Governor says everyone must leave New Orleans
Wednesday, August 31, 2005
NEW ORLEANS — The governor of Louisiana
says everyone needs to leave New Orleans due to flooding from
Hurricane Katrina. "We've sent buses in. We will be either
loading them by boat, helicopter, anything that is
necessary," Gov. Kathleen Blanco said. Army engineers
struggled without success to plug New Orleans' breached levees
with sandbags, and Blanco said Wednesday the situation was
worsening, leaving no choice but to evacuate.
"The challenge is an engineering
nightmare," Blanco said on morning TV. "The National
Guard has been dropping sandbags into it, but it's like dropping
it into a black hole."
As the waters continued to rise in New
Orleans, four Navy ships raced toward the Gulf Coast with
drinking water and other emergency supplies, and Red Cross
workers from across the country converged on the devastated
region. The Red Cross reported it had about 40,000 people in 200
shelters across the area.
Officials said the death toll from
Hurricane Katrina had reached at least 110 in Mississippi, while
Louisiana put aside the counting of the dead to concentrate on
rescuing the living, many of whom were still trapped on rooftops
and in attics.
Blanco acknowledged that looting was a
severe problem but said that officials had to focus on
survivors. "We don't like looters one bit, but first and
foremost is search and rescue," she said.
To repair one of the levees holding back
Lake Pontchartrain, officials late Tuesday dropped 3,000-pound
sandbags from helicopters and hauled dozens of 15-foot concrete
barriers into the breach. Maj. Gen. Don Riley of the U.S. Army
Corps of Engineers said officials also had a more audacious
plan: finding a barge to plug the 500-foot hole.
Riley said it could take close to a month
to get the water out of the city. If the water rises a few feet
higher, it could also wipe out the water system for the whole
city, said New Orleans' homeland security chief, Terry Ebbert.
Blanco said she wanted the Superdome -
which had become a shelter of last resort for about 20,000
people - evacuated within two days, though was still unclear
where the people would go. The air conditioning inside the
Superdome was out, the toilets were broken, and tempers were
rising in the sweltering heat. "Conditions are degenerating
rapidly," she said. "It's a very, very desperate
The Federal Emergency Management Agency was
considering putting people on cruise ships, in tent cities,
mobile home parks, and so-called floating dormitories - boats
the agency uses to house its own employees. A helicopter view of the devastation over
Louisiana and Mississippi revealed people standing on black
rooftops, baking in the sunshine while waiting for rescue boats. "I can only imagine that this is what
Hiroshima looked like 60 years ago," said Mississippi Gov.
Haley Barbour after touring the destruction by air Tuesday.
All day long, rescuers in boats and
helicopters plucked bedraggled flood refugees from rooftops and
attics. Louisiana Lt. Gov. Mitch Landrieu said 3,000 people have
been rescued by boat and air, some placed shivering and wet into
helicopter baskets. They were brought by the truckload into
shelters, some in wheelchairs and some carrying babies, with
stories of survival and of those who didn't make it.
"Oh my God, it was hell," said
Kioka Williams, who had to hack through the ceiling of the
beauty shop where she worked as floodwaters rose in New Orleans'
low-lying Ninth Ward. "We were screaming, hollering,
flashing lights. It was complete chaos."
Looting broke out in some New Orleans
neighborhoods, prompting authorities to send more than 70
additional officers and an armed personnel carrier into the
city. One police officer was shot in the head by a looter but
was expected to recover, authorities said.
On New Orleans' Canal Street, dozens of
looters ripped open the steel gates on clothing and jewelry
stores and grabbed merchandise. In Biloxi, Miss., people picked
through casino slot machines for coins and ransacked other
businesses. In some cases, the looting was in full view of
police and National Guardsmen.
Officials said it was simply too early to
estimate a death toll. One Mississippi county alone said it had
suffered at least 100 deaths, and officials are "very, very
worried that this is going to go a lot higher," said Joe
Spraggins, civil defense director for Harrison County, home to
Biloxi and Gulfport. In neighboring Jackson County, officials
said at least 10 deaths were blamed on the storm.
