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Katrina and New Orleans: Most Depressing News Yet

This is incredible:

40,000-50,000 people in the superdome, including seriously injured people, and evacuees from the Hospitals. There are no running water or sewage facilities -- and no power. Temperatures are in the 90's within the building

One man just committed suicide by jumping. 'Unrest' is growing within the superdome - and their are there are now military as well civilian police on the scene. There are now several; major fires in view of city. There is evidently a fair amount of oil and gas floating on the flood waters.

Water is still rising and the Mayor is just now being evacuated by helicopter as City hall is now surrounded by water that can only be reached by small boat, water is about 3 feet deep at the steps of City Hall. 80% of New Orleans is totally submerged now, and will likely become 100% submerged tonight.

This is turning into a 'slow motion version' of the worst case scenario for New Orleans. Over 1,200 people have been rescued by 40 coast guard recovery helicopters where people are standing on roofs - since yesterday. Untold numbers of dead - likely in the hundreds and possibly near 1,000 or more Disease is expected to take a heavy toll within days. This could claim thousands of lives. The key seemingly is to somehow to evacuate everyone from the city. Whether this can be done I have no clue.

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  • Re: Katrina and New Orleans: Most Depressing News (none / 0) (#1)
    by SeeEmDee on Tue Aug 30, 2005 at 05:47:05 PM EST
    If the global warming people are right, we may be witnessing what the rest of the planet's coastal cities may experience courtesy of ice pack melt. As the American doctor who assisted the Russians at Chernobyl put it during a news conference, maybe somebody's giving us a warning...

    Re: Katrina and New Orleans: Most Depressing News (none / 0) (#2)
    by scarshapedstar on Tue Aug 30, 2005 at 05:51:30 PM EST
    Man. And I thought the Dome was unpleasant enough during a Saints game. Seriously, though, they've got to start getting people out of there. I wish they wouldn't have even opened it, because it always fills up first despite warnings that it is the shelter of absolute last resort. People figure the Dome is safe and they needn't evacuate. Now it's going to be hell for... how long? Hopefully they can at least get some big Coast Guard ships into Lake Pontchartrain and start ferrying people out, but if small boats are the only way to get people out of the city then I guess this would be limited to the seriously injured.

    CNN via a police officer is reporting looting, shootings and car jackings around the Superdome.

    This is apocalyptical! Good thing all those national guardsmen are in Iraq "spreading freedom" and "fighting terror" and "staying the course." Otherwise they might be saving lives in New Orleans. I think this is proof positive that Bush's policy of "the best defense is a good offense" is crap. Our support system and ability to deal with any kind of catastrophe has been sacrificed for a pointless war. And the $28 billion in damage Katrina left behind? Too bad there's a huge defecit, but we have a war to pay for. And I predict: This is not the last hurricane catastrophe of the season.

    Re: Katrina and New Orleans: Most Depressing News (none / 0) (#5)
    by Kitt on Tue Aug 30, 2005 at 06:12:16 PM EST
    The best I can do is, Jesus!

    It is horrible. And it is made no better knowing that someone as incompetent as Bush is closely "monitoring" the situation. What's he going to do, call upon God to part the waters?

    See - Check the following article from the NYT.
    The recent onslaught "is very much natural," said William M. Gray, a professor of atmospheric science at Colorado State University who issues forecasts for the hurricane season.
    As for that warning, it probably was: Fix your nuke power problems and reduce your perto dependence.

    Re: Katrina and New Orleans: Most Depressing News (none / 0) (#8)
    by MikeDitto on Tue Aug 30, 2005 at 06:24:35 PM EST
    There's no way there will be coast guard ships in Lake Ponchartrain. It's only a few feet deep. The Mississippi River on the other hand is a much more likely route for transporting large amounts of cargo--human or otherwise--that's what it's been doing since the Spaniards were there.

    Hmm, I'm 'Anonymous' above. BTW people should really try to understand, what happened is relatively minor. If the worst part of the storm had barreled through New Orleans and hadn't weakened first, skyscrapers would have fallen down.

    Re: Katrina and New Orleans: Most Depressing News (none / 0) (#11)
    by scarshapedstar on Tue Aug 30, 2005 at 06:44:50 PM EST
    CNN via a police officer is reporting looting, shootings and car jackings around the Superdome.
    Well, sounds like things are back to normal. And yeah, Mike Ditto is right. The river is a lot closer, too. Hopefully they'll start evacuating soon. The main problem is that the river has shifted around a bit and has even more debris in it than usual.

