Thursday, September 01, 2005

Hurricane Katrina - "Battle For New Orleans"

Lousiana State Police armored car rolls into New Orleans.
The Drudge Report.

The news is ugly. Resources are starting to arrive and the flooding has stabilized, but disorder continues, and is hindering the rescue and evacuation of the remaining surivors in New Orleans. The death toll is promising to be high.

In hard hit Mississippi and Alabama, the situation is grim but apparently under control. The focus now is restoring road communications with all areas hit by the storm surge in order to allow relief efforts to arrive.

In New Orleans, chaos continues to reign. The struggle to evacuate survivors is now being hurt by a pressing need to restore order, as looters and thugs steal and kill in the waters flooding the city.
Evacuation of the Superdome is being slowed by unknown gunmen who are firing at rescue and medevac helicopters.

One would think that this would be occasion to pull together. They would be wrong.

Interesting article
in Slate:

New Orleans' early settlers also built artificial levees. At first they were little more than crude efforts to augment the natural riverbanks. But for more than two centuries, engineers steadily ramped up their project, and today the levees have grown so high that they loom over the city below. New Orleans has literally walled itself off from the Mississippi. This is all part of the effort to realize the promise of the city's situation while keeping at bay the forces that buffet its site. Of course, in its present condition, the city faces two truths: First, even today the levees are not impregnable. And second, the higher the defenses are built, the more difficult it becomes to remove water from New Orleans once it finds a way inside.

An unprecedented effort to help is under way. Thousands of Army and National Guardsmen are on their way, additional Navy and Marine personnel and equipment (including an aircraft carrier), and additional Coast Guard units are all streaming towards the Gulf Coast.

At the risk of running into melodrama, I can't help but wonder if we are watching the death of a modern American city. I'm not alone. But once the living have been saved and the dead counted,
what else will we have lost? Much of New Orleans' music scene has been destroyed - the same scene that for many of us defines the city. New Orleans jazz, blues, cajun, and zydeco. How much of the decadent, unique Acadian atmosphere is gone forever?

More Information:
WWL TV, New Orleans
Satellite Imagery of New Orleans - Before and After

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