Wednesday, August 31, 2005

From Bad to Worse

As much as I can't stand watching the tv, I can't stop. I'm so desperate for some news that I can relate to. The news is all bad though, and it just keeps getting worse. The water is still rising in New Orleans because of the breached levee and will continue throughout the night, and may rise another 8 - 15 feet according to the tv. There are still many many people trapped in their homes, the looting is out of control and there are now 30,000 people at the Superdome.

One man at the Superdome committed suicide by throwing himself over a 2nd floor balcony after warning the people below to "watch out" and then calmly leaping to his death. I'm sure the odor of his corpse is nothing next to the waste from 30,000 people who have no bathroom or drinking water. Two men shot their AK47s into a police station. A friend sent this article from a news website (not sure which site):

BATON ROUGE, La. The scene in New Orleans appears more
grim by the hour, in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin said hundreds, if not
thousands, of people may still be stuck on roofs and
in attics.

As a result, he says, rescue crews in boats don't have
time to deal with the dead bodies they encounter. He
says they're just pushing them aside.

It appears the death toll from the storm will be high.
One survivor after another told of friends and loved
ones who floated off or disappeared as the floodwaters
rose around them.

The police in the Big Easy are even ignoring looters
-- saying they're focusing instead on saving lives.

And I finally found some news about Slidell from a newspaper in Baton Rouge:

Senator: Slidell area likely hardest hit by Katrina
Capitol news bureau
Much of Slidell is under water and likely sustained the worst damage from Hurricane Katrina, tate Sen. Tom Schedler, R-Mandeville, said Tuesday at 1 p.m.

Calling the devastation “total”, Schedler said, only slabs remain where dozens of houses were blown down and several feet of water remain in the Slidell Memorial Hospital on Gause Boulevard as well as throughout the old town area off U.S. 11.

Slidell is a suburban community of about 25,000 people northeast of New Orleans near where Interstates 10, 12 and 59 intersect in St. Tammany Parish

Read the full story here.

The news for Slidell sounds really bad, but we are still hopeful that our home didn't suffer too much. Here are some snippets from another story:

The scene from south Slidell: High water and devastation
By Chris Kirkham
St. Tammany bureau

Slidell Police and emergency officials continued to mop up Tuesday after the devastating flooding that overwhelmed much of the southern half of Slidell following the glancing blow from Hurricane Katrina’s eye wall.

Entire neighborhoods in low-lying areas were under more than seven feet of water, leaving many families trapped in attics or on second floors. Slidell Police and St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office deputies have been combing through neighborhoods hit by the flooding since after the strongest winds ceased Monday afternoon, said Capt. Rob Callahan, a Slidell Police spokesman.

At the height of the storm Monday, major flooding extended from Lake Pontchartrain through Olde Towne and up to Fremaux Avenue

But by Tuesday afternoon, much of the flood water had receded from neighborhoods closest to the lake such as Oak Harbor and Eden Isles. Many portions of Pontchartrain
Drive and its adjoining neighborhoods still were beneath at least three feet of water.

Callahan said Katrina packed the hardest punch Slidell ever has seen. “Imagine your worst nightmare and quadruple that times 100,” he said.

Some houses stood with only minor roof and shingle damage, but closer to the lake there was more serious structural damage as chunks of roof were sent flying through the air and decks were demolished.

Many of the people he saw trapped preferred to ride out the high water rather than face the uncertainty of leaving their pets and homes behind. Several of the trapped residents Angelo saw had posted signs outside their homes saying “No food,
no water” or “Help!”

Slidell Mayor Ben Morris estimated that 75 percent of homes in Slidell sustained some kind of damage. Officials with the Federal Emergency Management Agency arrived Tuesday morning, Callahan said.

He cautioned residents not to return to the city, saying many roads are still completely blocked off by fallen trees. All entrances to the city are being blocked off by state troopers, who will check driver’s licenses to make sure only residents are trying to enter the city.

(Staff writer Paul Bartels contributed to this report.)

OK, so it could be good. The mayor said 75% of the home sustained some kind of damage. That means 25% of them did not!! I'm going to head to bed with that thought in mind.

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