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In retrospect, why wasn't New Orleans better prepared for this? It would seem logical that at some point, the city would be faced with this kind of catestrophic storm. The city is already below sea level, you'd think they would have adequately planned for even this level of extreme flooding. It was only a matter of time before it happened, no?

(BTW - I heard that the city/state petitioned the federal government for special funding to more adequately plan for this type of thing and the Bush admin. refused!)

Also - I don't understand why any power lines are above ground. They can lay cable across the ocean, why are they still putting power lines above ground. It makes NO sense. They've said that some people will be without power for 3 months!!! This wouldn't be an issue if the lines were underground.
I live in florida...and had to deal with two hurricanes last year. I think they were both Cat.3's.

One of the hurricanes hit Haiti, causing devastation, and death. The same hurricane hit us.........and although we didnt lose our home, etc., we were without electricity for 7 days, and 5 days for the other.....(our lines are underground).

Imagine dealing with that in 90 degree temperature........We lost hundreds of dollars in food, and some had issues with flooding,.........but we were ok, and couldnt complain.

I can only say this........no matter how much planning, when a hurricane is a cat. 5........nothing can stand in its way. The best thing a city can do....is prepare to evacuate.....to save lives.

My prayers are with them.....
I think New Orleans was like many other states, trying to juggle around money to meet the people's basic needs with nothing really left for prevention. They just hope and pray that they'll get around to it one day, and unfortunately they didn't (or were unable to).

Every year, the scientists hand out their predictions: California is going to snap off into the ocean, Southern Florida will sink underneath a huge wave, etc. We have a long history of not preparing for things until after they have already happened. Then we pour money into prevention and the shit never happens again. sck

quote:
Also - I don't understand why any power lines are above ground.


Yes you do...$$. Razz
I posted it earlier..
But did anyone else notice the parking lot that was full of school buses?

I hate to get niggerish' on ya'll but when I heard alot of people complaining that they could not find a car to get out of toem cuz' they were allready rented, I alomost flipped...

I would have found some transpertation, a UHAUL, school bus, city bus..

I would have gotten out...
Frenchy, I am talking about B4 the storm hit..
When they were telling people to get the hell out of town...

I heard a story about a woman who could not find a car, cuz' they were all rented, so she paid a limo' driver to take her to Chicago for $3700...

All I am saying is that each of those buses should have been full and on their way to Houston...
I can't understand why people haven't been given anything to eat or drink in days. I'm hoping that my brother and his family are ok. He works at Charity Hospital and that's where he took his family. When he contacted us on Tuesday (Aug 30th), he said that Charity Hospital was being evacuated by the National Guard. My brother's cell phone goes to voice mail and Charity's phone number is busy.

I've read reports that stated people with guns went into a hospital in search of drugs and supplies. Hopefully, my brother will contact us again soon.
An alumni listserv that I belong to is recommending that folks put their energy into protesting and calling elected officials non-stop. This is not to say that we shouldn't give money. I have and will continue to do so, its just that much, more more has to be done.

Apparently, President Bush flew over the disaster area yesterday to survey the damage, but did not stop. People are predicting that if there is not an outpouring of help and human volunteers, we will face an epidemic. No sanitation, high heat, corpses lying out in the open, no medical care, and filthy water will give rise to cholera, typhoid fever, etc.
If you work for a major corporation, they may have a donation matching program for Katrina Relief. I know that Dow Jones is doing this, but I'm not sure about others.

A friend just sent this list of ways to help:

>>How to help
>>
>>Advocate staff report
>>
>>American Red Cross - http://www.redcross.org
>>
>>Pointe Coupee Parish - The Pointe Coupee Relief
>>Fund account has been set up at Guaranty Bank
>>to purchase medicine and special needs supplies
>>for the evacuees in the parish. The account
>>number is
>>08-1563-2. (225) 638-3192 and (225) 978-8367.
>>
>>People with boats - The Louisiana Department of
>>Wildlife and Fisheries wants potential
>>volunteers offering to use their personal
>>watercraft to call the department before going
>>to the rescue area. They must be able to
>>transport and operate their boats, have
>>provisions for three days - including fuel,
>>food, water and bedding - and be able-bodied
>>and capable of lifting 100 pounds. The
>>telephone numbers are 225-765-2706 or
>>1-800-256-2749, ext. 0. Those lines will be
>>answered from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., weekdays.
>>
>>
>>
>>Telephone numbers - Patty Rives, coordinator of
>>community outreach for the Baton Rouge Crisis
>>Intervention Center, said residents can call
>>211 from telephone land lines to get
>>information on shelters or to volunteer. From
>>cell phones, calls should be made to (800)
>>749-2673. That line will be manned from 8 a.m.
>>to 8 p.m. daily.
>>
>>
>>
>>Women's Hope Center - The Women's Hope Center
>>in Denham Springs needs diapers, wipes,
>>formula, baby food, juice, car seats, baby
>>bedding, new baby bottles, baby clothing.
>>Anything a mother and baby/toddler can use.
>>Drop off at 222 Veteran's Blvd. Suite C off
>>Range Ave. today, Friday and Tuesday from 9:30
>>a.m. to 3 p.m. Call (225) 665-0214 or (225)
>>665-0246. Monetary donations can be mailed to:
>>P.O. Box 1240, Walker, La. 70785.
>>
>>
>>
>>Ascension Parish - Ascension Credit Union, 2430
>>S. Burnside Ave., Gonzales, is accepting
>>donations for Hurricane Katrina victims at the
>>Lamar-Dixon Expo Center. Monetary
>>contributions also can be made to Operation
>>Good Neighbor, United Community Bank, P.O. Box
>>850, Gonzales, La., 70707-0850. A donation
>>information line will be activated Friday. The
>>number will be (225) 647-GIVE. Those wanting to
>>volunteer should call 211. Blankets, pillows,
>>toiletries, clothing, baby diapers, toys,
>>bottles and other necessities also are needed.
>>Call (225) 621-2800 or visit
>>trey@ascensioncu.org.
>>
>>
>>
>>Lafourche Parish - Kajuns for Katrina,
>>spearheaded by state Rep. Karen St. Germain,
>>D-Pierre Part, and the Pierre Part Knights of
>>Columbus Council 5352, is preparing meals and
>>collecting truckloads of relief items for New
>>Orleans area refugees sheltered at Nicholls
>>State University in Thibodaux.
>>
>>Residents may drop off clothing and bedding at
>>Pierre Part Middle School, hygiene items and
>>nonperishable food products at Too's Seafood
>>and Steak House and monetary donations made to
>>the Kajuns for Katrina fund at any Hibernia
>>National Bank branch. (985) 252-0100.
>>
>>
>>
>>Registered nurses - Baton Rouge General Medical
>>Center needs registered nurses. These are paid
>>nursing assignments. (225) 381-6464 or visit
>>www.brnurse.com or http://www.brgeneral.org .
>>
>>
>>
>>United Blood Services - Donors who are at least
>>17 years old can donate blood from 9 a.m. to
>>6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday at the Baton
>>Rouge center, 8234 One Calais, off Essen Lane
>>near I-10, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. today through
>>Saturday at the Mall of Louisiana and from noon
>>to 6 p.m. Sunday at the mall. Bring photo
>>identification. (225) 769-7233.
>>
>>
>>
>>LifeShare Blood Centers - Donors who are at
>>least 17 years old can donate blood from 8 a.m.
>>to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday at the Baton
>>Rouge General Medical Center Mid City, 3600
>>Florida Blvd. and from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
>>at the General's Bluebonnet campus, 8585
>>Picardy Ave. (225) 383-7728. There are also
>>centers in Alexandria, Bossier City, Monroe,
>>Shreveport, Lake Charles and Beaumont, Texas.
>>
>>
>>
>>Baton Rouge Area Foundation - Tax deductible
>>donations to the Hurricane Katrina Displaced
>>Residents Fund and the Hurricane Katrina New
>>Orleans Recovery Fund are being accepted online
>>at http://www.brac.org. Donations by check should be
>>made out to the Baton Rouge Area Foundation and
>>mailed or delivered to 402 N. Fourth St., Baton
>>Rouge, La., 70802. (225) 387-6126.
>>
>>
>>
>>Operation Blessing - Tax deductible
>>contributions can be made to Operation
>>Blessing's Disaster Relief Fund by calling 1
>>(800) 730-2537. This organization is a
>>Salvation Army partner. Credit card donations
>>can be made by visiting http://www.ob.org
>>
>>
>>
>>Volunteers at LSU - Health-care volunteers are
>>needed at the Baton Rouge campus. Shoes and
>>men's clothing also are needed. New Orleans
>>area evacuees are expected to be at the Pete
>>Maravich Assembly Center and the Carl Maddox
>>Field House for several days.
>>To donate money for relief efforts or to volunteer, call:
>>America's Second Harvest 1 (800) 344-8070
>>Adventist Community Services 1 (800) 381-7171
>>Catholic Charities USA (703) 549-1390
The University of Illinois (and a few other universities and law schools) are going to take in Tulane undergrad and grad students, and allow them to complete their educations tuition-free (or as close to it as possible). Smile

