Archive for the ‘katrina’ Category

i wonder

Posted: 12/05/2005 in katrina

after reading this touching story about hurricane victims getting one last look at their homes, i wondered: if these people were rich and left behind expensive homes etc., would they be treated this way?
i think it’s nice that they can go back and get closure, but to prevent them from looking inside….that would be tough.

i didn’t realize they are still finding bodies. geezus.

of course, if these people were rich, they wouldn’t be living next to the levees, right? i guess that’s just the way the world works.

wilma’s wrath

Posted: 10/28/2005 in katrina

“You mean to tell me Aventura gets electricity before all of our hospitals?” snapped Hollywood resident Laura Scheidel, who was afraid to leave her darkened apartment Thursday because she is down to a half tank of gas. “It’s because they are rich. What about the people who work and live week to week? If I have to eat another can of Beefaroni, I think I’m going to puke!”
— taken from this morning’s sun-sentinel.

maybe it’s because i know this type of south floridian all too well, but this woman is so typical. and if hurricane katrina horrified us because of its ability to segregate groups of people from salvation and if rita horrified us because a bunch of stupid people in several cars to a household all tried to get out at once, clogging and choking the process, then wilma’s victims will horrify me for their petty whining.

i think it’s because most of the people in the affected areas are very accustomed to a certain style of living — moreso than anywhere else i’ve lived — and if they are inconvenienced, you will hear it. i think it is also because few people who live there were born there. there isn’t a sense of community that one feels in other parts of the country. people are very transient there and i think that leads to them being suspicious of each other. it’s the only place i’ve lived where people don’t know their neighbors.

anyway, i hope things return to normal soon for them. it does suck to be without normalcy.

Posted: 09/23/2005 in katrina

this makes me cry.

what makes me mad are stupid people who decide to take two vehicles to flee. it’s like, why the hell do you need BOTH suv’s sucking up what little petrol there is….

i think i have compassion fatigue. or maybe just some residual ptsd from the old days.

a searing indictment

Posted: 09/04/2005 in katrina

” The guy who runs this building I’m in, emergency management, he’s responsible for everything. His mother was trapped in St. Bernard nursing home and every day she called him and said, “Are you coming, son? Is somebody coming?” And he said, “Yeah, Mama, somebody’s coming to get you. Somebody’s coming to get you on Tuesday. Somebody’s coming to get you on Wednesday. Somebody’s coming to get you on Thursday. Somebody’s coming to get you on Friday.” And she drowned Friday night. She drowned Friday night.” — aaron broussard, president of jefferson parish.

this took place on “meet the press” this morning. i just saw a clip of this on cnn. the transcript doesn’t do it justice because this poor guy breaks down and loses it as he tells the story. he made me cry.

fema has always been incompetent. they were dreadful after andrew and shockingly awful after katrina. if you read some more of this transcript, you will see stories of fema turning away tanker trucks full of water and fuel from jefferson parish, saying they don’t need them. wtf?

i have also heard that fema kept the red cross out, fearing that if they actually fed and watered the convention center and sewerdome evacuees, they would stay.

and, i heard that fema will not allow ham radio operators to transmit from the area. that is bad. rumors are not a good way to operate when people are frightened, hungry and cut off.

i really hope when all is said and done, someone holds this imbecile of a director for fema accountable for being incompetent. this guy didn’t realize there were thousands of evacuees at the superdome and the convention center until thursday. he needs to be left at the sewerdome.

out of touch

Posted: 09/02/2005 in katrina

i keep trying to write this entry, but my rage has prevented me from doing so. finally, it has subsided to the point where i think i can get it out….

what in the fuck was george w. bush thinking when he jetted off from his vacation “ranch” earlier this week, while the hurricane leveled the gulf coast? he took some time off from mountain biking and clearing brush to head west to stump for his losing proposition in iraq. two days later, long after it became abundantly clear that this was a disaster of biblical proportions, did he decide to cut his five-weeklong vacation short by a couple of days. boo hoo. then, instead of getting down and dirty with the gente, he does a fly-over in goddamned air force one. how spectacular.

he gives a couple of tepid speeches for two days and today he finally is getting his arse in gear to actually go on down to the bayou.

