Victims Of Hurricane Wilma Still Overlooked

Good evening everyone. Sorry that I’ve been away, but I came down with a cold on Friday afternoon, and was pretty much bedridden all this weekend. Anyway, I may have some timelapse photography video from this past weekend’s storm courtesy of the GWC Webcam online fairly soon. Anyway, what I wanted to talk about this evening was how the survivors, or victims of Hurricane Wilma from the 2005 Atlantic Hurricane Season, have still been overlooked.

I don’t mean to sound as if those who suffered the wrath of hurricanes Katrina or Rita aren’t that important. As a matter of fact, I think they still have been overlooked, and ironically the people of Louisiana and Mississippi, who were profoundly affected by the devastation from Katrina, are those kinds of people that the Bush Administration as well as the Republican party worked so hard to court in 2000 and 2004, and continue to falter when it comes to helping these people recover. However, while that there was a big outcry from those in South Florida in the immediate aftermath of Wilma back in October 2005, there really hasn’t been a whimper from the media on this storm ever since.

Every year since Katrina’s impact on the Central Gulf Coast back in August 2005, there has been a anniversary commemoration that has been flashed on television sets across this country thanks to the major 24/7 news networks as well as the big four of ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC. There hasn’t been such a public ceremony for victims of Rita in the Sabine Pass area of Texas and Southwestern Louisiana, or those of Wilma in South Florida. It’s understandable to pay such a tribute to the victims of Hurricane Katrina since the storm affected a major population center in the United States, and perhaps the most vulnerable in New Orleans. Moreover, Katrina became the most costliest storm ever in the history of the United States by surpassing Andrew. However, Rita and Wilma did cause their share of damage in those regions that they made landfall over.

In addition to the lack of media focus on those affected by Wilma, the red tape has failed to get people the assistance they need to begin recovering from this disaster. For example, in a recent article posted online at the Naples Daily News, residents in the town of Immokalee are still trying to get decent housing. Local organizations such as IHOPE, Immokalee Helping Our People in Emergencies, which is a “nonprofit, long-term disaster recovery team that helps people prepare for and deal with disasters,” have stepped in to help.

I still have visions in my mind of those pleading to have ice sent to them on the news in the days after Wilma rolled through South Florida from Naples in the west to the Gold Coast including Fort Lauderdale in the east. Many might not remember, but Wilma became the most powerful storm on record in the Atlantic while it spun off the coast of the Mexican and Mayan Rivieras in the Yucatan Peninsula with a minimum central pressure of 882 millibars, or 26.05 inches of Hg (Mercury). The storm ended up causing $18 billion in damage, and killing 62 people, which placed it second in estimated damage caused, and fourth in deaths.

All of the victims from the hurricanes that impacted the United States in 2005 should be remembered, and those that have survived, and are still struggling, should not be left out.