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Hurricane Katrina blog project

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Diaries and stories tagged as
"Katrina Blog Project"
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Hurricane Katrina hit Florida and the Gulf Coast in August 2005 as a category 3 hurricane, causing total devastation of New Orleans and surrounding areas. In August 2006, DailyKos diarists embarked upon a month-long project to commemorate and further analyze the devastating aftermath of the storm. Below are links and excerpts. See also Hurricane Katrina commentary and Hurricane Katrina survivor stories for additional resources.

The Katrina Blog Project: 30 Days to Remember the Madness, by DKos diarist wmtriallawyer, coordinator of the DKos Katrina Blog Project:

"Each day this month, starting with today's kickoff, I want this community to post at least one diary on Katrina. It will serve as a reminder to what happened, and it will serve even more as fuel for why we fight for the candidates we fight for. We want a more responsive and responsible government. We will never forget. And while I'm sure the mainstream media will do its part, it will be minor compared to what we must do. This community did its best work last year documenting what actually was happening in New Orleans and elsewhere. This year, we can do our best work honoring the memories of those we lost, and beginning anew with our vision of what government should be."

They Are Not Coming...A Katrina Diary, first hand account by luckydog

One day, a chainsaw day, a 90 degree hot, dirty chainsaw day, a car pulled into the driveway at my parents' house. A frantic middle-aged woman got out, babbling a mile a minute. I finally calmed her down and figured out that she was the niece of my mother's best friend. My parents were her last hope, her aunt, my mother's best friend lived a coupla blocks from one of the levee breaches. The authorities had no news, her aunt was not in a shelter. Her last hope was that her aunt was with my parents. Her aunt was not with my parents. I folded my arms around her and told her. She collapsed, ten days, two weeks, no news, only hope. The next day, her husband took a boat across the Lake, across what is basically 25 miles of open water. Beached the boat on the base of the levee. Hiked to the aunt's house. The flood water was down by then. They were stopped by the National Guard across the street from the aunt's house - the National Guard refused them access. The guardmen agreed to go kick down the door and look for them. The aunt was elderly, in poor health. She had told my mother a month or so before the storm that she felt that Armageddon was coming, the end of the world, the world news was so bad, so bad. She told my mother that she wanted to go in her own home, with her little dog in her arms, that she hoped that it all ended quickly. The guardsmen found her in her easy chair, with her little dog in her arms. Her house had flooded to the rafters, a coupla blocks from one of the levee breaches. When I told my mother, my mother cried, heart-rending cried, "She knew! She knew! She knew!"

My Katrina diary ..., by Magenta

I hope those souls heard me cry out. I hope that my voice joined their chorus in keening for an unimaginable loss: a city's near destruction that long had been predictable and nonetheless shocked us all. Most of all, I hope that when its dead buried, the city can turn from the graves and strike up the joyous tunes for which New Orleans funerals are famous - those sounds that celebrate life and resurrection in the face of the ultimate personal disaster. It is those beautiful, boisterous funerals that embody the spirit of a city that knows there is no permanence to death.

Hurricane Katrina: From The Other End of the Looking Glass, first hand account by noahdb

The down and dirty: 397 folks ranging from age two to age 97. Three planeloads of people arrived and two of them were from New Orleans. No one seemed to know where the other plane was from. The first floor of the facility was open to everyone. Offices were being used to hold temporary quarters for employment security commission folks, Red Cross workers, hospital workers, grief counselors, Wake County Public School workers, and everything in between. The most disorganized, confused angry office? The one housing the FEMA folks.