This website: KatrinaHousing.org

has a list of people who have volunteered to open their homes to evacuated people. There are several places in every single state and quite a few hotels that are also offering free accomodations for up to a month. You can also sign up on the site to offer your place. Many people have indicated that they are willing to take these people in permanently and help them start over.

Its nice to get some good news amongst all the junk. Smile
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Aid offers pour in from around the globe


Rice: U.S. will accept assistance that ˜can help alleviate the suffering'

WASHINGTON - In a dramatic turnabout, the United States is now on the receiving end of help from around the world as some two dozen countries offer post-hurricane assistance.

Venezuela, a target of frequent criticism by the Bush administration, offered humanitarian aid and fuel. Venezuela's Citgo Petroleum Corp. pledged a $1 million donation for hurricane aid.

With offers from the four corners of the globe pouring in, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has decided "no offer that can help alleviate the suffering of the people in the afflicted area will be refused," State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said Thursday.

However, in Moscow, a Russian official said the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency had rejected a Russian offer to dispatch rescue teams and other aid.

Condolences and cash

On Tuesday, President Vladimir Putin sent condolences to President Bush and said Russia was prepared to help if asked.

Boats, aircraft, tents, blankets, generators, cash assistance and medical teams have been offered to the U.S. government in Washington or in embassies overseas.

Offers have been received from Russia, Japan, Canada, France, Honduras, Germany, Venezuela, Jamaica, Australia, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Greece, Hungary, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Mexico, China, South Korea, Israel, the United Arab Emirates, NATO and the Organization of American States, the spokesman said.

Israeli Ambassador Daniel Ayalon called Wednesday at the State Department to offer condolences and assistance. Israel is the largest recipient of U.S. aid, about $2.2 billion a year.

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has offered the U.S. hundreds of doctors, nurses, experts in trauma and natural disasters, NBC News has learned. Sharon has also offered field hospitals and medical kits as well as temporary housing and told Bush in a letter that the medical assistance and other help could be deployed within 24 hours.

Tempered expectations

Still, Bush told ABC-TV: "I'm not expecting much from foreign nations because we hadn't asked for it. I do expect a lot of sympathy and perhaps some will send cash dollars. But this country's going to rise up and take care of it."

"You know," he said, "we would love help, but we're going to take care of our own business as well, and there's no doubt in my mind we'll succeed. And there's no doubt in my mind, as I sit here talking to you, that New Orleans is going to rise up again as a great city."

Historically, the United States provides assistance to other countries experiencing earthquakes, floods and other disasters.

Germany, which was rebuilt after World War II largely by the U.S. Marshall Plan, offered its help in a telephone call to Rice.

"The German Government is prepared to do all that is humanly possible," the German embassy said. In his call, German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer assured Rice of Germany's solidarity with its American friends in a difficult time, the embassy said.

© 2005 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
quote:
"You know," he said, "we would love help, but we're going to take care of our own business as well, and there's no doubt in my mind we'll succeed. And there's no doubt in my mind, as I sit here talking to you, that New Orleans is going to rise up again as a great city."


That is just insane!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That is so heart-breakingly sad. I am just shattered to read that. People are offering much-needed help and he's effectively telling them we don't need it! I can't believe this! Why isn't there a huge outcry?!?! Jesus Christ, people are dying by the second and this jackass is turning away aid!

I have to get out of this thread.

Gwalks, I don't know if you've been able to find anything new, but a few moments ago I read that they were able to evacuate 40 people from Charity Hospital and that everyone in Intensive Care is out as well. God Bless.
The Real News
The following is the result of an interview I just conducted via cell phone with a New Orleans citizen stranded at the Convention Center. I don't know what you're hearing in the mainstream media or in the press conferences from the city and state officials, but here is the truth:

"Bigfoot" is a bar manager and DJ on Bourbon Street, and is a local personality and icon in the city. He is a lifelong resident of the city, born and raised. He rode out the storm itself in the Iberville Projects because he knew he would be above any flood waters. Here is his story as told to me moments ago. I took notes while he talked and then I asked some questions:


Three days ago, police and national guard troops told citizens to head toward the Crescent City Connection Bridge to await transportation out of the area. The citizens trekked over to the Convention Center and waited for the buses which they were told would take them to Houston or Alabama or somewhere else, out of this area.

