Friday, September 02, 2005

3 Sep 05 Katrina Info

This from a WL Looper:

Jefferson Parish Emergency Ops Center Director says that 17th St canal breach is now "under control." In same brief pointed out that local emergency response plans assumed that Federal support would be on scene in 48H.

From aerial images, water levels continue to drop - NO East bus farm two days ago water was up to bus roofs and now up to windows.

Explosion on west bank was not a result of illegal activities. Local authorities reporting occurred at abandoned warehouse, not chemical plant (as AP reported). Initial hazmat team reports are positive.

Separate local report that Chalmette refinery, the largest location to process Venezuelan crude, is largely intact. Another lg fire burning downtown.

US Chamber of Commerce reports over $100M corporate pledges made to date.

Heartfelt mea culpa from New Orleans media in defense of Federal government - we all new it would be bad (poor city, poor public transport infrastructure, laissez les bon temps roulez approach to life, etc.), but no one thought it would be this bad.

Kenner (in Jefferson Parish, western NO suburbs and location of main airport) is safe and being used as staging area for rescue operations. Still planning on letting residents return next week to visit homes, salvage personal belongings, then leave. Anticipate at least a month before able to move back into homes, at best.

Washington Parish (where Bogalusa is located) President Taylor drove to Baton Rouge to emphasize need for help for north shore areas. Reports that 50% of homes uninhabitable, confirms no water, food, power. St. Tammany Parish President yesterday requesting medical supplies to care for the refugees. Tangipahoa President requesting assistance - power, water; power returning, but had to evac Hood Memorial Hospital in Amite due to lack of fuel for generators. If return of power continues, should be able to begin flushing water system Friday. Livingston Parish President requesting food, water, security assistance; pulled back their two SWAT teams which were providing security for LSU SAR Team, so SAR team pulled out (reported people attacking boats).

FEMA director said last night that he did not know about refugees at Convention Center, so had not been coord'ing help to them.
Ascension Parish President request law enforcement assistance; overwhelmed w/refugees.

St Charles Parish requesting generators for hospitals to care for refugees. Have New Orleanians who walked 40 miles and need help.

Shelters in Baton Rouge are full. Refugees are being diverted further north. Astrodome is full (cap 20K+), and overflowing to other facilities in Houston and Dallas. At one point when all facilities were full last night and message went out over radio for assistance, 500 Houstonians showed up to take people to their homes.

Medical reports indicate that dehydration is common among refugees.

7.6K prisoners evacuated from NO prisons to other prisons. Setting up a tent prison in Orleans parish and NOT planning on moving looters, etc. out of the area until all others evac'd

Farm report from Minneapolis:
50% of US grain exports go through NO. Two week window to determine if river and port re-open, then will need to begin diverting to other locations. Prices are already low already due to bumper crop this year; combined with rising transport costs may make it uneconomical to plant next spring. Comprehensive survey of railroads highlights that if they can find rolling stock to move the crops, they have alternate routes they can use, but note that other ports are at capacity.

Unemployment stats for July just released and shows lowest unemployment rate since Aug 2001. 169K jobs added in July.

From Reuters this AM:
Sept 2 (Reuters) - Hurricane Katrina has devastated New Orleans and other parts of the U.S. Gulf Coast, killing hundreds of people and possibly thousands, and drawing pledges of support from all over the world.

The State Department said offers had come from Australia, Belgium, Britain, Canada, China, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, France, Germany, Greece, Honduras, Israel, Jamaica, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, Russia, South Korea, Switzerland, the United Arab Emirates, Venezuela, NATO and the Organization of American States.

The United Nations has offered to help coordinate international relief. Following is a detailed list of aid offered by governments.

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