"You can hear the dogs yelping" - A Katrina Diary, by RenaRF

I cried - a lot. It took me a while to realize that I was crying for everything. In the days immediately following the hurricane, I cried for the people who had died and were surely dying under the watchful eye of television news cameras. I cried for the spirit of the people trapped in the Superdome and Convention Center. I cried when I saw their faces and especially their eyes - from the very old to the young, their eyes told the story: We are abandoned. We are not important enough to be saved. I cried because they felt that way, and I cried because they would never know that I was crying - for them. I cried out of helplessness and a keen sense of outrage. I cried along with each of you as we all realized that New Orleans would never again be the same. I cried as I mourned the loss - ALL of the loss. I still cry today over Hurricane Katrina

Katrina, the never-ending story, first-hand account by chimes of freedom

"We want evacuees to come home," he said. But today there were only a couple of sidewalk artists, out of the dozens that used to paint and draw in the Square, and no one for them to draw. My family drove from the Quarter down St Claude to the Ninth Ward. They had gotten Fats Domino's (former) address off the Web and wanted to see what they could see. They knew, more or less, what to expect in that part of town, but it was, to hear them tell it, worse than they ever imagined. There's still no electricity, and no potable water. Block after block there are nothing but rotting hulks of homes, where the homes are still standing, with great holes in the roof or the odd vehicle on the roof. They saw a handful of FEMA trailers, those bastions of liberty....they saw a pitiful few people working at recovery.

Katrina Blog Project: Filling the Void, by wmtriallawyer, citing Empty, and Fulfilled

the City of New Orleans has given residents until August 29th -- one year from the date of Katrina's landfall -- to clean out their homes or face the house being bulldozed. Because sometimes the cost of gutting a home is too great for the poorer residents of the City, the Dioscese has been taking on the task for them. Their story is one of courage, love, and pain.

"Let Them Walk Out of Here", by buckeye battlecry, citing real-time Fox News coverage

SMITH: They won't let them walk out because the govenment's locked them in - they said go in the Superdome and you'll get help, and they locked them in and watched them die. COLMES: I want to get some perspective here. SMITH: That's all the perspective you need. RIVERA: Take a look - I want everyone in the world to see - that six days after the hurricane, they're still here - look in the eyes of this baby - let them go, let them walk out of here....

Unnamed, by terrypinder

We know their names in each of those two incidents. 168 at Oklahoma City. 3,000 in New York City, Washington and Pennsylvania. But in the case of Katrina, a disaster that left an area the size of the United Kingdom in ruins, we don't even know the full death toll. Wikipedia states that 1,836 are confirmed dead, and 705 are still missing (although the table indicates that as many as 1800 people may still be missing. Please note that Wikipedia can be a dubious source at times.) Yet where are their names? Who are they? [snip] They lived, breathed, hoped. They were just like us. Let us remember their names.

Hey, whatever happened to that "go f!ck yourself" guy? - A Katrina Diary, by gn1927

  • Charmaine Neville, of the famous Neville family, who told a soul-wrenching tale of rape and chaos in New Orleans during the aftermath of Katrina
  • Dr. Ben Marble, the Mississippi physician who told Cheney "go fuck yourself, you asshole" to his face.
  • Jabbar Gibson, the 18 year-old who hotwired a bus and drove a group of Katrina evacuees to safety only to face criminal charges for "extreme looting"
Three Katrina survivors who grabbed headlines during the crisis. In honor of wmtriallawyer's call for us to commemorate the tragic and infuriating events of last year, I think it is apropos to present an update on these three survivors

Katrina Blog Project - cleaning up, by nerdsie

I think back to our friend L, who kept insisting to my mom how lucky she was because the house was salvageable. The only thing he managed to save was a photo of his grandparents, that floated on top of a book about the Titanic (weird!). I wonder what the displaced would say to L - how lucky he was that he had resources to be back in New Orleans. I think about the people who died. Here's another small piece of the narrative. I have other stories, of friends who fared much worse, and others who won't be back, of my drive across the gulf coast, and my New Year's Eve visit. I've written a few songs. I think about nola constantly. I feel guilty for not being there.

Katrina Blog Project - Apocalypse 9/1/2005, first-hand account by chimes of freedom

The city of New Orleans as we once knew it is long gone. For the people who are still there, stranded, it has become even more violent and chaotic than usual. Looting is rampant, as was predictable given the thousands who have had no other way to get food for at least three days. A group of refugees held up a supply truck at gunpoint at a hospital on the West Bank. Another took a forklift and used it to break into a Rite-Aid store. People are standing around in the heat outside the Superdome, waiting to be evacuated, again, because the conditions inside have become intolerable. They are surrounded by a sea of sewage, salt water from the lake, gasoline from submerged cars, and garbage. It is a cholera epidemic waiting to happen.

