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08/31/2005 Archived Entry: "Wikipedia covers Katrina/What about water supply"

WHO COULD EVER HAVE IMAGINED that an encyclopedia would have some of the best and most up-to-date coverage of an ongoing catastrophe? But after spending an anxious mid-night hour searching online news sources for word of what's happening in Hurricane Katrina's aftermath, I found that Wikipedia had the most trustworthy and current information.

Conditions down there, especially in New Orleans, must be stygian. Thirty thousand now huddle in the Superdome with bad sanitation, suffocating heat, and who knows what kind of water supplies. Why isn't there more talk about drinking water? Bad water could end up being a bigger killer than the storm or the flood itself. Hospital workers trying to keep patients alive and rescue workers ferrying refugees to the Superdome even as officials worry about how to evacuate them from the Superdome must feel as if their lives have been scripted by Dante or Kafka.

Hideous as it is, I keep wondering why would anybody build, or live in a coastal city that's below sea level -- not to mention one that is sandwiched between an enormous lake and an enormous river, both of which are also higher than the city. What kind of hubris is this? And -- of course -- we will all be forced to pay for the rebuilding of New Orleans, just so all these same horrors can be repeated again 50 or 100 years from now.

At the TCF Refugee Shelter (which was, ironically, established by Plinker-MS who lives in Katrina's path of destruction (but who is okay), RN has has started a moving, and chilling, discussion about Katrina's national consequences.

I know it's not a major concern to the rest of the world, but I was relieved to know that shelter dogs and cats were evacuated before the storm. They are up for adoption in Houston, which has been quite heroic in taking them in. (I don't know whether the Houston SPCA operates a kill or no-kill shelter.)

Still no word on when TCF will be back online, though General Elias reports that webmaster Bark has a full working test version OFFline. But right now, this seems like the least of worries.

Posted by Claire @ 05:48 AM CST

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