    Re: Katrina and New Orleans: Most Depressing News (none / 0) (#12)
    by desertswine on Tue Aug 30, 2005 at 07:28:32 PM EST
    From CBS:
    At one downtown Walgreens, when police finally showed up, they assisted looters take food and other essential supplies over to another neighborhood that had been hit harder.
    Some of the looting apparently has the stamp of approval.

    Re: Katrina and New Orleans: Most Depressing News (none / 0) (#13)
    by Sailor on Tue Aug 30, 2005 at 07:52:40 PM EST
    thermal expansion of the water
    Joking, right!? The only thermal expansion of water is when it freezes or boils. (OK, for nerds the coef is about .2 X 10 cubed from 5 to 99 degrees C, pretty much negligible.) There are probably more helicopters in La than anywhere in the country. Rent them, airlift generators and pumps in, haul people out. Use barges, hovercraft, airboats, bassboats ...etc. Use the self contained living quarters they use on rigs and skycrane them in. With the state of technology in portable generators today there is no reason why even makeshift, emergency medical facilities should be w/o power. Scab them into the existing circuits in the Superdome. Ground every news chopper unless they bring survivors back on every trip. All it takes is someone with the authority, the vision and access to money.

    Re: Katrina and New Orleans: Most Depressing News (none / 0) (#14)
    by DawesFred60 on Tue Aug 30, 2005 at 09:06:46 PM EST
    Fun I understood yesterday all would be ok, you got to ask who was lying and why did the political powers of that city put all the poor into the superdome and yes Gregz you will see lots of shooting and car jacking and rape and murder in the coming days, but why?..for over two weeks the government knew this was coming down so why?..and note this "where was Bush", get what i mean? same place he was on 9-11.

    scarshapedstar writes:
    Hopefully they can at least get some big Coast Guard ships into Lake Pontchartrain and start ferrying people out, but if small boats are the only way to get people out of the city then I guess this would be limited to the seriously injured.
    Dunkirk, anybody?

    To me it's a mystery how New Orleans ever did stay dry. A city is a mechanism; along comes a natural force and it destroys the mechanism of the city. So small fires that cannot be put out become big fires, and goodbye San Francisco. Now New Orleans can't keep the water out, and goodbye New Orleans. (BTW my understanding of the Global Warming is that most of the sea level rise will be due to thermal expansion of the water, rather than melting of ice. Warm water also will be able to do more work in creating killer storms.)

    Re: Katrina and New Orleans: Most Depressing News (none / 0) (#16)
    by Aaron on Wed Aug 31, 2005 at 01:54:16 AM EST
    I was down in Miami the day after hurricane Andrew hit, and the pictures from Mississippi, Gulfport and Biloxi, remind me of that, but with about 20 times more total devastation. Some places were just wiped completely clean. This is going to be the worst hurricane in US history easily, with hundreds and hundreds dead and the cost may be in the hundreds of billions. I knew it was going to be bad, but not this bad. I first saw this video of Mr. Harvey Jackson from Biloxi on MSNBC, I started losing it watching him talk about having his wife pulled out of his arms by the water. You can watch the video... but I wouldn't recommend it.

    I also saw bits of the clip; very disconcerting. My wife and I were meant to be in NO in three weeks time and were staying smack in the middle of the French Quarter. It looked ok yesterday morning on TV, and we were hoping things would be better, but seeing the water levels on bourbon street this morning, it looks as though we would be re-thinking our holidays. I really pray that God give these people strength in this trying time.

    Re: Katrina and New Orleans: Most Depressing News (none / 0) (#18)
    by Lora on Wed Aug 31, 2005 at 06:45:32 AM EST
    This is the time for those scientists who have studied global warming to send a strong message to this administration and the world. I wouldn't look for it though; they are under attack by the Bushies; their research and spending of funds are being microscopically scrutinized for any possilbe wrongdoing - no doubt so they can be discredited and disgraced. Our world's beautiful coastal cities and peoople will pay the price for the Bushies' greed.

    How about National Guard help from every city in the US?

    Sailor, it is not a joke that increasing ocean temps are causing sea level rise, albeit a very small (1-2 mm per yr) rise. Liquid water does expand as temp rises and even if the coefficient is small (by the way .2 X 1000 is 200 and you need units like m^3/deg C) the ocean is large. For example, if a water column is 10 km in height and can not expand except in height, even an increase in height of 1% would result in a 100m rise in the water column. An increase of 0.01% represents a 1m increase. Simple thermal expansion is not going to cause a catastrophic rise in sea levels but even small increases in sea level results in higher storm surges. Catastrophic sea level rise would most likely result from melting of ice on land, like the antarctic ice sheets, which if they melted are estimated to cause a 70m increase in sea levels.

