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Chris Rose: After Isaac


First, the good news: As reviews come in from neighborhoods far and near, it appears that the starkest contrast between Hurricanes Isaac and Katrina was the adherence to social order this time around, compliance with law, order and common decency.

Sure, there were a few looting incidents, but it sounds like most of the SOB's got caught and I hope the Mayor and Police Chief keep true to their promise to stick these guys with as much hard time as is legally possible.

In my memory still, it was the looting – the preying upon neighbors by other neighbors; a free fall from civic grace and values – that pained me the most during Katrina.

Most of our peril, danger and suffering were wrought by outside forces during that disaster.

The looting was of our own making.

This time around, also, it seems the police were able to keep their darker natures in check.

Obviously, they didn't face near the apocalyptic scenario as Katrina, but it's comforting still to know they kept their heads this time, kept the peace and – this part's important – can therefore keep their jobs.

Even politicians are getting high marks for Isaac. The media is falling all over itself in praise of Jindal, Landrieu and Obama's engagement, actions, decisions.

By noting that it would have been very difficult to perform worse than their respective Katrina predecessors, I hope not to take anything away from their high marks this time around.

But, seriously.

And now, the bad news: Isaac was a Category 1 Hurricane. Baby Bear.

And yet, it beat the hell out of this place.

I mean, when 1,600 people don't die and the city of New Orleans manages to stay dry, it's maybe difficult to appreciate the wrath of Isaac.

Not so for folks in LaPlace, Plaquemines, Slidell and others. They know the power.

And I don't like the role of harbinger of doom, but it leaves something to seriously consider: What if the next one is bigger? Cat 2? Cat 3?

Will the people, the cops, the pols – and the levees – perform so admirably again?

There's only one answer to that question, of course.

It better be yes.

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