas are less evil or harmful.
Blaming citizens for the acts of politicians and saying “you deserve it” is not only wrong, but it is heartless. And those who take that attitude don’t care about the plight of climate change — they only pretend to.
Yes, Louisiana is an oil state. Yes, we have our flaws. But, yes, we have advocates here who are fighting that. We have people here, such as myself, who care about our future. If we truly want to blame someone, we need to blame ourselves for financially supporting the industries that are destroying our planet — no one is 100% blame free.