Saturday, September 03, 2005


Wikipedia for Uptown New Orleans reports


I'm not the only one thinking that New Orleans could be bigger and better...


"Out of nostalgia, do you want to put a shotgun shack back there where it floods all the time or say, 'Is there a better way?'" said David Schulz, director of the Infrastructure Technology Institute at Northwestern University. "In a very perverse way, this represents a significant opportunity for New Orleans."Schulz sees wide-scale redevelopment as a chance to raise New Orleans out of poverty and attract new business to the region. He suggested a new local communications system based on broadband wireless, rather than traditional phone and cable lines. He envisions running fiber-optic cables to support new "knowledge-based" businesses as an alternative to the tourism, port and petrochemical industries that have long sustained the local economy."Imagine a city 287 years old transformed using 21st century technology," he said.


Some more uptown pics

They're not fantastic, but another set to browse.


WaPost article re New Orleans & Movies

Down there at the edge of the continent, lodged on melty, unsubstantial land, lush and Frenchy, all undulacious with the cascades of flesh and the jewellike glisten of a sweat track down a dancing gal's downy back, tropical, fragrant, voodoo-y New Orleans, at least in certain imaginations, isn't a city but a joint, a joint where anything is possible.

That's why most folks went, and that's why the moviemakers went.



I'm still overwhelmed and tired. Today has been a very up and down day, with lots of great news, and some potential bad news coming in all at the same time. Our apartment is seemingly ok, yet my fiance's job might not be as stable as we thought. I still haven't been in touch with my company. At the very least, we had a good night at the ballpark, and I got a ball from a foul down the 3rd base line by Konerko.

More tomorrow,



Louisiana Relief Foundation Formed

Gov. Kathleen Blanco has announced the formation of a nonprofit organization devoted to soliciting money worldwide to provide relief to victims of Hurricane Katrina. The Louisiana Disaster Recovery Foundation will be a 501(c) 3 group under the federal tax code, letting donors take a charitable tax deduction. The money will be used for education, job assistance, housing, medical needs and other purposes to help disaster victims return to productive lives.The governor will appoint a foundation board with members from around the nation. Former Presidents Bill Clinton and George Bush will help lead the fund-raising effort, just as they did for relief after the tsunami that struck Southeast Asia in December.The address of the foundation is P.O. Box 94095, Baton Rouge, LA, 70804. Money also can be donated by credit card on the Internet at


17th St. Canal & West End -

4:20 P.M. - WWL-TV's Mike Hoss: Army Corps of Engineers hope to have the breech at the 17th Street Canal repaired by Sunday.
4:18 P.M. - Hoss: Several West End restaurants have been reduced to rubble.


Red Cross Shelter Stats

5:30 P.M. - (AP): The American Red Cross said Saturday it had 361 shelters open and was caring for at least 96,180 hurricane victims in nine states. These figures do not include refugees still in New Orleans, or at hotels, motels or church or state shelters across the South. Texas Gov. Rick Perry said as many as 120,000 hurricane refugees were in 97 shelters in his state alone, with another 100,000 in Texas hotels and motels. Hundreds more were housed in churches or private homes.
American Red Cross shelters:
-- Louisiana: 127 shelters; 51,480 people
-- Mississippi: 102 shelters; 13,510 people
-- Texas: 49 shelters; 23,850 people
-- Alabama: 47 shelters; 3,760 people
-- Georgia: 17 shelters; 880 occupants
-- Tennessee: 9 shelters; 70 occupants
-- Florida: 8 shelters; 1,380 occupants
-- Arkansas: 1 shelter; 1,250 occupants
-- Missouri: 1 shelter; 0 occupants


Saints news and thoughts.

I've been thinking about this one for a while, glad somebody else brought it up first...!sports!punch&s=1045855935482

Financial support for New Orleans and the Gulf Coast is building. No doubt, New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson will provide a donation, in addition to the $1 million the NFL is contributing through the American Red Cross.
Benson is known for his charitable deeds in New Orleans, and now, more than ever, Benson needs to make the most sweeping gesture he ever has made as a benefactor and businessman.
He needs to write a check to the state of Louisiana for $12,415,267.53. That is the amount the state gave Benson and the Saints on July 6. It was the state's annual payment on the 10-year, $186 million deal the state made with Benson in 2002 in order to keep the Saints from leaving Louisiana.

--A different post, and this is mostly rumor, but still troubling....

from nola.comSaints to move? By Robert Travis Scott Capital bureau New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson is leaning strongly toward moving the Saints permanently to San Antonio following the devastation to the city and the Superdome by Hurricane Katrina, a state senator who has spoken with a top team official said Saturday. Sen. Mike Michot, R-Lafayette, said he spoke with Saints’ chief of administration Arnold Fielkow by phone Friday morning about Benson’s potential plans.


Yet another reason to hate Baton Rouge via

I don't think this is necessarially the time or place to bash other parts of the gulf south, especially parts that are doing a lot to help out, but this is pretty ridiculous.

Several dozen New Orleans residents seeking transportation out of Baton Rouge Saturday were denied entrance to the Greyhound bus station on Florida Street. Instead, the would-be travelers say they were forced to wait outside on the sidewalk for hours.The travelers, many of them recent evacuees from New Orleans, waited for the chance to buy tickets to Texas, Alabama, Mississippi and northern Louisiana. Several of them said they had been waiting at the station since the early afternoon and by 7 p.m. hadn’t been allowed to wait inside, use bathroom facilities or get water. Many of the travelers said they only wanted to purchase tickets or pick-up tickets that had already been purchased by family members.
Terrance Pierre, who said he was evacuated from Xavier University on Wednesday, said he had been waiting outside of the station for more than five hours to purchase a ticket to Texas. Pierre said he was just trying to reunite with his family and friends.“I’m just trying to get a ticket with my own money,” he said.Through security guards at the station, the bus station’s manager declined to discuss why the people were not allowed inside. Travelers said they were told that there had been a disturbance at the bus station on Friday, but that could not confirmed with station employees. In addition, they said they were told that the bus station’s booking system was not operating. Officials from Greyhound’s national office could not be reached for comment on Saturday night.Although the crowd appeared orderly, six Baton Rouge police cruisers arrived at the station at about 7:20 p.m... A security guard at the door told officers that some people in the crowd had been banging on the station’s doors, a claim all of the travelers vehemently denied.No one was arrested, and the officers left after instructing travelers to line up along the front of the building. After the officers left, bus station employees began allowing some people to enter the station to use the restroom, but most were forced to remain outside.


Good Op-Ed - Anne Rice

Thanks to BigShot for the link. My favorite passage below:

I know that New Orleans will win its fight in the end. I was born in the city and lived there for many years. It shaped who and what I am. Never have I experienced a place where people knew more about love, about family, about loyalty and about getting along than the people of New Orleans. It is perhaps their very gentleness that gives them their endurance.

They will rebuild as they have after storms of the past; and they will stay in New Orleans because it is where they have always lived, where their mothers and their fathers lived, where their churches were built by their ancestors, where their family graves carry names that go back 200 years. They will stay in New Orleans where they can enjoy a sweetness of family life that other communities lost long ago.

But to my country I want to say this: During this crisis you failed us. You looked down on us; you dismissed our victims; you dismissed us. You want our Jazz Fest, you want our Mardi Gras, you want our cooking and our music. Then when you saw us in real trouble, when you saw a tiny minority preying on the weak among us, you called us "Sin City," and turned your backs.

Well, we are a lot more than all that. And though we may seem the most exotic, the most atmospheric and, at times, the most downtrodden part of this land, we are still part of it. We are Americans. We are you


Superdome Completely Evacuated

Only five feet of debris and a hideously revolting stench remain as the last 300 people got on a bus to anywhere but here. If Benson moves the team to San Antonio, I'd put it in the deal that he has to breathe the Dome air for at least a minute before leaving.


Loyola Semester Cancelled

Will resume classes in January 2006, students are being accepted at other Jesuit universities, LSU, University of Houston, Texas A&M, etc.

In other good news, Loyola has agreed to pay all faculty and staff for the Fall 2005 semester. See, that's how you treat people.


Murph Here

Evacuee invited me to share some posts on the blog. The Life Goes Off color scheme was not my doing. Anyway, I'll share what I can and tomorrow or Monday help Evacuee get the site in shape.


Our Apt ok?

Ok, see if you can follow this one. My neighbor's sister's boyfriends' parents live in our neighborhood and just got back to New Orleans, and did a driveby of our place. They say that the apartment is fine, the windows are fine, the roof is fine, no problems whatsoever.

Isn't that mind-boggling? Hopefully we can get back there before the looters do if this good news holds. It is from a reliable source, though.

Thanks to the ATL Public Health folks for the info.


Katrina Deployments Add to Military Strain

By ROBERT BURNSThe Associated PressSaturday, September 3, 2005; 4:18 PM
WASHINGTON -- President Bush's decision to put thousands of active-duty soldiers and Marines on Hurricane Katrina relief duty adds a new dimension to the enormous strain on the military from wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Senior military officers said Saturday they have plenty of troops to handle their wide range of missions at home and abroad, and they discounted suggestions that the urgent deployment of soldiers and Marines to the Gulf Coast would interfere with the rotation of combat troops in and out of Iraq and Afghanistan.


