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Old September 19th, 2005, 11:12 AM
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Let me start this off, by telling you that I am the most caring, loving person you might ever meet.

Now for the topic. Why in this world would anyone encourage people to go back into N.O. with the levee still broke. I have lived my adult life on common sense. And this is not...... Let me tell you about a family here in Texas. They came here from N.O. The lady admits that they had very little there. In her large family, all got out okay. They have been given a house to live in, food, food stamps, kids received free shots for school, clothes better than she has had (she says) in years. All were offered jobs. None took them for one reason or another, and they will be getting the money from Fema for awhile. They heard the news about the Mayor wanting people to come back, and she's ready to go, and upset, that the government is not so ready to move her. She no longer has family in N.O. (they are here)

Let me say, that I am from Atlanta. I have lived all over the world, and to me Atlanta is still the most beautiful city I know, but we had to move here, because this was where the job was. So her wanting to take her family back because it's home, is nuts. It's broke people. It's a cereal bowl with cracks in it. The weather channel is saying that Rita could hit the Western Area of La That puts the bad side of the hurricane into N.O.

I just don't understand.... Why are we not thinking of getting the rest of the people out, instead of encouraging people to come back. And please don't give me the "We have to get N.O built back." You can't build on land that is unsafe. It's nuts......

God Help Them....

Luanne
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Old September 19th, 2005, 11:29 AM
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Luanne, while I'm sure it's difficult to give up HOME........I agree with you 100%. It makes no sense until the problem is FIXED.......and that will be YEARS, not weeks or months.
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Old September 19th, 2005, 11:45 AM
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i don't understand it either. From what i gather its the Mayor of NO who is telling folks that they can start to return, and the FEMA director is not happy with this decision at all.
There is nothing for them to go back to. There homes are gone or ruined,there is no work, what are they going to do? Just wander around homeless??
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Old September 19th, 2005, 12:02 PM
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I think the problem here is the lack of common sense, not wanting to face reality, and lack of basic value system in the family. I can sympathize with not facing reality after what they've been through.

But they've been offered everything to help start a better new life and have refused to put any effort in it, especially in refusing jobs. There are too many people who only want to take but not put out any attempt to help themslves.

Judy
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Old September 19th, 2005, 01:13 PM
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really good point Judy. I am no dr. but i would guess that quite a few are in shock and denial.
I also fear that most of these folks are the poorest of the poor, probably some even second general welfare recipients who don't know what work is.
not having walked in their shoes we can only speculate.
I would hope that if i was faced with this situation, as long as my family was together, knowing that i have Nothing to go home to, if someone offered us shelter, food, clothing and a job. i would say God Bless and thank-you for giving us a second chance.
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Old September 19th, 2005, 01:14 PM
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I can certainly understand the people wanting to get back to their homes and lives but in almost all cases it just is not possible at the moment and the Mayor is continuing to make stupid remarks and decisions. He needs to just shut up and let people that know what to do handle it. Remember that he is the one that did not spend any of the Federal money on the levee system like he was supposed to, (in fairness his predessors did not either), and did not stockpile any emergency supplies like food and water in designated shelters! That is criminal IMHO. He did not even have a command post except a hotel room at the Hilton with a telephone that of course did not work! Even here in our little town we have all the shelters stockpiled with MRE's and water and have a mobile command post that is capable or running all the communications they need. What a terrible disaster for the good people of NO.
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Old September 19th, 2005, 01:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Bragg
I can certainly understand the people wanting to get back to their homes and lives but in almost all cases it just is not possible at the moment and the Mayor is continuing to make stupid remarks and decisions. He needs to just shut up and let people that know what to do handle it. Remember that he is the one that did not spend any of the Federal money on the levee system like he was supposed to, (in fairness his predessors did not either), and did not stockpile any emergency supplies like food and water in designated shelters! That is criminal IMHO. He did not even have a command post except a hotel room at the Hilton with a telephone that of course did not work! Even here in our little town we have all the shelters stockpiled with MRE's and water and have a mobile command post that is capable or running all the communications they need. What a terrible disaster for the good people of NO.
Jim
I felt as though the Mayor of N.O. was acting more like a victim (Sorry oprah!) than a leader over the last several weeks. Now with the "everyone should come back & the french quarter is now open" statement, apparently he is ready to be Mayor again?!
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Old September 19th, 2005, 06:58 PM
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The FBI and the CIA which, we all know, are federal government agencies.

