Hurricane preparedness town hall works to win back public's trust

That's why a town hall meeting Thursday focused on New Orleans' hurricane preparedness, focusing on one question: How protected are we?

NEW ORLEANS -- Hurricane season brings concern for everyone in New Orleans, but after the past two weeks, many residents are worried more than ever.

“In light of what went on with the Sewerage and Water Board recently, I mean, they told me what I wanted to hear and not what was really going on,” said Jacqueline Goldberg.

That’s why a town hall meeting Thursday focused on New Orleans’ hurricane preparedness, focusing on one question: How protected are we?

Multiple agencies were present, including the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority and the Flood Protection Authority, were on hand to reassure the public of their safety.

“Even though there are some current concerns as far as the weak link, which I would argue is the S&WB, that the rest of our protection system is actually very strong and intact,” said State Senator J.P. Morrell. “We are ready for a hurricane.”

But the Aug. 5 flooding washed away residents’ trust in the city. So as people listened to the presentations, there were some doubts about what they were hearing.

“I don’t see a lot of the top leadership here,” said Arthur Johnson. “So I think there are questions to be answered, but they’ll be pretty much canned answers like the presentations.”

“I’m just hoping to learn something and learn something that’s truthful,” Goldberg said.

Some people in attendance said the meeting is a step in the right direction, but as leaders work to rebuild trust, the message tonight was that New Orleans is ready in case the real thing comes this hurricane season.

© 2017 WWL-TV


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