West Virginia taking evacuees as well

12:44 P.M. - CHARLESTON, WV (AP): Louisiana and Texas have accepted West Virginia's offer to help relocate displaced Louisiana residents in need of assistance, Gov. Joe Manchin announced Saturday.
At about 11:30 a.m. Saturday, six West Virginia Air National Guard C-130s left Charleston's Yeager Airport for New Orleans Airport to pick up approximately 500 Louisiana residents "looking for a safe and friendly place to lay their heads," Manchin said.
The first plane was to arrive Saturday evening back at Yeager, where the passengers would be given food, water, showers, blankets and medical attention, he said. From there, they were to be flown to Morgantown and bused to Camp Dawson in Preston County, where they will be temporarily housed.
"We will welcome these fellow Americans with open arms and I am confident that our residents will quickly rise to the challenge of helping our new neighbors rebuild their lives," the governor said.


Baton Rouge residents afraid of New Orleanians

12:55 P.M. - WWL-TV: City Councilman Oliver Thomas is livid that evacuees are being taken out of the state capital to shelters in other states because, according to him, the city is scared of New Orleans residents.
Thomas said Governor Blanco has done the best she could do, but said she has to tell people around the state that N.O. residents are not thugs and looters, and to accept them in their community. "They got a lot of good people in New Orleans," Thomas said.
Said he was at the scene of the alleged "riot" at the Centroplex, but that it was blown out of proportion.
Thomas said that only a few people are committing acts of criminal looting, and are not in the majority.


Phoenix welcoming evacuees

2:09 P.M. - PHOENIX (AP): One thousand or more refugees of Hurricane Katrina could begin arriving in Arizona as early as Sunday morning, said a spokeswoman for Gov. Janet Napolitano.
Some of the evacuees would likely be brought to Phoenix's Veterans Memorial Coliseum, where they would remain for a few weeks until other housing arrangements could be made, said Napolitano spokeswoman Jeanine L'Ecuyer.
"We will be working with people to transition them to other shelters," L'Ecuyer said.
Another possible location for temporarily housing refugees is the Tucson Convention Center, said Michael Carson, a spokesman for the city of Tucson.
Officials were unable to say how many refugees would be sent Phoenix and Tucson and how long the displaced people would remain in shelters.
The Arizona Department of Housing plans to help find longer-term housing for refugees.


Charity Hospital Completely Evacuated


2:58 P.M. - (WWL-TV) BATON ROUGE: All patients, physicians, employees, and students were successfully evacuated from Charity Hospital.
The newborns from the well baby and in intensive care units were transferred to Women's Hospital in Baton Rouge.
The mental health patients and their mental health staff were transported to the Central Louisiana State Hospital at Pineville.
The employees, students, and residents were taken to Baton Rouge or San Antonio.
As soon as information is compiled on the location of patients transferred from the MCL Charity and University campuses, a toll free hot line will be made available and announced in the media.


St. Charles Parish - Residents, please come back

3:26 P.M. - Tab Troxler, Dir. of Emergency Operations, St. Charles Parish: Asking residents to return to the parish to begin the rebuilding process and in order to stabilize the local economy.


Wikipedia - Interesting hurricane info
This is pretty facinating. Some type of Encyclopedia that anybody in the world can edit. Facinating!


Jeff Parish residents allowed in on Monday

From the homepage

WWL] A WWL interview with a Jefferson Parish official, Jefferson Parish residents will be allowed back in Monday morning starting at 6am. Residents MUST have i.d. to be allowed in. And you cannot use the must travel via Airline Hwy. (61) or U.S. 90. Residents will be allowed to collect your belongings and will not be allowed to return for a month.


ALERT - FEMA uniforms, badges stolen

The Federal Emergency Management Agency said Saturday that many FEMA uniforms, badges and letterheads have been stolen in the New Orleans area are being used as fake identification by robbers.
FEMA leaders said the crooks are referring to themselves as "FEMA Procurement Officers," even though no such officers exist.
The agency said that the robbers are using the phony status to steal vehicles, fuel and valuables.
In some cases, the robbers are armed. FEMA said its agents are never armed.
FEMA officials said that if an armed person claiming to be from the agency approaches you, ask for photo identification, but also cooperate with their demands to avoid being hurt.
Anyone with information about people who may be claiming to be FEMA personnel, call the offices in Baton Rouge at (225) 296-3421 or (225) 296-3335.

By ROBERT TANNER / Associated Press
NEW ORLEANS – Planes, trains and buses delivered refugees to safety on Saturday as the evacuation of this ruined city finally appeared to pick up steam.

Buses had evacuated most people from the frightening confines of the Superdome by early morning. At the equally squalid convention center, thousands of people began pushing and dragging their belongings up the street to more than a dozen air-conditioned buses, the mood more numb than jubilant.


Audubon Zoo safe -

By Michael J. Montalbanoand Jeff DuncanStaff writersLike Noah at the helm of the Arc, a weary but determined Dan Maloney stood at the gates of the Audubon Zoo on Friday and shook his head as he described the journey he and his skeleton crew of animal caretakers endured while guiding the facility's collection of 1,400 animals through Hurricane Katrina.Amazingly, only two animals were killed by the Category 4 storm, which devastated the Gulf Coast on Monday, said Maloney, the zoo's vice president and general curator. One other animal was killed in the aftermath.Maloney said the 58-acre zoo suffered little structural damage from the storm, which he called "the worst natural situation to hit" the 120-year-old institution. The biggest damage was to the trees and horticulture.Maloney and a team of about a dozen, including two security guards, are caring for and maintaining the zoo's population of more than 350 species. The zoo's normal operation numbers 30 to 40 staffers daily, he said."We feel very fortunate," Maloney said. "We're hanging in there. We did our homework. We're doing the best we can."


Technical assistance needed

If any of you know how to fix the formatting of my blog, or to get a counter up here please let me know, I'd really appreciate it!


Clinton pissed by Hastert


Saturday, 10:22 a.m.Add former President Clinton to the list of those angered by statements made this week by House Speaker Dennis Hastert that it doesn't make sense to rebuild New Orleans.Hastert, R-Illinois, has since backed off his comments, saying he does not want to see the city "bulldozed,'' as he had told a newspaper several days ago.Today's Washington Post reports that Clinton was discussing New Orleans's dilemma when someone described the speaker's comments to him. Had they been in the same place when the remarks were made, Clinton said, "I'm afraid I would have assaulted him."


Caption Game

Here's the game. Write your own caption in the comments section for this picture.

Something along the lines of:

"You wouldn't believe it Ray, but the fish we almost caught was this big."


"Come here old buddy, looks like you need a hug"


Pop Evacuee - back to work

I talked to my dad this morning (I've gotten a few calls on my cellphone, maybe service is getting better?) and he said that he's been at work since Thursday, and the power came back on about 8pm Thursday night. A friend had lent them a generator, so they had been ok in advance of that. The power is on most of the area, the water is running, and there are no lines at the gas stations, since they all have power and gas supplies now. Life is getting back to normal, he says.

Katrina Finance
Louisiana state officials are already talking with Wall Street about plans to rebuild with a massive issuance of municipal bonds.

By Charles Gasparino
Updated: 3:47 p.m. ET Sept. 2, 2005
Sept. 2, 2005 - Even as government officials are scrambling to bring basic services to the people of storm-ravaged New Orleans, state politicians are taking their first, albeit tentative, steps toward drafting a plan to rebuild the city and the state through a massive issuance of municipal bonds, NEWSWEEK has learned.


Updates from Fema Director Mike Brown - via

9:39 A.M. - FEMA Director Mike Brown: Nearly 4,000 people were airlifted out of New Orleans area yesterday. Approximately 25,000 people have been airlifted out to date. We've gotten out 95 percent of the people in the Superdome.
9:38 A.M. - Brown; The situation at the Convention Center is under control.
9:37 A.M. - Brown: Amtrak trains are now flowing out of the city with evacuees.
9:36 A.M. - Brown; Approximately 1,700 people in hospitals still need to be evacuated.
9:35 A.M. - Brown: We have 80,000 people in shelters in areas outside of the area.
9:35 A.M. - Brown: Three Carnival Cruise ships are going to be used for temporary housing. Zephyr Field will be used as a military hospital.
9:35 A.M. - Brown: Rescue workers are going house to house looking for survivors.


Fires breaking out around city

NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana (CNN) -- As the struggle continued to rescue victims from floodwaters and evacuate people from New Orleans, two major fires raged along the waterfront Saturday morning.
One of them was engulfing an industrial district on the river and was threatening to proceed warehouse by warehouse along the stretch.
The black smoke covered the skyline of the city, where firefighting resources are stretched thin and the hydrants are dry. There was no sign that the 50-to-60 blazes were being fought.


What's really happening in Houston - Long post

An email from a very good friend of mine, currently living in Houston:

Yesterday, Carol and I went to the Astrodome to volunteer, and I can tell you,things are not good. There's 20,000+ in the astrodome, 7,000+ in ReliantArena, and about 5,000+ just walking around the area. They haven't reallybeen explaining in the news what's it like. I've been watching CNN thismorning and they said there's 15,000 total there. That's flat out way off.

When we got there, there was no signs telling anyone where to go. It took usa while even to find a police officer. There's garbage everywhere, and theonly staff they have is the normal janitorial staff to clean up. There'sliterally thousands of sick, dirty, angry people, and no security presence.

While walking around the astrodome looking for the Red Cross we came across aman slung over a metal gate. He was slouched over in a very awkward position,and people were trying to wake him up, but with no response. People werelooking for a medic or policeman, and there was none around.