They both have psychological profiling experts on staff. I'll probably be accused of being a bit paranoid but, it's my strong belief that one of these agencies and perhaps both, have a profile on all elected officials of major cities and head of important agencies.

Someone in the Federal Gov't should have known that the mayor of NO and the head of FEMA were not qualified to handle the Katrina situation.

Jim Bragg, You keep blaming the mayor of NO. Don't you think that someone in the Federal Gov't should be as accountable?

Bill
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Old September 19th, 2005, 07:16 PM
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From what I just saw on the nightly news, the Mayor is now telling people not to go back. He must have had his mouth washed out with soap for telling people to return. On the Sunday FOX News Show, it was apparent that the new guy for Fema-the Military Guy- was going to "STRONGLY COUNSEL" the Mayor. Chris Wallace kept trying to put words in his mouth about the disagreements, but the guy was media intelligent and wouldn't say anything that would be a distinct contradiction.
Those who have returned are finding few options for food, no good water, or other essentials they thought they'd receive.The City is not ready to support that kind of mass population.
Those who are back also may have to evacuate again if Hurricane Rita turns in their direction.
Lynne (I wonder what the Houston officials are thinking right now with the track of Rita possibly aiming at them!)
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Old September 19th, 2005, 07:27 PM
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The local news tonight said the evacuees from Galveston would go to Huntsvlle. Our small little towns around here are full, so one other little town has begun to open up a possible shelter. I was at the grocery store this afternoon, and people were buying water, and can goods. We probably won't get a lot of anything, but around here, a rain storm can cause the power to go out, so I guess we will prepare a little. I am glad that there has been a change of heart with N.O.

Luanne
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Old September 19th, 2005, 09:42 PM
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Why anyone would do this? It's called politics..stupid politics. I am happy to hear it changed again.This will take years to clean up and the people who got hurt the most<the poor> will get screwed for sure. After Hurricane Charley hit here people had to sell and now the developers even took over mobile homes.The land is worth a lot of money..it will happen in NO also
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Old September 20th, 2005, 12:03 AM
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I know it's probably a pride thing but does it really make sense to rebuild a city in an area that is prone to flooding in a hurricane prone zone? I would be very attached to my home and where I grew up but then again if it was destroyed then maybe I would think after all bricks and mortar make a house, not really a home, I don't know just thinking out loud....

Now the mayor has ordered an evacuation again with Rita possibly heading there again.

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Old September 20th, 2005, 12:05 AM
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oh and family makes a home and people make a culture and traditions and ultimately a great city, not buildings....

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Old September 20th, 2005, 01:27 PM
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It might take a while but New Orleans is still "home" to people. Even though the city is situated in a less than suitable locale (below sea level) there IS a way to protect it. The Netherlands has 70% of their country below sea level and couldn't be safer given the levees, dams, dykes and other water control systems they have. They too suffered after a particularily bad North Sea storm with a great loss of life in the '50s...they rebuilt and re-did the whole water protection system. It is state of the art and should be a model for New Orleans to consider. Those in the "know" in the Netherlands say New Orleans could be properly protected from floods and hurricanes.
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Old September 20th, 2005, 02:41 PM
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I have the feeling that it is all about money. New Orleans french quarter and port a HUGE HUGE HUGE business and a lot of money. That will be back in full swing soon I'm sure but I think that they may not let the "people" back in only the business owners and the uneffected "richer" areas back in. Just curious how it will work but I bet only the "money" will be able to go back. I can't think they will rebuild all those homes for the poor for them to move back into and most didn't have insurance. They will have to buy the land from them but they do not have to do anything else and I really don't think they will. Maybe.... It will be something to watch. "Home is where you hang you hat." I have moved 5 times so far from New York to Texas and will probably move again. I hope all stay safe from this storm. We are looking at it closely as relatives are in Baytown practically on the water and here where I live will get a lot of wind and rain on the southwest side of Houston if it comes here. Hope it stays away! Debbie
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Old September 20th, 2005, 03:29 PM
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Debbie, Glad to see you on here. If you and Hubby next a place to stay and wait out the storm, let me know.

Luanne
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Old September 20th, 2005, 03:39 PM
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I have lived in New Orleans since 1998 and can tell you a few things

- don't trust what the media is portraying, it's so far out of context that I would bet most N.O. folks don't watch it because what they know and what the media portrays are two different animals

- most N.O. are still in the shock phase but are rapidly coming to the anger phase, my "gut feeling" is that it is the middle class (both black and white) who have options and resources to start over again are the ones that will lean for not returning to the city..the very poor with very few options will return because this N.O. has been their home and is all they know..

