Hurricane Katrina

Keep an Eye out for Hurricane Philippe

There's a new tropical depression forming in the Caribbean at latitude 13.0 north, longitude 55.0 west. Tropical Depression 17 has the potential to become Hurricane Philippe around the time it nears the islands of the Lesser Antilles on Monday, according to Jeff Masters: TD 17 is here, and will likely be the first major hurricane of September. This storm will be with us for the next two weeks, since it is moving slowly and has a large area of ocean ahead of it. The storm is in a an environment ... (read more)

Two Americas, One Bridge

People would go up the bridge every time they lined us up for the buses and the buses wouldn't come. People in groups would go up the bridge trying to go across the river. People who had family across the river couldn't get across the river. They were not letting us out of there. -- Denise Marsh, a Convention Center evacuee interviewed on This American Life (audio attached) For all you people who think we are races in Gretna, please leave your address, we will be glad to bus all the criminals ... (read more)


A columnist for the Orlando Sentinel ponders the political impact of having so many New Orleans-area voters living in other states, perhaps permanently. Even while carrying the state in 2004, Bush lost Orleans Parish by almost 110,000 votes out of fewer than 200,000 cast. Without Orleans Parish, Landrieu would not be in the Senate, and Blanco's election could have been very, very close. ... (read more)

Police Trapped Thousands in New Orleans

As the situation grew steadily worse in New Orleans last week, you might have wondered why people didn't just leave on foot. The Louisiana Superdome is less than two miles from a bridge that leads over the Mississippi River out of the city. The answer: Any crowd that tried to do so was met by suburban police, some of whom fired guns to disperse the group and seized their water. Around 500 people stuck in downtown New Orleans after the storm banded together for self-preservation, making sure the ... (read more)

Help Hurricane Victims with Modest Needs

Modest Needs, a charity that helps people with short-term emergencies, has begun a relief program for two groups that are being overlooked after Hurricane Katrina: Gulf Coast residents who evacuated themselves and the people who took them in. "While FEMA might eventually be able to help persons who evacuated on their own, that help is going to be some time coming," Modest Needs founder Keith Taylor told me in e-mail. "We're receiving applications from families across the country who've taken in ... (read more)

The United States of Emergency

Our Nation is prepared, as never before, to deal quickly and capably with the consequences of disasters and other domestic incidents. -- FEMA Chief Michael Brown, Senate testimony, March 9, 2005 Now that the initial shock of the disaster in New Orleans has worn off, Republicans have mobilized to defend President Bush, who appears to have replaced "I'll keep you safe" with a more nuanced slogan: I'll protect you -- unless of course your local officials fail you, in which case I'll let you ... (read more)Cindy Sheehan and the Veterans for Peace Bus have rerouted their tour to Louisiana, setting up a Camp Casey in Covington with food and supplies collected in Crawford, Texas: We have set up a permanent Camp Casey at the Pine View Middle School, 1115 West 28th Avenue, Covington, LA. We are using the school to support Veterans For Peace hurricane relief efforts for the people of the region. We are supporting The Red Cross with power, medical supplies, kitchen service, food bank and distribution, ... (read more)

It's a Bird, It's a Plane, It's Superuser

The Detroit Free Times covers Michael Barnett, the network admin barricaded in downtown New Orleans who's been publishing a post-hurricane journal called The Interdictor. Barnett, an unabashed libertarian with a military background, has covered the disaster with his blog and streaming webcam while remaining online, which is both a journalistic and technological feat. To my knowledge, his connection never went down. Last night, some of the troops stationed in the city found them: Sometime around ... (read more)A friend lives in Baton Rouge in a house that fared well in the hurricane, so he's taken in around a dozen relatives as they decide what to do next. One is an architect for a small firm based in New Orleans who has a wife, eight-month-old, and father living with him. Since his company may be out of business, he's looking for a job, primarily in the Baton Rouge or Lafayette areas of central Louisiana, but might consider other locations. "He's a bit of a jack of all trades and I think he could be ... (read more)

Barbara Bush's Texas Hospitality

As Presidents Clinton and Bush toured the Astrodome yesterday, an NPR reporter recorded an amazing comment from First Lady Barbara Bush: Almost everyone I've talked to says we're going to move to Houston. ... What I'm hearing, which is sort of scary, is they all want to stay in Texas. Everybody is so overwhelmed by the hospitality. And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this -- this is working very well for them. Indeed. Losing your home, ... (read more)