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» babble   » archived babble   » USA   » The Ghosts of Katrina & Rita

   
Author Topic: The Ghosts of Katrina & Rita
Transplant
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 9960

posted 15 November 2005 11:34 AM      Profile for Transplant     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Storms Put Focus on Other Disasters in Waiting

NY Times - Officials in California worry about the collapse of aging levees in the delta of the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers, which might allow surging seawater to contaminate much of the state's drinking water supply.

A major concern in Seattle is the seismic vulnerability of the Alaskan Way Viaduct, a busy elevated highway in such peril that weight and lane restrictions were imposed on buses and trucks.

In Montana, Idaho and Wyoming, there is the recurring danger of a volcanic eruption at Yellowstone National Park, while in Florida, attention has turned anew to cleaning up Lake Okeechobee, which sends polluted water into nearby rivers during heavy rains and floods.

While the problems are mostly well known, the devastation from the Gulf Coast hurricanes is serving as a strong reminder that possible disasters could lay waste to cities and states across the country. People are calling government offices about emergency preparedness, long-forgotten plans are being dusted off and reassessed, and lawmakers are holding hearings about vulnerabilities and whether efforts to address them go far enough.

"Katrina woke us up again," said Susie Stonner, a spokeswoman for the State Emergency Management Agency in Missouri, where flooding along the Mississippi River in 1993 caused billions of dollars in damage but where building in flood plains has resumed. "Since 9/11 most of our efforts have been focused on terrorism, and it's time to start thinking we have natural disasters, too."


From: Free North America | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Transplant
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 9960

posted 15 November 2005 02:25 PM      Profile for Transplant     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
This one's for you skdadl-

Homecoming for Katrina dog

Tahoe Daily Tribune - She's finally home.

Savannah, the tawny-haired shepherd mix left homeless in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, experienced a journey that took her from Louisiana to Houston to San Francisco to Marin County to Sacramento and finally to Incline Village's Pet Network.

Friday, she boarded a plane in Reno headed for Louisiana.

"Yes, she's come so far and is such a sweet girl through it all," said adoption manager Susan Paul. "The staff here was elated when we found her home.


From: Free North America | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Contrarian
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 6477

posted 17 November 2005 12:06 AM      Profile for Contrarian     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
People are still finding bodies.
quote:
More than a month after the official search for victims of Hurricane Katrina ended, the death toll in Louisiana has jumped by 104 as returning families in the New Orleans area continue to find bodies...
How awful, to come home and find a relative's body still there.

Incidently, Simon Winchester was on CBC radio about his new book about the San Francisco earthquake; he compared the relief effort to that for Katrina and it was a heck of a lot better and faster back in 1906. This Guardian review of several doom-predicting books includes that book:

quote:
...Hurricane Katrina has shown what not to do when disaster actually strikes. A hundred years ago, the earthquake in San Francisco was handled much better. Simon Winchester describes the intelligence, vigour and generosity shown not just by the city's inhabitants and administrators, but by the whole country. Just after five in the morning on April 18 1906, a massive tremor picked up San Francisco and shook it like a rug. Within 90 minutes, soldiers had surrounded the Hall of Justice. By midnight, aid had arrived from Los Angeles. And by 4am the following morning, Washington had authorised every possible assistance, dispatching soldiers, rations and the longest hospital train ever assembled. All this had been done by telegraph and morse code...

From: pretty far west | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
abnormal
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Babbler # 1245

posted 17 November 2005 08:18 PM      Profile for abnormal   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
As an observation, Katrina was far from being the ultimate disaster.
quote:
The potential impact of a major hurricane making landfall in the New York City metropolitan area was discussed by AIR Worldwide President and CEO Karen Clark at the National Catastrophe Insurance Program Summit, held in San Francisco on November 15 and 16. The conference was organized by insurance commissioners from California, Florida, Illinois, and New York to design a national program to more effectively spread the financial risk of natural and man-made catastrophes...

