Sunday, November 20, 2005

Katrina Updates

Going through some stacks of videos (many of my most-interesting discoveries come from going through stacks of things) I was watching a 1995 National Geographic program called "Cyclone!" and saw something at the end that made me take particular notice. The program was about (duh) cyclones, tornadoes, hurricanes, etc. and had a lengthy segment on 1992's Hurricane Andrew in Florida. Immediately after the segment on Andrew, they did a prescient segment that started with a wide shot approaching the New Orleans skyline from the water and the narrator saying:

Andrew was America's costliest disaster, but it had a silver lining. It spared New Orleans, a city defined by water. Repeatedly flooded and drained over the past three centuries, the metropolis was built on swampland surrounded by the Mississippi River. Shaped like a bowl, the city's terrain rises near its edges and dips in its midsection to below sea level...

...The city has known hurricanes in this century, but not a direct hit from a storm like Andrew. And not with up to a million people to evacuate over narrow bridges and causeways. Former Meteorologist-in-Charge of the New Orleans Weather Service Office Bill Crouch fears the levee system provides a false sense of security. "It's a two-edged sword, because it protects the people's homes most of the time. But if water ever comes over the levees, it's going to get as deep as the levees are tall, and the lake would be 19 or 20 feet deep. This means that in parts of New Orleans that are below sea level, the water could be 30 feet deep; That is, you would not be safe even in a three-story house. So, those are the scenarios we look at which would force people to go upward into the buildings downtown, and even using that refuge, it is my belief that there would still be great loss of life."

Also, Ann Althouse links to an NYT article about Katrina returnees who have gotten a glimpse of day-to-day life in places other than New Orleans. NYT excerpt: [A]fter tasting life elsewhere, they are returning with tales of public schools that actually supply textbooks published after the Reagan era, of public housing developments that look like suburban enclaves, of government workers who are not routinely dragged off to prison after pocketing bribes. Local leaders have realized for weeks that they must reckon with widespread anger over how they handled the relief effort. But it is dawning on them that they are also going to have to contend with demands from residents who grew accustomed, however briefly, to the virtues of other communities....

What's new w/some of the K-Bloggers we met a few months ago?

Laurel, the Slidell mom of three, managed to squeeze in a trip to New York, but still has to deal with things such as:

...The neighbors are going to have to stay somewhere else for a few weeks while the inside of their home is repaired (from where the ceiling caved in after the attic took on water during the storm), so they qualified for a trailer from FEMA. They are also going to have to move a lot of their belongings out, so their plan is to rent one of those PODS for their furniture. I've seen dozens of these trailers around town. People are living in trailers and mobile homes everywhere. There are some camped out in the Walmart parking lot, church parking lots, in many driveways of damaged homes, and in the parking lots of private businesses where the owners most likely had their homes destroyed...

And, as for her husband the college professor...

And can you stand one more fetid fridge story? When dh [dear husband] got back to his lab last week, he was greeted with a freezer full of dead rats that have been sitting for two months with no power. It may be some time before they can be disposed of since these are a hazardous waste that require certain protocal to remove them under normal circumstances. But there's no rush now that the power is back on, since they have simply been re-frozen. Yummy. ;-)

Prof. Kaye Trammell has pretty much left her Hurricane blog and returned to her primary blog on mass communications.

And, everybody's favorite survivalist,* The Interdictor, has gone to Florida but has been telling of his experiences in flashbacks. Excerpt: It has been several weeks since I've posted to this blog. When I left New Orleans for Clearwater, Florida, I turned the posting privileges over to my associates who were staying on the ground in New Orleans so that the human perspective on the worst disaster in American history would not be interrupted. They've been doing a great job getting the company, the offices, and the building back to some sense of normalcy and all the while finding time to keep those who are interested abreast of the situation in New Orleans.

* "Survivalist" meant in good fun. Plz don't find me and kill me, Thx.


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