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Friday, September 02, 2005

Most The News Is Wrong

The best place to find out what is happening is to listen to the radio. See StormAlert.net. They have people calling in with information.

Dingo says cousins from Texas have updated info on Boomr and are on their way to find him. Thank God for Texans, is all I can say.

49 was open into Gulfport, even though I have read two articles saying it wasn't. You can get there. They aren't stopping people coming in with supplies.

I have been reading news reports, and they just don't seem to be giving an accurate picture at all. The vast majority of people are doing incredible things and acting nobly. Even most of the looters are only trying to survive, although it was clear that there had been looting problems in Gulfport. It's a very small number of people who are desperate enough to try to harm people. Very small. I must have talked to over 50 people trying to get information, and they all tried to help me. Everyone is trying. And tons of people in areas even without power are trying to send in food, water and help to the worst-hit areas.

I think the situation in New Orleans is worse than is being reported. I heard multiple reports on the radio of lines of armed people blocking refugees from some parts of the city. Most of the reports of havoc were just of people trying to get out or get water and food. It sounded like Stalingrad. The police may be quitting, but I bet it's because they really don't agree with what they are having to do.

If the authorities had just marked the areas of high ground and concentrated trying to get food and water along those routes, the vast majority of people would have walked out. The problem is that they seem to have started out treating this as a crowd-control problem when it was not. If they had left these people to their own devices half of them would be out by now. This is what has made people so angry.

If you herd people together and prevent them from leaving when they have no food and water, of course they will be angry and desperate. One woman called in who had received a text message from her husband who works in a small hospital in New Orleans. They had been getting a small bottle of water and half a sandwich per day, but that had run out. He messaged her that the patients were dying.

I heard one interview about the levee efforts. They are blocking the two canals with levee breaches and trying to temporarily dam the breaches. Then they will build semipermanent plugs, and then they will figure out a permanent solution. It sounds like they are doing an incredible job. They did say they are chopping up streets to get plug material. I don't know whether the heavy lifting helicopters they are using would be better off getting food and water to the high areas, but I don't think there are enough communications to know.

trucks with food and water are starting to get through in NO. Now we just need the buses to get them out.
They've moved close to 15,000 so far. That's how many are in the Astrodome. The rest were in Huston already.
The police are quitting and joining in the looting because the New Orleans police department is well known to be the most corrupt big city PD in the U.S. The first blame is with the incompetent Mayor.....
Howard, once again, you are talking with no knowledge of the facts. Mayor Nagin has done more to clean up that town than any mayor in the last 50 years. He inherited a system that was completely broken to begin with. he has cracked down on the crime on the streets and in the police department and in the government. One of the first things he did was to have the entire break tag department arrested (800 people).
Mom, you were talking about ham radios before. It is too bad that blogging can't work in the same way. It is a great network, but fails when the power does.
Howard - I can't understand why they didn't try to get the people out earlier in buses. I don't see the city administration's decisions as being the best. But then they were caught by a cascade of events. I'm sure that if the levee hadn't breached and they had hauled all these people out on buses they would have been blamed for overreacting and subjecting people to more hazards and discomfort than necessary.

SC&A - but more are coming to the Superdome all the time, now that they heard that people are getting out. That's according to the radio last night. They said they still had 20,000 in the convention center and 20,000 in the Superdome. That was according to city officials.

Dingo, I was trying to figure out how many buses were needed to move 40,000 people. I failed, but I did convince myself that I never ever want to live on the coast. I also started wondering how other coastal cities would fare if they had to evacuate everybody. Not well.

Not many people in NY have cars. They'd be worse off than New Orleans.
Dingo - good point. All the internet registration systems and databases are working wonderfully for those who have gotten out to areas where there is power, but the problem is the something like 90,000 square miles that has been knocked flat.

I wonder if part of the problem here isn't that we have adopted emergency communications systems that are much more vulnerable to disaster than the older ones.
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