Hurricane Katrina: October 2005 Archives

A report from my friend Dave in south Florida:

Hurricane Wilma has left South Florida a real mess. We don't have water pressure (!) or electricity. We do have a phone line, which I am using for dial up, and I can recharge my laptop battery using a power inverter and our minivan (until it runs out of gas...).

Pray for water to come back on, for school to start up again (so our girls will have something to do!), and for gas stations. If we can get these, we can fake the rest.

Praise God no one was hurt here. Our patio screen was half ripped away; when it went, it took a gutter and fascia with it. Other than this, and one cracked roof tile, our house is OK. There is major damage in our neighborhood, many houses with significant roof damage and some major tree roadblocks.

Ruth is bailing water out of the swimming pool to flush toilets. Now we really feel like Beverly Hillbillies!!

Could have been much worse, but no water pressure is no fun.

UPDATE: Dave was excited to report that he could run his DSL modem off of the power inverter, too. No running water, no electricity -- but he has broadband!

Raise New Orleans?

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On my list to read later: An article from American Heritage's Winter 1990 issue about the raising and rebuilding of Galveston following the 1900 hurricane that destroyed the town.

Hat tip to David Sucher of City Comforts Blog, who has an entry about using structural fill to raise part of the sub-sea-level portions of New Orleans. There are a lot of interesting comments on that entry, including the idea of making New Orleans an urban Venice, dealing with the continued setting of the city, and learning from other raised cities, like Seattle.

Life of Reilly

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Shortly after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, I started reading John Kennedy Toole's hilarious novel A Confederacy of Dunces, set in New Orleans in the early '60s. (It's on the bookshelf at Double Shot Coffee.) The protagonist, Ignatius J. Reilly, is an unforgettable character, a medievalist out of place in modernity who records his blasts against his times in crayon on Big Chief tablets, and as I read the novel I felt sure that if the book were set in our time, Reilly would be a blogger. (This is pretty close to how I'd imagine a Reilly blog would read.) I could imagine Reilly being evacuated from New Orleans and winding up in the planned refugee housing at Falls Creek Baptist Assembly in southern Oklahoma and blogging about his encounters with this strange culture. It's even funnier to imagine Reilly, rad-trad Catholic that he is, taking refuge at Beal Heights Presbyterian Church in Lawton, and encountering its Truly Reformed blogging pastor, John Owen Butler. (His blog is called "OK Calvin" with good reason.)

Finally someone with some imagination (not to mention theology and geometry) has provided us with Ignatius J. Reilly's reaction to the disaster. Matt Evans of the Morning News has discovered a letter from Reilly to President Bush, proposing that he take over as head of FEMA:

Sir, I must reprove you now with sharpness!

You have allowed matters here to degenerate most abysmally in the watery wake of the Hurricane named Katrina. The levees are broken and our cities washed away. We have, as I once wrote in Working Boy, “gone from the vortex to the whirlpool of despair…New Orleans, a [once] comfortable metropolis which has a certain apathy and stagnation which I find inoffensive,” now stagnates in putrescence. The air is filled with the puling of women and children. Degenerates and drug addicts rule the day.

Worse, the statue my fellow citizens once erected on Canal Street in my honor now languishes begrimed and deliquesced from the dark floodwater onslaught!

He has some proposals for action which may be of interest. I notice he doesn't say anything about all those waterlogged buses. He had a bad experience on a bus once and would be only too glad to tell you about it. In excruciating detail.

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Hurricane Katrina category from October 2005.

Hurricane Katrina: September 2005 is the previous archive.

Hurricane Katrina: February 2006 is the next archive.

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