I have two friends who are stuck in traffic near Baton Rouge and need to find a place to stay immediately. They told me they can't find any hotel or shelter that can take them. They are nice and clean etc etc. If you have any leads or perhaps a windowless room for them from Baton Rouge towards Lafayette please call me. 407-484-4332.
Thanks. and Please Help,
"...an untold number of [people] were feared dead in flooded neighborhoods.
'Some of them, it was their last night on earth,' Terry Ebbert, chief of homeland security for New Orleans, said of people who ignored evacuation orders. 'That's a hard way to learn a lesson.'" [NBC News | August 29, 2005]
Jeff(erson --evo) Parish President. 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.
He says break in levee at 17th Street canal continues to pour water into Lakeview."
3:25 P.M. - With conditions in the hurricane-ravaged city of New Orleans rapidly deteriorating, Gov. Kathleen Blanco said Tuesday that people now huddled in the Superdome and other rescue centers need to be evacuated.
"The situation is untenable," Blanco said during a news conference. "It's just heartbreaking."
"The city that prided itself on letting the good times roll today found itself overwhelmed by the hardships caused by Hurricane Katrina....Food and drinkable water were scarce, forcing city officials to order nonessential people to evacuate.
The fabric of civil order was frayed. The Superdome changed from an arena of sports heroics into a grim experience for about 10,000 refugees. Three hospital patients died in the dome and another death was reported by officials. One suicide was also reported, but could not be independently confirmed.
Inmates took over a local jail and looting continued for a second day downtown.
[Los Angeles Times | August 30, 2005]
Hello, friends. Checking in from the Wasteland.
It is such a bright, beautiful day outside today. All you can hear are chainsaws and generators outside. Otherwise, the town is sickly silent.
I've been working all morning on clearing my grandparents' yard of debris. It's hot, it's sweaty, and my grandmother, god bless her, made me soup for lunch. She meant well, I guess.
We don't have power, we don't have phones, mostly. What we do have, though, is vice. One of my best friends was called into work today at a riverboat casino in Baton Rouge. The boat is now open to anyone who wants to gamble, since they were lucky enough to survive, I guess.
I've seen a little television today, but I can't really take it. I'm doing little tasks so I can avoid the big picture. Because if I stop to think about it...
Anyway, for those of you who pray, or have an otherworldly connection, keep my family in your thoughts. All of my family is here and fine, but my wife's family is missing.
They're from the Bay St. Louis/Waveland, Mississippi area. They evacuated to my sister-in-law's house, about 25 miles inland. They are probably safe from the flooding, but the winds were pretty severe there.
We haven't heard from them since noon yesterday, when the eye was passing over them. All cellphones and landlines are down in Southern Mississippi. My wife is a fucking mess. Her entire family was together in one home. And we have no idea...
It seems fairly certain that her mother, her father, her grandfather, her other sister, and her brother have all lost their homes to flooding. Oh, and if you've ever seen my flickr photos, the camp we often go to in Bay St. Louis is completely gone. We were there for July 4th.
I'll keep checking in because when I stop what I'm doing to do this, I just feel like I'm still doing something, when all I'm really doing is avoiding what I should be doing. Does that make sense?
Whatever. My love goes out to all of you. Everytime I check my email, I've got a ton of messages from MetaFilter people, just to check on us, and that feels good.
"It is with heavy heart I write this...
I have finally reconnected with my best friend who is a paramedic who was sent from Georgia 2 days ago to Gulf Port, Mississippi before the hurricane hit.
He just reached me within the last 10 mins via emergency cell phone to tell me he was alive.
Thousands of bodies have been discovered throughout Mississippi in Gulf Port, Waveland,Hancock County,Bay of St.Louis.
They are hanging in trees and they are pulling them out 30 at a time. Entire families found drowned in their homes and washing up on shore..."
"He got very quiet with me when I told him the numbers that have been public so far. He asked what have they said? I told him 50-80...he said "dude..we are picking up 30 at a time...thousands are dead...why aren't they saying...I guess I better shut up then...don't give my name" word for word in the call..."
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The U.S. Coast Guard had rescued 1,259 hurricane
victims as of midnight Tuesday, and rescue efforts are continuing, a Coast
Guard spokesman told CNN.
An earlier Coast Guard press release mistakenly stated that about 1,200
stranded people were rescued Monday, and thousands on Tuesday. But the actual
number of rescues Monday was 100 to 200, numbers that were somehow
misconstrued, a spokesman said.
The rescues were done by both Coast Guard boats and helicopters.
People inquiring about family and friends who did not evacuate the greater
New Orleans area should contact the American Red Cross at (866) 438-4636.