It's been 3 days, and the buses have yet to appear.

Although obviously he has no exact count, he estimates more than 10,000 people are packed into and around and outside the convention center still waiting for the buses. They had no food, no water, and no medicine for the last three days, until today, when the National Guard drove over the bridge above them, and tossed out supplies over the side crashing down to the ground below. Much of the supplies were destroyed from the drop. Many people tried to catch the supplies to protect them before they hit the ground. Some offered to walk all the way around up the bridge and bring the supplies down, but any attempt to approach the police or national guard resulted in weapons being aimed at them.

There are many infants and elderly people among them, as well as many people who were injured jumping out of windows to escape flood water and the like -- all of them in dire straights.

Any attempt to flag down police results in being told to get away at gunpoint. Hour after hour they watch buses pass by filled with people from other areas. Tensions are very high, and there has been at least one murder and several fights. 8 or 9 dead people have been stored in a freezer in the area, and 2 of these dead people are kids.

The people are so desperate that they're doing anything they can think of to impress the authorities enough to bring some buses. These things include standing in single file lines with the eldery in front, women and children next; sweeping up the area and cleaning the windows and anything else that would show the people are not barbarians.

The buses never stop.

Before the supplies were pitched off the bridge today, people had to break into buildings in the area to try to find food and water for their families. There was not enough. This spurred many families to break into cars to try to escape the city. There was no police response to the auto thefts until the mob reached the rich area -- Saulet Condos -- once they tried to get cars from there... well then the whole swat teams began showing up with rifles pointed. Snipers got on the roof and told people to get back.

He reports that the conditions are horrendous. Heat, mosquitoes and utter misery. The smell, he says, is "horrific."

He says it's the slowest mandatory evacuation ever, and he wants to know why they were told to go to the Convention Center area in the first place; furthermore, he reports that many of them with cell phones have contacts willing to come rescue them, but people are not being allowed through to pick them up.


I have "Bigfoot"'s phone number and will gladly give it to any city or state official who would like to tell him how everything is under control.

Addendum: Bigfoot just called to report that "they" (the authorities) are cleaning up the dead bodies at the Convention Center right now.

http://www.livejournal.com/users/interdictor/2005/09/01/
Thanks Frenchy. There is still no news from my brother. I've emailed the Red Cross, a local radio station (two hosts), someone at the state level of government and someone that works for a non profit organization here in IL. Hopefully we will hear something soon.

My niece and nephew are probably sad and confused. They had to leave their two dogs behind. I'm not even sure that my brother still has food and water for his wife and children. I hope that they are safe and out of harms way.

I have another brother that's also emailing and posting info on message boards. Here's a link to craigslist for NOLA.

http://neworleans.craigslist.org/cgi-bin/search?areaID=...uery=charity&cat=laf


Thanks again!
It seems to me that post 911 and the threat of dirty bombs, biological attacks and other forms of attacks that could lead to mass suffering and chaos, New Orleans is a reminder that this nation is unprepared do deal with such events. This event will no doubt further erode the confidence of the world in America. Here we are selling ourselves as the strongest, most caring and most sophisticated and forward thinking country on the planet, yet, in times of crisis our government's response seems like that of a third world nation. People in other nations must be in SHOCK concerning the images coming out of America and the lack of ability of the government to help alleviate the peoples suffering and for not have better preventive infrastructure in place. Hmmmmmm....if confidence in America wanes....so does confidence in the dollar....which is a loss of confidence that this country cannot afford.

PATHETIC!!!!
Last night, while watching the news, I had a "dark moment." I realized that the tragic unrest of New Orleans is just the beginning.

With 1000's losing the jobs and their homes in an economy, where corporations are recording record profits, the administration/government's response, pass more laws that benefit corporations, e.g., the bankruptcy Law, and refuse to pass legislation to benefit those suffering, e.g., extend jobless benefits;

With the 1000's more that will lose their jobs as a result of $3.00+/gallon gas, when the US is sitting on "National Reserves" that if fully tapped and traded world-wide, would result in the per barrel cost of crude to fall below $25. [Forbes Magazine (I can't recall the article's date)], the administration/governments response, discuss tapping the reserve. But refusing to fund the development of alternate energy sources.

With the 100,000's of americans who oppose the war, this administration, and all it represents...

I fear that the unrest will spread, and the martial law seen in N.O. will be throughout our urban centers.
Kweli4Real, I can't fully articulate it, but I agree with you. It's like a Perfect Storm, the complete end of our world as we know it. We will look back on this time as the start of something very large.

When things fall apart, the center will not hold.

I was looking around on the internet for some way to volunteer this weekend for Katrina relief (I've given money just about everywhere, but it doesn't at all feel like enough). I was struck by the large number of people that feel the same and are starting to group together and travel up to Louisianna and do whatever they can. There is no faith that the government has the situation under control. There is only marginally more faith in the myriad of traditional relief programs. People are compelled to take actions into their own hands.
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GWalks, Charity Hospital is being evacuated by order of who is in most dire need. They are strapping people's medications to their chests and loading them on boats. The only deaths since yesterday have been two critically ill patients. There is a CNN crew inside the hospital and the reporters are keeping an internet blog with updates.

This is the latest entry from 10 this morning

Many of the reporters are volunteering to call people's relatives and relay messages to them. I hope you hear something soon.
quote:
Originally posted by Frenchy:

That is just insane!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That is so heart-breakingly sad. I am just shattered to read that. People are offering much-needed help and he's effectively telling them we don't need it! I can't believe this! Why isn't there a huge outcry?!?! Jesus Christ, people are dying by the second and this jackass is turning away aid!



Frenchy,

Accepting aid would be an admission of failure to meet the needs of the people, of the citizens a President is suppose to care about. This President would rather let people die then admit to failure. He's demonstrated this time and again.

Also, my take on the "Aid offers pour in from around the globe" article was that Condi Rice was willing to accept help from other countries, but that she would be overruled by our "leader".
.
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Seeing the children finally just brought me to tears. One day they're playing with cars or dolls or whatever and the next day...

Talk about trauma...there was one child psychiatrist on the news that said many of those kids are going to be affected by post traumatic stress disorder.

