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Louisiana: How Are You Doing


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I believe some of our members are in the Louisiana and Mississippi areas.

If you are able can you tell us how you are doing?


I'm approximately three hours West of New Orleans, where we experienced only a grim and overcast day with slight gusts of wind. We've been refuge for several UNO students and my partners children since Friday evening and we are all exhausted here...but feeling extremely fortunate. The days following a major hurricane are often worse than the storm itself, and with a heat index of up to 110 projected for the week ahead and extensive power outages that will take weeks, if not months to fix, the victims of this storm are in for some real misery.


We have no idea when they will let residents back in to N'Awlins and so the UNO students may be with us awhile (one is a family member who rescued a few out of state students who had no where to go). My partners children live just out of Baton Rouge and right now, gasoline shortages and the inevitable bumper-to-bumper traffic heading East on I-10 as the thousands of people make their way back home are our immediate concerns.


We still don't really know how badly New Orleans was hit...we'll probably know better tomorrow. It just makes me heartsick...



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  • 4 weeks later...

Here's a current news article about the Gulf coast and hurricane Rita. :(


By MICHELLE ROBERTS and BRETT MARTEL, Associated Press Writers

21 minutes ago



NEW ORLEANS - Hurricane Rita's steady rains sent water pouring through breaches in a patched levee Friday, cascading into one of the city's lowest-lying neighborhoods in a devastating repeat of New Orleans' flooding nightmare.


"Our worst fears came true," said Maj. Barry Guidry of the Georgia National Guard.


"We have three significant breaches in the levee and the water is rising rapidly," he said. "At daybreak I found substantial breaks and they've grown larger."


Dozens of blocks in the Ninth Ward were under water as a waterfall at least 30 feet wide poured over and through a dike that had been used to patch breaks in the Industrial Canal levee. On the street that runs parallel to the canal, the water ran waist-deep and was rising fast. Guidry said water was rising about three inches a minute.


The impoverished neighborhood was one of the areas of the city hit hardest by Katrina's floodwaters and finally had been pumped dry before Hurricane Rita struck.


A spokeswoman for Mayor Ray Nagin said officials believed the neighborhood had been cleared of residents. But throughout Friday, water began rising again onto what remained — buckled homes, piles of rubble and mud-caked cars that Katrina had covered with up to 20 feet of water.


Refugees from the Lower Ninth Ward were housed at the Progressive Baptist church in Lafayette. They were watching the TV news as the canal levee was breached again, flooding their neighborhood anew.


"It's like looking at a murder," Quentrell Jefferson said. "The first time is bad. After that, you numb up."


Forecasters say anywhere from 3 to 5 inches of rain could fall in New Orleans as Rita passes Friday and Saturday, dangerously close to the 6 inches of rain that Corps officials say the patched levees can withstand.


Another concern is the storm surge accompanying Rita, which could send water rising as much as 3 to 5 feet above high tide.


Already Friday morning, a steady 20 mph wind, with gusts to 35 mph, was blowing, along with steady rains.


Army Corps of Engineers Brig. Gen. Robert Gen. Robert Crear blamed Friday's problems on a storm surge that was higher than expected so early in Rita's assault.


"The surge is affected by the winds and we expect that to continue for several more hours," he said, adding that contractors were being brought in Friday morning to repair the new damage with rock rocks and sandbags


Federal Emergency Management spokesman Butch Kinerney said the breaks appeared to be mainly in places where sand had washed away, and that the stone holding the wall together was still intact.


FEMA was working with parish officials to pump out the water that was flowing from the levee, Kinerney said, but that main pump in the Ninth Ward was still inoperable because of Katrina damage.


"It's just not holding," St. Bernard Parish Sheriff Jack Stevens said as he watched water pouring from the same levee breaks at midmorning. "The only way you'll be able to get out of her will be by boat in about five or 10 minutes."


Because of the uncertain conditions, the recovery of bodies was suspended Friday but previous discoveries pushed the death toll from Hurricane Katrina to 841 in Louisiana, and to at least 1,078 across the Gulf Coast.


Rita was headed for a Texas landfall but the massive storm threatened southwestern Louisiana as well, with hurricane-force winds of 74 mph or higher by early Saturday. Flash floods were possible as 10 to 15 inches of rain was forecast.


By midday Friday, state police said there was already low-level flooding in coastal Lafourche and Terrebonne parishes, forcing street closures.


As many as 500,000 people in southwestern Louisiana, many of them already displaced by Hurricane Katrina, were told to evacuate. And for those who refused to leave, Gov. Kathleen Blanco advised: "Perhaps they should write their    Social Security numbers on their arms with indelible ink."


National Guard and medical units were put on standby. Helicopters were being positioned, and search-and-rescue boats from the state wildlife department were staged on high ground on the edge of Rita's projected path. Blanco said she also asked for 15,000 more federal troops.


A mandatory evacuation order was also in effect for New Orleans on the eastern bank of the Mississippi, and police said people in the city's Algiers section on the other side of the river would be wise to get out, too. But thousands stayed put.


"I'm sticking it out," said Florida Richardson, who sat on her front porch in Algiers, holding her grandson on her lap. "This house is 85 years old. It's seen a lot of tornadoes and a lot of hurricanes. You can't run from the power of God."

Edited by AletheiaRivers
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You can't run from the power of God."


Well, even if you could, there is no place to run to...as people in the Houston area are finding out and as those of us here, in Lafayette, are pretty much resigned to. We are all essentially trapped in one hurricane disaster within another...Most of our family and friends who live out of town live in either Houston or New Orleans, or parts in between, and this is true not just of my family but a significant portion of the Lafayette population, and so, unless you have the means to travel to Tennessee or Georgia or Oklahoma, the nearest cities with available accomodations, then theres nothing much to do but ride it out. Many Houstonians are, of course, here, as well as upwards of 40,000 or so New Orleanians who have been here since Katrina. "Our" evacuees, who have been camped in a trailer in our driveway, decided to head for a suburb of New Orleans (Metarie) reasoning that Rita could do no more damage to that area than has been done (that's proven already to be an incorrect assessment).


We have made all possible preparations here. My instinct is that the storm will lessen in strength well before landfall and that shortly after landing will quickly lose force...giving us big icky rains and winds, but less devastation. But this whole mess is driving home the fact, after all political rhetoric is over and finger pointing done, that there is only so much preparation that can be made...the rest is a prayer...


New Orleans though....hate to see it...what can I say?




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