i did think it was sorta funny that daddy bush and clinton have become the new embassadors for disaster. after sonny’s speech yesterday, clinton and h.w. linged behind the podium, unsure if they should grab the mic and actually say something of substance. (both of these guys run circles around the current administration in terms of being responsive to disaster) then, clinton grabbed h.w.’s arm and it looked like they were holding hands on the way out. it was kinda funny, actually. it’s like clinton is the presidential son h.w. wishes he had.

but, seriously, w. just seems so unplugged from the whole thing. it’s like he is waaay out of touch with reality and keeps repeating the same b.s. he always says, regardless if it’s about iraq or the federal deficit. i swear, he’ll probably talk about “staying the course” when he talks about helping hurricane victims. it’s just sad and embarrassing and infuriating to have this guy in charge.

a look back

Posted: 09/01/2005 in katrina

right after hurricane andrew, i had survivor’s guilt. each day, i would leave my apartment where i had running water, electricity and food and trundled south to the war zone. the photographer and i carried jugs of water and rolls of toilet paper and soap to give to people we interviewed. we didn’t eat much while working. too hot. we slugged water from the same jug and rode around with the windows down.

at night, as we drove back to civilization, the windows would go up, the a/c would crank on and we’d suddenly feel a need to stop at the atm or get impatient if the line at burger king was too long.

what a difference an hour made.

i found myself eating canned tuna and bananas. it was what the people i covered ate. i couldn’t bring myself to be lavish.

on that first saturday morning, i knew they were getting a pancake breakfast, so i made pancakes before i headed down to homestead.

once there, i sought out a family with whom i’d met. a few nights earlier, the photographer and i slept on their driveway, outside the wreckage of their neighborhood. we just had a pillow and a blanket. it wasn’t easy getting to gerry’s family. signs were gone, debris was everywhere and traffic was insane. but, i persevered and got to his house, only to find out that gerry had gone to the hospital for a ruptured appendix the night after we stayed. his sister had come down from pennsylvania and was clearly shell-shocked by what she saw. she had no car and needed to pick him up from the hospital later in the afternoon.

i told her i’d be back and we’d get him. this was way beyond the call of duty and i was going to miss my deadline, but this was important, too.

i made my rounds of covering stuff and struggled through the creeping traffic to get back to gerry’s neighborhood around 3 o’clock. when i got there, his sister was gone. she got a ride with a neighbor, i was told. i left a note with the neighbor, just to let them know i had been there and wished them the best and to let me know how they were when they could.

this morning, i remembered an excellent story in the miami herald, written a few days after the storm. (more…)

very scary

Posted: 08/28/2005 in katrina

kids, it looks like katrina is going to be The Big One. my god, read the urgent weather message and i was ready to dive under a table. and i live a few hundred miles away, nowhere near the strike zone. (thanks, elemmennope for the link)

i would not be hanging out in the superdome, as the city is allowing. that seems like a recipe for disaster if the roof blows off.

plus, being in shelters sucks. i remember sleeping on the floor of miramar high school library during andrew, which was not bad because i was a reporter covering the thing. i had my blanket and pillow and only had to share the room with a cop who slept way on the other side.

i remember wandering out into the hallway when the height of the storm hit and we lost power. i became acutely aware of the people who had not showered or bathed. whe-ew!
plus, you just have no idea who is in the room with you. you feel like you gotta sleep with one eye open out of fear someone may pick your pocket.

i was lucky for andrew; i lived far enough north just to have some branches down and no electric for a day.

this is the thing that struck me most about that one: a day after it hit, i went down into the ground zero with a photographer. we went to this poor neighborhood where people were out busily clearing the streets, washing clothes and hanging them from branches. this one house looked like it got every tree in the neighborhood to land in their yard. they made the best of it by hanging out their wash and using the wood for kindling. they were cooking up all the meat, fearing it would spoil otherwise.

down the road, we went to a middle-class neighborhood, equally devastated. this lady and her husband had just gotten home from being out of town. we went through their house with them. it was ruined. i asked them what they planned to do.

the woman said whoever bought the house would have to fix it, as if that were her solution to the problem….

i always found that interesting that somehow, the poor tend to deal better with this stuff than the wealthy and middle class.

now, i hope that the people in louisiana and mississippi will be good to each other after this hits.