- I have lived in 13 cities across the county in my working life and N.O. is the most unique city in the world and if you talk to native N.O. you understand why they want to come home..It just cannot be explained in the usual terms of "common sense"...again this cuts across all dividers, race, income etc

- the greatest disservice that will impact the most vulnerable in this city is not the hurricane, is not the flooding, it will be the total exploitation of the poor during the rebuilding process..many citizens of this great city may be poor..but they are about to lose their most valuable resource, the land that their homes sit on...

this is going to be one of the Paul Harvey's "and the rest of the story" situations and it may take months, years before the "real" stories come out..it's like the Law and Order tv show..they put the squeeze on a street level criminal,, who in turn "rats out" someone higher up the criminal chain
and eventually the CEO of a large corporation goes to prison

I think the reason why the Mayor wants to get people back into the city is because he fears the longer they are not allowed to come back, the greater the chance they may never come back..stay tune for the rest of the story from our leaders
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Old September 20th, 2005, 04:15 PM
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Right on, Jim and Venice.

I was raised in N.O. and when post-grad training took us away I thought I would most certainly shrivel up and turn brown - was there really life outside Orleans parish? Guess what, there was and still is and while I still love N.O. you couldn't pay me to live there. I like my acreage in the redneck, piney woods of central LA (yep, even though I don't have cable or -gasp- hi speed internet).

The real story, that I'm afraid will not be properly told is the corruption that has riddled Louisiana politics since time began. New Orleans did not fail to plan for this event, it failed to execute its plan (the plan, BTW, is available on the net if you care to read it) because that would not leave enough graff money. Jim, you are right that Nagan, like his predecessors, did not stockpile sufficient supplies, but how often do you hear Sen. Mary Landrieu blasting FEMA while failing to acknowledge that her dad was mayor for 12 years and her brother is Lt. Gov. Tsk, tsk.

The city will need to be rebuilt because of its economic importance. The port, when combined with local ports, is the largest in the USA and the fifth largest in the world. 33 states are services by the port of New Orleans and every kernel of grain shipped from the US goes via NO.

That being said, the government does not need to subsidize public housing in flood planes and certainly they need to consult our friends in the Netherlands who know how to keep a city safe from flooding. Will the local politicians allow this to prevail. I doubt it. How sad.

Mayor Nagan stands for re-election in February so I'm sure he is most anxious to get his base back into town. Likewise, Mary Landrieu has bought enough votes in poor parts of NO that she could not win without them either. Whose interests will be served as this story unfolds? That is indeed, the rest of the story.
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Old September 20th, 2005, 04:23 PM
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Venice, What leaders? The one's who knew the storm was coming and did nothing, knowing the people would be stuck, without anything. The one's who sent thousands of people to a shelter, that had no food or water? I hope the shock is wearing off the American people as well. If the world knew about this wall around the cities wasn't going to hold, why didn't they have these fundraisers for it. Why did it take a major lost of life, to show the world that what was going on was so wrong for it's people. This has nothing to do with black or white, this is about people. People placed in harms way, and are still there. Why are there not signs of them leaving now. Property means nothing, if the owners are floating in the front yard. I am all for them coming back, but there is a %%% storm out there, and these people if not able to move or wanting to move, then they should be moved now.

This has effected us all. My son had a discussion in his H.S government class yesterday. He said "Mom, the kids blame George Bush"for the storm. That is the craziest thing I have ever heard. He didn't cause this storm. If he and the entire military had been in N.O. on the day this happened, it would have still happened. Venice, I have read every word you have written, and it would be my pleasure to work side by side with you to get things back in order, but for now, we have to stop worring about everything, but getting these people out. You said your family wanted you out the last time. Listen to them and get out. E-mail us from Atlanta, to let us know you are okay.

With God's Love In My Heart,

Luanne
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Old September 20th, 2005, 05:14 PM
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Luanne - I thank you and hopefully I won't need it but if it is a cat 4 or 5 I may have to take you up on it! Pray that doesn't happen! Do you like cats?