On a better note, I have to say that I am surprised and proud of the enormous outpouring of donations from Southern California. We (well, mostly the rich white people) have a reputation for being greedy and materialistic, but there are Red Cross donation centers set up all over SoCal, and we've raised well over $100,000 yesterday alone. I don't have much, but I'm going down today to give a bucket of pennies and a poem. The sight of those kids just gave me nightmares.
quote:
Originally posted by Noah The African:

...seems like that of a third world nation.

PATHETIC!!!!



Noah,

In terms of care for the citizen of a nation, we are very close to a third world country. How else can you explain this catastrophe or things like 22% of our children living in poverty.

But on the bright side, our military reigns supreme, with almost more money being spend there then the rest of the world spends combined (I'm being sarcastic).
.
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an article of interest:

'Our Tsunami': Black Leaders Outraged at Lack of Help in Katrina's Aftermath
By Carmen Cusido

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

© 2005 DiversityInc.com

September 02, 2005

Take a look at the people left behind in Mississippi and Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf States on Sunday. As these people search for food and more floating corpses are piling up in flooded New Orleans, black leaders are outraged that many of those left behind are people who for generations had been pushed to the margins"”mostly black and poor people who toiled in the background (registration required) of the tourist havens, reports The New York Times.

The victims, already living in rundown neighborhoods that long have been known to be vulnerable to disaster if the levees failed, found themselves left behind because many did not have cars or bus fare to leave ahead of time.



Just as President Bush admitted relief efforts are "not acceptable" and pledged more federal aid, black leaders, including the Congressional Black Caucus and the Rev. Jesse Jackson, who flew to New Orleans, spoke out about the treatment of the victims.



Class and race issues are unspoken markers of those who fled and those who stayed behind in neighborhoods and towns along the Gulf Coast, but the subject is circulating around the country and some blacks have described the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina as "our tsunami."



In New Orleans, the disaster's impact underscores the intersection of race and class, The New York Times says. Two-thirds of New Orleans residents are black and more than 25 percent of city residents are below the poverty level. The Times reports that in the Lower Ninth Ward neighborhood, overcome by floodwaters, more than 98 percent of the residents are black and more than a third live in poverty.





Spencer R. Crew, president and CEO of the national Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati, said the aftermath of the hurricane forces people to confront inequality.



"Most cities have a hidden or not-always-talked-about poor population, black and white, and most of the time we look past them," Crew said in The New York Times article. "This is a moment in time when we can't look past them. Their plight is coming to the forefront now. They were the ones less able to hop in a car and less able to drive off."



"I think that wherever you see poverty, whether it's in the white rural community or the black urban community, you see that the resources have been sucked up into the war and tax cuts for the rich," Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., also said in the article.

The heartbreaking pictures are reminiscent of Third World refugee camps, and while none of this excuses looting"”except perhaps to obtain food and water"”lawlessness is poverty's companion, leaving the city to descend to a state of near anarchy, according to USA Today.



Some of the pictures echoed a bygone era, a mass of desperate-looking black folk on the run in the Deep South, some even without shoes, the Washington Post says. "It was like going to hell and back," said Bernadette Washington, 38, a black homemaker from Orleans Parish who slept under a bridge the night before with her five children and her husband. She sighed the familiar refrain, stinging as an old-time blues note: "All I have is the clothes on my back. And I been sleeping in them for three days."


Many of the images on TV are mainly of black people suffering, grieving, in some cases looting, and trying desperately to leave. "To me," said Washington in the Post interview, "it just seems like black people are marked. We have so many troubles and problems."

In a Dallas Morning News commentary, columnist Steve Blow writes that the real looters are the white oil executives and points out that gasoline went up 25 cents in one day. But he also writes that the scenes in New Orleans have caused some racial tensions.



"And I must say: Congratulations, looters. You may have scored a $100 pair of sneakers, but you handed the bigots about $100 million of glorious propaganda. Look for yourself on the Aryan Nation Web site," he writes.



And if Hurricane Katrina brought out the worst in some people, he writes, let's not let the looters bring out the worst in us. Focusing on the negative does that. "It's an absolute fact that for every act of looting there are a thousand acts of bravery, compassion and generosity. We also have to guard against judging a whole race of people on the boneheaded actions of a few."



Perhaps another issue is what some consider the federal government's slow response. Mary Frances Berry, professor of history at the University of Pennsylvania and former head of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, had this to say: "What struck me about it is there are not enough national guardsmen on ground, local officials are trying to put the best face on it," she said on NPR, adding that anytime there is a natural disaster in New Orleans or anywhere else, "you're going to have looting, you're going to have chaos, that was the first thing. The second thing is the weak sort of response to the rescue effort. Everybody knew about what would happen if there were a breech in New Orleans," she said, "there'd been stories about alligators and toxic waste and I don't understand why there hasn't been a more aggressive response."

The Chicago Tribune reported that the hurricane could cause another 'black migration' to the city.

Many in Chicago's black community are following the events in New Orleans and Gulfport, Mississippi, home to uncles, cousins, aunts and friends. Smiles of reunited families turned to tears as they remembered what brought them here.

"Thank you, Jesus," (registration required) declared Carrie Franklin, an 85-year-old grandmother of the family as she exited a car. "We just kept riding and riding and riding. We didn't know where we were going to go."
quote:
quote:
Originally posted by Noah The African:

...seems like that of a third world nation.

PATHETIC!!!!



Noah,

In terms of care for the citizen of a nation, we are very close to a third world country. How else can you explain this catastrophe or things like 22% of our children living in poverty.

But on the bright side, our military reigns supreme, with almost more money being spend there then the rest of the world spends combined (I'm being sarcastic).
.
.


Popcorn, regarding third world status, don't forget about the whole 3% holding close to 90% of the nation's wealth thing.
quote:
Originally posted by Kweli4Real:

Popcorn, regarding third world status, don't forget about the whole 3% holding close to 90% of the nation's wealth thing.



K4R,

Yes, I did forget that. We are like a third world country where most of the wealth is in the hands of a few.

And I also forgot the elderly, the homeless, those without medical care... and the list goes on and on and on.

It's so depressing when I imagine what this country could be, and then see the reality.
.
.
Update!! I heard from my brother Robert on Friday morning (September 2nd) around 8:00 am. He placed a call to Chicago. They were still at Charity Hospital being guarded by a S.W.A.T team, hospital security and they also had food and water. The patients had already been evacuated.

My brother made another phone call on Friday evening to a sibling in FL and stated that they had been evacuated from Charity Hospital and taken to the airport for processing. News reports indicate that the airport is being used by medical personnel as a triage center. He can make himself useful there until they are transported to Texas. At some point, he'll end up in FL and live there with our sibling.
quote:
Originally posted by Frenchy:
GWalks, Charity Hospital is being evacuated by order of who is in most dire need. They are strapping people's medications to their chests and loading them on boats. The only deaths since yesterday have been two critically ill patients. There is a CNN crew inside the hospital and the reporters are keeping an internet blog with updates.

This is the latest entry from 10 this morning

Many of the reporters are volunteering to call people's relatives and relay messages to them. I hope you hear something soon.


Thanks Frenchy. My brother Robert works at Charity Hospital and was there with his wife and children. When he called us on Friday morning, he stated that he'd been working since arriving at the hospital the other day.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 1, 2005

CONTACT:
Dante Lee
Diversity City Media
dante@diversitycity.com
562-209-0616


AFRICAN-AMERICANS URGED TO CONTRIBUTE TO HURRICANE KATRINA RELIEF

Long Beach, CA (BlackNews.com) - Recent footage of the gulf coast resembles what one would expect to see in a third world country. There are countless individuals, mostly Blacks, stranded in the middle of nowhere with no shelter, no food, and no clean water.

The situation is so catastrophic that many have been waiting for days to be rescued. Thousands of dead bodies are floating everywhere, contamination is widespread, and looters are forced to steal from abandoned stores.

Many African-Americans wonder what they can do, and the answer is simple:

1) Donate money to Red Cross (http://www.redcross.org) or any other trustworthy charity; and/or

2) Volunteer to help by contacting the USA Freedom Corps (http://www.usafreedomcorps.gov)
Black leaders are encouraged to urge federal officials to do everything they can to rescue victims. So far, officials have received criticism for being slow to deploy enough supplies and troops. President Bush is getting heat because he waited two whole days after the hurricane struck before he decided to return from his vacation.

Reportedly, nearly 1/3 of the troops that are on-hand have been designated to focus entirely on capturing looters. Many criticize this decision, saying that these troops need to help rescue the thousands of stranded victims that will soon die of hunger and thirst.

Many say that the food in these stores will rot anyways, so looters may as well take advantage of it. Others say that people are starving and have no other option to resort to.

Dante Lee of BlackNews.com, comments, "As for the stealing of TVs and DVD players, I would agree that this is inexcusable. However, food and drinks are critical to their survival."

Lee continues, "But these aren't the only necessities in life - What about baby diapers, toilet tissue, shoes, dry clothes? People have to do what they can to survive."

In addition to donating to charities and volunteering time and energy, African-Americans are encouraged in the near future to donate to some of the Black-owned businesses/organizations that have been affected. Here are just a few:


BLACK BUSINESSES

Black Collegian Magazine
140 Carondelet St
New Orleans, LA 70130
http://www.imdiversity.com

Juneteenth.com
6751 Dorchester Street
New Orleans, LA 70126

BLACK COLLEGES

Dillard University
2601 Gentilly Boulevard
New Orleans, LA 70122
http://www.dillard.edu

Xavier University
3812 Pine Street
New Orleans, LA 70125
http://www.xula.edu

Southern University at New Orleans
6400 Press Drive
New Orleans, LA 70126
http://www.suno.edu

BLACK NEWSPAPERS

Louisiana Weekly
P.O. Box 8628
New Orleans, LA 70182
http://www.louisianaweekly.com

The New Orleans Tribune
2317 Esplanade Avenue
New Orleans, LA 70119
http://www.neworleanstribune.com

NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATIONS

Backstreet Cultural Museum
1116 St. Claude Street
New Orleans, LA 70116
http://www.backstreetculturalmuseum.com

New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and Foundation, Inc.
1205 N. Rampart Street
New Orleans, LA 70116
http://www.nojhf.org

Black Arts National Diaspora
4008 Odin Street
New Orleans, LA 70126

Urban League of Greater New Orleans
2322 Canal Street
New Orleans, LA 70119


-END-
An article from my daily newsletter:

Race and Class Collide in Katrina's Aftermath
By Carmen Cusido

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

© 2005 DiversityInc.com

September 06, 2005

They're hungry, they're poor and they're mostly black. The people we are seeing on television are not from a third-world country; they're from New Orleans, where those who couldn't afford to evacuate were left to fend for themselves long after the winds abated.

The events in New Orleans underscore the way in which poor blacks were treated in the allocation of emergency resources. Forgotten in the evacuation crisis, they have since been slow to receive aid or have received sub-standard aid and indifferent police protection.



The cleavage of race and class was laid bare by pictures of the suffering amid reports of gunshots fired at rescue vehicles (registration required).



New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof says that the larger shame (registration required) is that there are bloated corpses on New Orleans streets. Kristof says he saw a similar storm kill 130,000 people in Bangladesh in 1991 but their government showed more urgency in trying to save their citizens.



But Kristof calls the poor children evacuated from New Orleans the lucky ones; they can get checkups and vaccinations. According to the United Nations Development Program, a black baby in Washington, D.C., has less chance of surviving its first year than a baby born in parts of the state of Kerala in India.



"This is a pretty graphic illustration of who gets left behind in this society"”in a literal way," said Christopher Jencks, a sociologist glued to the televised images from his office at Harvard, in a New York Times article. Interestingly, wealthy white people lived on high ground. "Maybe it's just an in-the-face version of something I already knew ... All the people who don't get out, or don't have the resources, or don't believe the warning are African-American," Jencks continued.



Parts of New Orleans were poor (with 27.4 percent below the poverty line in 2000), more than two-thirds black. Once one of the most mixed societies in recent decades, the city has become unusually segregated, and the white middle class is all but gone, according to The New York Times.

"New Orleans, first of all, is both in reality and in rhetoric an extraordinarily successful multicultural society," said Philip Carter, a developer and retired journalist whose roots in the city extend back more than at least four generations, for The New York Times. "But is also a multicultural society riven by race and class, and all this has been exposed by these stormy days. The people of our community are pitted against each other across the barricades of race and class that six months from now may be last remaining levees in New Orleans ... But that sense of extreme division by class and race is going to long survive the physical reconstruction of New Orleans."

The New York Times says that in the middle of the delayed rescue, the New Orleans mayor, C. Ray Nagin"”a local boy made good from a poor, black ward"”burst into tears of frustration as he denounced slow-moving federal officials and called for martial law.


In an essay for Newsweek, Georgia Congressman John Lewis says, "It's very painful for me to watch and read about what is happening. I have a sense of righteous indignation. I think all Americans should rise up and speak out. It's not like 9/11 that just happened. We saw this in the making." Lewis said that the media for days said the storm was coming but it took many days to make the full force of the government available afterward. "It's so glaring that the great majority of people crying out for help are poor, they're black. There's a whole segment of society that's being left behind."



The local officials who knew about the problem didn't do anything about it, and the federal officials were unprepared for the high percentage of people without cars. The local and state officials (subscription required) were supposed to be the first responders, says Bob Williams, president of the Evergreen Freedom Foundation, a free-market public-policy research organization in Olympia, Wash., in an opinion piece for The Wall Street Journal.



"The actions and inactions of Gov. Kathleen Blanco and Mayor Ray Nagin are a national disgrace due to their failure to implement the previously established evacuation plans of the state and city," Williams says.

Instead of evacuating the people, Nagin ordered the refugees to the Superdome and Convention Center without adequate security or provisions for food, water and sanitary condition, and as a result, people died, Williams says.



In rebuilding New Orleans, Lewis says it is also an opportunity to rebuild urban America. "It becomes very discouraging where you see people dying"”children, the elderly, the sick"”the lack of food and water. I've cried a lot of tears the past few days as I watched television"”to see somebody lying dead outside the convention center. I went to Somalia in 1992 and I saw little babies dying before my eyes. This reminded me of Somalia. But this is America. We're not a Third World country."
Bush's entire presidency has been stage managed-from the war to his "town meeting." Why should this be any different.

http://www.blah3.com/article.php?story=20050903214041794&mode=print

The Potemkin Photo Op
Saturday, September 03 2005 @ 09:40 PM Eastern Daylight Time
Contributed by: Stranger
I was tuning in and out of Bush's massive photo op on the Gulf Coast yesterday, and everything at the time seemed just a little too pat for me. From the 'briefing' that went on in a hangar full of helicopters to his walking down a street in Biloxi and having three regular citizens walk up to him for comforting to the last press availiability of the day when he announced that the Convention Center was secure and the levees were being repaired, it was clear that the game plan from the White House was for Bush to go to the region, look decisive, comfort a few citizens, and announce at the end of the day that all was well.

It was a full-on effort to change the subject of discussion from the utter failure of the Bush administration to handle the crisis with even a hint of competency, and in true Bush fashion, he wrapped it up at 5:00 PM and announced that he was 'Flyin' out of (t)here.'

But from beginning to end, the entire exercise was a series of lies - a Potemkin photo op designed to fool those Americans who were not bothering to look closely at what was going on. Let's look at key aspects of Bush's trip that were covered by television.

The Briefing: There were a lot of questions asked yesterday morning about the phony briefing that Bush got in that hangar, featuring a backdrop of Coast Guard helicopters. People were wondering why those choppers were not out picking up flood victims or delivering supplies. The reason why is simple - Bush had the majority of helcopter traffic stopped while Marine One was in the Gulf Coast region. The New Orleans Times-Picayune reported this (Via AmericaBlog):


Three tons of food ready for delivery by air to refugees in St. Bernard Parish and on Algiers Point sat on the Crescent City Connection bridge Friday afternoon as air traffic was halted because of President Bush's visit to New Orleans, officials said.

The provisions, secured by U.S. Rep. Charlie Melancon, D-Napoleonville, and state Agriculture Commissioner Bob Odom, baked in the afternoon sun as Bush surveyed damage across southeast Louisiana five days after Katrina made landfall as a Category 4 storm, said Melancon's chief of staff, Casey O'Shea.

"We had arrangements to airlift food by helicopter to these folks, and now the food is sitting in trucks because they won't let helicopters fly," O'Shea said Friday afternoon.

The food was expected to be in the hands of storm survivors after the president left the devastated region Friday night, he said.

This leaves me wondering how many people died while Bush was playing Decisive Leader.

The First 'Comforting Session': Then it was off to Biloxi, MS to survey the damage. As Bush, Haley Barbour and others walked down a street, 2 women appeared seemingly out of nowhere for Bush to 'comfort' them. But it turns out that the two women didn't even live in Biloxi, and had just come down for the day to try to 'salvage' clothes from the area for one of the women's son (were they looters?). But they were apparently reasonably telegenic and happened to be in the area, so they were recruited to represent an area where they didn't even live. A number of threads at Democratic Underground discuss the weirdness of these women showing up in a disaster area. And a trandcript of the conversation between Bush and the women reads like a bad comedy skit:

Bush to women: "There's a Salvation Army center that I want to, that I'll tell you where it is, and they'll get you some help. I'm sorry.... They'll help you.....
Woman 1: "I came here looking for clothes..."
Bush: "They'll get you some clothes, at the Salvation Army center..."
Woman 1: "We don't have anything..."
Bush: "I understand.... Do you know where the center is, that I'm talking to you about?"
Guy with shades: "There's no center there, sir, it's a truck."
Bush: "There's trucks?"
Guy: "There's a school, a school about two miles away....."
Bush: "But isn't there a Salvation center down there?"
Guy: "No that's wiped out...."
Bush: "A temporary center? "
Guy: "No sir they've got a truck there, for food."
Bush: "That's what I'm saying, for food and water."
Bush turns to the sister who's been saying how she needs clothes.
Bush to sister: "You need food and water."

The 'Recovery Efforts': Wherever Bush went yesterday, it seemed as though people were already hard at work rebuilding the affected areas. Unfortunately for Bush, there were a few foreign journalists at his photo ops, and they pulled back the curtain on what we saw on TV to reveal that the 'work' was staged for the media. Here's a translation from the German news show web site.

Christine Adelhardt live from Biloxi:

"Two minutes ago the President drove by with his convoy. What happened here in Biloxi during the day is really unbelievable. All of a sudden the rescue troops finally showed up, the clean-up vehicles; we didn't see those over the last days here. In an area where it really isn't urgent, there is nobody around, all the remaining people went to the city center.

The President is traveling with a press convoy, so they get wonderful pictures saying the president was here and the help will follow. The amount of this catastrophe shocked me, but the amount of set-up that happened here today is at least equally shocking for me.

And there's more, this time on the 'recovery efforts' in New Orleans, from War And Piece:

There was a striking dicrepancy between the CNN International report on the Bush visit to the New Orleans disaster zone, yesterday, and reports of the same event by German TV.

