In The Wake Of Katrina
Hurricane Katrina barreled across Florida and then slammed into the gulf states including Louisiana where it directly or indirectly has inflicted the most monumental amount of destruction ever seen in recent times. Right up there with the Chicago Fire of 1800’s and the Earthquake in San Francisco around 1900.
Much of New Orleans is now knee deep or more in water due to the fact that the city is below sea level and the levees from nearby lakes have broken.
About a million people were evacuated from New Orleans prior to the arrival of Katrina, but many never left the city and there are now scores of dead among those people.
As of this writing there is total lawlessness not only in New Orleans, but in some of the shelters housing the refugees.
In the city, itself, there is looting, gunfire, rapes and assaults. Some of the victims are tourists from elsewhere in the United States or Canada. Those tourists pleas for help and assistance from authorities are often falling on dead ears as one policeman told a person that it’s “everyone for themselves.”
Rescue helicopters flying in food are being assaulted to the point where the are dropping the packages from off the ground. Some police, firefighters and rescue helicopters are being shot at by refugees!
The shelter at the Superdome in Louisiana is no longer secure, itself, and many refugees are being bused to the Astrodome in Houston, Texas almost 400 miles away or to San Antonio, Texas.
President Bush has already declared Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama as disaster areas and FEMA is mobilizing assistance. National guard troops are also on their way to parts of these areas to get control and keep control.
Those in the afflicted areas, however, see no signs of the Guard nor FEMA. All they claim to see is dead bodies, looters, buses and police vehicles rolling by them without stopping.
It has been said that there may be no electricity or fresh drinking water in New Orleans for weeks or months.
Off the Gulf coast oil rigs and refineries have been put out of operation, sunk or severed from their connections. As a result of this oil and gas prices have risen by more than $1 across the United States and as much as $5 per gallon at some stations in the deep South, leading President Bush and other to call for an end to profiteering. In some areas of the nation there is already rumors of “odd and even” days for gas to be started at the pumps.
Thousands are feared dead in the states of Mississippi and Louisiana and it will take time to make a full accounting of the dead and the survivors. Some families are already being reunited, but this is rare.
Accounts from people talked about how the waters rose above the second floors of homes. People scrambled to get to their roofs and some were simply washed away trying to make the peak of the house. Some people we adrift in the water and trying to avoid floating cars that came within their paths.
Television and radio networks are talking about join telethons to raise money to help the victims of this flood. Wal-Mart has already donated millions to the Red Cross and Salvation Army to help the victims in these hard hit areas and will be providing millions more in free necessities to victims of Katrina.
Billions in aid money has already been spent and Congress is expected to approve another 10 billion dollars in interim money, to be followed by even more disaster relief money, which will be administrated by FEMA.
The official word from FEMA, through representative Michael Brown of Homeland Security, who is in charge of this operation for FEMA: