Tuesday, 6 September 2005

Today in New Orleans

Some updates below on things in New Orleans:
  • Our own Herald has the story of some NZers who were caught in New Orleans. "Life has been horrible," one says, "I've seen so many things I've never seen before." She said the national guard had arrived the previous day and they had finally slept for more than a few minutes. "It was too dangerous before that." The friends said they had been forced to smash their way into stores for drinks.
  • The Boston Globe has "a list of famous spots in the city, and how they are faring, though the full extent of the damage won't be known for some time."
  • Updated aerial photographs of the the areas affected by Katrina have become available at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Katrina site and Sciponius.com has a Wiki map "intended for the use of people affected by Hurricane Katrina who have or are trying to find information about the status of specific locations affected by the storm and its aftermath." Try not to clog their bandwidth. [Hat tip Marginal Revolution]
  • "Under the hot Louisiana sun, the sweltering nights with no air conditioning and only the hope of a breeze,... and in a week in which the temperature topped 90 degrees day after brutal day... In the words of Algiers resident Nicholas Beninate, 'Ice is like gold.'" And ice is arriving according to the New Orleans Time Picayune; in some places there is a feast of it, in some places famine, but it is arriving.
  • And not just ice, there's power too. According to The Interdictor, "Various buildings in the CBD are getting power based on priority. The Pan Am building across the street from us just got power. The W has been powered up again. The Double Tree has power. The Dome has power. According to Brian, we're behind a couple of hospitals but we could be getting power in a matter of hours."
  • Alan Howard has a timeline comparing the New Orleans tragedy with the San Francisco earthquake, which doesn't look good. The only thing I might say is that the scale of the present disaster is unprecedented; this is not the Great Fires of San Francisco or London or Chicago, this is Pompeii or Carthage or the Great Plague. Equally, it is unprecedented and unexpected that rescuers would be fired upon by those intended to be rescued.
  • But it's not all anarchy. There are some police in New Orleans. It's just they're not all taking their job seriously, some have been 'shopping.' See the video here. That said, in an emergency it is entirely appropriate to acquire the necessaries of life by such means, provided one repay later what was taken--but not when on duty, if indeed they were. (Ayn Rand's argument for this here; scroll down to the end.)
  • Pumping the water back out of New Orleans might take longer than the eighty days claimed by the Army Corps of Engineers due to the state of the water, and objections from the EPA to that water going back into Lake Ponchartrain. It's got to go somewhere, and there's an awful lot of it...enough at its peak to cover the entire United Kingdom. Sig has posted pictures here (top of page) and here (bottom of page) of some of the water in the streets--it does, as The Interdictor says, look "disgusting."

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