New Orleans is being abandoned for the time being, by decree of the governor. The whole city’s flooded, and in places the water is twenty feet deep. Survivors in the city’s shelters are going to have to be relocated. Hell, survivors everywhere in the city are going to have to be relocated.
The city has no power, no clean water, no transport system, and can barely keep track of what’s happening. Everything’s been breaking down.
Example: Charity Hospital, backbone of New Orleans’ medical care since the mid-19th C., and the city’s only level-one trauma center, had already moved their ER to the second floor as of Monday afternoon, when the mayor declared them effectively inoperative because they didn’t even have the resources to treat a gunshot wound. They were shut down totally on Tuesday, by which time the complex had no land-based access.
Many people have been trapped by rising water. Available rescuers aren’t sufficient to the need. Remember the tsunami in the Indian Ocean? The storm surge in Biloxi and Gulfport was higher, in places going six miles inland.
Unofficial reports keep turning up that suggest a death toll that’s one or two orders of magnitude beyond what’s being reported in the news.
I’m not seeing nearly enough news reports out of smaller settlements and semi-rural areas.
Go here for links to sites with relevant information.
Whoops, nearly forgot: George Bush, busy taking the longest vacation in the history of the office, cut it short by two whole days in order to go back to Washington and make solemn statements on TV about the Gulf Coast catastrophe. Sorry if I sound cynical about that; I’m a New Yorker. Watch for George to turn up in NOLA for photo shoots once they’ve got the situation on the ground sufficiently stabilized for him to make an appearance there in the style to which he’s accustomed.