To Texas From Katrina - a Katrina Blog Project, first-hand account by Texas Tiger

I did not live through Katrina. I did help with the aftermath in a small way. And although I saw the devastation through the TV, I heard the voices of the desperate over the phone. I work for the state of Texas in its health department and we did what we could to help those without a voice. I first saw the trouble New Orleans was in on TV. I heard the reports of "nobody can go in" from local reporters who were at first as puzzled by this as I was. Why couldn't they go in? Then I heard reporters asking about the people, no food, no water, no help. Why? I asked myself. Where were the National Guard? The last time I went through a hurricane, the Guard were there before the hurricane even hit! What is going on?

Katrina Blog Project - Unimaginable Horror 9/1/2005, first-hand account by chimes of freedom

It was a good 36 hours after Katrina hit that we first heard from any of my wife's family, and even then they had to drive several miles west to get a working cell connection. Even yesterday I tried several times to call my parents, two hours west, and got nothing but the "circuits are busy" recording. There are limited land lines and no cell service in the affected area, although text messaging seems to work somehow. The New Orleans Homeland Security chief is going mad down there right now, screaming that FEMA have been in town for three days but aren't doing anything, aren't coordinating or organizing or managing. Mayor Ray Nagin is quoted in the press today as sending out a "desperate SOS." It's Thursday, for Christ's sake - why does he still need to send out an SOS? The city is quickly slipping into anarchy because they're not getting the help they need.

My Trip to New Orleans, by chacha1847

During a meeting with hotel staff prior to the event kickoff, the staff expressed their gratitude for our business in such a sincere way it was almost heartbreaking. The hotels in the French Quarter (the larger ones, at least) are in perfect working order, yet business is still dead. A 1200-person convention like ours, which used to be this hotel's bread and butter, has become comparatively rare. Bourbon Street is still Bourbon street, complete with beads flying from balconies and Hurricanes in plastic cups. Some new t-shirt slogans have joined the standard offerings as well, notably "FEMA Evacuation Plan: run, bitch, run!" and (my favorite) "Make levees, not war."

This is no way to treat our fellow Americans, by clammyc

The amount of neglect that these families have received, as well as the complete ass-backwards handling of just about everything since before Katrina even touched down is staggering. Yet, we can find a few extra billions on no notice from "supplemental emergency spending bills" to send over to Halliburton or Big Oil. We heard back in March that there were approximately 10,000 mobile homes which were stored in Arkansas but can't be shipped to the Gulf Coast because they can't be placed in a floodplain. And what are we hearing now from FEMA officials when it comes to these roughly 1,200 families? FEMA spokesman Aaron Walker said that he understands people are frustrated with the wait but that workers are filling requests as fast as they can. He notes the agency has provided housing assistance to more than 900,000 people regionwide since the Aug. 29 storm. Most years, the agency handles only 2,000 to 3,000 people. "If you look at the sheer numbers, we've been very successful," he said. Gee, that's just great.

A letter from Canada: Katrina blog., by pale cold

We were told that there was no way to reach the people who needed help. That the cities and towns were impassable, and that the US government was doing all it could. We know that isn't true. If there had been a real effort, there were aircraft, and boats, and all sorts of ways to get to the areas affected. There is nothing that can't be done in this day and age, if there is a will, there is a way. The US government did not ask the UN for aid right away. It was only accepted Sunday Sept. 4. Why? In Canada, we have a reputation for moving into countries that have experienced disaster or war. We specialize in Humanitarian outreach. Its what we do eh? Why were we waiting almost a week for an answer?