"Hurricane Katrina was the costliest catastrophe to impact the United States to date, but unfortunately we need to be prepared for much worse," continued Ms. Clark. "AIR estimates that a loss equal to or greater than that of Hurricane Katrina has approximately a 5 percent annual probability for the United States. AIR's catastrophe models contain hundreds of potential scenarios with losses equal to or larger than that of Hurricane Katrina--some with insured losses in excess of $150 billion--which provides insurers with valuable information for managing their catastrophe risk."...


emphasis added

Two things to note here. First, AIR estimates that there is a five percent probability of a loss of the order of magnitude of Katrina in any given year. In other words, this is a one in twenty year event.

Perhaps more disconcerting is the observation that Katrina is far from a worst case event. If Katrina's track had been even slightly different things would have been much worse.

quote:
AIR Worldwide Corporation (AIR) is a leading risk modeling company helping clients manage the financial impact of catastrophes and weather. Utilizing the latest science and technology, AIR models natural catastrophes in more than 40 countries and the risk from terrorism in the United States.

[ 17 November 2005: Message edited by: abnormal ]


From: far, far away | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
Transplant
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 9960

posted 25 November 2005 02:33 PM      Profile for Transplant     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Doubts Now Surround Account of Snipers Amid New Orleans Chaos

LA Times - Even in the desperate days after Hurricane Katrina, the news flash seemed particularly sensational: Police had caught eight snipers on a bridge shooting at relief contractors. In the gun battle that followed, officers shot to death five or six of the marauders.

Exhausted and emotionally drained police cheered the news that their comrades had stopped the snipers and suffered no losses, said an account in the New Orleans Times-Picayune. One officer said the incident showed the department's resolve to take back the streets.

But nearly three months later — and after repeated revisions of the official account of the incident and a lowering of the death toll to two — authorities said they were still trying to reconstruct what happened Sept. 4 on the Danziger Bridge. And on the city's east side, where the shootings occurred, two families that suffered casualties are preparing to come forward with stories radically different from those told by police.

A teenager critically wounded that day, speaking about the incident for the first time, said in an interview that police shot him for no reason, delivering a final bullet at point-blank range with what he thought was an assault rifle. Members of another family said one of those killed was mentally disabled, a childlike innocent who made a rare foray from home in a desperate effort to find relief from the flood....


From: Free North America | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Transplant
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 9960

posted 04 December 2005 12:34 PM      Profile for Transplant     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
A View of the Political Storm After Katrina

NY Times - It was Thursday, Sept. 1, three days after Hurricane Katrina had ripped across the Gulf Coast. As New Orleans descended into horror, the top aides to Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco of Louisiana were certain the White House was trying to blame their boss, and they were becoming increasingly furious.

"Bush's numbers are low, and they are getting pummeled by the media for their inept response to Katrina and are actively working to make us the scapegoats," Bob Mann, Ms. Blanco's communications director, wrote in an e-mail message that afternoon, outlining plans by Washington Democrats to help turn the blame back onto President Bush.

With so much criticism being directed toward the governor, the time had come, her aides told her, to rework her performance. She had to figure out a way not only to lead the state through the most costly natural disaster in United States history, but also to emerge on top somehow in the nasty public relations war.

Drop the emotion, the anger and all those detail-oriented briefings, Ms. Blanco's aides told her. Get out to the disaster zone to visit emergency shelters, and repeat again and again: help is on the way.

"She must temper her anger and frustration," Johnny Anderson, Ms. Blanco's assistant chief of staff, wrote a day after it became widely known that large crowds were suffering at the New Orleans convention center. "We have work too hard to lose the public relations battle."

These candid exchanges are just a few of the glimpses inside Louisiana's highest leadership that emerged late Friday in an extraordinary release of about 100,000 pages of state documents detailing the response to Hurricane Katrina by Ms. Blanco and her staff. The state compiled the documents - including e-mail messages, hand-written notes, correspondence with the White House, and thousands of offers of assistance and desperate pleas for help - at the request of two Congressional committees looking into the state's preparedness and response....


From: Free North America | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Transplant
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 9960

posted 06 December 2005 10:19 AM      Profile for Transplant     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
FEMA Official: Katrina Response 'Broken'

AP - Facing a growing body count and shortages of food, water and ice, federal emergency officials braced for riots in Mississippi in the days following Hurricane Katrina, new documents reveal.

Federal Emergency Management Agency officials knew their response system had been shattered by the Aug. 29 storm and were unable to provide fast help — even when the needs were obvious.