We decided to go help in one of the convention halls, unloading supplies, or
Cross, who was supposedly in charge started telling us what they needed. Shehad no idea how to delegate control, or organize people. There were about 20of us, trying to get started, and she was asking us to sign up with the RedCross, so they could send us thank you letters. None of us really cared aboutthat at the time.

So, we're in a hall with roughly 500 people in it. I'm not sure why, but theyhad the people taped and gated off from where we were. This lady asked us ifwe could "maybe just get in a line, by the tape, and kind of try to keeppeople under control." This was not a good sign. We were not there for riotcontrol. Then she decided to close all the service doors because she wasafraid some of the refugees were bringing guns and drugs into the arena. Sheasked some of if we could "man the doors." Again, this was not a good sign.

We needed surgical gloves, there were none. We needed to get some, no oneknew where to get them. No one knew who was in charge, or what the end resultwould be. It was a joke.

We ended up folding clothes that came in through donation organizations, andsorting them for refugees to look through.

Upon leaving, a couple of thoughts entered my mind. One, if a city with theresources of Houston is having these kind of command and control problems, Ican't even imagine what's been going on in New Orleans. Two, "a hungry man isan angry man." If we would've gotten food to these people earlier we wouldnot be in the situation we would be right now. Lastly, I really wonder ifthis was New York, or a more affluent area affected, would the response belike this? Being at school and around town, I hear a lot of people, I'd say a majority of people, worrying if "thugs will take over," or "if crime willrise," or "how many homes will be broken into." Consider this, on the radio,they were saying there are overflows of clothes, food, supplies, and thatpeople need to stop donating. At the same time, they are begging for peopleto come down and help. No one wants to be hands on. And being there, I'mtelling you, most of the volunteers are black. I hate to say this, but ifthis had happened to 100,000 middle-class white people, I just don't thinkthings would be like this. It's sick.

The other volunteers there were begging, demanding more manpower, medical,and service oriented people, and they just were not there. They need much,much more security and medical, not bottled water.

We're going back today to put a day's work in. Courtney's brother Kent is alicensed Emergency Medical Tech., and a medic in training with specialforces. He's on leave from Ft. Bragg for the weekend and is going down tohelp with us. Hopefully things will get better.


More sattelite photos

Easier to use, but much less detail


Something to look forward to.

My fiance's mom's company has season tickets for the White Sox (6 seats, front row, directly behind 3rd base) and we are going to the game tonight. If you want to try to catch us on TV to see if we're ok, the game will be on WGN at 6.05PM CDT.

We're holding up ok, still trying to find out more info about our jobs and companies and such, but no luck yet. We're feeling pretty ok though, just trying to get info on different people that we haven't heard from yet.

Stay tuned, more posts later today before the game.


Great read - A sportswriter's memories of New Orleans

The greatest week of my life happened in New Orleans.

I'm not saying it was the best week, the wildest, the most rewarding, even the most entertaining. But things kept happening and happening. I witnessed my most exciting sporting event up to that point. Watched my favorite band perform three songs. Probably downed 100 drinks and smoked about 200 cigarettes. Gambled until the wee hours every night. Nearly got dumped by my fiancée. Wrote the single best column of my life. Had the most memorable drinking night of my life. Tapped the full potential of an Internet column in every respect, for better and worse. Even had my life threatened a few times.


A way to donate to the relief effort online


Hibernia defers payments


6:20 a.m. Hiberna Defers PaymentsSome Hiberna customers in Louisiana and Mississippi (those in zip codes that start with 700, 701, 703, 704, 394, 395 or 396) will not have to make any payments on their loans until January 2006.


AP Essay - Could this actually be happening in America?


For LA residents with accounts at other financial institutions - possible resource

The state Office of Financial Institutions has urged financial institutions to extend repayment terms on loans, restructure debt and reduce late fees on past due loan payments.The banking department's web site, will provide links to federal regulatory sites which will provide contact information for the affected financial institutions.


for Chase/Bank One customers - info on accounts

From a friend of mine who works with them...

For those of you with Consumer Bank One/ Chaseaccounts that were affected by Katrina, you need tocall the 877-226-5663 number and ask to have all billswith the bank deferred for 90 days and to have yourmail rerouted to whatever address you will be using.For all business owners with Chase/Bank One you needto call 1-800-chase38 and they can do the same foryour business accounts/ loans. I don't have access toany systems until Monday since I am in corporatehousing currently. Also Texas will go through theirbig merger on September 19th when the two companiesbecome one. I have limited acess to the systems untilthat happens, so the 877# and 800# are probably yourbest bet in the mean time.


T-P Editorial on Federal Hurricane Repsonse

The Times-Picayune Editorial Board

A day after a normally easy-going Mayor Ray Nagin blasted federal officials' seeming indifference to the plight of New Orleanians who are stranded and dying, President Bush stood on the lawn of the White House and conceded the point: The federal government did not move quickly enough or forcefully enough to help those people hit hardest by Hurricane Katrina. "The results are not acceptable," the president said before boarding a helicopter to go survey the storm's damage.It's good to hear the president admit his administration's shortcomings, and it's even better to hear his promise to help all of us who are in need. But the sad truth remains that the federal government's slow start has already proved fatal to some of the most vulnerable people in the New Orleans area. Water has killed hundreds, if not thousands, of people. A lack of water to drink is exacting its toll on others. "I don't want to see anybody do anymore goddamn press conferences," the mayor said during a WWL radio interview Thursday. "Put a moratorium on press conferences. Don't do another press conference until the resources are in this city."The mayor had obviously become fed up with federal bureaucrats' use of future tense verbs. "Don't tell me 40,000 people are coming here," he said. "They're not here. It's too doggone late. Now get off your asses and do something, and let's fix the biggest goddamn crisis in the history of this country."We applaud the mayor for giving voice to an entire city's frustration. How could the most powerful and technologically advanced nation in the history of the world have responded so feebly to this crisis?The president's admission of his administration's mistakes will mean nothing unless the promised help is deployed immediately. Each life is precious, and there isn't a second chance to save a single one of them. No more talk of what's going to happen. We only want to hear what is being done. The lives of our people depend on it.


Things are coming back together

There were continued signs of the efforts to restore order.Guns pointed skyward in the back of troop transport vehicles, Friday's initial deployment of about 7,000 soldiers from all over the country first moved in on the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, where they encountered a small city of angry and desperate refugees along a boulevard littered with now putrefying corpses.Soldiers offloaded pallets of food and water, in some cases tossing the supplies at upwards of 15,000 refugees seething from their exposure to subhuman conditions brought on by lack of sustenance and sewerage. A motorcade of 95 air-conditioned buses broke away from the troop transport vehicles they had been following and made for the Superdome, the city's shelter of last resort, to complete an evacuation that on Thursday had pared back a refugee population that peaked at about 25,000. The show of force began to yield results, but not without incident. One unit in a five-bus caravan had reached Opelousas when it flipped on its side, killing one passenger and injuring 17 others. Other convoys carried 4,200 people to airstrips for further evacuation out of the region, and by early evening the Superdome was expected to be empty, Brig. Maj. Gen. Mark Graham, deputy commander of the National Guard's Katrina Task Force, said late Friday afternoon. The Convention Center throng was reduced by 1,000, he said. In addition, a fleet of six small planes - soon to be expanded to a dozen - airlifted 438 patients from city hospitals. The Coast Guard continued to ply flooded neighborhoods working alongside a private flotilla of several hundred boats to pluck survivors from rooftops, attics and highway ramps and bridges. By Friday, the tally of those rescued by the Coast Guard had topped 4,000, Capt. Sharon Richey said.


Note from my friend who was evacuating the hospital...

Well, it is 1:30 AM, I just got home. We got all patients and staff out of both facilities today. I brought home 4 staff to sleep here tonight and as long as they need to. I don’t even know 2 of them! They are docs and heard I had a bed. The other two are dear friends and I am soooo glad to see them alive! Thank you for your prayers. It must have been the warm thoughts coming from you because as late as 3 PM today we didn’t think it would happen. And they were out of food and my 18 wheeler of food got confiscated by the National Guard and never made it in. Oh, the stories I could tell! Anyway, I just wanted to let you know this part of the story. Now your prayers need to go to the folks who have lost everything. Three of the four I have here have lost everything, cars, homes, and all. The two docs are flying out to Tampa tomorrow, and I’m not sure what the other one will do. Thank you all for your warm thoughts!

Friday, September 02, 2005


Housing for evacuees - Needed or offered

Hurricane Katrina has left hundreds of thousands of people homeless. But thousands of people throughout the region are stepping up to offer free shelter to those in need.
71,047 beds volunteered so far!


Sattellite photos of Katrina's devistation

You can drill down into different parts of the destruction, including into specific neighborhods. This is pretty incredible stuff.

Note: Very large files, data transfer could be pretty slow...

Of course, the one that would show our house cuts it off just at the intersection where we live. Oh well, we'll just have to wait longer for more info...


