Katrina 2005

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Re: Katrina 2005

Postby Serenity » Tue Aug 30, 2005 11:16 pm

I saw that man from Mississippi that was holding onto his wife's hand but lost his grip! He looked totally distraught, holding his boy's hand, not knowing what to do or where to go, looking around as if he were going to see some sort of clue as to his wife's location or condition. The reporter was ready to go into a full sob before finishing her interview and tears were rolling down my cheeks in empathy.
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Re: Katrina 2005

Postby zlosin » Tue Aug 30, 2005 11:21 pm

Just found some before and after pix of NOLA
Before:
http://rapidfire.sci.gsfc.nasa.gov/gallery/?2005239-0827/Louisaiana.A2005239.1925.721.500m.jpg

After:
http://rapidfire.sci.gsfc.nasa.gov/gallery/?2005242-0830/Louisaiana.A2005242.1645.721.500m.jpg

Open them in seperate browser windows so you can switch back and forth.

I am glad the reports of the prison riots were wrong.
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Re: Katrina 2005

Postby dai bread » Tue Aug 30, 2005 11:47 pm

O.K., I'll reveal my ignorance.

What does NOLA stand for? Presumably NO= New Orleans, but what's the LA?

Why was the place built below sea level? That seems a very odd thing to do. The pioneers must have had hurricanes to show them the folly of doing so.

Why don't houses & shops have hurricane screens for their windows like the Pacific Islands do? Big serious-sized brackets bolted to the wall for holding big, serious-sized sheets of plywood which can be put in place as & when needed.

As for aid to the U.S., I've often thought that no-one ever helps the Americans, whereas they are usually first off the block to aid others. But the points made by other posters above are perfectly valid. No-one's offering to help Europe either, and as has been said, they haven't asked for help. I doubt if the U.S. will either.

If I remember rightly, Bangladesh offered help when the Mississippi Valley was flooded severely a few years ago. I think the U.S. politely declined.
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Re: Katrina 2005

Postby Serenity » Tue Aug 30, 2005 11:56 pm

LA is the Postal abbreviation for the state of Louisiana. (As if there were another city of New Orleans in another state....)

I can't think of anything else LA would stand for...
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Re: Katrina 2005

Postby OperaTenor » Wed Aug 31, 2005 12:00 am

Aha! There you are!

That is, if you're still here......
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Re: Katrina 2005

Postby zlosin » Wed Aug 31, 2005 12:09 am

dai, The French founded NO back in 1718. of course they founded Detroit in 1701
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Re: Katrina 2005

Postby DavidS » Wed Aug 31, 2005 1:39 am

Originally posted by Serenity:
LA is the Postal abbreviation for the state of Louisiana. (As if there were another city of New Orleans in another state....)

I can't think of anything else LA would stand for...
So now at l(e)ast we know what LAPD stands for. :D
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Re: Katrina 2005

Postby Trumpetmaster » Wed Aug 31, 2005 4:56 am

Looks like what happened to Pensacola's bridge's last year, only worse.... :(
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Re: Katrina 2005

Postby Shapley » Wed Aug 31, 2005 8:26 am

I'm starting to get mad. We need to ship Rudy Guiliani down there to get things organized. I realize it is a disaster of enormous proportions, but so was 9-11. We seemed to have a plan for what to do about 9-11 right from the start, they still don't seem to know where to start down there in NOLA. They do not need to airlift 30,000+ people from the Superdome, only the immobile need to be taken out that way. It is slow and expensive. If there is an open access road, use it. If not, use boats. They've been talking about the need to empty if for more than 24 hours, but they still don't know how to do it.

CNN interviewed the police chief of Atlanta this A.M., who used to be the police chief of NOLA. He said they need to get the police officers out of the shelters and onto the street to restore order. Security guards can take care of the shelters, or the National Guard, who should be evacuating them, anyway. The newscaster asked if they had enough police to patrol the entire city. He responded that 80% of the city is flooded, which reduces the area to be patroled significantly.

They've got big problems down there, and they need a leader up to the task. I wish someone would step forward and do so.