"This is unlike what we have seen before," William Carwile, FEMA's former top responder in Mississippi, said in a Sept. 1 e-mail to officials at the agency's headquarters. He was describing difficulties in getting body bags and refrigerated trucks to Hancock County, Miss., which was badly damaged by the storm.

Carwile wrote that he personally authorized Hancock County to buy refrigeration trucks because "the coroner was going to have to start putting bodies out in the parking lot."

The next day, in another e-mail to headquarters about substandard levels of food, water and ice being distributed in Mississippi, Carwile reported, "System appears broken."

In a Sept. 1 exchange, FEMA regional response official Robert Fenton warned headquarters that the expected levels of water and ice being sent were far below what was needed.

"If we get the quantities in your report tomorrow we will have serious riots," Fenton wrote....

[ 06 December 2005: Message edited by: Transplant ]

[ 06 December 2005: Message edited by: Transplant ]


From: Free North America | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
M. Spector
rabble-rouser
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posted 07 December 2005 12:18 AM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Three months later, DNA tests to start on Katrina bodies
quote:
The state coroner's office announced Monday that companies have been hired to conduct the tests...

New Orleans' coroner Dr. Frank Minyard expressed frustration last week that genetic tests on 263 bodies from the August 29 storm had not yet begun.

More than three months after the storm, bodies are still being found...



From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
Transplant
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 9960

posted 07 December 2005 10:55 AM      Profile for Transplant     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Pre-Katrina Arrestees Languish in System

Wash Post - Hundreds of people arrested for minor crimes just before Hurricane Katrina washed away New Orleans' court system remain behind bars more than three months later.

A team of volunteer defense lawyers has filed motions to have the arrestees set free. Some have never had a court appearance or been assigned a lawyer, said Rachel Jones, one of the volunteers.

One New Orleans judge has been hearing the cases in a Baton Rouge courtroom, because New Orleans' courthouse is closed indefinitely. Judge Calvin Johnson ordered dozens of the prisoners released Tuesday, including one man who was arrested for public drunkenness Aug. 24 and given a 10-day sentence.

More than 8,000 inmates were evacuated from southeast Louisiana jails before and after Katrina struck Aug. 29, the majority from the New Orleans jail, which was severely flooded.

Many of those prisoners had been convicted and belong behind bars, but defense lawyer Julie Kilborn said roughly 30 percent were incarcerated for misdemeanors and should have been released long ago. Others were sentenced to drug rehabilitation programs, but New Orleans' rehab operations have been out of commission since the storm, so they remain behind bars, she said. ...

----

habeas corpus n. Archaic. (Lat.) Legal term no longer in use


From: Free North America | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Transplant
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 9960

posted 11 December 2005 04:28 PM      Profile for Transplant     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Drowned city cuts its poor adrift

Observer - The waters have receded but the mainly black, low-income citizens of New Orleans are now the victims of rising rents, forced evictions and plans that favour the better off, reports Peter Beaumont. ....

'I don't have anything to come home to. No food, no water or electricity,' said the 74-year-old, whose family has been scattered. 'I can't afford to live in the French Quarter and there is nowhere else to rent. I have three more years on the mortgage to pay for this.' She will not sell the property, she says, but she also will not return. And Mildred W Franklin is angry. In a city where the wealthy areas are buzzing with reconstruction, her neighbourhood, one of the worst affected, is silent and ghostly. 'They want us to be disgusted. They don't want us to return.'

She is not alone in thinking this. When Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans it was the city's poor - almost exclusively African Americans - who were left to fend for themselves as the city drowned in a lake of toxic sludge. Now, three months on, the same people have been abandoned once again by a reconstruction effort that seems determined to prevent them from returning. They are the victims of a devastating combination of forced evictions, a failure to reopen the city's public house projects, rent gouging and - as in the case of Mildred - a decision to write off whole neighbourhoods. ...


From: Free North America | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Transplant
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 9960

posted 13 December 2005 11:29 AM      Profile for Transplant     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Residents Place an Ad to Plead With Congress

NY Times - Members of Congress, soon returning home for the holidays, will get a stark message on Tuesday that tens of thousands of this city's people are still unable to do so.