Hastert feeling sorry that he was a blatant P.O.S. - via

By Bill WalshWashington bureauWASHINGTON -- House Speaker Dennis Hastert, who infuriated Louisiana officials by raising questions about rebuilding New Orleans, plans to call Gov. Kathleen Blanco to mend some fences, his spokesman said Friday night."He's reaching out to her," spokesman Ron Bonjean said.The Illinois Republican was quoted in a Chicago-area newspaper Wednesday questioning the wisdom of spending billions of dollars rebuilding a city below sea level that will continue to be in the path of deadly hurricanes.Louisiana elected officials quickly assailed the powerful lawmaker and Blanco demanded an apology.Hastert's office quickly issued a clarification of his comments, saying that he supports the rebuilding of the 297-year-old city, only in a way that makes it more resistant to hurricanes. According to a transcript of the interview with the editorial board of the Daily Herald, Hastert said, "It looks like a lot of that place will have to be bulldozed.""His comments were misinterpreted," Bonjean said. "He believes New Orleans should be rebuilt."Hastert was in Washington Friday to oversee the passage of a $10.5 billion emergency aid package for the Gulf Coast states. He also plans to send along some of his own money. He auctioned off a 1970s vintage Lincoln Mark II Continental and, Bonjean said, plans to donate tens of thousands of dollars to the victims of Hurricane Katrina.


Relief begins to arrive in New Orleans

NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana (CNN) -- On the day President Bush visited this devastated city, thousands of tired and angry people stranded at the convention center welcomed National Guard troops and trucks carrying food, water and medicine with cheers and tears of joy.
"The crowd erupted," said Tishia Walters, a woman in the convention center crowd told CNN by telephone.
"Flags went flying, people shouting and waving. There's like 7,000 people out here in dying conditions," she added.


Causeway ok -

Lake Pontchartrain Causeway is OK

By Meghan GordonSt. Tammany bureau

Despite reports by local radio and the national press, the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway sustained no major damage from Katrina’s storm surge, the bridge’s general manager said in the first official report of its condition.An extensive inspection of the 24-mile bridge between Metairie and Mandeville found two areas of erosion that are expected to be refurbished within days, General Manager Robert Lambert said.


Interesting tidbit

Hurricane deja vu

Margret Miller of D'Iberville, Miss. lost every brick and board to Hurricane Camille in 73. The only item she ever found was her silver platter she found lying in a field. She rebuilt. Hurricane Katrina has now taken every brick and board of her home again. Nothing left at all...except the same silver platter which she again found lying in a field. She plans to rebuild again.Eliot Kamenitz


Incredible Nagin Interview

If you don't read anything else today, you have to read this...


Updates from

Utility slowly being restoredFriday, 6:40 p.m.More than 250,000 homes and businesses have had electric power restored since Hurricane Katrina struck southeast Louisiana on Monday, Public Service Commissioner Jimmy Field said Friday.
Old Metairie flooding6:10 p.m.Jefferson Parish officials said residents from two areas in Old Metairie may not be able to get into their homes next week because of street flooding.The first is bordered by Airline Drive to the south, Severn Avenue to the west, Metairie Road to the north and the Orleans/Jefferson Parish line to the east.The second is bordered by Jefferson Highway to the south, Causeway Boulevard to the west, Airline Drive to the north and the Orleans/Jefferson Parish line to the east.Water in those areas is as deep as six feet, officials said.


Saints on the road all season?

One thing is for sure, I sure love Steve Gleason (AKA White Jesus)

"I think we pretty much know it's going to be a long road," Gleason said. "Obviously, we don't really have a home. We've pretty much made a decision as a team that as much bad stuff that's going on in New Orleans, we're one part of New Orleans that is able to continue to do the things we can do. If there's any hope we can bring, any enjoyment we can bring to the people of New Orleans, that's what we want to be.,1,5533044.story?coll=sns-ap-sports-headlines&ctrack=1&cset=true


Congress OKs $10.5B Katrina Aid Package

Lawmakers promised Friday that a $10.5 billion measure funding immediate rescue and relief efforts for victims of Hurricane Katrina would be but the first step toward a comprehensive response by Congress to the catastrophe.


Evacuee Bus overturns, one killed

OPELOUSAS, La. (AP) — One Hurricane Katrina evacuee died and many others were injured when a bus carrying them from the Superdome swerved across a highway median and overturned Friday.


A friend's parents rescue - great people helping out.

This is incredible. It's easy to detach from the stories of all of the rescues when you don't actually know the people, but how about when it is the parents of one of your best friends?

"My parents are safe. They were pulled from the flood waters by nuns. Then two guys from Lafayette, ignoring the authorities, showed up in a flat boat and rescued them from the second floor of the convent. They dropped them off on I-10 where they spent the night, then caught a bus bound for Houston, but got off at Port Allen. They were able to contact me and I picked them up."



Bush - "We're going to make it right"

MOBILE, Ala., Sept 2 (Reuters) - U.S. President George W. Bush, facing scathing criticism of the government response to Hurricane Katrina, conceded on Friday it had been unacceptable as he visited the ravaged Gulf Coast and flooded New Orleans.

"Where it's not working right, we're going to make it right," Bush said. "We are going to restore order in the city of New Orleans."


YLC - Interesting info

I got this earlier today from the president of the Young Leadership Council of New Orleans, and found it inspriational....

I believe that our voice in the rebuilding of NewOrleans will now be more critical than ever before, and I look forward toworking with you all to that end when it is safe for us to return to thecity and resume operations of the Young Leadership Council. I know that Iwill always be Proud to Call it Home, and my hope is that together we might,as Mayor Nagin said, rebuild it even better than it was.


Open topic

Please post any new news, questions, etc here while we're out for the day.


Heading out

We're going to go downtown for a while, trying to get away from all of the news and such. Every once in a while you can almost forget that everything has happened, until you reach for something in your pocket and you find the keys that you have been carrying around for days that aren't good for much 1000 miles away. Or, you go to pay for something, and you pull out your Louisiana Driver's license. Or you walk past any TV in America it seems.

More later.


Tropical Depression Lee & Tropical Storm Maria

Just FYI - there are two active storms in the Atlantic. They look like they are going to stay far away from any land at this point, but for more info visit:



Baton Rouge = largest city in LA

9:20 A.M. - BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) -- In the span of a week, Baton Rouge has become Louisiana's most-populous city -- at least temporarily -- and a big chunk of that growth is likely to be permanent, officials say. Evacuees from the Hurricane Katrina-ravaged New Orleans area have poured into East Baton Rouge Parish, along with rescue personnel using the city as a home.
"Baton Rouge is now the largest city in Louisiana and it's going to be for quite a while, if not permanently," said Walter Monsour, the top administrator to the president of the city-parish government.


Ford offers payment deferrals - via

Ford Motor Credit Company is offering customers affected by Hurricane Katrina the opportunity to defer up to two vehicle payments.Under the Disaster Relief Program, customers have the opportunity to defer these monthly payments without paying extension fees. The program is open to customers living in counties that FEMA has declared federal disaster areas as a result of the storm.Ford Motor Credit customers who are eligible for the Disaster Relief Program should receive letters next week with instructions on how to register. Customers must register within 60 days to qualify. Deferred payments are due at the end of the contract term. Customers who have not received a letter, but believe they qualify, may call the toll-free number listed for their brand to register: Ford Credit: 1-800-723-4016; Jaguar Credit: 1-800-945-7000; Land Rover Capital Group: 1-877-507-2264; Mazda American Credit: 1-800-945-4000; PRIMUS Financial Services: 1-800-945-4000; Volvo Car Finance: 1-800-770-8234


Mortgage Loan Relief Available - via

Fannie Mae has mortgage relief provisions in place for borrowers in Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, Florida and other states facing hardships as a result of widespread damage caused by Hurricane Katrina.With Fannie Mae's disaster relief provisions, lenders help borrowers in several ways, including suspending mortgage payments for up to three months, reducing the payments for up to 18 months, or in more severe cases, creating longer loan payback plans. Such assistance is provided on a case-by-case basis, and is designed to meet the individual needs of borrowers.For information on mortgage relief, homeowners who have experienced hardships should contact the lender to whom they send their monthly mortgage payment.


Food for thought.

On June 8, 2004, Walter Maestri, emergency management chief for Jefferson Parish, Louisiana; told the Times-Picayune: "It appears that the money has been moved in the president's budget to handle homeland security and the war in Iraq, and I suppose that's the price we pay. Nobody locally is happy that the levees can't be finished, and we are doing everything we can to make the case that this is a security issue for us."


Anybody needing legal assistance

ABA Will Help Hurricane VictimsAmerican Bar Association President Michael S. Greco has announced that he is enlisting the ABA Young Lawyers Division and lawyers from several ABA sections to assist hurricane victims. The lawyers will assist with insurance claims, home repair contracts, wills and other documents, and related issues.FEMA is now in the process of establishing a hotline staffed by ABA volunteer lawyers to assist victims in each affected state. A complete listing of the FEMA hotlines and other available legal resources will be posted on the ABA Web site,, in the coming days.


Crisis counseling hotline available - via

UnitedHealthcare announced that anyone in the Gulf Coast region affected by the devastation of Hurricane Katrina will have free access to a 24-hour telephone service staffed by UnitedHealthcare's experienced master's-level counselors. Counselors can assist callers with the range of personal concerns that may affect victims of natural disasters: Stress, anxiety and the grieving process. Callers also may receive referrals from a national database of community resources to help them with specific concerns, such as financial and legal issues. Callers who may have suffered physical trauma or symptoms will be transferred to a nurse who will be able to provide health education and decision support regarding the need for medical treatment. In addition, individuals who prefer to use the Internet may access disaster information at www.liveandworkwell.comThe toll-free hotline is 1-866-615-8700. The service will be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week for as long as necessary. The service is free of charge to anyone affected by the hurricane.


