Wednesday, August 31, 2005


My mountain being hit by remains of hurricane Katrina

By Elaine Meinel Supkis

The wind is blowing and much needed rain is falling. Flood alert here as the hurricane just arrived at my very doorstep, much reduced, a kitten compared to the roaring lion that came ashore so few days ago.

The situation in New Orleans continues to deteriorate.
The domed stadium is rapidly becoming the doomed stadium. The military are bringing in ever more people but the water is rising fast and it seems they no longer are bringing people in. The water is 3' deep around this "refuge" which is now a trap. People are already dying inside. Of course, the sick are the first to go. One man's oxygen tank ran out and he died. Others who need diabetes medication are now getting sicker. There is no way to dispose of the bodies but to take them outside into the hot sun.f

The humidity from the people and the rain and now the flooding waters trapped inside this near airtight container are causing huge problems. There was minimal electricity until the flood waters threatened the generators. In the hospitals, the generators are shutting down and people are dying. They are trying to evacuate all the hospitals. It is very difficult, to say the least. From Yahoo news:
Hospitals across the city faced deteriorating conditions Tuesday after two levees broke, sending water coursing through the streets of the Big Easy. An estimated 80 percent of the below-sea-level city was under water, up to 20 feet deep in places, with miles and miles of homes swamped.
Charity's backup generator was running out of diesel fuel. Nurses hand-pumped ventilators for patients who couldn't breathe. Doctors canoed supplies in from three nearby hospitals.

"It's like being in a Third World country. We're trying to work without power. Everyone knows we're all in this together. We're just trying to stay alive," said Mitch Handrich, a registered nurse manager at the state's biggest public hospital.

U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt said 2,500 patients would be evacuated from hospitals in Orleans Parish, but it wasn't immediately clear where they would be moved.

Police were working to get more generators to Charity and its 300 patients. The most critically ill would be evacuated first, with the rest to go later this week.

Outside Charity, water was 3 to 4 feet deep in the street. Inside, halls were dark and slippery. Workers ferried supplies up and down darkened stairs. Everyone needed flashlights.

And yet the injured kept coming. At one point, a boat pulled up carrying a man doubled over in pain.

"Where are we going to put him? We're the rescuee now. People coming in here, it's like running into a burning building looking for shelter," nursing supervisor Ray Campo said.

Helicopters landed at the hospital's parking garage — sometimes first picking up specialists from other cities — to get about 25 sick babies and take them to hospitals in Lafayette, New Iberia and Alexandria, said Richard Zeuschlag, president of Acadian Ambulance Service Inc.

Boats had to take other patients eight miles to a highway intersection, where 80 ambulances waited to ferry them for triage at the LSU Assembly Center in Baton Rouge.
The toilets in the city can't flush. This is where dysentary and typhus, the flood twins, step in. When people are jammed into castles or walled towns under seige, these diseases show up very rapidly and spread like wildfire. There are now around 30,000 people in that stadium!

History: Arles, France, when the Roman empire fell, the people moved into the stadium and turned it into their town. In our present case, this won't happen.

The evacuation of this stadium has not even begun except for a few very ill people helicoptered out. When will panic set in? There are no real beds there, the food was trucked in but that is going to fail now. What are they going to do? The people can't walk out of the city.

The looting going on is a great concern to many people.
This is a doomed city. The goods within are going to be worthless as the waters rise. If poor people take stuff, this is unfortunate but won't change a thing. Even the loot will be useless when the last people are evacuated because there is no fresh water and no more food is coming in except that brought in by the military! All that stuff will be left behind as people are forced to evacute with only the clothes on their backs! Homeless and lootless, all those goodies like TVs--useless.

From Yahoo:
WASHINGTON - The Navy is sending four ships carrying water and other supplies to aid victims of Hurricane Katrina, while medical disaster teams and Red Cross workers from across the country converged on the devastated Gulf Coast region.

The Red Cross, which sent in 185 emergency vehicles to provide meals, reported it had about 40,000 people in 200 shelters across the area.
FEMA said it has 500 trucks of ice, 500 trucks of water and 350 trucks of military meals ready to eat scheduled for distribution in the next 10 days.

Four Navy amphibious ships were to leave Norfolk, Va., over the next few days for deployment on the Gulf Coast. The Pensacola Naval Air Station in Florida will be a base for the relief effort.

The Coast Guard received hundreds of calls for help and has assisted in the rescue of more than 1,200 people, spokesman Lt. Cmdr. Jeff Carter said Tuesday.
You see, this isn't ordinary water. It is very filthy. I scan the photos and see oil and grease uniformly covering the water, you can tell by the ripples: long, lazy swells rather than fine curved ruffles. All the light glancing off of it is multicolored because of gasoline or mirror-black. Not brown. The brown water from the Mississippi is mixing with this mess so the oil and grease and gasoline will be embedded in the dirt that will be left behind if and when they manage to remove this water.

And removing it? It is still pouring in. And is unstoppable. All the daydreaming schemes have been dropped because from the minute they were concieved, they were doomed. I have worked with raging water and know how it works and there is no way we can stop things now until the water equalizes.

The authorities have lied, openly lied, to people, suggesting that Monday, all will be well.

This was not only ridiculous, it is dangerous. People won't leave yet who are at the high points. They think all will return to normal in just four days! Food deliveries, water, toilets flushing...all will magically resume. The million refugees see this crap on TV and remain in their hotels, running down their bank accounts, unaware that they have to find alternative housing pronto.

Jobs: not one job in New Orleans is functional now nor will be for a long time. I saw pictures of many sky scrappers with big windows, those glass boxes, all broken! On all sides! Everything inside of many of these great towers are completely ruined. Paperwork is going to rot rapidly in the hot temperatures. If you don't lay out the paper within three days, they dry together and are almost impossible to separate. The computers: shot. The data is retrievable but the longer you wait, the more the water inside them will rot everything. Literally, slime will colonize them.

Just retrieving data will be hugely expensive if not impossible.

Most businesses that are small will be bankrupt within six months, many big ones will totter. Major corporations have back ups but they don't need everyone for a skeleton crew and most people will be thrown into the Unemployment system within six weeks.

For there is no city left, pretty much. It is gone. Cleaning this mess isn't going to be easy. You can't move into the lower houses again because the oily water will permeate everything, even the very wood substructure. All of it will produce toxic fumes if you enclose a house and turn on the airconditioning! Ergo: all the houses need to be scrapped. Of course, people will try to move back in because they have to live somewhere.

But the houses will be unhealthy.

The hit this will cause our economy is enormous. Bush's energy secretary announced that laughing boy is releasing the oil reserves. Great. Only it is useless. Who is going to refine it? Even if they pump out the refineries which are in standing oil/water and easily blown up just by a lightning strike or dropped match or a house catching on fire in the vicinity, the workers will have to live somewhere and be trucked in.

This is going to be very messy.

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