It looks like New Orleans is dealing with the worst case scenario:
Rescuers worked through the night to reach hundreds of people stranded after Hurricane Katrina ripped across the Gulf Coast killing dozens of people, destroying countless homes and leaving more than a million people without power in three states.
And authorities said they would not be able to reach some of the hardest-hit areas until first light on Tuesday.
The storm is blamed for at least 67 deaths and that toll is almost certain to rise. Mississippi officials said at least 54 people were killed there, including 30 who were killed in an apartment complex near the Biloxi beach. Alabama reported two deaths. The storm killed 11 people last week when it made its initial landfall in Florida.
While Louisiana officials have not yet confirmed any deaths there, New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin said there have been reports of bodies floating in the floodwaters.
“My heart is heavy tonight,” Nagin said in the interview on CNN affiliate WWL-TV. “I don’t have any good news to share.”
Nagin said that about 80 percent of the city was flooded and that some areas were under 20 feet of water.
This is disastrous, and I thought for a while yesterday that they might be spared the worst.
I can’t help being dissappointed at the devastating single mindedness that makes these tragedies possible.
I hope this is not as bad as it sounds. Very sad.
Yes, Katrina really had her mind focused on being an obnoxious bitch. How dare our coastline insert themselves in her path!
Such a disaster puts things in perspective as to what is important and what is not. I think everyone of all political stripes can offer our prayers and hopes for our fellow citizens suffering so greatly in the Gulf coast.
Thx, Stormy70, I forgot about small mindedness too.
This is a breathtaking, heart crushing tragedy. New Orleans was certainly the most unique American city. It’ll likely never be the same after this.
Mississippi and Alabama are suffering no less. At least most of those places will drain on their own withoout the need for pumps.
It’s getting to be close to decade since I left Louisiana (and I did not grow up there) but to hear about neighborhoods and towns I knew well from work travel get clobbered is….soibering, to say the very least. I have not heard how Venice or Fourcho made out, but there is almost no chance it was very well.
A dark day indeed.
Ooops, that’s a typo–I meant Fourchon. Sorry Fourchon.
The worst would have been New Orleans getting hit by the east wall of the eye rather than the west wall. Winds traveling in the same direction as the hurricane itself register travel over the ground 18-20 mph faster. That’s the difference between NO losing many buildings and some coastal Mississippi towns losing all of their buildings. In that case the superdome likely would have lost its roof entirely.
Nobody was ‘spared’ in the sense that the worst part of the hurricane came aground somewhere, but at least the big city got the ‘lee’ side of the storm.
Not to be flippant, because I don’t intend to be, but I have had Led Zeppilin’s version of “When the Levee Breaks” running through my head for a couple odays now. That heavy guitar, poderously riffing through my head.
I was grateful that N.O. was spared the “worst”. It’s hard to know what’s going on down there except for I have a beloved friend in the area jusr north of the city, his house along the river. He isn’t very ambulatory and haven’t been able to reach him, even before the storm hit. Hoping that friends came and got him…
Pretty embarrassing when using a big word like ponderously, to type it wrong…
My prayers and little bit of money go out to these good people.
Now the politics of it all:
I heard Rush and Hannity already ripping lefties roughly saying, “Why are they blaming Bush for this? Do they think that Bush controls where hurricanes go?”
Well, aside from the fact that the way some on the far right prostelyize about their Messiah so much that some might be led to believe that Rush and Hannity would believe Bush can control weather, that is obviously not the point of the criticisms. It’s about control of government manpower; but the left should recognize that Bush did release federal money to these areas a day before the hurricane hit. But hundred dollar bills floating down the street is not going to serve as worthy flotation devices; how is that money going to be put to use? Let’s hope it helps. It’s a shame the states and or feds could not have utilized school buses for this purpose. Could the use of national guard units helped with evacuation or, now with disaster relief? Who knows if that would have helped any? It seems that government officials were caught as much off guard as the people who stayed in their homes.
What upset me about the little coverage I saw were those mainstream reporters questioning why some people did not evacuate themselves from their homes. Some might call it environmental or economic racism/classism. But quite simply, a good many people do not have the ability to evacuate without assistance, let alone even evacuating five miles from their neighborhoods to the SuperDome.
In the end, I am infuriarated with people in the media putting this on the individuals who did not evacuate. It stinks of elitism to make such charges.
Some are claiming that Louisiana might have had a use for its National Guard and their amphibious vehicles. A disproportionate number of rescue and security personnell also belong to the NG and Reserves, making a massive callup of reserves and NG that much more risky in the event of a major disaster. To answer your question.
Wow. I took a bus tour of Pontchartrain/Lakeside just a few months ago. I remember as we circled back in to town looking down at the yacht club and the nice manicured neighborhood below the levee and thinking “man, these people are fucked“.
I love N.O., this really sucks.
TimF…I agree that this is one of the complaints. I do have a question. Why did they need amphibious vehicles in the desert. I suppose that crossing the Tigris or Euphrates might require them (if all the brdges were gone. Are they?)..or going through some marshlands, is that neccessary?
One of my major disappointments is with the near total lack of leadership in this country. Hurricanes were not invented this Sunday. I see no indication that this problem will be solved. It only adds fuel to my fire that Dear Leader came to power squacking louder than anybody else about the incompetance of goverment, yet, he has only improved the incompetance. Releaseing money is all well and good, but, it does not address the long term problem. You don’t build a city like you build a bath tub!
yet another jeff
Thanks for reposting the Red Cross link. We are totally unprepared for disasters, no matter who is in charge…
It’s a good question. It’s possible that they simply shipped out every NG unit they could find and whatever came with them.
