"It was a broiling August afternoon in New
Orleans, Louisiana, the Big Easy, the City That Care Forgot. Those who
ventured outside moved as if they were swimming in tupelo honey. Those
inside paid silent homage to the man who invented air-conditioning as
they watched TV "storm teams" warn of a hurricane in the Gulf of
Mexico. Nothing surprising there: Hurricanes in August are as much a
part of life in this town as hangovers on Ash Wednesday.
the next day the storm gathered steam and drew a bead on the city. As
the whirling maelstrom approached the coast, more than a million people
evacuated to higher ground. Some 200,000 remained, however—the
car-less, the homeless, the aged and infirm, and those die-hard New
Orleanians who look for any excuse to throw a party..."