Isaac Makes Landfall, Perilous Time for New Orleans
Hurricane Isaac touched down at 6:45 p.m. about 90 miles southeast of New Orleans. New Orleans is under both a hurricane warning and a tornado watch. 100,000 are already without power. There are flash flood watches. Storm surge flooding should begin tonight and continue through Thursday morning. Here's the latest alert.
Time for Zachary Richard and his cajun/Zydeco/blues/rock/music to send good thoughts to those in Isaac's path. "Come On Sheila" from Snake Bite Love, is one my favorites:
I’ve been waiting here since this morning,
I’ll wait as long as it will take.
Down in the old town of the city of New Orleans,
With my heart so heavy it might break.
Last night they put up a hurricane warning,
Last night you came into my room.
Around midnight the rain started falling,
I was holding on to you.
Who's Sheila? [More...]
Sheila was a dancing girl working in the evenings,
On the altar of old men’s fantasies,
She hitched down from north Mississippi
With a lot of hope and one pair of jeans.
Here he is live singing "The Levee Broke" about Katrina.
I saw him at the Hard Rock in New Orleans in the 90's....he puts on a great show. Everyone danced from start to finish. He is an activist (dedicated to preserving the Louisiana environment and his Acadian heritage), a poet, a documentary filmmaker (He made "Against the Tide," about the history of the Cajun people and some environmental films) a songwriter who plays the accordion and guitar, and equal parts French and American. More here.
Here is the fourth segment in his series about Katrina, written in 2006.
The problem of the coast of Louisiana is an American problem. But, as we have seen in the wake of Katrina, it is very difficult to get Congress to address the issue. (Two examples: 1. One U.S. Congressman suggested that New Orleans be abandoned, and 2. The Jindal bill which would devote a portion of the off-shore tax revenue from oil exploration to the restoration of the coast was not presented during the current session of House of Representatives. On the other hand the U.S. Congress rushed to pass the so-called “Anti-terrorism” bill, allowing the President unprecedented power to detain and prosecute alleged terrorists and their supporters, what will surely be seen as one of the lowest points in the history of American democracy. Meanwhile New Orleans is wasting away.)
It is profoundly unjust that the citizens of New Orleans have to bear the brunt of the damages due a failure of the federal government. The levees that were breached and were responsible for the death of approximately 2000 Americans and the tremendous loss of property, were the responsibility of the U.S. government. As long as the fate of Louisiana is in the hands of the government in far off Washington D.C., we can expect more of the same indifference. The fact that Louisiana supplies more that a third of U.S oil production and more than half of its commercial fishing production does not seems to make much of a difference in the halls of national power.
He ends with:
Can we save South Louisiana and the city of New Orleans? We have two choices: attempt to do so, or to continue business as usual allowing oil companies, developers and their political henchmen to determine the future of the coast and of all of the people living on it. We can continue to treat Mother Nature as the enemy, and attempt to control her, or we can recognize her power, allowing her a place in our plans. To do so would mean accepting her terms. This means hard choices. However, if we choose to continue to battle Nature, we are committing ourselves to a struggle to the death against her. I am not a betting man, but if I were, my bet would be on Mother Nature.
Update: Video: An eerie drive down Bourbon street tonight, by a NOLA reporter at the end of his long day.
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