Chicago columnist: 'Wishing for a Hurricane Katrina' - FOX 8, WVUE,, weather, app, news, saints

Chicago columnist: 'Wishing for a Hurricane Katrina'

FOX 8 file photo, Tweet from Kristen McQueary (@StatehouseChick) FOX 8 file photo, Tweet from Kristen McQueary (@StatehouseChick)

A Chicago Tribune columnist published an opinion piece originally titled “In Chicago, wishing for a Hurricane Katrina.”

Following extensive backlash, the title was changed to “Chicago, New Orleans, and rebirth” and several lines were edited. However, the original text can be viewed in its entirety here.

"I don't think she knows what she's asking for," said New Orleans resident Andrew Douglas.

The columnist, Kristen McQueary, suggested that a catastrophe of a Katrina-like magnitude could change Chicago for the better.

“I find myself wishing for a storm in Chicago — an unpredictable, haughty, devastating swirl of fury. A dramatic levee break. Geysers bursting through manhole covers. A sleeping city, forced onto the rooftops,” McQueary wrote. “That's what it took to hit the reset button in New Orleans. Chaos. Tragedy. Heartbreak.” 

Since the storm, McQueary notes that a corrupt city government was overthrown, public schools received a makeover and dilapidated buildings were torn down.

"That's why I find myself praying for a real storm. It's why I can relate, metaphorically, to the residents of New Orleans climbing onto their rooftops and begging for help and waving their arms and lurching toward rescue helicopters," she wrote in the original column.

"You don't make that kind of comparison," Douglas said. "Particularly if you've not been through it. If you have not been through it, you don't want that."

In the midst of criticism, McQueary was quick to note that she did not intend to diminish Katrina.

“If you read the piece, it's about finances and government. I would never diminish the tragedy of thousands of lives lost,” she tweeted on Thursday.

The piece has drawn heavy controversy, particularly in the New Orleans area. Many have expressed their distaste in the article, bashing McQueary on Twitter. 

"To ask deaths in your city- why would you wanna ask for people to be in problems? Or heartache? just so the city can get better?" said New Orleans resident Misty Fujinana. 

The article from the Chicago Tribune can be viewed here.  

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