Date: Tue, 6 Sep 2005 18:25:00 EDT
Tuesday, September 06, 2005 11:48 AM
Katrin in USA
We live about 85 miles north of New Orleans. The eye of the storm passed right over Washington Parish, which is a neighboring parish of ours to the east a little ways. All the media attention has been on New Orleans because of the size of the city and it’s notoriety, but cities like Bogalusa in Washington Parish were hit by even higher winds than New Orleans was, consequently it is hard to recognize them anymore. Worse yet, there was no official federal response to the plight of the people there. A number of private convoys enroute to Washington Parish with very badly needed supplies of water, food, and medical stuff were stopped by FEMA personnel and had all their supplies confiscated, ostensibly for the people in New Orleans. I have been listening to the radio ever since the storm came through. Caller after caller who has been in New Orleans lately has painted a mental picture of conditions there that is impossible to describe, except maybe with the word “hell”. Human waste floating in the same water the people are standing in waiting to be rescued. Alligators eating the bodies of dead babies. Sharks seen swimming down Canal Street. Estimates of approximately 20,000 dead.
Policemen committing suicide from the stress and fear caused from being outgunned on the streets by the black gangs who now have AK-47’s and such looted from sporting goods stores. Darkness everywhere. A number of National Guard troops are there now so some semblence of order is being restored. The sheriff of St.Bernard Parish hired 100 additional deputies, issued assault rifles to them, and gave them orders to shoot looters on sight. About 10 of them have been killed the past few days. Experts predict a timetable of 30 to 80 days before the water can be pumped back out into Lake Ponchatrain. By that time the houses and businesses there will hardly be worth trying to save. Those who have been allowed back in to retrieve some personnel items were saying on the radio this morning that the stench is unbearable. Nobody knows yet how many people drowned in their attics trying to get above the rising water. The smart ones brought axes or something with them which they used to chop a hole in the roof big enough to crawl through so they could stand on their rooftops and hope to be rescued. Lots of people have been critical of the poor performance of FEMA in responding quickly enough to the needs of the people in the area, so I called the main radio station, got on the air, and explained to the listeners that FEMA is not what they think it is. It is not so much a disaster relief agency as a quasi-military arm of the Federal Government, equivalent to having martial law declared when they are present.
Of course the self-serving talk from all the politicians is that they will rebuild New Orleans. But the wise thing to do, which is not politically correct, is to realize that with New Orleans already 15 feet below sea-level and sinking more and more every year, and the chances good that another hurricane will wipe it out again in the future, we ought to abandon the cesspool of crime, corruption, sin and degradation that New Orleans has become, relocate the people or build the city on higher ground someplace. But meanwhile the population of Baton Rouge has doubled overnight from all the refugees from New Orleans, with the resultant strain on police personnel, city services, charities, and roadways.
This is the worst disaster in our nations history and I fear that my cousins prophecy about the worst being yet to come will turn out to be true, just as did her vision of a huge storm hitting New Orleans and flooding the whole city before the end of August. She had this vision several weeks before there even was a hurricane Katrina. We are still without power, but my generator gets us by. We have become an electricity dependent society, It was only about 80 years ago that almost nobody in this country even knew what electricity was, and got along quite well without it. We need to once again develop that kind of self reliance.