Saturday, September 10, 2005

Comparing Hurricanes Elvis and Katrina

One of the most memorable things about the windstorm (Hurricane Elvis) that struck Memphis two years ago was seeing this major metropolis dark at night. There were islands of light (Methodist Hospital's sign was visible along Union Avenue; there was a small block along Madison near Anderton's that kept their power.) and drivers were out looking at the damage, but the whole city was otherwise swallowed up when night fell. I can vividly recall the skyline of dark towers and a dark Pyramid highlighted by a setting sun against a salmon-colored sky. It was haunting in an apocalyptic sort of way.

And later, seeing the Milky Way -- the actual Milky Way! -- from the street outside my Midtown apartment. Normally, most of the stars in the sky get blotted out by the city's light, but this one night I could see what you normally had to drive for an hour out of town to catch. It saddened me how few people I could interest in this once-in-a-lifetime, almost spiritual, moment.

I can't recall seeing any such pictures from New Orleans, of the huge skyline darkened against the setting sun. Or of the dark city lying prone in a pool of water. Or of the Milky Way backdrop against the empty buildings of downtown. Anyone know of such photos?

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