They had a thing on the news about Houston and are we prepared. When Tropical Storm Alison hit us in June 2001 and flooded most of the city many plans that had been on the drawing board for 20 years were dusted off and given money. Now years later some are still on the drawing board do to Politics and red tape. I think sometimes they use the government money for other stuff. THey are working on projects to shore up this city against flooding that will be finished in 2014...... From what I understand and I could be wrong with all the misinformation out there - that after Ivan last year scared New Orleans they got money to work on the levies and it hasn't started yet. Also they said on TV (is it true?) that they knew the levies were built to withstand 3 Cat 3 hurricanes - it was too expensive to built it to withstand a Cat 4 or 5. Well that was before Carla. THey have had those 2-3 storms already and something needed to be done but again all about money and politics. I hope the poor do not get the shaft but I can see it coming. Maybe though since it is so public that the outcry that would follow might prevent it but I can see them paying them little to nothing for their land and not letting them move back and then building something commercial on the land.... We hope they think about all this come the next election in Lousiana. Debbie
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Old September 20th, 2005, 05:22 PM
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We love cats. We have 4 dogs. I will pop some pop corn, and we will watch the intertainment.
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Old September 20th, 2005, 06:22 PM
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fyi, I'm making plans to evacuate this time to head to Atlanta..just don't have the energy to deal with the stress again in such a short time period, wil probably leave on Thursday morning..

I think a whole lot of folks in New Orleans will do the same..this time we will be on the "wrong" side (east) of the hurricane if it hits Galveston, and since we were on the "right" side of Katrina and look what it did, I'm not taking chances..Hopefully it will weaken before it hits land
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Old September 20th, 2005, 06:24 PM
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I am so glad. Your life is to important, to play games with a storm. keep us informed.

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Old September 20th, 2005, 06:28 PM
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Venice,
The main thing is to take care of yourself. I'm thinking of you and wishing you the best.

Let us know how you are doing or if you need anything. You have my email address.

Take care,
Mike
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Old September 20th, 2005, 07:35 PM
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First, let me say my heart goes out to all the people who were displaced or lost loved ones because of Katrina. A huge number of us Canadians have sent money and supplies to help those in need. (Although when I hear stories of new items being thrown in dumpsters, I have to wonder--but the alternative is sending nothing, and that's not an alternative.)

I have a question for those of you who are familiar with the NO area. I have heard many comments about the poor having lost their homes and that they want their homes rebuilt on their land. Please don't take this the wrong way, but the poor people I know mostly rent--they can't afford to buy. Maybe it's different in NO?

I am very dismayed--but not surprised--at the attitude of the family Louanne told us about, who would rather be supported by charity than take a job. I understand they are upset, but if I were in their place, I would be anxious to become self-supporting and extremely grateful that so much was being done for me. Sadly, the people who will "benefit" the most from this disaster are the ones who were probably a drain on society in the first place. The rest are already busy putting their lives back in order.

And SHAME on all the politicians who have so badly bungled everything! From not properly protecting the city in the first place, to not having emergency supplies, to taking so long to drop off necessities to those stranded--the list goes on and on.

And a personal peeve: my heart breaks at the stories of those who were forced to abandon their beloved pets or else stay behind themselves. What a terrible choice they were forced to make! Temporary shelter could have been found for each and every pet. We have severe floods here in southern Manitoba, and on occasion I've taken animals in and looked after them--for free--until their owners could move back into their homes. That's what animal-lovers DO for each other.

But then, when the Powers That Be don't care about citizens, it's hardly surprising that they don't care about their pets either.

Please, all of you in the path of the series of hurricanes headed your way, get yourselves to safety! I pray that you'll be alright.
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Old September 20th, 2005, 10:47 PM
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Born to Cruise, You are able to say things that a lot of Americans can't or won't say. Even when I described this family, I tiptoed around the facts.

I was going to do a new thread for what is was my mind, but I think I will just add to this. I find myself in a different position tonight. You say what could have happened since this afternoon when I so boldly told Venice to get out of town. What happened was the local news. You see, I know how very big this state is. When we use to drive to Atlanta, we would spend what seemed like a day just trying to get out of Texas. I guess hurricanes don't have a problem with distance. We were told tonight to expect 45 to 85 mile a hour winds, 6 to 10 inches of rain, and power and water cut off. Oh did I mention Tornados? Remember, I am the lady who lives in a bubble. It only happens to others is my moto. I guess that started with Jim going to everyone's war. It was a way to survive in my mind. We went to the store, and it was a mad house. As I type this, I have 2 cases of bottled water within touch. We also are going to pack some things for the cars, with the thought, that we might have to leave. You see our house is not built for big storms.

