Environment

Media Neglects to Show These Photos of Louisiana's Flooding

August 17th 2016

By:
Danielle DeCourcey

Devastating flooding in Louisiana has killed at least 11 people, emergency responders have rescued 30,000 people, and flood waters have damaged 40,000 homes. Although the national media is covering the floods, it hasn't been a top story in the news cycle.

The coverage has been so lackluster that Liz Spayd, the public editor of the New York Times admitted that her publication was "weak" in its coverage.

"The Times is not the only news organization being criticized for doing too little too late on the floods," she wrote in the Times. "Even so, from my scanning of the media’s reaction, The Times’s performance seems particularly weak."

Chris Frink, Director of the Louisiana Democratic Caucus, wrote speeches for the governor's office during Katrina in 2005. He told ATTN: that media coverage was crucial in the recovery effort.

"I know that the amount of donations, the density and intensity of media coverage, especially cable and broadcast news, did drive the donations," he said. "It drives the volunteers and the number of volunteers that will come down here to rebuild, and the amount of political will for D.C. to give us federal money."

In absence of strong national coverage, people are using social media to spread images of the devastation.

Here are some social media images of the Louisiana flooding you should see.

However, social media pictures may not be enough to pull Louisiana through the long recovery ahead.

Media coverage puts political pressure on Congress to give the state more money during the recovery, according to Frink.

President Barack Obama declared 20 parishes a major disaster but the initial federal money is not enough to pull the state through such a historic flood.

"The amount of money that's available to us now is a pittance compared to a $150,000 home that's been destroyed without insurance," he said.

Frink said that aid from the Federal Emergency Management Agency is helpful but it's not a long-term solution.

"FEMA money is a drop in the bucket," he said. "It's there to get immediate food and shelter but FEMA is not a long-term recovery system. That's not their job."

Frink said that Americans don't understand how badly the people of Louisiana need help from the country.

"I think the nation and our political leaders need to understand the scope of the devastation. There's been one parish where 75 percent of the homes in that parish are destroyed. There's more than 100,000 people who have lost everything. They're getting some help now and it's not just the government. People are pitching in, but that's not the long-term. The long-term is you've got to rebuild that house, and you've got to have another car so you can get to your work so you can do what needs to be done. Without that, there are families and businesses who are ruined and this is the major function of federal government is helping people in times of disaster."

If you would like to tell your elected federal officials to do more for Louisiana, click here for their contact information.

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