Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Katrina blogs

These are some of the blogs I’ve been checking frequently for coverage of the flooding in New Orleans and the hurricane’s aftermath. (The Times-Picayune newspaper’s site)

Metroblogging New Orleans (A local moblog part of a network similar to Gothamist’s)

Brendan Loy (Tracking this thing very closely)

The Daily Nightly (Brian Williams’ recently launched newscast commentary)

A feeling that I get from reading all the coverage is that what’s happening in New Orleans is like the biggest shipwreck in U.S. history, but one in which the ship isn’t really sinking anymore, but where everyone still has to get out – and for some, not soon enough. The people calling out to be rescued in the darkened, flooded city come to mind as does the woman who was taking care of the man dying of lung cancer and eventually had to float his body down the street in search of help after he ran out of oxygen.

Will New Orleans ever be the same after this? Will certain parts of it even be inhabitable? After 9/11, the rescue period was brief, the clean-up effort took months, but on the morning of Sept. 12, 2001, you could think forward to what would happen at ground zero. Not so this time. The rescue and recovery missions go on through tonight and for how long we don’t know. The clean-up is going to take months, even years. And hardest of all to imagine: What will the new New Orleans be like?

The WTC attacks were a vertical disaster – causing a city in the sky to vanish – but this is a horizontal one and the underlying material wreaking havoc here (water) is much harder to move from one place to another the way New York did with the rubble of the towers.

Also, this event has hit so much harder at people’s homes and livelihoods. Most 9/11 families, while experiencing unspeakable, hideous losses, at least had homes to return to, but so many of those in New Orleans and throughout the Gulf Coast won’t, so many will be dealing with the loss of loved ones or neighbors as well as their homes.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The big difference between the hurricane and the 9/11 attacks (and, for that matter, the tsunami) is that everybody saw the hurricane coming. Everybody knew New Orleans could suffer a catastrophic flood.
- Daryl