New Orleans Aftermath - Interactive Map [MSNBC]
The Impact of Hurricane Katrina [New York Times]
"Three years ago, the New Orleans Times-Picayune won journalism awards for an exhaustive five-part series called 'Washing Away,' which began with the words: 'It's only a matter of time before south Louisiana takes a direct hit from a major hurricane. Billions have been spent to protect us, but we grow more vulnerable every day.' (Read the series.)
This week, the newspaper is living its own prophecy." [Wall Street Journal | August 31, 2005]
"Artists with ties to America's Gulf Coast will participate in a live benefit special, 'A Concert for Hurricane Relief,' to air on Sept. 2 on NBC, MSNBC and CNBC.
Musicians appearing will include Tim McGraw, Harry Connick Jr., and Wynton Marsalis. Non-musical artists, including actor Leonardo DiCaprio and others, will also participate. The hour-long music-driven special will air at 8 p.m. ET live on the East Coast, tape-delayed on the West.
'Today' show host Matt Lauer will host the telethon portion of the programming from NBC's studios in New York. All viewers will be encouraged to donate to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund in support of hurricane relief through its Web site and donation hotline (www.redcross.org or 1-800-HELP NOW)."
"Oscar-winning actor [and Mississippi delta resident] Morgan Freeman has helped organize an online auction to raise funds for disaster relief in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.
The auction, which also includes corporate-donated items, will open Friday on the Charity Folks Web site, an online auction venue, and run until Sept. 16, it was announced Wednesday. Proceeds will go to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund."
Environmental and Historic Preservation Review may occur for projects that involves repairing a structure to pre-disaster condition. Structures typically include:
Roads and Bridges
Water Control Facilities
Parks and Recreational Areas
Buildings and Equipment
Typical Environmental and Historic Preservation Laws and Executive Orders that may apply include the National Historic Preservation Act, Clean Air Act, and Floodplains Executive Order. Typical concerns may include historical impacts, air pollution, and re-development within a floodplain (if applicable).
"I truly believe that apart from 9/11 this is one of the most significant events that has ever hit this country. Anybody who tells you this disaster is going to be rectified in a matter of months hasn't seen the situation.
People are carrying their children, trying to get them to safety. A woman coming down to the police, close to hysterics, saying, 'My elderly mother is in a building over there, she needs dialysis. She can't get it. She is dying. Can you help me?'
And the police had to say, 'There is absolutely nothing we can do. We don't have a precinct house. We don't have communication. There is absolutely nothing we can do for you.'
That was amazing to me.
The other thing that struck me was the looting. The police were standing in the middle of the street and right in front of them stores were being ransacked. And they didn't even make an effort to stop it. I don't think they could, under the circumstances.
They were totally outnumbered. They couldn't call for any reinforcements. And frankly, the priority now isn't property. The priority has to be people and people's lives. The police are there protectively, I think, in case things escalate even further. But they are powerless. They're powerless in this situation."
At about 3:00 pm central time, a policeman in New Orleans noticed a fire at the Foot
Locker store on Bourbon Street. But without working radio communications to contact city
officials, he flagged down a CNN reporter at the scene, begging him to get the word out in
hopes the officials were watching.
HELPPP from writes:
5851. BAPTIST HOSIPTAL EMERGENCY
by Jillybean82, 8/31/05 16:52 ET
Baptist hospital has been taken over with guns. it is horrible. I talked to my friend who is a nurse. she was screaming that is terrible. there are bodies just everywhere. people are stealing all there supplies.
i don't know how to get this information to the news station. This is first hand information.
there is 25ft of water in the hospital. Please please help.
The coastal communities of South Mississippi are desperately in need of an unprecedented relief effort.
We understand that New Orleans also was devastated by Hurricane Katrina, but surely this nation has the resources to rescue both that metropolitan and ours.
Whatever plans that were in place to deal with such a natural disaster have proven inadequate. Perhaps destruction on this scale could not have been adequately prepared for.
But now that it has taken place, no effort should be spared to mitigate the hurricane's impact.
The essentials -- ice, gasoline, medicine -- simply are not getting here fast enough.
We are not calling on the nation and the state to make life more comfortable in South Mississippi, we are calling on the nation and the state to make life here possible.
We would bolster our argument with the number of Katrina casualties confirmed thus far, but if there is such a confirmed number, no one is releasing it to the public. This lack of faith in the publics' ability to handle the truth is not sparing anyone's feelings, it is instead fueling terrifying rumors.
While the flow of information is frustratingly difficult, our reporters have yet to find evidence of a coordinated approach to relieve pain and hunger or to secure property and maintain order.
People are hurting and people are being vandalized.
Yet where is the National Guard, why hasn't every able-bodied member of the armed forces in South Mississippi been pressed into service?
On Wednesday reporters listening to horrific stories of death and survival at the Biloxi Junior High School shelter looked north across Irish Hill Road and saw Air Force personnel playing basketball and performing calisthenics.
