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NO Update

Seems that some bright spark in New orleans has decided to open fire on helicopters helping people out of the city. One National Guardsman has been injured and the rescue effort has been halted.

This is on top of various gangs taking over hotels, and other establishments, and barricading themselves in whilst having gun battles between each other and other criminal organisations.

I also note that of the 100,000 believed to still be in the city awaiting evac there are 10,000 patients and hospital staff from nine hospitals and at least 7,600 prison inmates.

Sounds like a fun recipe all round.

Comments

( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
heliograph
Sep. 1st, 2005 02:02 pm (UTC)
I grew up in Metairie (a suburb of New Orleans) and none of this surprises me. When I lived there they had a problem with people in the housing projects randomly firing on cars on the Mississippi River Bridge.

A friend's father and mother work at Charity hosipital and they're planning on evacuating everyone from there to Gonzales or Lafayette because the lower levels are flooded and they can't take on new patients... but the stories of the hospitals being attacked by gunmen are just that: stories.

My cousin's pretty hysterical about my mom still being in the area, but from what I can see her neighborhood (Fat City in Metairie in East Jefferson Parish) seems to be OK.

robinbloke
Sep. 1st, 2005 02:08 pm (UTC)
I could be cold and say those shooting at the helicopters don't deserve to be rescued and the disaster may wash out some nasty elements of society...

Instead I'll just say it's a horrible horrible mess and I really hope they get the people out.
heliograph
Sep. 1st, 2005 02:16 pm (UTC)
Oh, the nasty elements will survive just fine. Don't underestimate the ability of people to adapt and survive. All forces of order could pull out of New Orleans right now and I'd bet you'd still have a stable population of 10-15k+ living in the ruins.

I know people who get along just fine just a few hundred miles away from New Orleans with no phone, no electricity, and no city water.
robinbloke
Sep. 1st, 2005 02:38 pm (UTC)
Sadly true about the bad elements I suspect.
snesgirl
Sep. 1st, 2005 03:01 pm (UTC)
The entire scenario...
reminds me a Kurt russle movie... had 'escape' in the title... hmmmm
_grimtales_
Sep. 1st, 2005 04:11 pm (UTC)
Two meals from chaos.

The real pisser is that so much of this was preventable.
heliograph
Sep. 1st, 2005 09:39 pm (UTC)
I'm actually from the area and I don't think that's true. If the levee had held they would have been OK: without the flooding they would have been able to use the streets for transport. Many of the streets were actually dry after the hurricane but before the levee collapsed.

The levees aren't just 25 foot tall berms: on the ocean side they're fronted with concrete. They're large, sturdy, permanent structures. This storm was extraordinary: you don't need to look any further than all the highway overpasses that were flipped over (by wind? storm surge? I dunno).

The only way it would have been completely preventable would be to not have people live there.
_grimtales_
Sep. 2nd, 2005 01:27 pm (UTC)
They've, apparently, known something like this could happen since 2001 and that the levees etc needed more maintenance.

The evac was also shit and Homeland Security reorganisation has fucked up the procedures of several services.

It ain't quite so simple.
heliograph
Sep. 2nd, 2005 01:54 pm (UTC)
Take a look at this shot of one of the major highways that comes into New Orleans:

http://ngs.woc.noaa.gov/storms/katrina/24431099.jpg

You can't tell me that people knew that would happen.

Yes, they cut funding to the Mississippi River levee project, but not all of that was for New Orleans, and I've seen more than one Army Corps of Engineers officer say that he's not sure that it would have made a difference.

The evac isn't over, and it probably won't be for several days. Its being held up by disaster related problems and by the fact that people are shooting at the copters and trucks, which makes the pilots and drivers a little reluctant to go in.

Would the response have been better if all the LA National Guardsmen that handle hurricanes were actually in LA? You bet. But this is on a huge scale that nobody predicted.
_grimtales_
Sep. 2nd, 2005 01:57 pm (UTC)
Take a look over on the Anarchists community, ignore the rhetoric if its not your thing but follow some of the links posted there.
heliograph
Sep. 2nd, 2005 02:13 pm (UTC)
Link?
_grimtales_
Sep. 2nd, 2005 02:34 pm (UTC)
www.livejournal.com/~anarchists shoudl work.
lapinenoireuk
Sep. 1st, 2005 04:47 pm (UTC)
Quite so
lifted from Antiwar.com

"Even worse, articles in the New Orleans Times-Picayune and public statements by emergency management chiefs in New Orleans make it clear that the Bush administration slashed the funding for the Corps of Engineers' projects to strengthen and raise the New Orleans levees and diverted the money to the Iraq war.

Walter Maestri, emergency management chief for Jefferson Parish, told the New Orleans Times-Picayune (June 8, 2004): "It appears that the money has been moved in the president's budget to handle homeland security and the war in Iraq, and I suppose that's the price we pay. Nobody locally is happy that the levees can't be finished, and we are doing everything we can to make the case that this is a security issue for us." (End quote)
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )

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