Sorry I have to vent my frustration in such a sad time. We've seen hurricanes in Florida, earthquakes in California, and terror attacks in New York where the disaster planning and recovery made you proud. The time for crying and complaining is past, it's time to get to work down there.

V/R
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Re: Katrina 2005

Postby Schmeelkie » Wed Aug 31, 2005 8:40 am

I think NOLA was less prepared than other southern coastal cities because hurricanes hit there far less frequently than say anywhere in Florida. I think the last big one to hit NO was in 1901 (think that's what I saw on the weather channel). We humans always like to rebuild, even with the chance of disaster striking again... our generational memory isn't that great.

There's a theory running around that there's a 50-60 year cycle in hurricanes - every 50 years or so there's an upsurge in hurricanes, then not so many for another 50 years. Which is why everyone's been so surprised by the number of hurricanes in the last couple of years - we've just hit the upswing, and very few people remember the last big spate of hurricanes.

We've got lots of empty buildings and houses in Rochester, too.... Don't think downtown has ever flooded...No gumbo or po-boys up here though that I know of...

NO was a beautiful city - hope they can rebuild and repair as necessary.
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Re: Katrina 2005

Postby mmichaelson » Wed Aug 31, 2005 9:03 am

LOL. 3/4 of the Gulf Coast is below sea level. That's what happens when you build in port cities, down in the South. The initial settlers wanted the ports, and were not concerned with the hurricanes. After all, southern ports were used for large shipments of tobacco, cotton, and slaves - plenty of reason to build even though it was below sea level. That's what the levees were built for - to control rising water. Problem is: storm surge and too much rain and wind will fell the levees.

That's enough for my history lesson.

Good news for us - my cousin's house is still standing. They have no roof and lost everything to water damage, but at least there are walls to work with. Sending of my four boxes of supplies from Academy and Wal-Mart to my aunt today for her to take with her tomorrow or Friday when she travels to MS and LA.
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Re: Katrina 2005

Postby Shapley » Wed Aug 31, 2005 9:05 am

Dai,

You asked why NOLA was built below sea level, the simple answer is that is wasn't. The original city, now the "French Quarter" is built on high ground, or at least as high as is available in the area. However, the ground does subside, and therefore, over time, the level has sunk. As the city expands, however, the only land available is below sea level, so they built levees to keep the water out, and pump networks to get it out when it does get in.

Of course, the logical question is: Why did they build there in the first place? The answer to that is: Commerce. New Orleans is at the delta of the Mississippi River. The logical place for unloading ocean-going ships of their cargo and loading it onto smaller, shallow-draft river boats and barges for shipment up the river and into the heart of America, and of course for handling commerce in the opposite direction as well.

V/R
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Re: Katrina 2005

Postby OperaTenor » Wed Aug 31, 2005 10:25 am

I beginning to wonder if we're approaching a point where NO is a complete loss. From what I read this morning, 80% of the city is flooded with toxic stew from chemicals,sewage, and decaying bodies of people and animals, and they haven't solved the problem of the rising water yet. Millions of people are displaced, and there is no telling when the area would be safe to reenter, let alone rebuild.

I didn't know there was an open access road at the Superdome. Are you sure about that, Shap? And does it run all the way out of town?

I get the impression NO was as prepared for this scale of a hurricane as Banda Aceh(sp?) was for the scale of the tsunami that hit, and I think they had no reason to be more prepared.

The media isn't saying a word about it, but I'm getting the impression they are short of resources and especially manpower. Part of that came from Mayor Nagin's comment about emergency workers simply bypassing dead bodies while doing rescue work. Makes me wonder if those Guard troops deployed in Iraq could be put to better use right now.