CNN Breaking News

-- "The results are not acceptable," President Bush says of Hurricane Katrina disaster relief efforts.


Fires in Bywater, CBD

Fires break out in Bywater, CBD8:02 a.m.Three explosions ignited a fire today at a chemical facility in the Bywater neighborhood around 4:35 a.m., WAFB, Channel 9 reported. A Coast Guard boat patrolling the Mississippi River passed near by as smoke billowed over the city. Further details were unavailable. At 9 a.m., WAFB reported a fire in a five-story building on Poydras Street across from the W Hotel.


Blanco - Troops know how to shoot to kill

10:49 P.M. - (AP): Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco declared war on looters as 300 National Guard troops landed in New Orleans fresh from duty in Iraq. "These troops know how to shoot and kill, and they are more than willing to do so, and I expect they will," she said.


Walter Maestri quote 7:03 A.M. - Maestri: We had a plan and we followed it (on storm coverage). Mayor Nagin and those in Jefferson believed that within 48 hours food, water and security would be here. It didn't happen.

7:01 A.M. - Jeff Parish Emergency Operations Center Director Walter Maestri: 17th Street Canal Levee breach is now under control...not fixed...but under control.

6:59 A.M. - Jeff Parish Emergency Operations Center Director Walter Maestri: Civil unrest is basically under control in Orleans and Jefferson.

6:58 A.M. - Maestri: Explosions Friday morning were NOT a result of thuggery, but merely gas problems that exploded in Bywater.


Astrodome full at 11,375

The total of 11,375 inside the Astrodome when the initial decision on capacity was made was less than half the estimated 23,000 people who were expected to arrive by bus from New Orleans in Houston.


Stephanie Grace's latest column

Sorry the formatting sucks again...

Stephanie Grace column8:00 p.m.By Stephanie GracePolitical columnist

A week ago today, Mayor Ray Nagin was positively giddy about New Orleans' prospects. He had good reason: Donald Trump was coming to town. Nagin sat in his corporate-style City Hall office and discussed the newly inked deal to convert a Poydras Street parking lot into New Orleans’ tallest skyscraper, a glitzy hotel-condominium hybrid known in the trade as a “condotel.” He gleefully pondered what Trump’s stamp of approval said about the city’s economic present, and future. “The market has tipped. It's pretty amazing," Nagin said. In fact, he planned to lobby Trump to invest in other projects, from downtown to the potentially marketable riverfront.Could this really be the same city? The same century? Could the mayor who couldn’t stop grinning last Thursday really be the same man who just today issued a “desparate SOS” to anyone who might be able to save the thousands of lives still endangered by Hurricane Katrina and its desperate, violent aftermath?It’s not like Nagin had his head in the sand before. He and everyone else knew that New Orleans was as precarious as it was promising. They just didn’t know how close the edge was. Turns out that the entrenched poverty, the culture of lawlessness, the delicate drainage system and even admirable impulses such as the devotion to home, family and neighborhood that kept so many people from leaving have, it now seems, been New Orleans’ undoing. Just turn on the TV, if you’re lucky enough to be someplace with electricity. Can’t get away from it. You have to wonder: Will the Donald Trumps of the world ever come back? Better question: Will we? So much is gone. There will be no tourism industry for the foreseeable future, and that means no jobs for the huge numbers of locals who eke out a living in the service industry. There’s no school, and interim superintendent Ora Watson has already advised Orleans Parish system teachers to look for work elsewhere and for parents to enroll their kids where they can.By necessity, Tom Benson now gets to see how his Saints like calling someplace other than the tattered Superdome home. Thousands upon thousands of flooded homes will be razed, and who knows when the roads, electricity and water will be fixed. Worst of all, we may never know what happened to all those missing people whose loved ones are trying to find them.If you’re looking for answers here, might as well stop reading now. I’m still trying to convince myself that it really is this week, not last. That my house is standing but the nearby shopping center has been stripped bare by looters. That the convention center is now a backdrop to shootouts instead of not national meetings. That people I know and care for are unaccounted for, and others have emerged to tell of unimaginable horrors on the streets. That our perennially optimistic mayor won’t have anything to smile about for a long, long time.I’m still trying to get my mind around the fact that the decimated landscape on TV is my city. And realizing that despite it all, I do love it, just as I did before, and I want to come back. I don’t think I’m the only one. That’s a start, anyway


Working to close 17th Street Canal by Friday

Boh Bros. Construction Co. has begun installing metal sheet piling along the Old Hammond Highway bridge over the 17th Street Canal to keep lake water from backing up into the canal. State Transportation and Development Secretary Johnny Bradberry said the job will be complete by Friday afternoon.


Blanco demands apology


9:15 p.m.An angry Gov. Kathleen Blanco demanded that Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., apologize for his statement that it might not make sense to rebuild New Orleans. It was “unthinkable,” Blanco said, that Hastert would “kick us when we’re down. I demand an immediate apology.”


Mayor Nagin on the federal government

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A day before President Bush headed to the hurricane-ravaged South, Mayor Ray Nagin lashed out at federal officials, telling a local radio station "they don't have a clue what's going on down here."

"They flew down here one time two days after the doggone event was over with TV cameras, AP reporters, all kind of goddamn — excuse my French everybody in America, but I am pissed," Nagin said.

Nagin said he told Bush in a recent conversation that "we had an incredible crisis here and that his flying over in Air Force One does not do it justice ... I have been all around this city and that I am very frustrated because we are not able to marshal resources and we are outmanned in just about every respect."


Comment Spam - added word verification

Now you just have to verify the word that is shown in the box when you comment, no biggie.


From a friend at Homeland Defense

I am working non-stop at the Homeland Defense office and we have been trying for 5 days now to get our 2000 patients and staff out of Charity and University hospital. As of tonight we still do not have them all evacuated and we are running out of food and supplies. I have 3 18-wheelers of supplies for them and can’t get them past Causeway Blvd because of all the shooting. If we don’t get them out tomorrow, they will be out of supplies and I can’t get supplies to them.

Thursday, September 01, 2005


Out for the evening

I need a break. It's all too much to comprehend. I'll be offline for the evening, trying not to watch any more tv coverage or specials, espeically ones that end with Aaron Neville singing Amazing Grace. I can't get that out of my mind.

ANyhow, please post breaking news, comments or questions in the comments below, and I'll have more news tomorrow.



Dennis Hastert is a P.O.S.

But that doesn't surprise me too much. His comments are surprising, however...

Thursday, 2:55 p.m.By Bill WalshWashington bureauWASHINGTON - House Speaker Dennis Hastert dropped a bombshell on flood-ravaged New Orleans on Thursday by suggesting that it isn’t sensible to rebuild the city."It doesn't make sense to me," Hastert told the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago in editions published today. "And it's a question that certainly we should ask."


Change of address with the USPS

Thousands of people have been evacuated from their homes and Donahoe urged them to contact the post office with their new address, even if it is temporary.
"Change your address, the mail will follow you," he said.


N.B.A. Prepares to Relocate Hornets in Aftermath of Hurricane


More inspiration

"Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do."
~ John Wooden (1910-) All-American player at Purdue, coached most ever NCAA basketball champions at UCLA


CNN Breaking News

-- FEMA suspends boat rescue operations in New Orleans because of dangers to rescuers, officials say.


Loyola University New Orleans info

Loyola has set up a blog to post info about faculty, staff and the university:

Sorry for the incorrect link earlier.


Loyola Alumni Info

Several alumni are gathering together online to try and coordinate help efforts and to simply have a centralized place to keep communication flowing. You are all listed as contact persons for several state alumni chapters. There are already several efforts taking place throughout the US, but it doesn't hurt to keep every informed of what's going on and simply to show support to Loyola and the people of the Gulf Coast region after this horrible devastation.

Please join and visit and please help spread the word with other alumni. This site will serve as a central point and listserv to keep everyone informed and involved.

Many thanks.

Erick Cordero
Loyola New Orleans, Class of 1999


Uptown Photos

Scroll to the bottom of this blog to see a few uptown/campus photos:


Waffles homeless

Tragedy for waffles everywhere.


Another quote

"Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quite, however, it lasts forever."
Lance Armstrong


Spy sattelites aiding in Katrina rebuilding effort

Source: ReutersWASHINGTON, Aug 31 (Reuters) - U.S. Spy satellites have been called into service to help federal emergency officials cope with the devastating aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, officials said on Wednesday.

The little-known National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, which analyzes satellite images for the espionage community and combat troops, has provided scores of images of hard-hit areas, including New Orleans, before and after the storm struck.


Thinking of heading back to New Orleans?

"I don’t want anyone not in the city to come back. What we’re doing is trying to make the best of a bad situation and we need people to cooperate."
N.O. Police Chief Eddie Compass

"It's too dangerous to come home."
Gov. Kathleen Blanco


Uptown pics


Inspiring quote of the day

"If you concentrate on finding what is good in every situation, you will discover that your life will suddenly be filled with gratitude, a feeling that nurtures the soul." – Harold Kushner – Rabbi


New Orleans Elevation Map

This is incredible, and it explains why some neighborhoods are underwater and others aren't.

We live in the area, in the bottom-left dip in the river, called the "Black Pearl". As you can see, elevations are much higher there than in most of New Orleans.