Several of dead in Harrison County were
from a beachfront apartment building that collapsed under a
25-foot wall of water as Hurricane Katrina slammed the Gulf
Coast with 145-mph winds Monday. Louisiana officials said many
were feared dead there, too, making Katrina one of the most
punishing storms to hit the United States in decades.
Blanco asked residents to spend Wednesday
"That would be the best thing to calm
our spirits and thank our Lord that we are survivors," she
said. "Slowly, gradually, we will recover; we will survive;
we will rebuild."
Across Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama,
more than 1 million residents remained without electricity, some
without clean drinking water. Officials said it could be weeks,
if not months, before most evacuees will be able to return.
Emergency medical teams from across the
country were sent into the region and President Bush cut short
his Texas vacation Tuesday to return to Washington to focus on
the storm damage.
Federal Emergency Management Agency
director Mike Brown warned that structural damage to homes,
diseases from animal carcasses and chemicals in floodwaters made
it unsafe for residents to come home anytime soon.
The sweltering city of 480,000 had no drinkable water, and the
electricity could be out for weeks.
Katrina, which was downgraded to a tropical
depression, packed winds around 30 mph as it moved through the
Ohio Valley early Wednesday, with the potential to dump 8 inches
of rain and spin off deadly tornadoes.
The remnants of Katrina spawned bands of
storms and tornadoes across Georgia that caused at least two
deaths, multiple injuries and leveled dozens of buildings. A
tornado damaged 13 homes near Marshall, Va.
Associated Press reporters Holbrook Mohr,
Mary Foster, Allen G. Breed, Adam Nossiter and Jay Reeves
contributed to this report.
* * *
The Katrina Papers: A Journal of Trauma and Recovery
By Jerry W.
* * *
* * *
Hopes and Prospects
By Noam Chomsky
In this urgent new book, Noam Chomsky
surveys the dangers and prospects of our
early twenty-first century. Exploring
challenges such as the growing gap
between North and South, American
exceptionalism (including under
President Barack Obama), the fiascos of
Iraq and Afghanistan, the U.S.-Israeli
assault on Gaza, and the recent
financial bailouts, he also sees hope
for the future and a way to move
forward—in the democratic wave in Latin
America and in the global solidarity
movements that suggest "real progress
toward freedom and justice." Hopes and
Prospects is essential reading for
anyone who is concerned about the
primary challenges still facing the
human race. "This is a classic Chomsky
work: a bonfire of myths and lies,
sophistries and delusions. Noam Chomsky
is an enduring inspiration all over the
world—to millions, I suspect—for the
simple reason that he is a truth-teller
on an epic scale. I salute him." —John
In dissecting the rhetoric and logic of
American empire and class domination, at
home and abroad, Chomsky continues a
longstanding and crucial work of
elucidation and activism . . .the
writing remains unswervingly rational
and principled throughout, and lends
bracing impetus to the real alternatives
* * * *
Blacks in Hispanic Literature: Critical Essays
Blacks in Hispanic Literature is a
collection of fourteen essays by scholars and
creative writers from Africa and the Americas.
Called one of two significant critical works on
Afro-Hispanic literature to appear in the late
1970s, it includes the pioneering studies of
Carter G. Woodson and
Valaurez B. Spratlin, published in the 1930s, as
well as the essays of scholars whose interpretations
were shaped by the Black aesthetic. The early
essays, primarily of the Black-as-subject in Spanish
medieval and Golden Age literature, provide an
historical context for understanding 20th-century
creative works by African-descended, Hispanophone
writers, such as Cuban
Nicolás Guillén and Ecuadorean poet, novelist,
Adalberto Ortiz, whose essay analyzes the
significance of Negritude in Latin America. This
collaborative text set the tone for later
conferences in which writers and scholars worked
together to promote, disseminate, and critique the
literature of Spanish-speaking people of African
descent. . . .
Cited by a
literary critic in 2004 as "the seminal study in the
field of Afro-Hispanic Literature . . . on which
most scholars in the field 'cut their teeth'."
* * *
* * *
(Books, DVDs, Music, and more)
update 12 January 2012