Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Impressions of Katrina 

Between a busy week at work (like that's a new thing), and my post-sunburn recovery, I haven't had the chance to get as into the Katrina story as I would have liked.

I like New Orleans, even though I've never been there. I very much want to go, and this hurricane hasn't changed that. I've had a lifelong fascination with weather. When I was a kid, I could tell you the difference between a cumulus and nimbus cloud, and a cold front versus a warm front.

Last weekend Hurricane Katrina was a nasty storm that had just clipped South Florida and was headed for somewhere near Pensacola (sorry VW). By Sunday night, it was aimed at New Orleans instead and was looking very bad...Hurricane Andrew bad. On Monday, it seemed almost like fun and games: ha-ha, look at the silly/stupid/brave reporters broadcasting live while ducking flying debris.

By Tuesday, it was "New Orleans got lucky, the storm missed." Bullshit. This was the biggest missed call since a certain election in the Year 2000. Plus, don't tell the folks in Mississippi how much worse it could have been. By Wednesday, everyone realized that New Orleans too was in a world of pain, and that catastrophic flooding doesn't always take place immediately after the storm.

What is the scariest is the death toll has gone up by an order of magnitude the past few days. On Monday, it was dozens dead. On Tuesday, it was hundreds. Now, I come home on Wednesday night, and I'm greeted with a headline saying "thousands" may have drowned in New Orleans alone.

What can I say? What can anyone say? The worst tragedy in America since 9/11. A significant US city if not uninhabitable is instead permanently altered. Nothing like this since San Francisco in 1906.

Downgraded? New Orleans lucky again? There should be scores of newsroom editors hanging their heads in shame.

The post directly below is my small part to help the relief efforts, and meant to offer some ways to help, should you feel moved to do so.

Comments:
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