Corporate donations to relief effort


-- Chevron: $5 million.
-- JPMorgan Chase: $3 million.
-- Citigroup: $3 million.
-- Walt Disney Co.: $2.5 million.
-- Pfizer: $2 million.
-- Abbott Laboratories: $2 million.
-- State Farm: $1 million.
-- EDS: Will match employee contributions up to $1 million.
-- Eli Lilly: 40,000 vials of refrigerated insulin.
-- Wyeth: antibiotics and nonprescription pain relievers.
-- Merck: antibiotics and hepatitis A vaccines.
-- Johnson & Johnson: Pain relievers, wound care supplies and kits containing toothbrushes, soap and shampoo.
-- Abbott Laboratories: At least $2 million in nutritional and medical products.
-- Nissan: 50 trucks for Mississippi Emergency Management Agency.
-- General Motors: 25 cars and trucks to the Red Cross.
-- Sprint Nextel: 3,000 walkie talkie-type phones for emergency personnel.
-- Qwest Communications: 2,000 long-distance calling cards.
-- Kellogg: Seven truckloads of crackers and cookies.
-- Culligan International: Five truckloads of water.
-- Anheuser-Busch: more than 825,000 cans of water.
-- Office Depot: Contents of its five New Orleans stores, valued at $4 million.


Latest news


10:05 A.M. - WWL-TV's Mike Hoss: The camera cannot truly capture what transpired in New Orleans. "You have no idea how bad it is," he said.

Stories of armed, roving gangs going around town looting every business they come across have been overexaggerated by the national media.

9:36 A.M. - NEW YORK (AP): Harry Connick Jr., who grew up in New Orleans, says the city will rebuild and that its residents are "freakishly strong."
In an interview today on NBC's "Today" show, Connick compared the rejuvenating spirit of New Yorkers after the September 11 terror attacks to those in the hurricane-ravaged city.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005


We're in Chicago

Hey everybody, Karen and I are now in Chicago, hanging out with her family. Like most of you, we're still trying to figure out next steps, and trying to make sense of all of this madness.

If anybody wants to call us, email me and I'll send you the number.

Talk to you all soon,



The most amazing hurricane site I have come across

Some folks in New Orleans with a generator and a webcam. This is incredible...


If any of you Catholics are going to Church this weekend

Consider donating in the 2nd collection...

WASHINGTON (August 30, 2005)—Bishop William S. Skylstad, President of theUnited States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), has announced that aNational Collection for Hurricane Relief will be taken up in the 195Catholic dioceses throughout the United States.


MSY Airport open for humanitarian goods...

CityBusiness staff report
NEW ORLEANS - Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport is now openfor humanitarian flights during daylight hours. The airport sustained nosignificantdamage and there is no standing water in movement areas. The airport roofs,hangars and fencing were damaged.

Operations can be conducted on the north-south and the newly reconstructedEast-West Runways. Air Traffic Control is operating.

American operated the first post-hurricane flight with no problems Tuesday. Thehelipad is operational and handled more than 30 flights Tuesday.

Main airport needs include reliable jet fuel supply, instrument landing systemsand air conditioning in the terminal.


Water receding (hopefully)

Louisiana Emergency Management officials say water has stopped rushing into thecity from a floodwall breach at the 17th Street Canal. Officials say LakePontchartrain has reduced its level by 2 feet and will continue to recede at arate of a 1/2-inch per hour.


Superdome refugees to Houson

HOUSTON – At least 25,000 of Hurricane Katrina's refugees, a majority of them at the New Orleans Superdome, will travel in a bus convoy to Houston and will be sheltered at the Astrodome, which hasn't been used for professional sporting events in years.


Amazing pictures of New Orleans & downtown


Missing Persons database

For those of you still looking for folks:


You can get a drink at any time in New Orleans

Even today and yesterday...

Johnny White’s Sport Bar on Bourbon Street at Orleans Avenue didn’t close Tuesday night, and had six patrons at 8 a.m. drinking at the bar.“Monday night, they came by after curfew and wanted us to close,” bartender Perry Bailey, 60, said of officers then patrolling the French Quarter. But all we did was shut the doors and stayed open.”


If you are in the BR Area and want to help:

Medical personnel and volunteers working at the Hurricane Katrina medical triage headquarters at LSU’s Maravich Assembly Center in Baton Rouge are expecting to handle about 30,000 people each day. To help, drop off the following items: liquid canned baby formula, Pedialyte, infant diapers, feminine products, toothpaste, toothbrushes and other toiletries. Do not bring clothes, shoes and toys to the Assembly Center. Drop off those items at one of the hurricane shelters. Some of the things that are especially needed are clothes, especially underwear and infant wear; children’s shoes, toys in good condition, bed linens, pillows, blankets, said Tommy Moffitt, 42, a Baton Rouge volunteer. Members of Moffitt’s family were left homeless by Hurricane Katrina and he has been volunteering at the Assembly Center. Also, medical personnel are needed at the Chateau Living Center in Kenner, 716 Village Road. Call 464-0604.


AP: Mayor says Hundreds, likely Thousands dead

New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin said Wednesday there are likely thousands dead in the city from Hurricane Katrina and the resulting flood.If accurate, the estimate would make Katrina the deadliest hurricane in more than a century."We know there is a significant number of dead bodies in the water," and other people dead in attics, Nagin said. Asked how many, he said: "Minimum, hundreds. Most likely, thousands."


Children's Hospital OK

No Children's Hospital Looting4:35 p.m.Doug Mittelstaedt, vice-president of Human Resources for Children's Hospital in New Orleans, said one of the biggest issues at the hospital on Wednesday was debunking the prevalent rumor that looters had stormed the hospital.Mittelstaedt said things actually were operating smoothly at the hospital - the generator was running efficiently and efforts to relocate patients were going well - but fighting the rumor was a major issue.Officials had to lock the doors of the hospital because people had arrived, apparently thinking there was a mob scene and they could get in on looting.He said the hospital has been flooded with calls offering assistance from other Children's Hospitals in Louisiana and Texas. "The amount of calls we have gotten for support have been overwhelming," Mittelstaedt said. "The phones literally have been ringing off the hook."With so many calls, Mittelstaedt said officials have been able to match up the 100 patients with hospitals that specialize in the particular treatments for each.


Great site for evacuation cash crunch

Please send your questions to this site, and some knowledgeable folks will answer them...


Maybe we won't head back too soon...

Floating body Uptown

5 p.m.Neighbors in the area near Hickory and Short streets Uptown said a body has been floating nearby in five feet of water since the unidentified man was shot five times on Monday.Neighbors said the shooting was reported, but police and other officials apparently have been unable to respond.


Who says that our residents aren't smart?

In the city's Carrollton section, which is on relatively high geround, looters commandeered a forklift and used it to push up the storm shutters and break the glass of a Rite-Aid pharmacy. The crowd stormed the store, carrying out so much ice, water and food that it dropped from their arms as they ran. The street was littered with packages of ramen noodles and other items.


Latest Update - City Shut Down for 2-3 Months

"We know there is a significant number of dead bodies in the water," and other people dead in attics, Mayor Ray Nagin said. Asked how many, he said: "Minimum, hundreds. Most likely, thousands."

There will be a "total evacuation of the city. We have to. The city will not be functional for two or three months," Nagin said.

Yahoo News

Fox News just reported that they will be moving everyone from Superdome all the way to the Astrodome via bus.

"It can no longer operate as a shelter of last resort," the mayor said.

They were going to use a cruise ship but it didn't pan out.


Open topic - Off to Chicago

We're heading north to Chicago, more when we get there later today. Please post any news, questions, etc here for the day while we're out.

Thanks to all of you for your kind words, thoughts, prayers, etc. We do appreciate it even if we can't get through on the phone.

Jude & Karen


Great photos

Tuesday, August 30, 2005


Nagin interview and WWL pics

Lengthy Nagin interview, and a good selection of photos some of which I haven't seen before.

Interview with Nagin

WWLTV slide show. Higher def pics.


Updated Phone Numbers and Web Resources

The lines are very busy, but here are some extra numbers you can call to report stranded people, if necessary.


red cross:
(800) 229-8191
(504) 658-8700
(800) 229-8191

Office of Emergency Preparedness: 225-389-2100 or 225-922-0332

U.S. Coast Guard: 225-925-7708, 225-925-7709, 225-925-3511

Also below is a link to a Survivor Database apparently run by Red Cross:
GCN Survivor-Connector DataBase>

Last but not least... craigslist has suddenly become a good resource for anyone looking for housing, missing people, free food and goods, and even their own services:

housing: housing board
Many folks are offering free space in their own homes. :)

missing people/connections: community board

food and goods: stuff board

services offered: services board


Looking towards the future

"When written in Chinese, the word 'crisis' is composed of two characters--one represents danger, and the other represents opportunity."
~ John F. Kennedy (1917-1963) American Statesman (35th US president: 1961-63), youngest president

Another timely inspriational quote in my email has me thinking of the future, and I am hopeful that New Orleans can emerge on the other side of this disaster even better than before. Only time will tell, but hope is the only useful emotion I have right now.


New Chris Rose column = awesome

Sorry the formatting sucks.

