Best wishes & luck to any New Orleans members...


Colonel Panic
Hopefully you're not reading this from your home town...

At the risk of being indelicate, hurricane Katrina has the potential to do almost unimaginable damage to New Orleans. This could be a natural disaster of historic dimensions.

Here's hoping it doesn't pan out that way, and to all members in Katrina's path, my best wishes.
As far as I've heard, New Orleans wasn't actually hit that hard. At least not as hard as expected... I hope it's not just other cities that get the big hits now...?
My prayers go out to the people in New Orleans and everywhere else in the path of Katrina. We here down in Miami had it at a Category 1, and even at that level it did considerable damage. NO ONE expected Katrina to make the dip to the south. Since we've gone through her, I have been saying that Katrina was a Category 1 storm with high ambitions of being a Cat 4....and now she's a Cat 5. We lost power on Thursday night and didn't get it back until Saturday afternoon. Imagine trying to sleep in 90 degree weather at night with no power in a bedroom with your 4 year old and 1 year old. For us, that was the toughest night ever. But that's nothing compared to what people are experiencing with Katrina now. It's terrifying for me to even think about it. Again, my prayers go out to everyone being affected by her now.

Thankfully, the only damage was to our gate, but others had trees on their houses and vehicles. I mean, who would have thought that a Category ONE storm would have caused six deaths? All I know is that I am NEVER going to take a Cat 1 hurricane for granted.
It does sound like the damage in New Orleans wasn't as bad as the worst case scenarios some were predicting (all levees collapsing, streets under 20 feet of water, etc.) Still, it hasn't been any picnic. Once again, to everyone in Katrina's path (and wake) good luck, best wishes, and may the force be with you...
I have just seen images on the news of what New Orleans and surrounding areas affected by Katrina went through. Oh my God....

It looked like something out of a movie. Everything inundated, even a courthouse that looked like an island as well as a hotel building that looked like a bomb blew out all of the windows.

Makes me once again realize how lucky we were despite what we went though here in Florida. God willing the fatalities are minimal. :(
The storm has come and gone, but things continue to deteriorate in New Orleans. It's starting to look to me like they may get every bit the disaster that was predicted, just over the course of several days, rather than all at once.

Two levees have been breached

One surrounds a canal running through town, and connecting to Lake Pontchartrain. Apparently even under dry conditions, the water level in the canal can be above street level. Now with the lake swollen from hurricane rains, water is pouring through the breach and into the streets. The Army has been dropping huge sandbags into the gap to try and seal the breach:

...but so far no luck. The pumps are starting to fail, and with the canal just emptying back into the streets, there's almost nowhere for them to pump the water INTO.

Mississippi took the most direct hit from the hurricane, and Katrina reportedly drove a 30 foot storm surge inland. The destruction there is also horrible - however unlike New Orleans, at least there the natural drainage will gradually draw some of the flood water away, instead of drawing more in!!

In Alabama, a 13,000 ton mobile oil platform was blown into Mobile Bay where it crashed into a huge and heavily used suspension bridge. The bridge is closed until the platform can be removed and the bridge inspected for damage.

It's an incredible mess.
The governor has ordered the remaining residents of the Big Easy evacuated. The aftermath is much worse than the actual event it seems. They had a thing on the radio this afternoon about a bunch of people who tried to get back into the city this stranded by rising water on a bridge or elevated roadway.

Sad to see...the French Quarter seems to have survived the storm relatively well, but the flooding (if it continues) will probably damage it pretty bad.
yeah, its pretty bad. I went through Ivan, but we never had anything like this... my heart aches for them. I know what its like to suffer like this, though our suffering ended in a matter of weeks and months-this will take years and generations to overcome...

Mdnky, I just noticed your "Location", are you ok there? Any problems? IMO, there is going to be a mass exodus of that area of the country, so be prepared for a population explosion in Baton Rouge as well as north and east of nawlins/biloxi!
We made it out with pretty minor damage all things considered. A lot of trees down, power outages, etc. Nothing really too bad. The wind gave it it's best, but even then I doubt we saw anything over 80 to 100 mph. Probably more like 50 to 60 mph. The apartment complex I live in lost power around 8am that morning and it was out until around 6pm for everyone but the back 4 buildings (which I live in, of course). We didn't get ours back on until 8 or so last night. I lost a good deal of food...had just stocked up the fridge/freezer, but other than that everything's fine.

LSU cancelled classes until Sept 6th...they're using the campus as an Emergency Medical Facility for the New Orleans and other evacuees. I've seen ambulances from as far away as Houston, TX and Phoenix, AZ so far.
I urge anyone living in New Orleans NOT consider moving back into the city unless some Dutch style multiple levees are installed.
my heart and prayers go out to those affected by the hurricane. i've been glued to the TV and news websites. It's just really awful there. They've evacuate the remaining 50,000-100,000 people in NO. Then, they've got to plug the breached levees. Then they got to get power to the pumps, and then they can pump the water out. I noticed a lot of Louisiana cars in Houston since Monday. I hope they get everyone evacuated as safely and quickly as possible.
I noticed something. It seems the best and worst are coming out in the affected areas. I feel sad as human being. :(
What is being done to help those stuck in the city? All we get in Ireland are horrific pictures of people stranded, hungry, thirsty and distressed in and around the superdome. Why isn't some of the massive US military airlift capacity being used? I remember reading that emergency supplies were being dropped after the Asian tsunami within 3-4 days.
I have just spoken with my sister who's home is west of New Orleans proper in River Ridge. Her home was not in the area which flooded. That appears to be totally confined to the city of New Orleans itself. They got no water in their home, but there is extensive tree damage.
The local police there continued to function and there was no civil dosorder.