I have been praying for those of you in Florida, then the ones in N.O. LA, Miss, and I really ment it, but I didn't have to pray for me. I am not use to praying for me. I pray for my students, family, friends, and then I say Lord, help me keep my big mouth shut. What exactly do I pray for? That it will go away? I can't pray for it to go in another direction, because it will hurt someone else. So this is what I came up with. This was the first house we have ever had. The Army made sure we didn't stay in one place very long. RD you know how you are getting your kitchen redone. I have never had to do that, we have never had to paint, because by the time the walls got dirty, we moved again. When we moved here, we planted two trees for the boys. Joe was 6 and Josh was 7. When Joe's died, Jim went out in the middle of the night, to plant a new one the same size, and Joe never knew. Every year the boys have given me a rose bush for mother's day. When Joe was about 7 he came in the house and said mom, I think the rose bushes are having sex. I just about had a heart attack, because he used the word sex, but sure enough, we planted a white bush next to a red, and the next spring, we had the most beautiful candy striped roses. So anyway, this is my prayer. Lord, you can have my house, it needs paint, but please leave my babies trees, and my roses. We can rebuild, we can replace, but don't take the signs of a mother's love.

I pray for all of you tonight, and for us.

Love,

Luanne
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Old September 21st, 2005, 12:28 AM
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Luanne, I was really moved by your post!

You asked "What exactly do I pray for? That it will go away?" The simple answer is--yes!! That doesn't mean it has to go toward someone else. We can pray that it downgrades to a tropical storm. Anyway, that's what I'm going to do.

And while I'm at it, I'll add a little prayer for your special trees and rose bushes....what a lovely story!

BTW, if you do end up staying in your home during the storm, be sure to prepare an area where you'll be safe from flying glass if windows break. My brother, who lives near Houston, is using his walk-in closet for this. I myself have a little "cubby-hole closet" under my basement stairs ready for emergency use, since we get tornadoes here too sometimes. I also keep an "emergency bag" handy, which is a sports bag containing a change of clothes, toiletries, medical supplies, dog leashes, radio, flashlight, batteries, water, soup, crackers etc, etc. The perishables are changed annually. I've never needed it and hope I never do. But it's there just in case....

God bless you and keep you safe!
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Old September 21st, 2005, 08:08 AM
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I feel better this morning. We will use common sense, and take care of each other. My concern are for those on the coast.

Luanne
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Old September 21st, 2005, 10:03 AM
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Luanne - where are you exactly? I know I should know but I'm having a brain problem... We are batting down too and hoping for the best and realistically we are praying it goes elsewhere. And believe you me they are praying it comes this way.. I wanted to add to your story. When I was a little girl I had a tulip garden I planted - in New York they do well. Well somehow there were red tulips given to my mom for a present and I told her I was going to plant the seeds and petals in my garden and get red tulips. She said that it wouldn't work because you have to have a bulb but you know small children - we believe in the impossible and have a faith so huge. Well the next year they didn't come up but the next year after they did.... I had beautiful red tulips come up. Taught me to always have faith no matter the impossible. And patience too.... You could come here to my house but I'm afraid you would be better off where you are - I love dogs though and are welcome. We are in Richmond/Sugar Land on the southwest side of town. I sure hope it comes here and not Baytown though. I worry about my in laws who I will be very surprised if they leave and they are in a flood plane. And my father in law uses an air breathing machine at night.

By the way our mayor is allowing people in Galveston that are taking the city school buses to evacuate today to take their small pets in carriers. A lot have said they wouldn't be leaving if they couldnt' take their pets... So I guess we learned from Katrina in that way.

From what you said - that is why many here weren't all to happy about the people we took in. BUT there are good people mixed in too and how do you sort through and judge so always remember we did help some who are genuinely appreciative. Like Lincoln - maybe one will be president one day...

Debbie
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Old September 21st, 2005, 10:27 AM
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Good Morning Debbie, We are about 49 miles North of Austin. I loved your story. Faith is what it is about. We are trying to use common sense. I know to get the thinks out of the yard, that can be picked up, by the wind. We already know we will loose power. I'm surprised it hasn't gone out, due to all this heat. We have food and water, and all the vehicles are gassed up, so that's all I can think of. I am going to cook up some stuff tomorrow, so that if we need to, we can eat off of that. I feel so strange even talking about us, considering where you are, but we are so unuse to it.

It is strange seeing Galveston on the news so much. I do hope these people will get out. I noticed them saying that they will be going to Huntsville and Bryan College. I would think that might be a problem, but I guess they know better than I do.

Give me ideas on what you do to prepare.

Luanne
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