Wednesday, August 31, 2005

$3.00 a Gallon...or More

That is, if you can find gasoline. Just heard that some offshore rigs were blown as far as 17 miles from their original locations. The Coast Guard is reporting a few oil slicks as well...

The Centroplex/River Center in Baton Rouge is now a major shelter--high schools serving as such have to prepare for next week. The Red Cross is asking for volunteers and donations--did the latter, am ready to do the former. 1-800-HELP-NOW (1-800-435-7669) for those who don't have internet or don't want to donate online.

More news on tent cities--they're thinking of using the old State Fair Grounds near Airline Highway (Hwy 61) as a campground. But right now roads are still closed all around...in fact, they're using portions of the raised highway as an initial stopping off point for people who've been rescued from rooftops.

Saw the first person make mention of the lack of public transportation to get folks out of the city, although, to be honest, a number of folks interviewed after being dropped on the elevated highway said they wanted to stick out the storm...at least they admitted it was a "bad decision." Still, watching the school buses FINALLY out in force makes me wonder first, why didn't they do this Saturday or Sunday? Second, New Orleans might not be alone in lacking a decent system of public transit, but I HOPE the aftermath of this disaster will impress upon people the NECESSITY of public, inter-urban systems. Greyhound isn't nearly enough...Amtrak makes one stop a day. A coordinated transit system could've gotten these people OUT.

More reports of looting...national correspondents were interviewing folks taking mostly food from convenience stores, drug stores, etc.--again, the police seem to be adopting a policy of letting people loot food and water--what else can they do? Conditions must be absolutely horrible: no electricity, no water AND it's still New Orleans in August, i.e., 90 degrees plus (Fahrenheit) and humidity through the roof with all the standing water...and heaven knows what sort of illnesses will be around for the next few days--already West Nile is an established disease here in the Gret Stet, then you've got the possibility of water borne diseases like cholera...

The Pic Blog says they're trying to plug the hole in the 17th St. Canal...work continues through the night. Saw some footage from the Lakeview area before the sun set (Regent St., for those who know the area), and it's already under some 8 feet of water (up to the street sign--it was right AT the water line). On the surreal side, gas main breaks are causing small fires just above the water line. Geez.

The Pic is also reporting that they want to evacuate the Superdome shelter...guess y'all probably know the roof had a couple of small breaks, but more important, they're on emergency generator power, i.e., no A/C, and the sanitation is...um, isn't.

Ouch...looters are trying to break into Children's Hospital.

No additional news on the prison riot, or the police officer who was shot.

Finally, to close for now, some parishes like Lafayette are letting parents in shelters register their kids for local schools, i.e., those who aren't in NOLA might have to stay away for a while.

OK, I'm not a native, but I've always thought of the city as my home away from home...those for whom NOLA IS home are hit a hundred, if not a thousand times harder...but this one still is a bit of a stomach punch for folks like me. I was looking forward to a number of weekends in the city this fall. But I guess that's not gonna happen.

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