Tuesday, 6:30 p.m. By Chris Rose

I got out. I’m mystified by the notion that so many people didn’t even try, but that’s another story for another time.We left Saturday, my wife, kids and me. We went first to Picayune, Miss., thinking that a Category 3 storm would flood New Orleans and knock out power, but that we’d be dry and relatively comfortable in the piney woods while the city dried out.Sunday morning, of course, Katrina was massive red blob on our TV screens – now a Cat 5 – so we packed up and left again.We left my in-laws behind in Picayune. They wouldn’t come with us. Self-sufficient country folk; sometimes you can’t tell ‘em nothing.We don’t know what happened to them. My wife’s dad and her brother and their families: No word. Only hope.Like so many people around the country wondering what happened to those still unaccounted for; we just don’t know. That’s the hardest part.If you take the images you’ve seen on TV and picked up off the radio and internet, and you try to apply what you know to the people and places you don’t know about, well, the mind starts racing, assumptions are made and well … it consumes you.The kids ask you questions. You don’t have answers. Sometimes they look at me and though they don’t say it, I can see they’re wondering: Daddy, where are you?My 6-year-old daughter, she’s onto this thing. What is she thinking?We spent Sunday night in a no-tell motel in a forgotten part of downtown Vicksburg; a neighborhood teetering between a familiar antiquated charm and hopeless decay. Truth is, it called to mind my beloved New Orleans.Most of the folks in the hotel seem to live there permanently and it had a hard-luck feel to it. It was the kind of place where your legs start itching in the bed and you think the worst and you don’t want your kids to touch the carpet or the tub and we huddled together and I read them to sleep.Monday morning, my wife’s aunt told us they had a generator in Baton Rouge. As Katrina marched north and east, we bailed on our sullen little hotel and drove down along he western ridge of the storm, mostly alone on the road.Gas was no problem. We had catfish and pulled pork in a barbeque joint in Natchez and the folks there - everyone we have met along our three-day journey – has said the same thing: Good luck, folks. We love your city. Take care of it for us.Oh, my city. We have spent hours and hours listening to the radio. Image upon image piling up in your head.What about school? What about everyone’s jobs? Did all our friends get out? Are there still trees on the streetcar line? What will our economy be like with no visitors? How many are dead? Do I have a roof? Have the looters found me yet? When can we go home?Like I said, it consumes you as you sit helplessly miles from home, unable to help anyone, unable to do anything. If I could, what I’d do first is hurt the looters. I’d hurt them bad.But you have to forget all that. You have to focus on what is at hand, what you can reach and when you have three little kids lost at sea, they are what’s at hand and what you can reach. I brought them to a playground in Baton Rouge Tuesday afternoon. They’d been bottled up for days.Finally unleashed, they ran, they climbed, they fell down, they fought, they cried, they made me laugh, they drove me crazy; they did the things that makes them kids. It grounds you. You take a breath. You count to ten. Maybe - under the circumstances - you go to twenty or thirty this time.And tonight, we’ll just read them to sleep again.We have several books with us because – and this is rich – we brought on our evacuation all the clothes and things we planned to bring on a long-weekend trip that we were going to take over Labor Day weekend.To the beach. To Fort Morgan, right at the mouth of Mobile Bay. Man.Instead of that, I put on my sun tan lotion and went out in the yard of the house where we’re staying in Baton Rouge and I raked a massive pile of leaves and limbs from the yard and swept the driveway.Doing yard work and hitting the jungle gym on the Day After. Pretending life goes on. Just trying to stay busy. Just trying not to think. Just trying not to fail, really. Gotta keep moving.


The True Evacuation Experience

The fiance and I had for the most part missed out on the true evacuation experience, until today that is. We started out the day with a reservation at a hotel on the West side of Jackson, MS in the hopes that we could return to the city tomorrow, or at least to Lockport.

It was soon apparent that wasn't going to happen.

We left Tallahassee around 7AM, and headed out west. Once we got into Mississippi, we were quickly amazed at how much wind damage there had been from the hurricane moving through. We saw downed trees and signs all over the place, however the roads were amazingly clear. We had made good time, and were looking forward to getting into the hotel around 3pm.

We stopped for gas around 1:00 on 70 miles on the East side of Jackson, and the gas staions were out. All of the stations at the interstate were out, as well as the two a few blocks down. We got word that there was gas in Philadelphia, MS, but that was about 35 miles out of the way. We decided to head that way, and check it out. Most of the next few small towns were all out of power, and we ended up waiting in line for a few cars in order to fuel up. At that point, we decided that we should head further north, and made plans to drive up to Chicago to be with my fiance's family.

We stopped tonight at a hotel in S. Memphis, and will leave early tomorrow for Chitown. Upon walking in to the hotel, it's apparent that the hotel is filled with evacuees, who are posting notes that people could glean from the news on a big white board that the hotel provided. There will be a prayer service at 10pm tonight for the evacuees, and I will try to make it by. There's a lot of news to catch up on, and we are anxious to learn more about when we will be able to make it back into town and survey the damage to our little place. All of a sudden, carrying all of that furniture (or having friends carry it to be more specific) seems a lot more worthwhile in light of everything that has happened.

More soon,



Great Link source to local info

Tuesday, 6:41 p.m.Homes in West End, Bucktown and at the Orleans-Jefferson Parish line are nearly underwater, with residents being plucked from the water and rooftops by passing boats, WWL-TV video shows.

The video shows that the popular Sid-Mars restaurant is gone.


Mom & Pop Evacuee - Power situation

My folks are sweating away in Lockport, the current word is that they expect power back around the 10th of September. Crazy. blog

Good updates


Casualties rising

CNN reports houses being marked with a red X that have a dead body inside that cannot be reached until the water recedes.




Jeff Parish President. Residents will probably be allowed back in town in a week, with identification only, but only to get essentials and clothing. You will then be asked to leave and not come back for one month.


Loss of law & order

Things sound pretty bad in New Orleans, hopefully they can get some food/water in there soon.

NEW ORLEANS -- What police presence there is in New Orleans and Biloxi, Miss., isn't slowing down looters.
A police spokesman in New Orleans said a police officer was shot in the head by a looter, but he's expected to recover.
Dozens of looters on historic Canal Street have ripped open steel gates to stores. Some filled plastic garbage cans to carry or float stolen goods.
In Biloxi, looters picked through slot machines of damaged casinos to see if they still have coins inside.
One motel owner says people are just "filling up garbage bags and walking off like they're Santa Claus."


Federal Emergency Management (FEMA)

This is great info from our friend Photog:

Hey guys,Please tell everyone you know to register on for aid.Everyone can check on to see if the parish they live in iseligible for aid (it probably is).

I went onto the site and found a few more direct links. To apply for aid:


Open topic - Off to Jackson, MS

We're on our way to Jackson, then Lockport. Please post any new news under comments here, and email me if you'd like to have posting rights, and I'll add you when I have internet access.

See you all back in New Orleans soon,

Jude & Karen


Another amazing quote

One can only imagine what it's like in New Orleans:

"As night fell, the sirens of house alarms were finally silent, and the air filled with a different, deafening and unfamiliar sound: the extraordinary din of thousands of croaking frogs."



Got this in my email this morning, and it reminds me of the heros that I've seen on tv rescuing folks throughout the city.

"True heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic. It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost, but the urge to serve others, at whatever cost." – Arthur Ashe – Tennis Player

Monday, August 29, 2005


Forums for neighborhood information seems to have a lot of interaction on their forums, and much easier to use than IMHO.

It sounds like Uptown New Orleans made out pretty well, knock on blog. It's late, time for bed, we leave early tomorrow AM to begin the trek most of the way back, to Lockport via Jackson/Clinton MS.


Jefferson Parish/Lakeview Flooding is streaming helicopter footage from all over new orleans. It seems that there is significant flooding throughout Kenner and Metairie. Ms. Evacuee is pretty sure that she saw Celebration Station off of the Vets exit with water all around it and the surrounding neighborhoods.

Back towards Lakeview, here's a screenshot from the streaming footage of the gas station at Robert E Lee & Paris Ave


Armstrong - New Orleans airport website if you need any info about flights or getting your car out of the garage.


Saints Home opener - 9/18

Looks like the game might have to be moved, thanks to DC Connection for the tip:

Club officials were looking at conducting next week's workouts, ahead of their September 11 opener at Carolina, in Houston or Dallas, or possibly at college facilities in Shreveport or Lafayette, depending on the damage in New Orleans. The Saints' home opener against the New York Giants on September 18 will be played, but whether the game is played in the Superdome will depend upon the recovery of the city and stadium over the next three weeks.


Mom & Pop Evacuee back home

My folks just called, they're back in Lockport. 133 Catherine is mostly ok, a few cap shingles are missing from the roof and some water got blown in through an old windowframe, but the house is standing, structurally sound.

I wish we knew as much about our place in the city, but this is a good start.


Uptown Update

"Monday, 6:30 p.m.Streets in the heart of Uptown once known for their canopies of old oaks -- Calhoun, Nashville and State -- now have carpets of oaks. The streets are impassible, wall to wall fallen oaks trees.Another Uptown landmark, the root beer mug on top of Ted's Frostop on Claiborne and Calhoun, was on the ground.There was hit-and-miss street flooding Uptown and in Hollygrove. Some streets were inundated and others bone dry. Most streets were impassible because of downed trees and power lines. Damage to most homes appeared to be minimal.There was an occasional tree on a car or home and some roofs were blown off in Central City."


