Tuesday, August 30, 2005
New Orleans 1718-2005
Good-Bye New Orleans
Like 9/11 or the Tsunami, the scope fo the disaster that struck the Gulf Coast is hard to grasp. Sometimes a story opens a door and crystallizes for a moment, the utter devastation and pain of the victims. This trigger moment is different for each of us, but last night while watching the news, it hit me.
CNN was doing a story on the brave men and women of the Coast Guard who are working to rescue folks trapped on roofs. One of the rescuers was talking about the emotional toll it takes. While he's happy to be rescuing the people, he was heart broken that they are under orders to leave pets behind. The story ended with a shot of a helicopter pulling away and a goofy looking blood-hound mix cowering on a roof top. That opened the door for me, and the scope of the loss poured in. Personal effects can be replaced, houses can be rebuilt, but precious life cannot.
What is clear at this point is that unlike Gulf Port or Biloxi, where folks can start reconstruction, New Orleans is being abandoned.
New Orleans was founded in 1718 by Jean Baptiste Le Moyne, sieur de Bienville, and named for the regent of France, Philippe II, duc d'Orleans. It remained a French colony until 1763, when it was transferred to the Spanish. In 1800, Spain ceded it back to France; in 1803, New Orleans, along with the entire Louisiana Purchase, was sold by Napoleon I to the United States. It was the site of the Battle of New Orleans (1815) in the War of 1812. During the Civil War the city was besieged by Union ships under Adm. David Farragut; it fell on Apr. 25, 1862. On August 30, 2005 after flood waters breach the city's levies, the mayor ordered the entire city evacuated, ending for now, over 300 years of permanent settlement.
It is very bad. After work today I am going to visit a fellow blogger, Lisa, who is from NOLA and decided to take refuge at Disney (I'm in Orlando) with her family. She's got limited communication and only dial-up service she has to pay for, and no idea how long it'll be before she finds out anything about her home. I'm not sure what I am going to say to her about her prospects, though I've been researching it all morning. And I printed out FEMA packets and info. Short of that...well...its a disaster.
Very, very bad indeed. Lisa may want to just consider staying in Orlando...Would be intersted in posting any of her toughts if she needs an outlet.
Nah, for now she's still posting on her blog despite having to pay for it. There's a couple updates there. If you feel like it, her blog's at:Post a Comment