Floods Fair?

Bits and Pieces posts this set of questions wondering why the Iowa floods aren't getting nearly the attention - either from the government or the media - that Katrina got. He has a bit of a point - I don't see this getting too much attention compared with other natural disasters, but I think there are good and bad reasons for it.

The bad reasons: there is no racial angle here, no business angle, no major sports angle, and no celebrity angle.

The good reasons: scale. Katrina displaced many more people from a much smaller land area. These people were already too poor to have insurance and their community was in no position to rebuild. Second, expectation - the Iowans understand that risk of flooding and have contingency plans when it happens. Their levies are there with the knowledge that they may not always work. The Army Corp of Engineers built N.O.'s levies with the thought that they would never be topped. That may seem like a folly, but it changes the dynamic.

Also, the commenter is wrong on his facts and assumptions: the fact is the president did get on TV and reach out to Iowans. The government, via FEMA or some other program run through the states, is providing and will continue providing aid. Indeed, I would imagine that areas affected by these floods will be rehabilitated long before N.O. comes back to its old self. What the complaint boils down to is a lack of media buzz - and that - along with the needed ongoing support for N.O. - died down shortly after Katrina, while the city continues to languish. Do you prefer that fate?

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