ZDF News reported that the president's visit was a completely staged event. Their crew witnessed how the open air food distribution point Bush visited in front of the cameras was torn down immediately after the president and the herd of 'news people' had left and that others which were allegedly being set up were abandoned at the same time.

The people in the area were once again left to fend for themselves, said ZDF.

Levee Repairs in New Orleans: As Bush flew around the skies above New Orleans, CNN began showing footage of a bulldozer and dump trucks working on the 17th Street levee, which was the maqin source of the flood waters in New Orleans. When Bush got ready to leave, he crowed that 'progress is flowing.' But according to Sen. Mary Landrieu, the crew that was working so hard yesterday left and apparently never came back:

But perhaps the greatest disappointment stands at the breached 17th Street levee. Touring this critical site yesterday with the President, I saw what I believed to be a real and significant effort to get a handle on a major cause of this catastrophe. Flying over this critical spot again this morning, less than 24 hours later, it became apparent that yesterday we witnessed a hastily prepared stage set for a Presidential photo opportunity; and the desperately needed resources we saw were this morning reduced to a single, lonely piece of equipment. The good and decent people of southeast Louisiana and the Gulf Coast - black and white, rich and poor, young and old - deserve far better from their national government.

Control of the Convention Center: Bush made a big deal of telling the nation that the icon for unrest and chaos in New Orleans this week - the New Orleans Convention Center - was secured by the time of his statement yesterday.

I'm pleased to report, thanks to the good work of the adjutant general from Louisiana and the troops that have been called in that the convention center is secure.

But as was pointed out this morning, a report by CNN Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr directly contradicted Bush's statement.

CNN's Barbara Starr reports that there is "no indication" the convention center in New Orleans is secure. She reports there is still much unrest.

And the now-famous Fox News video of Geraldo Rivera inside the Convention Center showed how Bush's idea of 'securing' the center was locking the people in.

All of this information has turned up in one spot or another on the web since yesterday, but I wanted to put it all together in one spot for a reason. Bit by bit, parts of Bush's trip were shown to be less truthful than we deserved. But when you look at the entire trip - and all of the deceit that went into each part of it - it's an inescapable fact that from beginning to end the trip was a menu of lies and self-serving actions that didn't do the region any good. In some instances, like the helicopter groundings halting rescue ops, the trip could conceivably actually killed more people.

And that's the bottom line with this administration. It always has been. Bush, Rove, and the rest of them will go to any measures to get their version of the truth out. and if a few of the little people happen to die in the process, it's no skin off their noses. All of America should know what the true bottom line is.

You are being lied to, and lives have been lost because of it.
Read what Ward Coonerly has to say about the issue...they always seek out house negroes..who deny racism if their mama was seen being raped by the klan....they'll just say she dressed too provocative that night......

Images of the Victims Spark a Racial Debate
Some say authorities' response time is affected by the victims' skin color. Others say such accusations are a distraction right now.
By Tomas Alex Tizon
Times Staff Writer

September 3, 2005

SEATTLE "” The multitude of anguished black faces telecast from New Orleans over the last six days has stirred a national discussion in living rooms, chat rooms and radio talk shows.

The central questions seem to be: Why are most of Hurricane Katrina's victims black, and does the color of their skin have any bearing on authorities' response, which has been criticized as slow?

In a radio interview Friday on hundreds of stations across North America, Beverly Wright, director of the Deep South Center for Environmental Justice at Xavier University in New Orleans, summarized the concerns this way:

"I am very angry, and I really, really believe that [the crisis] is driven by race," Wright said. "People can say what they want, but when you look at who is left behind, it is very disturbing to me."

Wright was referring to the thousands of predominantly lower-income blacks still stranded inside New Orleans. Media images have been dominated by scenes of dead, dying and crying blacks, their desperation and pleas for help sometimes laced with anger.

News reports have also described looters and armed gangs. There have been sporadic shootings and physical confrontations among the stranded.

The violence "” and the fear of it "” has slowed efforts to bring aid to the neediest parts of the city.

New Orleans is one of the poorest large cities in the United States.

Its population is 67% African American, about half of whom live below the poverty line.

Most middle-class blacks, like most white residents, were able to leave the city.

Some say the hurricane has exposed a racial fault line between blacks and whites in America.

In general, whites tend to see the situation one way, blacks another, said David Wellman, sociology professor at UC Santa Cruz and co-author of the book "Whitewashing Race: The Myth of a Color-Blind Society (University of California Press).

"Many whites will focus on the lawlessness of what's going on in New Orleans," Wellman said. "Many blacks will focus on the desperation of the victims, the fact that they're being neglected and ignored."

Wellman said the racial fault line operated the same as a geological fault line: "They're invisible until there's an earthquake."

He said evidence of the racial divide was found in studies that showed 65% of white Americans do not believe that racial discrimination exists, and 75% of black Americans believe it does.

Ward Connerly, chairman of the conservative think tank American Civil Rights Institute, in Sacramento, said it was simply coincidence that most of the hurricane victims on television are black.

Connerly said the hurricane happened to hit New Orleans, which happens to be predominantly black and poor.

To seek out deeper, more insidious reasons for the crisis in New Orleans is to focus on the wrong thing, Connerly said.

"I wish we were not talking about race at all. It's a needless distraction," he said. "We all ought to be praying and crying about the people whose lives have been totally ripped asunder. Those who are misbehaving are doing it out of desperation. It just so happens those who are doing it are black, but the city of New Orleans has a lot of black people."

Connerly said he was disappointed with those African American leaders and whites who were accusing the government of being lackadaisical in its response. The underlying charge is that the sluggish response is because of racism.

"The people accusing the government of racism are looking for someone to blame. They can't blame God, so they're going to blame the government or the president. Or racism," Connerly said. "So many blacks have been conditioned to view everything through the prism of race that it's easy to come to that conclusion. But for the black leaders who are blaming racism, shame on them."

Damu Smith, executive director of the National Black Environmental Justice Network, said on a Friday broadcast of the "Democracy Now!" radio program that this was the exact time to point fingers "” while the attention of the nation was fixed on the issue.

Smith avoided the word "racism" during the program, but he implied that policy decisions made by state and federal governments opened the way for catastrophe to reach the lives of the region's poorest people.

"I want to focus on the federal assets because that's what was needed to be brought to bear in this situation, and they were not brought to bear," Smith said. "So mostly the poor and black poverty-stricken people of New Orleans and Louisiana and Mississippi are paying the price for our government's neglect."

