Wednesday, August 31, 2005

So awful

I can not believe the devastation down south, particularly in Louisiana and Mississippi. I was personally lulled into a false sense of security the night after Katrina hit - There were not a lot of images of absolutely devastating damage, and the levees had apparently held up pretty well.

Well, as it turns out, the reason there weren't a lot pictures is that it took a while for the authorities and the media to get to the places hardest hit, particularly in Mississippi. And Tuesday morning, the levees began to collapse, flooding New Orleans. The photo above is New Orleans, which, from all reports, appears to be dying.

Widespread looting and violence are being reported. Fox News has reported that the police are being attacked; the New Orleans Times-Picayune reports that the media rep for Governor Blanco had issued a statement on looters who are gathering in front of the N.O. Children's Hospital, and are attempting to break in. Although the National Guard has been informed, they are reportedly unable to help due to the floodwaters. This article paints a horrible picture of the breakdown of the social fabric of the city.

The Governor has also ordered that the entire city be evacuated, which I suppose includes the thousands of people in the Super Dome. 80 percent of the city is under water, which is still flowing in, and attempts to stop up the levees have failed. I think the Big Easy is pretty much going to be a total loss, except for maybe the French Quarter. The main question now is whether they will raze whatever is left and rebuild, move the city to higher ground, or actually elevate the city site, the way they did in Galveston, TX after a hurricane devastated that area in 1900.

Of course, with all the attention focused on N.O., Biloxi and other points in Miss. are getting the short end of the stick in terms of attention. Apparently, not as many people evacuated as in Louisiana. Alabama also got hit hard.

The three words everyone should keep in mind are "American Red Cross." We can also pray, pray, and pray, occasionally taking short breaks to pray.

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As I'm sure most people know, Louisiana and particularly New Orleans is historically speaking a very Catholic area, Mardi Gras and all other debauchery notwithstanding. Free Republic has started a thread to keep track of the Catholic churches and other institutions that have been destroyed. Of course, the first priority is preserving human life. However, I have to admit that I feel a special little stab in my heart when I hear about entire parishes - where generations of families were married, baptized and raised their children, and buried the dead - being utterly destroyed. I am particularly concerned about the fate of the above church - the stunningly beautiful and very historical St. Louis Cathedral.


  1. In an earlier comment I had said Our Lady of Prompt Succor had again saved the city...well...maybe...from total destruction...but it is still very serious as you point out. Here in central Louisiana we are all wondering how we are going to assist the thousands of evacuees. It's ironic that the French Quarter should be spared since that is the very heart of debauchery in New Orleans...

  2. (Maggie...I am playing the journalist here)....Our Lady of Prompt Succor Parish in Alexandria, LA, where my mother taught for ten years, where I have 5 neices and nephews currently enrolled, and where they NEVER take new accepted 25 new students, evacuees from New Orleans....she is yet hastening to help...I will always believe, no matter how bad it is, it would have been a lot worse without her intercession....

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  4. Perhaps that's because there were people fervently praying in the French Quarter. At least that's what I read. Our Lady of Prompt Succor, pray for us!

  5. Woah, what did you have to delete??

    I just can't understand why so many people didn't leave... It just doesn't make any sense...

    Hope you and yours all pull through this ok, Greg!

  6. The Church building might have been washed away but the Church's people will stand. ;)