That could be…I know our local NG armory is empty of all the older humvees, etc…
And I mean EMPTY, btw..there is nothing left there, not just the humvees.
It does seem that the planning for this disaster was sorely lacking. I was really surprised that more people weren’t bused out of New Orleans. And though it is early to tell, it doesn’t seem from the news pictures that there are as much governmental boats, soldiers, etc. as might be useful to help in a disaster of this scale.
“YOU” have no right to bottle up 40% of “OUR” energy in a bathtub by the sea. Sorry, it’s a national security thing. Humvee’s don’t guzzle sand.
Just because these buildings weren’t lost durring the hurricaine itselft doesn’t meant the might not be lost. I am from N.O. and have experienced several floods from just “normal” t-storms and that water gets pumped out of the city after a few house – and that is when the pumps are working. The pumps aren’t working, and aren’t likely to be working for a few days. Even if they were working, much of that water would have been pumped from the city into the lake but because there are several levee breaks which are contributing to increased flooding, pumping water into a lake that is leaking water into the city would be an exercise in futility. This water could be standing and soon stagnating for days. Days water saturating the wood frames may make them begin to rot and plaster and bricks that will be compromised, etc. will mean that some builing that survived the storm might not survive the flooding.
Electrical ain’t coming back for 4-6 weeks – and that is after the water goes down. So some of the pumps won’t be on until electrical is estabilished so that a few pumps will be working and they will have to carry the load for those that are down. That doesn’t even count the fires that have broken out that just are left to burn themselves out because flooding makes it impossible to get firetrucks.
Many houses and wood frame buildings may have to be taken down anyway.
Alexandra below is a response to you – though not meant to be snarky. There is lots of planning. The evacuation of the city was mandatory. People chose to stay and now their dumba**es need to be saved (yes this attitued makes me nuts). This always happens for hurricains no matter the location. My brother his wife and kids stayed (yes I will be giving him a piece of my mind – after his mother finishes with him) because all the other evacuations ended up looking like a whole lot of nothing’. Also, and this is a bit more specific to the people on the coast – many who lived though Camille – there was a sense that this storm wasn’t as bad or I survied Camille so I can survive this. I love people in my home town and the gulf coast but some of them are just plain dumba**.
Just as a note martial law has been decreed in N.O. and there many soldiers/National Guard in town for rescuing and crime control.
The phrase martial law is very discoureging. Is this SOP for hurricaines?
Journalists have been ordered out of the city. Cable news (FOX) so no link yet.
Martial law is not SOP for hurricanes. Curfews are more common though not necessarily imposed. Usually the hurricaine goes away and the insurance companies, Red Cross, price gougers, and con man come in – the clean up begins. What is going on in N.O. is that while the hurricaine is going the event is not. They can’t beging to clean up so things are just status quo or getting worse.
Looters were out yesterday – but that was before the waters started to rise. Don’t know how or if they are still intent now that they would have to wade though water.
You catch more flies with honey than you do with bullets. Seems to me an evacuation is what’s required. Seems flooding would be the bigger problem, not looters.
Unless someone’s got a boat, it’s going to be tough to steal any televisions. Hard to believe that what seemed bad yesterday, but not as bad as expected, has now turned into almost as bad as expected. Got an off-topic semi-disaster related request: Does anyone know where I can get a good concise rebuttal to some of the 911 conspiracy theory movies that have been bandied about? I’ve got a friend who has gotten really into that stuff, and while I sent him a long response to one video, I don’t have the time to send him one for this latest one he sent me (and there are plenty of problems with it).
Tell him that the conspiracy theory videos are a distraction designed to keep his attention away from what’s really going on. As for what’s really going on, you can make that part up.
Tim F, that’s pretty funny. I’ve sort of tried it already. I told him on the phone that the guys who made the first video he sent me missed the whole Area 51 angle.
Martial law is SOP for bad hurricanes. I remember it being declared after Andrew and it was only a Cat 3 when it hit our La. town and damage wasn’t really that bad.
I am really despondant over this right now.
Unfortunately it is hard to get people out because many of the bridges are out like the Twin Spans (NO on I-10 towards Mississippi) or are unsafe and many of the highways are still underwater.
As for the looters – those loosers are now just taking what they could carry before there was flooding they were using the carts in the stores. Then there were those charming individuals sealing from their neighbors who evacuated…..
If anyone is interested in ariel views or local coverage the local stations are good. WLOX (www.wlox.com) is for so good videos – they may not be doing a live feed because their stations was taken out during the hurricaine. In NO WWL (www.wwltv.com) and WDSU (www.wdsu.com) are doing live feeds from Baton Rouge and Jackson respectively.
Note to Dear Leader, stock up on rubber duckies.
Not a great time to point it out I guess. But Katrina has really made the whole “floating casino” laws look pretty stupid.
Yet after 2003, the flow of federal dollars toward SELA dropped to a trickle. The Corps never tried to hide the fact that the spending pressures of the war in Iraq, as well as homeland security — coming at the same time as federal tax cuts — was the reason for the strain. At least nine articles in the Times-Picayune from 2004 and 2005 specifically cite the cost of Iraq as a reason for the lack of hurricane- and flood-control dollars.
One project that a contractor had been racing to finish this summer: a bridge and levee job right at the 17th Street Canal, site of the main breach on Monday.
and from here
Because New Orleans essentially sits in a bowl ringed by its protective levees, that water would stand around for weeks or months until officials could find a way to breach a levee to drain it. The stagnant pool would probably be contaminated with toxic waste from the dozens of petrochemical plants that line the Mississippi, as well as human waste and decomposing carcasses.