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Vincent Laforet/The New York Times
Aerial photograph of the devastation caused by the high winds and heavy flooding in the greater New Orleans area following Hurricane Katrina, Tuesday 30 August 2005.
I grabbed this photo from the NYT. Here's some of the story that goes with it:
Much of Gulf Coast Is Crippled; Toll Rises
Aug. 30 - A day after New Orleans thought it had narrowly escaped the worst of Hurricane Katrina's wrath, water broke through two levees on Tuesday and virtually submerged and isolated the city, causing incalculable destruction and rendering it uninhabitable for weeks to come
With bridges washed out, highways converted into canals, and power and communications lines left inoperable, government officials ordered everyone still remaining out of the city and began planning for the evacuation of the Superdome, where about 10,000 refugees huddled in increasingly grim conditions, running out of water and food, and with rising water threatening the generators.
So dire was the situation that the Pentagon late in the day ordered six Navy ships and eight Navy maritime rescue teams to the Gulf Coast to bolster relief operations. It also planned to fly in Swift boat rescue teams from California.
With the rising waters and widespread devastation hobbling rescue and recovery efforts, the authorities could only guess at the death toll in the city and across the Gulf Coast. In Mississippi alone, officials raised the official count of the dead to at least 100.
"It looks like Hiroshima is what it looks like," Gov. Haley Barbour said, describing parts of Harrison County, Miss.
Across the region rescue workers were not even trying to gather up and count the dead, officials said, but pushed them aside for the time being as they struggled to find the living.
As the sweep of the devastation became clear on Tuesday, President Bush cut short his monthlong summer vacation and returned to Washington, where he will meet Wednesday with a task force established to coordinate the efforts of 14 federal agencies that will be involved in responding to the disaster.
This devastation is horrible. Emergency relief workers are converging from all over the nation, including Kentucky. Our good friend Daniel from at Kentucky Democrat is putting together a benefit concert in Northern Kentucky. The Red Cross is taking contributions. People will need food and supplies of all types. At this point, even donating blood might help because they're going to be needing it. Whatever anyone can do will be useful. Pray for the people and families of the Gulf Coast. This is one of the most devastating natural disasters in the history of the United States and it's not done yet.
posted by Stithmeister @ 11:20 PM
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The things needed for this natural disaster are the same as those needed for a terrorist action - organization, security, medical care, food, water. Basics of life.
For the last 4.5 years, we-the-people have sacrificed our liberties and paid our taxes for a Homeland Security department with a mandate to plan and prepare for major, city-disrupting crises in America.
And now we have, or rather don't have, New Orleans. And the government response is in quantity, quality, pacing, timing, any category you care to choose - utterly inadequate. The general buzz word is that it's "Third World" in character.
For over four years they have been telling me that i have to support them, the Republican government, so that i will be safe from these grave threats.
And now, thanks to the loss of Biloxi, and New Orleans, and sundry other townships, and their thousands of lives lost, i learn that those ruling Republicans NEVER BELIEVED SUCH A THING COULD HAPPEN AT ALL.
No other way to see it. No planning = no belief it could happen. The Great Terrst Threat has been a straw man to them all along.
Except that threats are real, disasters do happen, and now Osama bin Whoever knows that our level of readiness is the very damn same as in 2001. Or worse, since most of the Guard is out of reach.
America, sleep with one eye open. No one is keeping you safe but yourself and good luck. And all luck runs out eventually.
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I'm currently working in the telecomm industry but one of my passions is still politics.
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