I started this post Thursday Sept 1 , basically 4 days since a major storm hit New Orleans and the situation throughout the gulf has decayed rapidly into a health crisis signified by death, chaos, and at best, scenes of horrible devastation and frustration. This in the nation with the most technologically advanced military and most sophisticated life saving equipment, aircraft & roadway systems available on earth. Terry Ebbert, head of the city's emergency operations, warned that the slow evacuation at the Superdome had become an "incredibly explosive situation," and he bitterly complained that FEMA was not offering enough help. "This is a national emergency. This is a national disgrace," he said. "FEMA has been here three days, yet there is no command and control. We can send massive amounts of aid to tsunami victims, but we can't bail out the city of New Orleans."
A columnist in the daily Times-Picayune, a paper reduced to a website for the foreseeable future, said Thursday " What we are watching in New Orleans now is an indictment of our nation. "
a Baton Rouge newspaper reports that in New Orlean's :
The dork in chief finally back in D.C after a record 5 week vacation, actually seems concerned about the atmosphere of lawlessness that prevails , going so far as to say "The citizens ought to be working together."
This will go down as a wake up call to all I hope, as one of the world's most unbelievable examples of governmental incompetence. We pay so many trillions of dollars in taxes, spend them on conspiring to change governements around the world, and find they are absolutely worthless when it comes to saving lives here at home. That tax money is squandered on the military, pork projects,ridiculous subsidies, bureaucracy and obviously is not meant for us, the people they take it from.
When comes down to protecting the very lives and property that those dollars are gleaned from, you are on your own.
Bush got back to work a full three days after the storm landed, Cheney's still out on leave, even though we all knew Katrina was coming up the gulf for over a week. His new Homeland Security Dept has proved there really is none.
Today I hear President Bush told Diane Sawyer that nobody could have anticipated the levees giving out in New Orleans. That statement is so patently ridiculous, yet it is also so thoroughly sad it is tragic. If only Bush, or anyone on his "homeland security" team actually looked at newspapers , they could've read a Pulitzer Prize winning series a few years ago in the Times-Picayune that foretold exactly how New Orleans would drown in a major hurricane.
This year the Republican congress and Bush both reduced New Orlean's storm preparedness funding by many millions, and have practically abandoned the Army Core of Engineer's levee retrofitting and reconstruction projects. All these danger signs and warning factors were well known, a 1998 study detailed this exact scenario. Nothing was done to protect the lives, properties or industries there. It's all so retarded that one hopes people will call for an impeachment.
a guy with a USA Today newspaper walked by me yesterday outraged at the photos, saying, they knew two weeks ahead of time that this would happen...
I told him... no sir, they knew for years...
On Thursday night , Bush's FEMA regional disaster lackey was getting drilled by Ted Koppel on Nightline, and the guy could only apologize, admit multiple mistakes and try not to backpeddle himself under the nasty corpse filled waters.
I found another blogger deep in the heart of New Orleans whose been holed up, and watching the struggle for turf between looters and cops from an office building. His Friday morning post is no less gripping than any of the others:
I think it finally hit me when I was on our roof 27 floors up looking down at my city. This place will never be the same -- and I don't mean in that "can't step into the same river twice" philosophical sense. I mean in the "We won't even recognize the place" sense.
This place is completely coming apart. The hopelessness on the street breaks the heart. The old, the tired, the sick seem resigned to their presumed fate. Death.
I'm pretty much running out of words for my commentary. I'll try to stick to just the facts.
now for some updates :
http://connect.castpost.com. This is an easily searchable database of missing and safe persons.
others are being created at various blogs including:
also up : http://www.hurricane.ragingredfish.com/forum/.
Refugees looking for housing can visit www.katrinahousing.org. Click the "Printable Lists" link on the lefthand side.
WWLTV Missing Person Forum
Nola.com Missing Persons Forum
Craig's List Resources
Gulf Coast News Person Database (it's been up and down)
CNN Safe List
If you have any more information to share on ways to hook up survivors , email it to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Louisiana State Police has requested all individuals who are offering assistance to Hurricane Katrina victims or to the rescue operation to contact the Red Cross via www.redcross.org or call 1-800-HELP-NOW (1-800-495-7669). Citizens should not travel to the affected areas with their boats to assist in the rescue operation. Their concern is much appreciated; however, their presence will interfere with emergency personnel's efforts. Those seeking information on friends and loved-ones, who may have remained in the affected areas, should contact www.redcross.org or call 1-800-GET-INFO (1-800-438-4636), as Louisiana State Police is not maintaining a databank of rescued individuals.
Terry Ebbert, head of the city's emergency operations, warned that the slow evacuation at the Superdome had become an "incredibly explosive situation," and he bitterly complained that FEMA was not offering enough help.
"This is a national emergency. This is a national disgrace," he said. "FEMA has been here three days, yet there is no command and control. We can send massive amounts of aid to tsunami victims, but we can't bail out the city of New Orleans."People are frustrated beyond belief that our National Guard is for the moast part busy in Bagdhad, while a little over 2,000 Guard troops patrol the streets of New Orleans. These troops are overwhelmed, and mostly just drive by the stranded.
Organizations Involved in Hurricane Katrina Relief
• Network for Good http://www.networkforgood.org
• McCormick Tribune Foundation Hurricane Katrina Relief Campaign: http://www.mccormicktribune.org/mtf/hurricanerelief.htm
• Episcopal Relief & Development: 1-800-334-7626 or http://www.er-d.org/
• Mercy Corps http://www.mercycorps.org
• United Methodist Committee on Relief: 1-800-554-8583 or http://gbgm-umc.org/umcor/emergency/hurricanes/2005/
• Salvation Army: 1-800-SAL-ARMY or http://www.salvationarmyusa.org/
• Catholic Charities: 1-800-919-9338 or http://www.catholiccharitiesusa.org/
• National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster: http://www.nvoad.org/
• Louisiana Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals: http://www.la-spca.org/
It's been reported that among the missing in New Orlean's was legendary piano man Fats Domino, who is 77, and was last seen in the 9th Ward area where he lives. The Rock n Roll Hall of Famer was with Rosemary Domino his wife, their children and grandchildren in a two story home. Billboard has just published news that he is alive...and was rescued Monday, although his current whereabouts were unknown, there is speculation he may eventually arrive at Houston's Superdome.
Rescuers help Fats Domino off a boat after he was rescued Monday night from his New Orleans home.
Fats Domino - Whiskey Heaven
Fats Domino - Going to the river
Irma Thomsa, is missing currently, and also rumored is that Rock n Roll Hall of Fame musician/producer Allen Toussaint was amongst those holed up at the Superdome...
These people are not just entertainers, but alos on many levels American Heros...and the fact they are going through this type of tragedy & chaos is indicative of a country that has lost it's focus...
Good News: It's been reported that Columbia University in New York will admit Tulane students who were forced out by Katrina. In addition, firefighters and rescue workers who came down from Shreveport and rescued the doctors and patients ina dire and dangerous situation Thursday at Tulane's flooded Children's Hospital facility I first told you about on Tuesday.
DigitalGlobe.com has these photos on their Web site taken on Aug. 31, 2005: http://www.digitalglobe.com/katrina_gallery.html