My brother-in-law practices at the Oschner clinic. They did not flood, and were able to run on auxilary power. Full electrical power has been restored to the hospitals.

The main loss of life will turn out to be in Challmette. The people there ignored the orders to evacuate.

The New Orleans city schools, and the University of New Orleans have cancelled the school year basically. UNO was underwater.

My sister will be having a nice long visit with mom and dad in Lake Charles. Can you say "at each other's throats"?

She and I have a bet as to which stores will reopen first. My money is on Walmart. :p
What is being done to help those stuck in the city?

A lot of people are being lifted from the roofs of buildings by Coast Guard helicopters, using a rescue basket on the end of a winch. I've seen many vid clips of Coast Guardsmen securing people into the baskets, and a few of Guardsmen having to actually chop through roofs with a hand axe to free people trapped in their attics.

This is a very slow process; the basket can only carry one person at a time, and the choppers can only fly for a few hours without refueling.

Others are being retrieved by police traveling through the flooded areas in boats.

The National Guard - serious military aid - did not arrive in any numbers until Saturday 9/3, and there is a lot of puzzlement as to why it took so long.

EDIT: Just to continue; the National Guard brought real relief, with tons of emergency food and supplies, and fleets of busses, helicopters and other vehicles to take people out of the city from the Superdome and Convention Center. Evacuations of those areas are now considered largely complete.
brianleahy said:
The National Guard - serious military aid - did not arrive in any numbers until Saturday 9/3, and there is a lot of puzzlement as to why it took so long.

Oh I think it's pretty obvious what the reasons might have been for the delay:

sponsored by the Washington Post and Talking Points Memo

Behind the scenes, a power struggle emerged, as federal officials tried to wrest authority from Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco (D). Shortly before midnight Friday, the Bush administration sent her a proposed legal memorandum asking her to request a federal takeover of the evacuation of New Orleans, a source within the state's emergency operations center said Saturday.

The administration sought unified control over all local police and state National Guard units reporting to the governor. Louisiana officials rejected the request after talks throughout the night, concerned that such a move would be comparable to a federal declaration of martial law. Some officials in the state suspected a political motive behind the request. "Quite frankly, if they'd been able to pull off taking it away from the locals, they then could have blamed everything on the locals," said the source, who does not have the authority to speak publicly.

A senior administration official said that Bush has clear legal authority to federalize National Guard units to quell civil disturbances under the Insurrection Act and will continue to try to unify the chains of command that are split among the president, the Louisiana governor and the New Orleans mayor.

Louisiana did not reach out to a multi-state mutual aid compact for assistance until Wednesday, three state and federal officials said. As of Saturday, Blanco still had not declared a state of emergency, the senior Bush official said.

"The federal government stands ready to work with state and local officials to secure New Orleans and the state of Louisiana," White House spokesman Dan Bartlett said. "The president will not let any form of bureaucracy get in the way of protecting the citizens of Louisiana."

Blanco made two moves Saturday that protected her independence from the federal government: She created a philanthropic fund for the state's victims and hired James Lee Witt, Federal Emergency Management Agency director in the Clinton administration, to advise her on the relief effort.

Bush, who has been criticized, even by supporters, for the delayed response to the disaster, used his weekly radio address to put responsibility for the failure on lower levels of government. The magnitude of the crisis "has created tremendous problems that have strained state and local capabilities," he said. "The result is that many of our citizens simply are not getting the help they need, especially in New Orleans. And that is unacceptable."

If I had been in the president's position, I would have federalized the National Guard, declared martial law, and sent in the 82nd to take care of the "looters and shooters". Well this is what ultimately has happened effectively anyway.
My position: I don't like Bush, didn't vote for him. I don't like governor Blanco either; I voted for her opponent. As a resident of the "northern" part of the state, there's more that I could about state politics, but I won't at least not for now. In my opinion, it was politics that led to the delay. :mad:
My Dad is from New Orleans, and we still have reletives there...

...but I'm happy to report that all have checked in an are physically unharmed... However for both my Uncle and my cousin's family, all physical posessions are a total loss...

They are safe in Texas with my sister, and I would not be surprised if my 72 year/old Uncle never goes back to the city he spent all of the non-WWII years of his life.
Well that's good to hear. There are several professional people who came up here as evacuees who have started looking for houses. I don't know if my sister and her husband will stay there. Of course they will be returning; but staying, we'll see.

People I know who live in Dade country Florida say that even though it's been 10+ years since hurricane Andrew, the place has never been the same.

There's been some amatuer video that's starting to turn up. Viewer discretion is advised. It just looks awful.

On a related issue: thursday evening we had gridlock with all the panic buying at the gas stations. Just now I filled up my car and my gas can for my power equipment. No gas lines. In fact I was the only customer at the freakin station. :p

Oh yeah, there's little traffic as well; it's amazing the conserving people can be motivated to do at $3+ a gallon. :D
Ach, panic-buying of gas. Most unfortunate.

I understand why it happens, but it may easily make things worse.

Supply and demand: a plunge in supply + spike in demand = even worse shortage. :(