<small>[ 08-31-2005, 11:25 AM: Message edited by: OperaTenor ]</small>
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Re: Katrina 2005

Postby Shapley » Wed Aug 31, 2005 10:43 am

OT,

According to MSNBC.com here:

http://msnbc.msn.com/id/9063708/

They will be evacuating the refugees by bus to the Astrodome. Apparently this decision has been reached in the past few hours, as the Governor of Louisiana was on television Live (CNN) this A.M. and said they had not worked out a plan to remove the from the Superdome, but had nixed the idea of removing them to cruise ships, which she had mentioned the previous evening. She appeared to be in tears, and said that she had to "direct all efforts through FEMA".

I believe that is hogwash. As Governor, she has the authority to direct the State's resources as she sees fit. It is my understanding that FEMA's resources are similarly put under her charge. Ultimately, she is responsible for the success or failure of the efforts in her State. I hope she is up to the task.

It's hard to guage her efforts against those of her neighbor, Haley Barbour. She clearly has the larger task. The damage to Mississippi has been done, and Barbour can focus on the clean-up, so his task, while tremendous, is one-sided. In Louisiana, however, the hurricane has opened up a new problem, flooding, which is still ongoing, and has to be co-ordinated with the clean-up and evacuation. It's a tremendous task, but one that has to be dealt with, and one that they had time to prepare for, and have had time to respond to.

Perhaps, like the war on terror, there is more going on than meets the eye. From the looks of it, however, it appears the looters have free run of the city, there is no co-ordinated effort to combat the flooding, and the decision of how to evacuate the city is short-sided. Let us hope that things turn around quickly, or the situation could easily get out of hand.

V/R
Shapley

OT,

According to the map, the Superdome is adjacent to I-10, which was open as of yesterday to the West. That was being given as the only route out of the city. Of course, that could have changed since then. I would assume from the above link, however, that that is the route being used to evacuate them westward into Houston.

The news was reporting yesterday that refugees were told to walk west along I-10, and that vehicles would pick them up. Many did so, but no vehicles came, so they began assualting the few vehicles (mostly news vans) that came their way.

<small>[ 08-31-2005, 11:52 AM: Message edited by: Shapley ]</small>
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Re: Katrina 2005

Postby piqaboo » Wed Aug 31, 2005 10:43 am

Remember that its hot, humid and buggy in NOLA right now, so getting the live folks into shelter outweighs picking up the dead. The same game plan was followed in Banda Aceh.

Yes, the sick and elderly should be evacuated from the SuperDome, and the rest can sit on their hands and complain a while longer.

The lake water level is dropping, so water is starting to flow out of the city (slowly). Army Corps of Engineers is trying to patch the levee so they can start the pumps and dry the city faster. (pumping the water out will raise the lake level, so the levee needs to be at least partially patched). They are talking about using 3000 lb sandbags. Holy moly!

If Im remembering, the 9thwhatever that got the worst flooding is a poor part of town - natch.

Storm shutters - many homes have shutters, but those wont keep the roof on. Those fancy hotels tho....oh my.

I'm kind of surprised that in the presence of a mandatory evacuation order (which I believe the city had pre-Katrina) that the hospitals didnt have to evac all their patients. Instead, they were faced with evacuating them in the rising flood waters and high post-hurricane winds.

Even so, some folks who did their best to evacuate ended up stuck right in the path of the storm (as happened to many of my friends during hurricane Andrew).

My bet - they clean up NOLA and keep on dancing. Whatcha bet there's a HUGE ad campaign to get people into the city for Mardi Gras and JazzFest next year, to bring in much needed cash?
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Re: Katrina 2005

Postby Trumpetmaster » Wed Aug 31, 2005 10:51 am

Piq,
I think you're right. They will do everything possible to RE-Open NOLA for Mardi Gras...
Too much $$$ there for MO. not to go that route.

I read a report that the levees were built to withstand a Cat 3 Hurricane. How dumb is that...
Well with our technology, we should be able to build a better system that should hold up to such events...

There was a dome shaped home on Navarre Beach or Pensacola Beach that survived Ivan... We can only hope when rebuilding occurs, and it will, it will properly be designed.
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Re: Katrina 2005

Postby Angie Parkes » Wed Aug 31, 2005 11:03 am

Hi Folks,

I'm still here, though I haven't posted in a long time.

