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Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Katrina, Day Three

NOLA.com and Michelle Malkin continue to have excellent coverage. One of the most disturbing stories reported late last night was of looters gathering outside the Children's Hospital in New Orleans:
Late Tuesday, Gov. Blanco spokeswoman Denise Bottcher described a disturbing scene unfolding in uptown New Orleans, where looters were trying to break into Children's Hospital.

Bottcher said the director of the hospital fears for the safety of the staff and the 100 kids inside the hospital. The director said the hospital is locked, but that the looters were trying to break in and had gathered outside the facility.
While sucking in my coffee-flavored anti-oxidants this morning, I noticed this thread on DU about what the response should be. First read Kobayashi Maru's joke from yesterday, and then continue to the DU thread. DU's opinions varied from shooters on the roof to those who felt the crowd was probably just looking for a safe place. Others recommended taking pictures and looking threatening. In general, break-ins at hospitals are focused on drugs, so I doubt that would be workable. Another suggested that the authorities were involved in a conspiracy not to stop looters in downtown neighborhoods.

On the brighter side, the word is that water flooding into New Orleans is lessening, because water levels outside are dropping. At least one levee breach is now letting water out of New Orleans. Maybe they will make some progress today on the 17th Street break. I am hoping NOLA got this wrong and that breach has not expanded to 500 feet:
Meanwhile, Blanco said officials are working rapidly to fill the hole in the 17th Street Canal, where a 500-foot breach is allowing water to pour into the city. Areas of the city that were dry or had low water early Tuesday were slowly filling up with the water by Tuesday evening.
There should be more satellite photographs when it gets light.

I am guessing that Florida Cracker was right about the situation inside the Superdome from this statement of Blanco's on the NOLA (Times-Picayune) blog:
Blanco said part of the population in the Dome are people “who do not have any regard for others.” But “many good people” also are living in the Dome, she said, including mothers with babies.
She said it must be evacuated. However, the staff of The Times-Picayune is returning to normalcy. I base this on the top entry in their blog which discusses the fate of the New Orleans Saints. Football ueber alles. The reports are that all communications to the Gulfport-Biloxi area are down, so the Sun Herald's blog is not being updated. They posted several numbers for use though:
If you are from the area, please call 1-866-453-1925 to let someone know that you're OK. Even if you fled before the storm, friends and relatives might not know you're safe. We hope to share that information when we can.

If you work for The Sun Herald, call 1-800-346-2472 to let us know where you are.
Good luck to everyone waiting for news of family and friends.


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