Playing basketball and performing calisthenics!
When asked why these young men were not being used to help in the recovery effort, our reporters were told that it would be pointless to send military personnel down to the beach to pick up debris.
Litter is the least of our problems. We need the president to back up his declaration of a disaster with a declaration of every man and woman under his command will do whatever is necessary to deal with that disaster.
We need the governor to provide whatever assistance is at his command.
We certainly need our own county and city officials to come together and identify the most pressing needs of their constituents and then allocate resources to meet those needs. We appreciate the stress that theses elected and appointed officials have been under since the weekend but they must do a better job restoring public confidence in their ability to meet this challenge."
"George W. Bush gave one of the worst speeches of his life yesterday, especially given the level of national distress and the need for words of consolation and wisdom. In what seems to be a ritual in this administration, the president appeared a day later than he was needed. He then read an address of a quality more appropriate for an Arbor Day celebration: a long laundry list of pounds of ice, generators and blankets delivered to the stricken Gulf Coast. He advised the public that anybody who wanted to help should send cash, grinned, and promised that everything would work out in the end....
Sacrifices may be necessary to make sure that all these things happen in an orderly, efficient way. But this administration has never been one to counsel sacrifice. And nothing about the president's demeanor yesterday - which seemed casual to the point of carelessness - suggested that he understood the depth of the current crisis.
While our attention must now be on the Gulf Coast's most immediate needs, the nation will soon ask why New Orleans's levees remained so inadequate. Publications from the local newspaper to National Geographic have fulminated about the bad state of flood protection in this beloved city, which is below sea level. Why were developers permitted to destroy wetlands and barrier islands that could have held back the hurricane's surge? Why was Congress, before it wandered off to vacation, engaged in slashing the budget for correcting some of the gaping holes in the area's flood protection?
It would be some comfort to think that, as Mr. Bush cheerily announced, America ‘will be a stronger place’ for enduring this crisis. Complacency will no longer suffice, especially if experts are right in warning that global warming may increase the intensity of future hurricanes. But since this administration won't acknowledge that global warming exists, the chances of leadership seem minimal."
The scene at the Superdome became increasingly chaotic, with thousands of people rushing from nearby hotels and other buildings, hoping to climb onto the buses taking evacuees from the arena, officials said. Paramedics became increasingly alarmed by the sight of people with guns.
The operation to bus more than 20,000 people to the Houston Astrodome was suspended “until they gain control of the Superdome,” said Richard Zeuschlag, head of Acadian Ambulance, which was handling the evacuation of sick and injured people from the Superdome.
He said that military would not fly out of the Superdome either because of the gunfire and that the National Guard told him that it was sending 100 military police officers to gain control.
“That’s not enough,” Zeuschlag. “We need a thousand.”
He said medics were calling him and crying for help because they were so scared of people with guns at the Superdome.
Lt. Col. Pete Schneider of the Louisiana National Guard said the military — which was handling the evacuation of the able-bodied from the Superdome — had suspended operations, too, because fires set outside the arena were preventing buses from getting close enough to pick up people.
Zeuschlag said shots were fired at a military helicopter over the Superdome before daybreak, adding that when another evacuation helicopter tried to land at a hospital in the outlying town of Kenner overnight, the pilot reported that 100 people were on the landing pad, and some of them had guns.
“He was frightened and would not land,” Zeuschlag said.
"The New Orleans police chief says 15-thousand people are trapped in the city's convention center. And he says some are being raped and beaten.
Chief Eddie Compass says displaced tourists are 'walking in that direction and they are getting preyed upon.'
Compass said he sent eight eleven-man teams into the convention center. But as soon as the first team arrived, he said, 'they were beaten back within 30 feet of the entrance.' "
"Many people had dogs and they cannot take them on the bus. A police officer took one from a little boy, who cried until he vomited. 'Snowball, snowball,' he cried. The policeman told a reporter he didn't know what would happen to the dog."
I gotta say that was rather an odd thing to be watching. The president finally making it to the gulf coast after five days, and then spending a big chunk of time, when he could be out seeing the devastation, getting a briefing that frankly he could have gotten back at the White House, if not then, then on board Air Force One. A lot of that seemed like a political opportunity for the cameras and for the Republican governors of Mississippi and Alabama.
I'm not sure that's what most Americans and certainly most people in the area wanted to hear, as if the president were being filled in, told what was going on, there was a lot of thanking a lot of congratulations. Look these are frantic desperate people who have lost everything, who are in a very desperate situation, what they want is someone to come there and say the government is in control, we have control of this situation, there's a leader in charge here and we're gonna make it work....
What people want there is leadership, they don't want someone being briefed, they want leadership."
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