One blogger, John Bambenek, said in a Friday entry on Blogcritics.org that accusing government officials of racism or incompetence steered the search for true answers in the wrong direction. The real blame, he said, lies in something as mundane as bureaucratic ineptitude.

The "Kyoto [climate pact] had nothing to with this. Racism had nothing to do with this. Iraq had nothing to do with this. Federal spending had nothing to do with this," Bambenek wrote. "Poor and/or nonexistent planning and poor execution had everything to do with this."

Wellman, the sociology professor, said there was another way to interpret the situation in New Orleans. He said sociologists had found for years that social structures replicated themselves after natural disasters: The most vulnerable people in society are the most vulnerable people during and after a disaster. The issue is whether the government took enough measures to protect the most vulnerable people in society.

Wellman said in this case it appeared the government did not, and some of it had to do with institutional racism.

Bruce Gordon, president and CEO of the National Assn. for the Advancement of Colored People, said from his Baltimore office that he would very much like to chime in on the discussion of race because he had a lot to say.

But the timing isn't right.

"Right now, all of our time and energy are going to saving lives of people in New Orleans," Gordon said. "The race aspect is a little bit of a distraction, but let me say that once we get ourselves square on this, and once our people are safe and secure, there's no question we're going to be all over this issue."
Sept. 6, 2005, 12:39PM



Presence of evacuees spurs rumors of violence
Police say there is no epidemic of crime at any of the relief centers
By STEVE MCVICKER
Copyright 2005 Houston Chronicle
HURRICANE KATRINA

NOAA
Hurricane Katrina swirls toward the Gulf Coast.


"¢ Complete Chronicle coverage
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HELP FOR REFUGEES:
"¢ Housing offers "¢ Shelter links
"¢ Food "¢ Look for people
"¢ Red Cross people search
"¢ Search temp jobs in area
"¢ Evacuee discounts

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HOW YOU CAN HELP:
"¢ LATEST HOUSTON UPDATES
"¢ Where to send donations
"¢ How to help locally
"¢ Houston Mayor's Volunteer Initiatives Program
"¢ Harris County Citizen Corps
"¢ Red Cross volunteer training

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BLOGS:
"¢ Voices of Katrina: Stories from the aftermath
"¢ DomeBlog from the Reliant Astrodome
"¢ In Exile: An evacuee blogs for New Orleans
"¢ Eric Berger's SciGuy

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WEBCAST:
"¢ Live coverage from WDSU-TV in New Orleans

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VIDEO:
"¢ New Orleans desolate as water is removed 9/6
"¢ Bush in Baton Rouge, Bush-Clinton fund announced 9/5
"¢ Searching for survivors, burying the dead 9/5
"¢ New Orleans begins grisly cleanup 9/4
"¢ Mississippi relief arrives as churches worship 9/4
"¢ Pope offers prayer for hurricane victims 9/4
"¢ Homeland Security chief Michael Chertoff speaks 9/4
"¢ First bar reopens on Bourbon Street 9/4
"¢ Helicopters search for the stranded and sick 9/3
"¢ Guard troops deployed to aid in relief efforts 9/3
"¢ Chertoff emphasizes Mother Nature's role 9/3
"¢ Guard troops deployed to aid in relief efforts 9/3
"¢ French Quarter an island in sea of chaos 9/3
"¢ Astrodome crowded but better than Superdome 9/2

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Video, graphics courtesy Associated Press and KHOU; free Real Player, Flash plug-in and Acrobat Reader may be required.)

While the city of Houston and many of its residents have embraced thousands of Hurricane Katrina victims, the relocation of those evacuees to this city has, for some Houstonians, generated an undercurrent of trepidation. And over the past several days those fears have manifested themselves in rumors circulated by word of mouth, e-mails, blogs and telephone.


For example:

"¢On Saturday, a woman called the Houston Chronicle news desk to ask if the Astros game at Minute Maid Park had been canceled, saying she understood downtown was unsafe because evacuees were being housed in the George R. Brown Convention Center.

"¢In an e-mail to the Chronicle, a man insisted that his friend was raped "by those dirty pieces of filth"at the Reliant Astrodome where she had gone to help distribute food.

"¢A blog produced by two evacuee assistance volunteers reported that a child had been raped at the Astrodome on Saturday, and that a 12-year-old girl had narrowly escaped assault by a man in a women's restroom there.

However, Houston police officials, as well as evacuees at the Astrodome who spoke to the Chronicle Monday, were adamant that, despite the rumors, there is no crime epidemic at any of the relocation centers.

At a Reliant Park press conference this morning, authorities said that with the exception of a couple fights, there have been no arrests for violent crime at any of the facilities. There have been 37 arrests so far, from disorderly conduct to public intoxication. There have been two reports of sexual assaults, but one proved to be unfounded and one is still under investigation

HPD Capt. John Anderson said Monday that a number of weapons and narcotics were confiscated by police after evacuees were given a no-arrest opportunity to leave such contraband on their buses before entering the relief centers.

One of the stories circulating among both the police and the public, is that prisoners from Jefferson Parish were allowed to board some of the Houston-bound evacuation buses and now are among the victims being housed here.

But according to a spokesman for the Louisiana State Police, that commingling of evacuees never happened.

Several evacuees housed in the Astrodome said they have had no security concerns during their stay there.

"The only the complaint I have is about the coffee, and we don't have red beans and rice," said a woman who only identified herself as "Ms. Peaches."

Bobbie Kelly, 51, said she had witnessed a few fights among the evacuees. "It's was kind of rough for a little while," she said.

Police hoped to improve security by implementing an 11 p.m. curfew for the Reliant Park relief centers beginning Monday night, but authorities delayed that for at least a day so signs could be posted and residents could get the word first.

According to a disaster expert, the rumors spawned by the relocation of evacuees here are to be expected.

"There is an enormous change going on in the community," said Michael Lindell of the Hazard Reduction & Recovery Center at Texas A&M University. "But people don't really understand what's going on. And so they start talking to each other. It happens in all kinds of disasters. The rumors tend to revolve around people's fears of what could happen."

Lindell says, to a degree, racism also can factor into the community fear.

Most of the evacuees being housed at the Astrodome are black.

"Rumors get generated by people who are racially prejudiced, and then those rumors get passed on to other people who aren't necessarily racist," he said.

Lindell charged that the fear factor also can be indirectly linked to comments by state, local and federal officials.

"They are all saying this is an unprecedented situation because they are trying to absolve themselves from responsibility the emergency response disappearing into a black hole between Sunday and Friday," he said. "I think there are unintended consequences to that message."

steve.mcvicker@chron.com

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