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Old September 4th, 2005, 09:38 AM
MagnoliaBlossom
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Default News from Louisiana

Hi guys, it's good to back - momentarily. My email is down due to the storm, I live in an area where we still have dial up so I'm writing from the church and getting my fix between services.

Many thanks to all of you who have opened your hearts and wallets to this tragedy.
Our city has taken in 6,300 refugees and that is only in official Red Cross shelters. There are many more in churches and homes that are not counted. It is a tragedy and will be a very long process of getting these people back to normalcy.
How do you absorb a million people into local economies?
Where will these people whose jobs have been washed out to sea find employment?

The port is in bad shape and it remains to be seen how long it will take to restore it to functioning capacity. Although since the port is the major source of income to NO, they will be repairing it ASAP. The airport has announced it will not be open for commercial traffic until November.

I was glad to see Carnival step up to the plate and rent their ships out. Made sense since the ports of Mobile and N.O. are out of commission for now anyway. Better than no income at all. Out of curiosity it would be interesting to know how that will work. How much will the daily/monthly rental be, etc. But ya'll already know I'm the curious type and want to know the intricacies of how things happen.

The sad part of the story is that so many people did not heed the warnings to evacuate. The mayor and parish presidents literally begged people for 48 hours prior to the storm to get out. Busses were made available free of charge to take people out of the areas but they would not go. It is difficult to save people from themselves. Phone numbers were given for people who needed special assistance (wheelchairs or infirmed). Now others must put themselves at risk to save this hard headed lot. Sigh. But it must be done.

I don't want to make a political statement but it is a fact well known to us locals that the govenor did not specifically ask for the help she needed until Wednesday night or early Thursday morning. The feds cannot send certain assets until asked to do so by the governor and she didn't ask. She was however good at crying on TV but that's a whole nother subject.

Maybe the corruption that has existed for so very many years in the New Orleans government and it is probably the worst in the country - will be seen for what it is and change in leadership will arise. Much has been made of the Corps of Engineers being over the levees but that's not entirely true. Each parish has a levee board who actually does testing and inspections of the levees and appropriates the money. When you have risen to the pinacle of corruption you get to be on the levee boards. Always been that way. In the last few years they used their levee money to build a bridge, build a marina, and a plethora of other things that had nothing to do with shoring up the levees and it has now come home to bite the people of NO on the butt. Man, oh man.

Okay, I've vented I guess. Thank you for your prayers. Don't know when I'll check in again but I'm due to fly to San Juan on Saturday and sail the AOS on Sunday - it is now a more needed vacation than anticipated. Anyone else sailing the AOS on 9/11?

Soggy MagnoliaBlossom
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Old September 4th, 2005, 09:59 AM
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Default Re: News from Louisiana

I'm so glad you are okay. And I want to thank you for posting the information about the state government having to actually ask for assistance. So many people believe the federal government did not act quickly enough. However, as you said, it is up to the state government to request the help. I'll keep you in my prayers.

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Old September 4th, 2005, 10:27 AM
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Default Re: News from Louisiana

Nice to hear a local perspective, Magnolia and I'm sure glad you're okay.

I had heard that the state government must ask for help, but also heard the mayor's pleas for help which seemed to go unheard - perhaps by the governor?

I didn't realize Carnival was "renting" theirs ships - interesting.

Hope you enjoy your cruise.

dorothy

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Old September 4th, 2005, 10:31 AM
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Default Re: News from Louisiana

Thank you, thank you, thank you, for providing first hand information on what I have been saying all along about how the Government works and how it must work. I am so glad that you are okay and hope that you will soon be able to get back to the way you were. I am so sorry to see NO suffer such horrible devastation. It is sad that people want to use such a tragic occurance for political points when we should be concetrated on help the people who are desperatly in need of it. Please keep in touch.
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Old September 4th, 2005, 12:45 PM
MagnoliaBlossom
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Default Re: News from Louisiana

You're right about political gotcha's at a time like this. Just infuriating when people are in need. I think we do need to somehow change the way in which the feds get in to help. Maybe once they declare it a disaster area to receive fed. funds, maybe we should then put the situation under military control because only when the military arrived on Friday did things begin to shape up.

In his briefing the Lt. Gen. in charge of the area stated, "when we arrived at the Conv. Center we secured the area in 30 minutes, within 3 hours we were distributing food and water and in 24 hours we had evacuated 23,000 people by bus, train and air."

Although Blanco had called up our 7,000 La. Natl Guard troops prior to the hurricane to do humanitarian relief, she did not order them armed so they could squelch the violence that she and mayor Nagin should have known would occur, in light of the terrible gang problem that exists in N.O.

Kentwood Spring WAter, is the huge bottled water company in our area and is across the interstate from the Dome Would you not think the mayor would have asked them to park several trailer loads of water in the Dome parking lot. Likewise the biggest bread bakery in the area is nearby - why not get them to ramp up production and park the rigs in the parking garage. No one was thinking. No one, nada, zip, zero. Just awful how the people suffered because people who were getting paid good money to do civil defense preparedness did not do their jobs. Big sigh. Needless suffering.

Where was Rudy Giuliani when you really needed him? Not crying on TV or cussing on the radio, that's for sure.

The good news is that the city is nearly deserted now. The last hospitals have been evac'ed except Oschner who intends to keep operating. They are privately owned so when they had problems they called corporate friends and said send a lear jet with the following items, including replacement staff. Within hours they were there while poor Charity hospital staff were starting i.v.'s on each other in order to have some fluid and nutritional support to keep going. They could not be evac'ed because of gangs shooti8ng at the choppers.

When the military arrived they shot and killed the first thug who pulled a gun and there was not another single act of violence. If the guard had been armed and the looting had been put down on day one the evacuation effort would have gone much better. They additionally robbed bus loads of evacuees, commandeered boats from rescuers as well as some relief supplies that were dropped. Jeez, what a mess.
But that is past and people are getting what they need.

I'm off to a shelter this afternoon at our church camp where we have a nursing home. The staff nurses they brought with them arae pretty tired, so I'm gonna go give em some time off.

Keep on praying - and of course one of our prayers is - get that port up and running!!!

MagnoliaBlossom

PS - I'm to sail on the NCL Sun 10/16 from NO. There is nothing on the website about alternate ports, any of ya'll know where they're relocating her to. Sure hope it's Galveston.

MB
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Old September 4th, 2005, 12:54 PM
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Default Re: News from Louisiana

I am glad you are alright. I wish you the very best at getting back on your feet. Many prayers have been said for the area. Please keep us informed on what is going on.

Luanne

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Old September 4th, 2005, 02:45 PM
Lynne &Trevor
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Default Re: News from Louisiana

Hi
Thank you so much for your perspective. I used to work for the Red Cross and if I were still on call, I would be down there somewhere I know. It's hard to watch it from the TV set.
You really enlightened many of the posters on the "inside" BRIEFING information. It's good to know these things from a different point of view. God Bless You.

Have a great time on your cruise. Try to relax if you can!! Lynne

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Old September 5th, 2005, 09:57 AM
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Default Re: Re: News from Louisiana

The feds can and have sent the army into U.S. states in the past if they feel the emergency or matter is not being dealt with properly and/or the action required is beyond the capability of local authorities (municipal, county, state) and to simply enforce federal law (Little Rock Arkansas in the 50s) when the local authorities refuse to.
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