    Re: Katrina and New Orleans: Most Depressing News (none / 0) (#21)
    by SeeEmDee on Wed Aug 31, 2005 at 11:02:13 AM EST
    Which was the point of my first posting; if this is indeed the face of the future for coastal cities, it would be well to begin planning for it; the water has to go somewhere, and it won't be just the coasts affected, as the water will also rise along the river systems leading to the oceans, expanding into the valleys. If this happened to the MidWest, then there goes most of our arable land for agriculture; it would look much like a permanent version of the Red River disaster of a few years back.

    Re: Katrina and New Orleans: Most Depressing News (none / 0) (#22)
    by SeeEmDee on Wed Aug 31, 2005 at 11:10:37 AM EST
    An interesting site for those interested in the possibility of global warming causing geographic changes: National Snow and Ice Data Center

    Re: Katrina and New Orleans: Most Depressing News (none / 0) (#23)
    by Sailor on Thu Sep 01, 2005 at 09:16:01 AM EST
    "Sailor, it is not a joke that increasing ocean temps are causing sea level rise" Yes, due to ice melt and the heat pump activity of stronger storms. >70% of earth's surface is water, chances are water sucked up from land will land on oceans. This also reduces the salinity of the oceans which the gulf stream and other thermal/nutritional 'conveyor belts' depend on. Global waming doesn't just mean things gradually get warmer, it means you are pumping energy into a closed system. Thanks for correcting my math; I meant coef for thermal expansion of water is about .2 X -10 cubed. Take a water glass, fill it 1/2 way with chilled water. Mark the level. heat it to just below boiling. You will not be able to detect a level difference.

    There's a seems to be a shared ethnic trait among all the looters and criminals I've seen on TV so far in New Orleans. Maybe this tendency towards anarchy and violence is something that community should work on. Now FEMA has withdrawn operations because it is being attacked. Seems like they have a bunch of Barbarians on their hands.

    Re: Katrina and New Orleans: Most Depressing News (none / 0) (#25)
    by Sailor on Thu Sep 01, 2005 at 10:45:55 AM EST
    1) NO is 70% African American. 2) The poorest people couldn't escape. (NO has pretty good public transport, when I lived there you didn't need a car.) 3) How can you evacuate if publc transport doesn't. 4) What would you do to protect and feed your family?

    The Federal government had ample time to prepare for emergency crews and the National Guard for food, water, and evacuation procedures. Pres Bush has done nothing-ZIP ZILCH ZERO! Why are people wandering the freeways without food and water? This is unfathomable how long it is taking the government to respond. What is most disturbing is the sham of Homeland Security. No police officers have any delegation from the top? There is no crisis plan? What is going on here? I am devastated for these people and most of all that people had to beg for money to get out of town and had they had money they may not have perished. Those gas stations should give away free gas and get comped by the Federal government. If Bush wants to preach his Christian ideology about helping your fellow brother-he better start practicing what he is preaching!

    I forgot to add that what is even more disturbing is the portrayal of Black Americans-showing them "looting" stores. Well I am white and you better believe I would be grabbing all the stuff I can get. I saw people coming out with food and diapers. Yeah there are always a few anarchists but most of them need food and medicine. If the government provided it they wouldnt have toloot. They are trying to survive! Does anyone blame them?

    Now you see what the bush administration is all about... The most incompetent president of all times

    I'm sorry, but do any of you that blame Bush for the problems have a clue about the real world? The governor of each state has control over the National Guard in their state. They decide what happens with them. They also decide when to call in reinforcements from other states. Why did the Governor not request assistance? Did someone know that Bush might look bad? What would happen if the President decided to take over the Governor's duties? What an outcry of 'foul!' would be coming from the left! Why is this even a political debate? Shouldn't the focus be on the humanitarian effort? The answer is obviously 'No' to that - because most of what you hear is Bush did this or didn't do that. These things are probably coming from the same people that think that morality should be removed from society, then wonder why the society is amoral in their actions. It seems to me that we should all think next time before laying blame in places where it doesn't make sense. As for Iraq, do some of these people care less about the citizens there than any other around the world? Apparently so. Would these people rather have the fighting going on here instead of there? Apparently so. Anyone that thinks that it would be easy to introduce a representative democracy or republic over there is a fool - President Bush hasn't stressed that enough. Anyone that thinks fighting evil is easy is also a fool. It's all about choices. Choose to confront it or choose to let it run amok and take over. May we all have better insight and compassion in the future and stop the constant attacks.