A full-page advertisement - set to appear in the Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call, paid for by former residents of the ravaged middle-class Lakeview section and billed as a "Message From Homeless New Orleanians" - pleads with Congress to pay for stronger levees.

It also reminds the lawmakers that things are far from normal in a city where block after block remains ghostly and dark.

"Since the breakdown of the New Orleans flood protection system on August 29, 2005, we have lived like refugees in our own country," the advertisement says. "The residents of Lakeview and countless other displaced New Orleans communities are sending you this holiday wish in one voice - 'We want to go home.' " ...


From: Free North America | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
rinne
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posted 13 December 2005 11:55 AM      Profile for rinne     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
"We are about to lose New Orleans. Whether it is a conscious plan to let the city rot until no one is willing to move back or honest paralysis over difficult questions, the moment is upon us when a major American city will die, leaving nothing but a few shells for tourists to visit like a museum."

Truthout Article


From: prairies | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged
Transplant
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 9960

posted 15 December 2005 01:17 PM      Profile for Transplant     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
First the Superdome, then the houses....

Superdome could be ready for football by Nov. 1

The Superdome, heavily damaged when Hurricane Katrina hit on Aug. 29, can be repaired and ready to reopen for major football events by Nov. 1, a consultant's report released Tuesday said.

"The Superdome has become the most recognizable symbol of New Orleans," said Tim Coulon, chairman of the Louisiana Stadium and Exposition Board. "The rebuilding of the Superdome will represent the rebuilding of the city."

Repair costs are estimated at about $140 million and most of that is expected to be covered by the state's insurance and by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. ...


From: Free North America | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Transplant
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 9960

posted 16 December 2005 11:23 AM      Profile for Transplant     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
New Orleans Company to Offer Disaster Tours

AP - For $35 per person — $28 for children — a New Orleans company is offering bus tours of some of the city's most misery-stricken spots, including the Superdome, the Convention Center and neighborhoods ravaged by Hurricane Katrina.

Residents disagree over whether the tours are crass and morbid exploitation, or a good way to help people grasp the enormity of the disaster and keep public attention focused on New Orleans' plight.

The three-hour tours, called "Hurricane Katrina — America's Worst Castastrophe," were announced last week by Gray Line New Orleans, with the first one set for Jan. 4. ...


From: Free North America | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Contrarian
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 6477

posted 03 January 2006 11:58 AM      Profile for Contrarian     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Now comes the mysterious illnesses.
quote:
...The paramedic recalls treating victims who trudged waist- and chest-deep through the overflow of Lake Ponchatrain with some of the same symptoms that now have him seeking medical help.

“I can’t clean (the gun) because a film residue keeps coming back,” Coleman said. “And, if it did that to a metal gun that is nearly indestructible, I can’t imagine what it is doing to people.”

Coleman is not alone. Other area law enforcement and emergency service volunteers also are reporting medical problems and attempting to alert the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals to recognize the health hazard being dubbed the Katrina Rash or New Orleans Crud...



From: pretty far west | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
Abdul_Maria
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 11105

posted 03 January 2006 12:42 PM      Profile for Abdul_Maria     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Hurricane Gerrymandering.

the demographics of LouisianA are shifting towards repugnantcanism.


From: San Fran | Registered: Nov 2005  |  IP: Logged
Transplant
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 9960

posted 13 January 2006 11:51 AM      Profile for Transplant     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
In New Orleans, Bush Speaks With Optimism but Sees Little of Ruin

NY Times - President Bush made his first trip here in three months on Thursday and declared that New Orleans was "a heck of a place to bring your family" and that it had "some of the greatest food in the world and some wonderful fun."

Mr. Bush spent his brief visit in a meeting with political and business leaders on the edge of the Garden District, the grand neighborhood largely untouched by the floodwaters of Hurricane Katrina, and saw little devastation. He did not go into the city's hardest-hit areas or to Jackson Square, where several hundred girls from the Academy of the Sacred Heart staged a protest demanding stronger levees.

Mr. Bush's motorcade did pass some abandoned neighborhoods as it traveled on Interstate 10 into the city.

"It may be hard for you to see, but from when I first came here to today, New Orleans is reminding me of the city I used to come to visit" ...

----

I'm sure it did, since I doubt he ever spent much time in the Lower Ninth Ward.


From: Free North America | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged

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