More support for New Orleans

As news continues to come in from New Orleans and surrounds, and things continue to get worse, a story from one of our writers in New Orleans, now safe in Memphis:

At this point it’s pretty clear that nothing will be left when, and if, we return. Right now water is probably up to the roof of our Mid-City house, which I bought last year. Knowing this, the questions in my head are about the future of my job, where I will stay if I choose to return, and of course, how long it will be before any sense of normalcy returns to my life. It will probably be years. I’m seriously considering the option of giving it all up and starting anew somewhere else. Given the heartache that’s going to follow, and the reality that a repeat of this event could happen someday, it’s something worth thinking about.

WWL is reporting that residents of Jefferson Parish may not be allowed back in for over a month:

Residents will probably be allowed back in town in a week, with identification only, but only to get essentials and clothing. You will then be asked to leave and not come back for one month.

Can you imagine Fairfax County blocked off for over a month?

2 Comments so far

  1. Don (unregistered) on August 30th, 2005 @ 5:30 pm

    I can, somewhat, but really it’s not even a good comparison. I lived in Miami when Hurricane Andrew gave us our bitchslap in 92 and was without power for about five weeks – I was back at work before I could shower with hot water and light other than a flashlight.

    You have no idea what a luxury simple hot water can be, and in fact if we hadn’t been able to procure a generator to run the pump for our well we wouldn’t have had running water, period. (Not a problem you have on city water, obviously.) We were fortunate that Andrew was a fairly dry storm and we didn’t have big problems with standing water, however you can imagine that mosquitos can pose a serious issue as well as heat-related illnesses.

    The reason that comparison falls so short is that New Orleans has a huge percentage of the population that lives at or below the poverty line: almost 1 in 4, according to wikipedia. If Fairfax’s residents all got tossed more than 3 in 4 would be expected to have insurance and other means to find a place to stay. I can’t even imagine what’s going to happen to the people of New Orleans.


  2. wayan (unregistered) on August 31st, 2005 @ 10:39 am

    Here’s someone who imagined a Hurricane Katrina and thought out the worst case – what we’re seeing now. From What if Hurricane Ivan Had Not
    Missed New Orleans?

    In this hypothetical storm scenario, it is estimated that it would take nine weeks to pump the water out of the city, and only then could assessments begin to determine what buildings were habitable or salvageable. Sewer, water, and the extensive forced drainage pumping systems would be damaged. National authorities would be scrambling to build tent cities to house the hundreds of thousands of refugees unable to return to their homes and without other relocation options. In the aftermath of such a disaster, New Orleans would be dramatically different, and likely extremely diminished, from what it is today. Unlike the posthurricane development surges that have occurred in coastal beach communities, the cost of rebuilding the city of New Orleans



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