As for reciprocal help from other countries, I suspect that the comments that it's a bit too early are correct, although I'm sure the people suffering in the wake of hurricane would disagree. I went to the Canadian Red Cross site and they said at this time the American Red Cross has not asked for help, but the CRC encourages Canadians to donate to the general hurricane relief fund.

I found more useful information from Mennonite Disaster Services (my husband and his family are Mennonites):

"MDS would like to emphasize that this is not the time for volunteers. Right now, search and rescue operations are in still in effect and this will remain a priority for the next few days. People are asked not to enter disaster regions with the hope of volunteering as officials will either escort you out of the area or arrest you. Residents themselves have not been allowed back to their homes and will not be allowed to do so for several days. Check the MDS website for volunteer opportunities beginning in the next several weeks or join with a recognized voluntary service organization with ties to established disaster response agencies. People seeking information about relatives in affected areas are encouraged to call their local office of the American Red Cross.

MDS is accepting monetary donations only at this time. You can donate through the main page of the website or by mailing a check to MDS. In the USA at: Mennonite Disaster Service, 1018 Main Street, Akron, PA 17501 or in Canada at Mennonite Disaster Service, 306-2265 Pembina Hwy, Winnipeg, MB R3T 5J3."
Listening to a representative from the American Red Cross in Baton Rouge on the CBC this morning, I had the idea that even if massive relief supplies were available, there's nowhere to land them and that access in general is a huge problem.

My hope is that as soon as the relief agencies in the area have made it possible to receive aid it will be quickly forthcoming in both manpower and money from Canada, Britain, Australia, and New Zealand.
Cheers,
Angie
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Re: Katrina 2005

Postby piqaboo » Wed Aug 31, 2005 11:11 am

Angie, *Welcome Back! You were missed. I hope your vacation was restful and delightful. Re Katrina, excellent points, all.
I think the first priority is drying and clearing the roads.
Then - getting the sick out, moving the dead so they dont become biohazards, and bringing in other supplies.

The US probably has everything it needs to do #1 & 2. When it comes to locating and relocating the dead, we'll probably accept help so we can focus on the rebuild/repair/rescue aspects.

Here's a Q - where oh where will they put all the debris? Thats one heck of a landfill, artificial reef or "Mt Trashmore".

*<Cripes. I have NO social skills. Sigh.>

<small>[ 08-31-2005, 12:13 PM: Message edited by: piqaboo ]</small>
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Re: Katrina 2005

Postby OperaTenor » Wed Aug 31, 2005 11:14 am

Hi Angie, welcome back! You've been missed. Wait, don't tell me, you were on holiday with GWB(since you're back from vacation on the same day - :p ).

According to the article Shap linked, the 3,000 lb sandbags were falling into a "black hole', and doing no good.

Yeah, I thought "mandatory" meant you had to do it.

If they aren't already lost, all of the buildings under water will be totalled if the water isn't drained soon. Do you think they'll be able to rebuild 80% of the city in less than 1 year?

JFYI, it's the 9th Ward...............whatever that means................

Hi Shap, last I had heard, part of I-10 west was flooded, and the pumps had overheated, but that info was almost a day old. They must've gotten the pumps working again.

This is different from most natural disasters, IMO. NO is getting something of a 1-2 punch, with the second(the flooding) being slow and insidious, And then they still have to deal with the filth, contamination, and disease to come.
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Re: Katrina 2005

Postby OperaTenor » Wed Aug 31, 2005 11:30 am

This is the latest on plugging the levees:

"To repair one of the levees holding back Lake Pontchartrain, officials late Tuesday dropped 3,000-pound sandbags from helicopters and hauled dozens of 15-foot concrete barriers into the breach. Maj. Gen. Don Riley of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said officials also had a more audacious plan: finding a barge to plug the 500-foot hole."

They're currently projecting a month just to drain the water from the city. I think that pretty much writes off any buildings standing in water. And then there's all of the infrastructure that'll have been submerged all that time.

According to the governor, it's not so much of a problem of how to get people out of NO, but where to take them.
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