A Year After Katrina

August 29, 2006
Reported by Vince Atkinson

Even a year after the storm, the name Katrina still brings to mind so many horrifying images. As bad as the storm was, it did help Louisiana learn that it had many problems that needed to be addressed. Topping that list, a need for better evacuation plans.

When people think of Hurricane Katrina, the majority instantly think of New Orleans, but anyone locally can tell you that Southwest Louisiana also felt an indirect impact. Lake Charles Mayor Randy Roach said, "It was our cities finest moment. Our community really pulled together." The mayor is referring to the numerous shelters that were set up all across Southwest Louisiana in order to house Katrina victims.

Roach said, "We are more than happy to do what we did again." With changes made at the state and federal level over the past year, large shelters located south of Interstate 10 could be a thing of the past. Roach said, "The state is operating under a general rule that their are to be no shelters south of I-10."

The idea behind the new "I-10" rule was put in place in order to send evacuation traffic north, away from the coast. It is still unclear if large facilities like the Lake Charles Civic Center will be used for hurricane evacuation sites in the future, but local leaders say they are ready if the need arises.