I remember seeing on the news Saturday afternoon that the mayor of New Orleans issued an evacuation order for the whole city and that the governor issued an order for the folks to evacuate in the areas in and around the city. However, human nature being what it is, only 80% of the residents took heed and left while the other 20% stayed behind.
I've seen a few of those very brief "interviews" with some of those who stayed behind and they were saying things like, "I never thought it would be this bad. I have been through huricanes before and they never did anything like this." And one of my favorites, "We decided to take a nap for a short time to let the roads empty a bit and I guess we fell asleep becaue when I woke up the water was already coming into the bedroom. My husband and I had to go up on the roof to not be drowned."
I suppose what I getting at is the good people of New Orleans had been told to leave; however, like usual, there are far too many people who don't believe it will be too bad or believe the government is just trying to show them who the boss is. I also think that some of the folks who stayed did so for the possibility of looting and getting a lot of stuff if it did prove to be as bad as predicted.
I've seen folks complaining that the New Orleans police and firemen haven't been doing enough to find survivors; that the police and other public safety people are not picking up bodies of loved ones when survivors are with the body; that the police are doing enough to get drinking water and food to people still in the various neighborhoods; and that the police are spending too much time looking for survivors instead of stopping the looting. Those poor police, firemen, and national guardsmen trying to do all this have an impossible task at the moment because they can't do it all.
Roads are impassible, bridges are out, power lines are down, buildings are down or falling down, trees are down or falling down, and water is 20'-30-' deep in much of the city making it virtually impossible for rescue or other operations using vehicles to move into, let alone around in, most of the city. And the downed power lines, power poles, trees, buildings, and those falling down or in danger of falling down make it extremely difficult and very dangerous to get into most of the city in small boats.
I saw a report this evening that one of the dike breaches was plugged through using military helicoptersand and that most of the water coming through that breach was stopped from coming through. This will allow that part of the city to lower the water level; however, since it is below sea level it won't simply drain away, it will have to be pumped out. And since it is going to be weeks is not months for power to be restored to the city, the water will have to be pumped out by diesel or gasoline powered pumps flown in with helicopters or barged in. Unfortunately, barges cannot get into these areas yet because of all the debris, damaged and broken boats, oil rigs, pieces of buildings, etc. As the mayor of New Orleans has said, it is going to be 12 to 16 weeks before people will be able to return to the city, and at least a month before buildings, roads, and infastructure damage can be assessed.
I've seen several news reports that 10,000 to 15,000 national guard troups have been deployed and that they are in the greater New Orleans area at this time. An aircraft carrier has been deployed to the New Orleans area to function as a command center because nearly all of the city is under water and has been pretty much decimated.
I've also saw the the American Red Cross has gotten $15 million in donations from individuals as of noon today for the New Orleans relief effort.
I agree wholeheartedly, if corporate America would donate supplies, cash, and/or manpower to help clean up this huge disaster and to help the people of New Orleans, it would be a huge help. Perhaps we will see some of this occur. My prayer is for people accross the US to rise to the occasion and show compassion and mercy to those who have been made refugees and to provide money, manpower, food, clothing, building materials, and equipment to the city and people that have been so decimated.
Unfortunately, it seems like greed is already rearing its ugly head in the form of price gouging for food, motel rooms, etc. for the now homeless people of New Orleans and the Mississipi Gulf cities and towns. I've also seen fuel prices going well over $3.00/gallon in places like North Dakota. And my wife's sister who lives in Chicago sent us a photo today of a gas station in her neighborhood on Chicago's west side with gasoline prices of $5.87 for reg, $5.97 for mid-grade, and $6.17 for premium. I sincerely hope the folks who ingage in price gouging are prosecuted for such dispicable and greedy behavior.