Wednesday, August 31, 2005


I'm shocked by what I'm seeing on the news. My friend Kyle and his family live and work in New Orleans. I found out they left before Katrina and are staying temporarily in Houston. They suspect they will have to get an apartment in Baton Rouge for months before they can return to their home.

As I've watched the coverage, I've noticed that most of the people who are being rescued (& probably most of the people dead) are the poor and the less fortunate of society. Most people "of means" probably got out of Dodge in time. Like I would have, they were able to either go stay with friends and family somewhere else, or whip out the credit card and get a hotel room somewhere safe from the storm.

I'm sure a few stayed because they were stubborn. But most of them appear to be people who did not have the resources to just pick up and head out.

I'm shocked at the degree of difficulty facing those in leadership there (government, relief orgs., etc.). When hospitals, prisons, and rescue shelters have to be evacuated, that's a nightmare. Especially when they are surrounded by floodwater, and there is no electricity, water, sewer, or cell phone communication.

And if I understand it right, the flood waters won't just recede naturallly, like what happens with a river flood. Here, the city is actually lower than it's surrounding bodies of water. Once the holes are breached, the water has to somehow be taken out of the city.

I'm empathizing with the poor and helpless. I'm also empathizing with those in charge who have to figure out how to take care of all of this.

And the fact that my friend and his family live there reminds me: Something like this could happen to any of us at any time.