New Orleans is only one hour from here but it might as well be
another world now. I can’t begin to imagine what people who lived
there, much less people who grew up there and still lived there, are
feeling right now. It is immeasurable, just as some of the more
quantifiable statistics that are the result of Katrina’s devastation. The death toll
stands to be large, it seems. So will the amount of time it will take
to drain New Orleans, and even more so before more than half a million
people can return to…what? Nothing, really. Such is also the case
with many towns along the Mississippi Gulf Coast. The national news
showed pictures of what used to be Pass Christian, which was at the
epicenter of Katrina, and it too is just gone.
Even when you factor in the sensationalism that the media brings to covering such events, it’s overwhelming. It’s to the point,
really, where getting overwhelmed is overwhelming. Every new set of
pictures or camera footage I see just leaves me staring in disbelief.
Baton Rouge’s population stands to double in size in the next couple of
days, according to the news. Once again, factoring media embellishment,
that still means there are going to be a lot more people here.
Kelly and I will find somewhere to volunteer tomorrow in Baton
Rouge. I think that will help a bit: to get a small, realistic purchase
on a part of this huge thing and do something to help rather than sitting at home and letting all of this wash over us. Steve
and his mother will come stay with us at some point in the next week,
I’m sure, so I’ll get his take on the whole thing. I finally got in
touch with him yesterday and was thankful to find he had left (Steve
can be hard-headed about his home turf sometimes). His parent’s house,
where his mother lived, was in Kenner, which was hit pretty bad
initially, so it’s most likely gone.
immediately, though, it seems that most everyone that I know who was
living in NO or on the coast is accounted for, which is what matters most.
Most of my college friends from the area were already up in Brookhaven
at Brad Boerner’s for the fantasy football draft party before the
evacuation was ever called. The house here is back to normal with power
and cable (though I’m loathe to turn on the TV now knowing what I’ll
see) and I have to give a big thumbs up to the Baton Rouge utility
services. They worked quite quickly and we count ourselves lucky to
have our power back so soon after the storm. The place I work is still without
power. We got the servers up and running on generators today and with
the internet back up at the house I will be working here until we
get full power back at the office.
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