Live From Hell

The indispensible blog of the moment is Survival Of New Orleans, being written live by a former soldier who’s holed up with a crew of data warehousers high up in a Central Business District office tower. It’s riveting and disturbing stuff, here’s the latest:

1. There is a mass exodus for the Mississippi River Bridges (Crescent City Connection) from the CBD. We are not sure what’s going on, but we are assuming until we hear differently that people are fleeing the city. So if you’re watching the feeds, that’s what you’re seeing — throngs of people moving toward the bridges.

2. Cannot confirm any of the following: Superdome fire, 2 shot police officers this morning. We hear all kinds of stuff, but no way to verify those.

3. Can confirm: The National Guard, FEMA, the NOPD, and City authorities DO NOT have the city under control. There are live radio feeds for the National Guard comms and NOPD comms which have been circulating the web, and you can listen to the chaos and disarray for yourselves. I am not going to post the links, but I’m sure others have and will. I doubt the government’s ability to reestablish order without a full active duty military presence to crush the mob mentality. This of course will mean no civil rights and everyone being treated equally — as a criminal. Rock | Hard Place.

MORE: Click below for a long message by a friend who lived in New Orleans for several years, and has been trying to get back there to assist in the rescue efforts:

Message begins:

Talked to a friend of mine who is down there in the middle of it.

Body count will be high.

So far the masses are doing well, but it is starting to come undone. Low deliveries of water, food, etc. Water quality will diminish rapidly as the particle count of human waste, chemicals, etc. mounts. There is no water flow. The city is a bathtub. You do the math.

Fed is dropping the ball on basic necessities such as water, portolets, you name it. Woefully unprepared and nobody seems to be in charge or have the gumption to get it done.

Louisiana politicians should be absolutely raising hell right now. Lots of people including yours truly have volunteered to bring (including food, generators, food, etc., to be self sufficient for a week or so) the most important thing which is a boat but have been told NO under no uncertain terms. “My” town is under water, people are in critical condition, and I have skill sets and assets – including a boat which will come out of the hole in 14 incles of water – and we are being denied the opportunity to help. And quite frankly, that REALLY PISSES ME OFF.

Military is stepping up and bringing considerable skills and assets to the table. Had they been listened to earlier, lots of logistical issues would have been resolved. IOW’s, the bureaucrats are getting moved to the sidelines but “turf issues” are not going quietly into the night.

That sucks.

Gangs running around and a bunch of those guys are fixing to get killed. The cops have been given a “take no prisoners” mandate. If the guy who fired on the chopper this a.m. gets ID’d, he’ll probably not be arrested. You may read anything but leniency into that comment.

Looters taking food and water are being ignored and rightfully so. A couple of store owners have basically gone in and opened the doors and said “get it all” for foodstuffs. One guy was standing there with his kids and guns giving his store away. Tremendous compassion among some, but then there are the 2%’ers.

Biggest behavior problems are among those who are going cold turkey and there are quite a few. Cops figure that is going to get worse and with it the associated problems.

Folks, it will take a decade to fix New Orleans and the Mississippi coast. Devastation there is just horrendous. Just got in touch finally with a friend who lives on the Pearl River just above highway 98. He is at elevation +14 and had 6′ of water in his house.

Many areas with water will recede naturally, but quite a bit of New Orleans will be un-inhabitable for up to six months. Key will be getting power restored and the pumps going. BUT, most if not all of the pump station power centers will have to be replaced/rewired first so basically N.O. will be pumped out with whatever they can bring in. The logistical challenges of this are just mind boggling.

Comments on the mayor – doing all he can given the fact that he has an administration and bureaucracy (sp) that is 95% useless and the power to do ANYTHING is coming from the state and feds and they can’t get their doodoo together. My take and that from those close is that the guy is doing a great job all things considered.

Imagine trying to resolve the 9-11 mess if NYC was under six feet of water, all comms were out, the interstates were flooded and the majority of the infrastructure more or less completely out of commission.

Prayers and support will be needed for all.


6 Responses to “Live From Hell”

  1. Below The Beltway Says:

    Katrina Aftermath XV — New Orleans Comes Apart

    Will Collier at Vodkapundit provide a link to a blog called Survival of New Orleans being written by a former soldier who is in an office tower in the New Orleans business district. The entry from 10:12am this morning N.O. time has these highlights:

  2. Will Allen Says:

    The loss of life in this hideous situation was largely set in stone when so many, from N.O. to Mobile, did not evacuate. To the degree that individuals stayed put of their own volition, there isn’t much that could be done. Forcibly removing thousands while a hurricane bears down simply isn’t doable. To the degree that people were willing to evacuate but lacked the means, that is a failure of government. I have no idea where the dividing line lies, nor of how to divy up responsibility between city, state, and national governments.

    I lived in hurricane country for five years and always traveled a minimum of 200 miles whenever an evacuation was called, which happened four times. I simply cannot fathom non-critical personnel who have the means to evacuate, and fail to do so, when a huge hurricane lies off the coast.

    This isn’t to imply, of course, that any effort should be spared now, or that criticism of the relief effort is off the board. However, people need to have it somehow driven into their somewhat thick skulls that a mandatory evacuation means that one has to get the f*** out of Dodge, and one has to be prepared to do it FAST, when one lives in such an area. Then government has to make detailed plans of how to provide transport to those who lack it. It’s a helluva cheaper than rescuing people from rooftops, and pulling bodies from the debris, after the fact.

  3. BumperStickerPolitix Says:

    **KATRINA** the Aftermath 3.1

    He’s right. Time to Federalize the area and declare martial law. This has gotten out of the hands of the local government such as it is.

  4. The Glittering Eye Says:

    Eye on Katrina

    There are a number of posts about the hurricane and its aftermath that I think you’ll be interested in:

    Winds of Change has a pair of excellent essays on Katrina this morning. The first is a rather pessimistic assessment of the actual situat…

  5. Kimberley Chee Says:

    Why do people keep blaming the feds? Disaster preparedness is first and foremost a LOCAL responsibility? Why are the mayor of New Orleans and the Governor so pathetically unprepared in a post 9-11 world? What have they been doing with the tens of millions of federal funds received for such preparedness?

  6. Classical Values Says:

    Which Convention is to blame?

    Because of all that’s going on, something doesn’t seem right about writing satire today. But something never feels right about satire, and I think this issue is important enough that perhaps an overabundance of satirical logic is the best way…

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