Smoky Mountain Family Historian

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Ramblings on Katrina

I haven't posted much lately. I've just been too overwhelmed by what I've been viewing on the television. I was well-acquainted with the Mississippi Gulf Coast and New Orleans. It is so sad to see such utter devastation. I've seen the images on television, the NOAA satellite images of the destruction, and the photo galleries posted by all sorts of photojournalists on the Web. Many of the images leave me in tears.

Disasters such as Katrina make us realize what is important and what isn't. I am so tired of hearing the "blame game." No amount of preparation could have prepared us for the enormity of Katrina's devastation. It takes time to clear roads and get into affected areas. The response was may not have been as immediate as anyone wanted, but I don't think that the blame game helps and I'm not sure that large level response was possible sooner because of the damage to roads and logistics of moving aid workers into the areas affected.

I have admired Haley Barbour's leadership in the crisis, but I've been dismayed with that of Ray Nagin and Kathleen Blanco. Why was the New Orleans disaster plan not followed? Why are there enough buses left in the city of New Orleans to have transported nearly 15,000 folks out sitting there underwater? Why did they put people in the Superdome without having emergency items such as food and water there? There are lots of questions to answer. Maybe one day we'll have them. I'm not saying Nagin and Blanco are to blame, but I do want answers to some of those questions. I've not seen a satisfactory answer yet.

After waiting all week, Knoxville finally received some evacuees. One lady that I'm sure had never been outside of New Orleans in her entire life was very impressed with the beauty of the region. I'm sure we'll hear more of their stories in the days to come.

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