Since Camille exacted her fury on the Gulf Coast, we have been warned that it could happen again. My father was in the National Guard at that time. He helped clean up in the wake of Camille, long before I was born and before he met my mother. He rarely speaks of it and when he does the stories are horrifying. Now, almost forty years later, we are facing the aftermath of a storm more disastrous than Camille: Hurricane Katrina. The storm made landfall in almost the exact place that Camille hit all those years ago, annihilating everything in its path from Pascagoula to Waveland. Katrina then turned her fury north where she took out electrical systems statewide as far north as Tupelo. As I write this, everything south of the parallel line that I-20 draws between Meridian and Jackson is a disaster area. Half of the states residents are still without power and gasoline shortages hinder anyones attempts to wait out the recovery somewhere else. So far the death toll in Mississippi is around 130; we were the lucky ones. The greatest fear about Katrina is that she would strike New Orleans, Louisiana with the full force of her wrath, and many watched with relief as she made landfall miles east of there in the Biloxi-Gulfport area of Mississippi. The Big Easy had been spared, or so we thought. Hours after we thought the city was safe, catastrophe stuck. The levee system that held back lake Pontchatrain failed and water began to pour into downtown New Orleans. Most of the City lies below sea level between Lake Pontchatrain and the Mississippi River. The levee system was designed to keep both of them out of down town New Orleans, even under the brutal force of a Category 3 hurricanes storm surge. Unfortunately as Katrina made her way across the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico, she increased in power making landfall as a Category 5. The levee walls just couldnt withstand the force. 80% of New Orleans is now underwater and it is predicted that it will be at least 3 months before people can go back in and start rebuilding. So whos to blame for New Orleans? The hard left Bush-bashers blame the president. The right wingers blame previous administrations. Who's fault is it really? Every city official who didnt listen since 1969 has a part in this. Every President who lowballed funding to the state of Louisana for the last 40 years burden of responsibility. The Louisiana legislature and Governors that rolled over to the feds should carry some of the guilt. We were all warned over and over again. Money was given to repair and upgrade the levee system, but greedy and corrupt New Orleans officials squandered the money or pocketed it while screaming at the federal government for more. Engineers estimate it will take approximately 30 years to complete a complex levee system strong enough to withstand a category 5 hurricane. Camille was 36 years ago. They could have been done by now. Thousands of lives could have been saved by heeding the warnings of many who were accused of crying wolf. For those who care to read it, this exact scenario was described almost one year ago by a writer for National Geographic in the an article called Gone with the Water (http://184.108.40.206/ngm/0410/feature5/). But the city of New Orleans was having too much fun partying in the French Quarter to care. Last call.... Partys over . Anyone got the bus tickets home?