Hurricane Katrina photos - New Orleans, Uptown

Uptown photos under "Citizen Journalist"


Nothing but Rooftops

"Treme and the city's 8th and 9th Wards were severely flooded. Eastern New Orleans was inaccessible by car due to the high water on Interstate 10 East. The farther one drove east on Interstates 10 and 610, the deeper the water and the danger. Hurricane Katrina caused the highway to end at the first exit for Louisa Street.For miles in the 9th Ward, there were only rooftops, with floodwaters lapping at the eves, visible from I-10. Rows of homes were swallowed by water. Standing outside on the concrete interstate, in the whipping winds, signs could be spotted that so many of the city's residents did not evacuate." reports


Sheriff Harry Lee says Jefferson Parish residents should not try to return home for days, possibly a week, due to downed power lines.

A survey of the West Bank by NewsChannel 6 crews reveals "not much flooding, but damage to homes, roofs blown off, windows out," according to WDSU Executive Producer Scott Burke

St. Bernard Emergency OPS: Levee topped at Industrial Canal, 4-7 feet of flood water. "We can't see the tops of the levees," said Larry Ingargiola

Entergy: 700,000 of the utility's 770,000 customers in metro New Orleans are without power. Spokesperson Amy Stallings says to be prepared to be without power for at least a month. Other power outage totals: 66,000 in St. Tammany, 3,000 in Iberia and St. Mary Parishes, 700 in Washington Parish and 350 in central Louisiana.


Evacuees - Stay Away

Governor Kathleen Blanco urged southeast Louisiana residents to stay where they were and not attempt to return home until local authorities can assess the damage.


Hundreds trapped in flood waters...

Mayor: 200 trapped on Ninth Ward rooftops; bodies floating in Bywater, Eastover


Taking a break - post news in comments

I've got to get out of this hotel room for a while, it's been 8 straight hours of watching tv and I think I'm gonna break my brain if I don't get out for a while. Please post any new news or anything that is of interest in comments, I'll be back later this afternoon.


Seeking specific damage information in New Orleans

I'm trying to find specific info on line, and not having much luck. If you all have any good resources, please post them in comments.

Live streaming video


Great hurricane Katrina pictures

There's quite a few to dig through here, but there are some astonishing pics on Yahoo.

Thanks to the DC Connection for the link.


Incredible new news from

It's a little difficult to get through to the site:

Councilman Oliver Thomas said he had received 120 distress calls from people in the Ninth Ward trapped by the storm. He said crews can not get to these people until hurricane force winds cease, the guess for that time frame is about 2 p.m.

Karen Swensen reports that Charity Hospital lost its windows on the 4th floor and that patients are being huddled in the hallways.

Senator Walter Boasso of St. Bernard Parish says there is 12 feet of water in most of the parish, up to the second floor in many homes.

Reports of 3-4 feet of water in Lakeview.

Apartment building on Wright Avenue in Terrytown has collapsed with people inside, according to Jefferson Parish Sheriff Harry Lee. Rescue crews have not been able to get to the scene as of 9:30 a.m.

Karen Swensen says there is 3 feet of water downtown near the Hyatt. She reports several office windows coming out whole from buildings.


Superdome Integrity

CNN is reporting some roof problems in the Superdome. The latest statewide press conference reports osme leaking, but the strucure is sound. The damages are minor according to state officials.

Update 12:12 PM EDT: CNN Reports from outside the superdome that the membrane that stretches across the roof to help protect it from rain is mostly gone, lots of it is hanging off of the building. Water levels around the building are reportedly receeding which would be a very positive sign regarding the integrity of the pumping structures. Hopefully, I'm accurate in that thought.

Update 10:26 EDT: Brian Williams of MSNBC is in the Superdome, reporting two holes about 7 feet by 7 feet. They are small compared to the size of the dome, and evacuees are moving to other areas in a rather orderly fashion. Brian Williams has reported a "tremendous boom" on the roof, that the wind is shifting and approaching the dome from another direction. Great coverage on MSNBC.

Update 10:17 EDT:

Ed Reams of CNN affiliate WDSU reported that the structure has begun leaking as the winds damaged the roof letting daylight and rainwater in the darkened arena.
"I can see daylight straight up from inside the Superdome," Reams reported.
National Guard troops moved people to the other side of the dome. Others were moving beneath the concrete-reinforced terrace level.


New Live Video Stream

This is a great site, streaming seems to be more stable (at least in Talahassee) than wwl:


Flooding reports - New Orleans

I'll centralize this to make it easier for future tracking...

11:49 AM EDT: "Scanner traffic is busy with calls of rising water, including 18 inches and rising against the levee in the French Quarter. Dispatchers questioning officers on the scene, trying to determine if there is a break in the river levee, or if water is pouring over the top. Independently, NOLA has received a flooding alert for the French Market area.Fairly heavy street flooding in front and behind the Times-Picayune . . . water appears about knee deep, whipped by the steady wind into whitecaps and breakers. Water is hubcap deep on the furthest vehicles in the employee parking lot, and rising quickly."


Building collapses downtown New Orleans

Update 3:14 PM EDT: This appears to be a brick structure that is on the downtown side of Poydras Street, Lake side of S. Rampart Street. It also doesn't appear to be totally collapsed, but a good part of the brick structure has crushed some cars that were parked near it.


"In downtown New Orleans, buildings have collapsed, windows are blowing out of high-rises, and hotel guests are huddling in dark hallways."

Unfortuantely they don't give any indication of what buildings. I'll post more when I find it.


Mississippi gulf coast

Reports are of several feet of water on scenic Highway 90 along the Mississippi gulf coast, with some reports of boats being pushed inland.

Update 11:43 AM EDT: I can't find any direct links to the video, but if you go to you can find them on the home page of their site. They're all Javascript, and will open in a new window (shut off your pop-up blocker if you're running one and want to watch the videos)


Replays of Betsy and Camille with Residents on rooftops

"WGNO, reporter Susan Roesgen, who is with the mayor at the Hyatt hotel, said New Orleans police had received more than 100 calls about people in the area trapped on their roofs. "

I can't tell you how many stories we have heard of families who keep hatchets and axes in the attics of their houses (or shotguns for that matter) so they could cut out onto their rooftops in the event of rising water. I guess it's starting to happen...


Houma, LA

Images on MSNBC are showing significant structural damage to homes and businesses around Houma, LA.


Evacuee's fiance's email

For her family and friends, her email is down. Please use her temporary email at if you want to email with her.


New Live Video

CNN has some great new live shots downtown. There are several inches of water in the area, along with lots of debris and wind. Flooding is nothing like the doomsday scenario that was projected, but the wind is blowing out tons of windows from downtown buildings and hotels.

More soon.


Levee Breach - Industrial Canal

WWLTV is reporting a levee breach on the industrial canal in St. Bernard, in the same area that flooded during Hurricane Betsy so many years to go. More info as it is available.

Update 10:02 AM EDT: Levee breach is at Tennessee street on the Chalmette side of the industrial canal. National Weather Service has issued a flash flood advisory, flooding of 3-8 feet expected.


Hyatt Hotel - Downtown New Orleans

Carl Quintanilla on MSNBC deserves an award for the images and sounds that he is bringing us from downtown New Orleans. They are currently broadcasting live from an alley, and you can see scores of windows on the Hyatt that have been broken, with the curtians blowing in the wind. There is trash strewn throughout the streets, but very little water on the ground. If there is any positive to be taken away from this situation, that is it.

Superdome is now without power as is most of New Orleans. The back-up systems are keeping on some lighting and essential services, but the air conditioning is down.


St. Bernard parish

Parish official at St. Bernard government complex building, reporting loss of power, loss of water service. The roof is starting to peel off, and some windows are breaking where the shutters have been peeled away from the windows.

Chalmette High School Gym roof is beginning to be compomised, creating problems for those staying at shelter. St. Bernard High School is having similar problems.


Entergy - LA

Approx 317,000 households without power.


Latest Position

29.5 N, 89.5 W. This is a slight shift to the East, again more good news in a bad situation. The major storm surge is now forecast for the Mississippi gulf coast.


Best of a Worst-Case Scenario

Dr. Walter Maestri with Jefferson Parish Emergency Operations is on is reporting that he is expecting the eyewall to pass to the East of New Orleans, which would have the significant effect of having mostly wind damage in New Orleans, not storm surge damage. The impact so far has not been nearly as bad as they had prepared for. Entergy reported at 5AM that power outages exceeded the outages for Tropical Storm Cindy (which was ~260,ooo households). If you're watching the major news stations and have a high-speed connection, get on this stream. It's much better than the sensational crap that is coming out of the majors right now.

More soon.


NHC Advisory 26 A

8AM CDT, Eyewall is at 29.1 N, 89.6W. (New Orleans is basically at 30N, 90W). Motion is North at 15 miles per hour, gradual turn to the North-NorthEast later today. Maximum sustained winds 145 MPH.


Grand Isle, LA

According to the mayor (currently live on WWLTV.COM streaming), at 3:30 AM there was about 5 feet of water underneath* City Hall, and some leaks from the roof (they had 6 feet from Hurricane Betsy). The report had the water coming in from "back bay", not from the gulf, which would further support the eye making landfall to the east of the small island.

The mayor of Grand Isle evacuated to Lockport. He is reporting detiriorating weather in Lockport, and they have been out of power since approx 1:30 AM. Rain is off and on, wind is steady but not gusty.

*For those not familiar with Grand Isle, all of the structures that have been built in recent years (such as city hall) are all about 15-20 feet above ground at the least.

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