Horrors and Heroes--A Katrina Project Diary, first-hand account by austincynic

My most personal connection to the storm became apparent even before Katrina roared ashore. Fr. Dabney Smith, the rector of Trinity Episcopal Church in New Orleans, was an old family friend. I'd worshipped in his church for years when he was the rector of St. Michael and All Angels in South Bend, he stood at our side in court when my brother was sentenced to rehab, and he'd married my wife and I. The fate of Dabney and his family, his parishioners and his church weighed on my mind as I watched the devastation on the news and listened to the weeping people looking for friends and family that were feared dead. It was on the drive back to Austin that the numbness over what was, to me, an inconceivable tragedy began to give way to rage. It was not the $3 a gallon gas that did it; it was the signs directing evacuees to shelters that I began seeing in Arkansas and Texas. This was the United States, dammit, and hundreds of thousands of people had suddenly been reduced to little better than refugees.

The Hell of Not-Knowing; a Katrina diary, first-hand account by pico

I immediately began texting my friends, wondering if they'd made it out safe, or were still in the city. One by one, they replied. Most were doing well, holed up in Florida, or Mississippi, or Houston. For now, the dominant emotion was numbness: swamped in conflicting news reports and not a single government official presenting any real plans for tomorrow or the next day. How long would things be like this? What would people subsist on in the meantime? There was nothing to do but sit and wait. Others were less well. One cousin had stayed behind because his wife was an on-duty nurse. Another cousin's husband, a fisherman from lower St. Bernard, had decided to weather out the storm at home, guessing that he could jump to his boat should the water levels rise. They'd been unable to contact either or get any information about the area. St. Bernard, lying between the hell of New Orleans and the desolation of the Gulf Coast, was silent.

Goodbye, New Orleans, first-hand account by noladq

Yesterday I took a drive through Lakeview to say goodbye. We will be moving to Wisconsin in three weeks and I wanted to say goodbye to a place where I spent many hours walking up and down the streets and parkways. The streets were still empty, the houses still decimated, the weeds were high and many trees were dying. But more on that below the fold. For years I have had a love/hate relationship with this city. I love the decadence, the art and music, the joie de vivre. I love the way people don't follow rules here. It is freeing to be non-conformist and yet not stick out. I love Rue de la Course and Mandinas. I love the house on the corner of Audubon Park where we had our wedding reception and I love the sound of the City Park train. I hate the filth, the trash and the heat. I hate the disparity between social classes and races. I hate the crime and ignorance. And I'm not fond of tropical plants growing out of control. For ten years my dislike of the city was constantly challenged by those things that I loved, but dislike won out. Then something happened to change that. I moved to the northshore and found that Louisiana is a beautiful place full of strange native plants and a few cold, clear streams.

Katrina-The Abandonment of New Orleans (Photos), photo montage by neecie100

Katrina not only damaged the Gulf Coast, it damaged the soul of America. I still feel so ashamed of the neglectful treatment the victims of the storm suffered, and I'll never forget the shock and impotent rage I felt watching Katrina unfold. I am still not over it! Compiling the many photos for this diary was difficult emotionally. This is a very disturbing collection of images, but the truth and realities they contain desperately need to be faced by our nation.

Katrina Blog Project - Crime and Punishment 9/5/2005, by chimes of freedom

New Orleans is dead, and the Bush administration is responsible. They killed it over a period of several years with indifference, criminal neglect, and outright malice. How will they atone for the flooding that didn't have to happen, and the relief effort that came too late to save so many lives? What will be their punishment for their crimes? [anip] The city is dead, make no mistake. The vast majority of the homes and businesses that weren't destroyed immediately have been soaking up toxic floodwaters for a week now. If they completely drained the city this afternoon (estimates of how soon this can actually be accomplished range from several weeks to several months), most of those buildings would still have to be condemned, bulldozed. Mile after mile of roadway will be similarly useless and will have to be rebuilt. The vast majority of the hundreds of thousands who managed to flee the city thus have no home, no work, and no hope in New Orleans, or what's left of it. The structural New Orleans is a wasteland, and the human New Orleans has been dispersed to all points of the compass. How many can possibly ever return to rebuild? What they return to, and what they rebuild, will not be New Orleans, not even close.

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This page was last modified 06:39, 29 August 2006 by dKosopedia user RobLa. Based on work by dKosopedia user(s) Gn1927. Content is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License.

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