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Location:near Houston, Gulf Coast, United States

Conservatively liberal, moderately well-educated, and highly opinionated...

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Tuesday, August 30, 2005

The Point of Contact and no news... this is hard

I am straying widely from my normal blog focus. It's easier to vent here than go through the trouble of setting up another site just because people are used to finding information about crime and other ills here. Bear with me...

Sunday morning, as it became clear that New Orleans was going to get smacked hard by Katrina, I tried very hard to get my second mom, Sandy, to head West toward me (in the Houston area). I told her to load her 'critters' and just go - I'd meet her someplace along the road if she needed me to.

She just broke down. Having had recent surgery, Sandy didn't see a way to do that... and the shelters she knew of weren't going to allow her pets. My best friend from childhood (her daughter) was sheltering in a church on Opelousas Street on Algiers Point, and Sandy went to join them at the church. She promised to call me as soon as she could, and made sure her other kids had my numbers, so everybody had a point of contact outside the storm's path. I have heard nothing from them since.

One of Sandy's sons evacuated to Natchez MS. No word.

Another son is a Police Officer in New Orleans. I spoke with him Sunday about mid-day, and he was typically confident. Since then, no word.

Another son evacuated to the east, near Pensacola. So far, he's the only one I've heard from. The good news - he and his wife are fine. The bad news? I have nothing to tell him.

The national news reports are absolutely worthless. As of last night, they were still reporting that New Orleans was "spared". However, local news there has a much different story. The mayor appeared on WWLTV.com and reported that the 17th Street Canal levee has a breach two blocks long, with water rising rapidly. Mayor Nagin also stated that 80% of the city is under water. View the complete interview here.

There is so much more to New Orleans than the French Quarter, and while I treasure beignets as much as the next person, I'm frustrated as hell!

The Times-Picayune has published their newspaper online, in .pdf files, here. They also have forums that support parish announcements, and general queries. Thus far, it looks like almost all the postings are questions with very few responses. Nobody has information about much of the city, including Old Algiers.

For specific queries, I found this link: http://qso.com/satern/emailfrm.htm. I'm planning to ask them for information, and while I worry about these folks being overwhelmed with pleas, I wanted to share it for anyone who is searching.

My heart goes out to everyone there along the Central Gulf Coast region this morning. Gulfport and Biloxi, by all reports, is completely devastated. I'm so sorry - I have many happy memories of those towns when I was growing up. I'm sure the houses in which I played are gone. They were very near the beach...
More later...