Copyright © 2005 Henrietta W. Hay
The Aftermath of Katrina
September 16, 2005
There are many stories coming out of the New Orleans disaster and its equally disastrous aftermath. I have been receiving two of them on e-mails from Arizona and Texas. Wonderful e-mail.
My Phoenix daughter-in-law, Ruth, has forwarded the e-mails she has been getting from her cousin, Joe Gauther, of Huntsville, Alabama. Joe's daughter, Jill, her husband Dave land five year old Sara, live in a suburb of New Orleans which is 8 feet above sea level. They evacuated safely. They were lucky ones.
Just before Katrina landed, they headed for Jill's sister in Huntsville, Alabama. Dave was searching the internet and found that their house had some wind damage and was without power and water, but had no flooding He also found hat they could probably get in their house on Monday for 8 hours to pick up a few belongings.
Jill, a lawyer, learned that her boss planned to move the firm to Baton Rouge. He had been able to get into the law office and rescue the computers and a few files. While there he had taken a boat tour and considered the city completely destroyed.
On Saturday Dave was able to return to New Orleans. He ran power into his house through his car battery and an AC adapter. Later he was able to get some power from his parents' house by running a heavy duty extension cord over the back fence.
Meanwhile Jill made plans to fly to Connecticut to leave their five year old Sara with her grandmother so that she could attend Nursery School. Oh yes, the 3 cats are staying in Huntsville.
So -- we have one of the "lucky" evacuee families with Dad in New Orleans guarding the house from vandals, mom in a new established law firm in Baton Rouge, and Sara in Connecticut so she could go to school.
From the Superdome to the Astrodome, and evacuees who were not so lucky:
My son David spent last week in the Astrodome complex in Houston as a volunteer. Because of his computer skills he was assigned to work in "Room 602." That first day it was in a state of some confusion.
Later that first day he went to the top of the Astrodome to look around. 25,000 had been scheduled for the Astrodome, but there was room for only about 5000. The others were being housed in the other three buildings of "Reliant Center." People were moving around and kids were playing ball between the cots.
By Thursday room 602 was in good shape to handle donations, such as hearing aids and medical bracelets, computers and hotel rooms, and portable showers, and to route them to the proper agencies.
A Town Center was designed, with space which included a basketball court and a special space for the little kids. David spent time there teaching them origami.
By Saturday Things were going smoothly in room 602, and he wanted to do something that made him feel more useful. So he moved to the dining room and started serving breakfast. "The specialty of that first day was bacon and grits. I started by serving two strips of bacon and a ladle full of grits. Uh no. The appropriate portion was a pile of bacon with at least two ladles of grits."
Americans rise up and handle crises.
P.S. The latest news. Jill and Dave's house now has power, and Sara's school will probably open n 2 or 3 weeks. The Astrodome will close down tomorrow.