New Orleans Devastation

I’ve been irked by people who feel it necessary to make jokes about either Katrina and the Waves or Led Zeppelin about this hurricane hitting New Orleans. Well, guess what. The levee did break, Lake Pontchartrain is flowing to the sea, the pumps are failing, 80% of the city is flooded as much as 20 feet, people are drowning in their own homes and there are reports of bodies floating down the streets. Big buildings are burning, overpasses are collapsing, hospitals and shelters are having people choplifted off the roofs. Let’s stop the jokes, this is fucking devastation.

As penance for the jokes, let’s reach in our pockets and give to the Red Cross until it aches.

Update: I’m almost certainly overreacting here and I’m sure no one is taking this lightly, as I implied. It’s upsetting stuff, you know? I was shocked to go to bed with the damage better than predicted, and then awake to find the city slowly getting scoured into the Gulf of Mexico. Sorry, I’m simmering down now.

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Dave Slusher is a blogger, podcaster, computer programmer, author, science fiction fan and father.

13 thoughts on “New Orleans Devastation”

  1. Holy Shit!! When did the levee break?? Last I had heard is that they were holding!! (This must have happened sometime between when I left the TV station last night and now)


  2. Dave:

    I appreciate the reminder to dig out the plastic and help out.

    Nancy & I will be giving to Lutheran World Relief yet again; sorry to have to do it, but thankful we can.

    I was also glad to hear Poppy,, are OK. We went through the “where are they?” stress during the tsunami.


  3. I guess we are getting jaded about death with all the news since 9-11, the preventable wars our president has marched us into and the over 300,000 people who died in December when the tsunami hit and then there is the daily drunk driving toll. Granted any death is tragic for the families and loved ones who have to face it.

  4. This is horrible. 20 inches of water is no laughing matter. 20 feet is downright unfathomable.

    The images of the devastation are sobering: it could easily happen here. So far this year, the hurricanes are leaving PR alone, and that’s a good thing. So sory this has to hit someone else, though.

  5. >PJ Cabrera Says:
    >August 31st, 2005 at 8:54 am

    >This is horrible. 20 inches of water is no laughing matter. 20 feet is downright unfathomable.

    Haha… oh wait we’re not suppose to make jokes. Um…. actually 20 feet is fathomable. Watch: 20 / 6 = 3.3 Fathoms

    I shall explain the complicated fathoming technique used in this formula. A fathom is 1.83 meter or 6 feet. The given varible is 20 feet. When divided by 6 feet the result is the number of fathoms.

  6. “let’s reach in our pockets and give to the Red Cross until it aches.”

    Yeah! well said… you first.


    Why the Levee Broke

    By Will Bunch. Posted September 1, 2005.

    Washington knew exactly what needed to be done to protect the citizens of New Orleans from disasters like Katrina. Yet federal funding for Louisiana flood control projects was diverted to pay for the war in Iraq.

    New Orleans had long known it was highly vulnerable to flooding and a direct hit from a hurricane. In fact, the federal government has been working with state and local officials in the region since the late 1960s on major hurricane and flood relief efforts. When flooding from a massive rainstorm in May 1995 killed six people, Congress authorized the Southeast Louisiana Urban Flood Control Project, or SELA.

    Over the next 10 years, the Army Corps of Engineers, tasked with carrying out SELA, spent $430 million on shoring up levees and building pumping stations, with $50 million in local aid. But at least $250 million in crucial projects remained, even as hurricane activity in the Atlantic Basin increased dramatically and the levees surrounding New Orleans continued to subside.

    Yet after 2003, the flow of federal dollars toward SELA dropped to a trickle. The Corps never tried to hide the fact that the spending pressures of the war in Iraq, as well as homeland security — coming at the same time as federal tax cuts — was the reason for the strain. At least nine articles in the Times-Picayune from 2004 and 2005 specifically cite the cost of Iraq as a reason for the lack of hurricane- and flood-control dollars.

  8. A horse swims into a New Orleans bar and the bartender says to him, “Why the long face?”

    The horse then replies that he had in fact lost everything and didn’t appreciate the joke about the shape of his face.

  9. Why should we reach into our pockets? America is the richest country in the world and has done p*** all to help other countries in desperate crises.

    Im British and I’m fed up at why the world expect us to always put our hands in pcokets whenever theres a major disaster. I do think whats happened is terrible, but America has so much money… so sort it out amongst yerselves. Its not as if you haven’t got the resources. Its like 9/11 all over again. As soon as a disaster hits America, they have to shout and bleat it out to the entire world to get attention and sympathy.

    No. I’m giving my money to the Animal Rescue… Animals are more intelligent than the idiot that sits in the White House.

  10. I agree with Zab kinda… America can sort itself out, maybe if they run out of money to protect it’s own citizens from natural desasters they won’t be so keen to start wars that cost billions of dollars and tens thousands of lives.

    /Also a brit tired of america.

  11. Its typical of American culture to expect help when they face a crisis instead getting off their fat arses and doing it themselves!

  12. I’m asking Americans for help. I wasn’t even really thinking about anyone outside the borders of the country. The fact that you are outside and can read this doesn’t mean you are in the target demographic. If you don’t want to give, don’t but you aren’t sending any useful message by being cunts about it, on this blog of all places where I catch shit for criticizing our current administration on a near daily basis. Are you truly so dense as to be unable to separate hatred of the government from compassion for suffering people?

    I’ve never turned comments off on a post in the history of this weblog, but I’ve had enough of this.

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