The question for 2006: How long will it last?

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 30, 2005

Natchez &8212;The Natchez that enters 2006 is decidedly larger than the one that rang in 2005.

The question is not so much how much larger as it is for how much longer.

With whole neighborhoods of New Orleans &8212; and surrounding parishes &8212; unlivable, there is no question that it will take a while for the area to recover.

Email newsletter signup

So that means the new Natchezians will stay for a while, right?

Not really.

As the Federal Emergency Management Agency works with local and state government officials to coordinate a recovery plan, many people who would like to return home are left in limbo.

Anyone who has dealt with FEMA directly or been following the goings-on in the affected region knows that might take some time.

New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin and the city council are at odds over the issue of travel trailers, the school system is in the process of breaking up so as to re-form as a series of charter schools and the local and state officials can&8217;t seem to speak with one voice in Washington.

Meanwhile new &8220;plans&8221; are being drawn up and touted by different task forces seemingly every day &8212; then systematically shot down by others with other &8220;plans&8221; &8212; leaving the outlook murky, at best.

As long as FEMA is paying the hotel bill, a lot of people figure it is better to hold tight and wait for someone to take charge back home.

And you can&8217;t blame them.

Unfortunately for those in this state of limbo, the answer to the how long question is another question: how long will it take the politicians of Louisiana to get their act together?