Saturday, June 14, 2008

Our Version of Katrina

Don't you dare, Iowa.

Look, my heart goes out to you. I hate that this is happening to your community. It shouldn't happen anywhere.

Just don't say it's anything like what happened here in New Orleans.

When the President lets people drown and starve in Des Moines, call me.
Three years later if you're still struggling to restore basic social services, let's talk.

I hope damages are minimal, my thoughts are with you. But don't say it's the same as what happened here.

UPDATE: On second thought, I should have taken a deep breath and let the Katrina comment slide. Just one man making a foolish comparison in the face of tragedy. I should be filling sandbags like Barack Obama.

UPDATE II: Still feel like a jerk.

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

Just because our residents here in Iowa actually listened to the warnings and evacuated like they should have - don't think that New Orleans has any more of a tragic scene.

NO can blame the high amount of starving and deaths on the fact that no one listened, and you that's the fact.

erjan88 said...

i am very happy your residents had the means to fill up your vehicles and get away to somewhere else. Many of the people in New Orleans did not have your options. Guess why France built New Orleans where it did. it was built there because of it's "accessibility"!!! read any
Louisiana history book.
"anonymous said"
that the people listened to the warnings and evacuated like they should have. well i was 10 years old when lower 9th ward and St. Bernard was hit with "Hurricane Betsy". what you and most other people don't understand is the New Orleans area are told to leave everytime a tropical depression is within 300 miles. If you evacuated everytime you would lose your job, belongings and your home. we watch the TV and listen to the radio and make sure that we have plenty of water, canned foods, medicine, first aide kits and extra batteries. it's a judgement call for most. i left New Orleans in 1986 I knew it had been a long time since we took a direct hit, but i was not going to take a chance with an infant. So 19 years later here comes "Hurricane Katrina" so i called all my family and friends to make sure they had left the area. all but one, that had lost their job recently, had left. My childhood home, that was the only home i ever knew had water up to the top peak. everything was lost. i am glad i had talked my parents into splitting up our family photos. if i had not done that we would have lost the most precious and irreplaceable items other than your life. You just have to make a good judgement call. you would not stay if you had any way out if you had a catergory 4 or 5 hurricane coming at you, you would leave. we watch for days before we need to make a decision. if you have ever been to New Orleans there are a lot of homes that are from 100 years to over 200 years old. they have stood firm and tall for a very long time.
I hope the residents of Iowa never face a real "Hurricane Katrina".
I found it very ironic that a boat load of Canadians make it to St. Bernard Parish before FEMA or the National Guard did. the home of the Louisiana National Guard is on the Lower 9th Ward line of Orleans Parish and the St. Bernard Parish line. the people in St. Bernard rescued their own people with their personal boats and took them as close as they can get to the Mississippi River Levee.
i will never understand why the National Guard puts all it's staging equipment where the first place it usually floods is at?

Anonymous said...

New Orlenas is below sea level and without the levee would not exist. There were warnings, so don't cry that you did not have any warning. Cedar rapids flooded where there is not supposed to be flooding. One person made this comment and you act like it is the whole state. We sent many things to New Orleans and i personally was a part of ISU ( Iowa Sate Univ) collection for the red cross we as students collected money for the victims. All I see you are doing is attacking those who are down

BTW, I am tired of hearing about victims of Katrina Almost three years later. It is amazing that no one else in the country can have a disaster. Get over yourselves. Next time you have a disaster, I will not help rais money for you. You do not desreve it.

Anonymous said...

I have not seen any residents of Iowa looting, shooting, sitting on their roofs with their dogs, yelling obsene words at the president, refusing to evacuate. They have worked hard to get what they have and will work hard again to restore their homes. They are not expecting someone else to do this for them. They will not be blaming and crying 3 years from now.

Oh and by the way, Where is OBAMA???? Could it be that he is not there because it is WHITE Midwest????

Anonymous said...

I can assure you, my friend isn't thinking about Katrina right now. She's more worried about the three-foot flooding that happened in her neighborhood and what her house is going to look like.

For those of us whose houses haven't flooded, when we aren't feeling heartsick for our friends and relatives, we're too busy stocking up on bottled water in case the city's supply runs out tomorrow to think much on Katrina.

Mostly, we're thinking about Iowa, what happened in '93, and how much worse it is this time. How bad our state's economy will be, and our city, and other cities and towns.

Maybe we'll have time to ruminate on NOLA when our lives reach something approaching normal again.

But thanks for generalizing one person's comment to a whole state which is suffering. You're right, it isn't NOLA, but if you live here, it's not exactly sunshine and rainbows and kittens. In fact, people are in shock, and people in shock say stupid things.

Thanks a lot for making sure to point it out right away. I assure you, NOLA's legacy as the most disastrous thing ever is secure. Your suffering is so much worse than ours. Your place is still secure on the scorecard, for whatever it's worth.

Happy?

From this Iowan, and Cedar Rapidian, leave us alone right now. Kick us in the teeth later. When our state's fields are dry, and our crops growing, and our cities running again, and our loved ones back in their houses.

Just leave Iowa alone. We don't need your sort of condolences, playing tit for tat in the disaster game.

Anonymous said...

I don't think that one person's comment was meant to be a total comparison to Katrina.  The people of New Orleans did have warning of an imminent oncoming Hurricane.  The mayor did nothing to expedite the evacuation of it's residents....how many times did we see photos of school buses sitting there empty instead of transporting people out of the area.  He should have used every means possible to get people out and failed.  New Orleans is built below sea level and I'm sure that every person who lives there knows this and understands the risk involved of being there.  Had the levees held around New Orleans....there would not have been the massive flooding that did take place.  People had been telling New Orleans for years that they needed to upgrade their levee systems or there would be a catastrophic disaster if an category 5 hurricane and it happened.The people of Iowa are experiencing a 500 year event....nobody has ever seen this widespread flooding of an entire state.  88 of the 99 counties in the state are now disaster areas....all this happening within 2 weeks of having an EF5 tornado totally take down an entire town.  In another town that was effected by the EF5 tornado....what homes weren't taken by the tornado were flooded out.Who knows what the government response will be to this.....Homeland Security and FEMA have both been here to access some the flooding but it's not over yet.  The river that runs through Iowa City isn't suppose to crest until Tuesday and already the devastation is incredible.  Believe it or not.....the floods of New Orleans really were catastrophic but it didn't effect the entire nation.  The flooding that Iowa is experiencing will.  Remember that when you go to the grocery store this fall/winter and grocery prices for food are more expensive than they would be at the current rate of inflation.  Iowa is America's #1 producer of corn for our country and projected loss currently is about 10% of the crop is gone and the crops that do survive won't have very good yields due to all the water.  If the pattern of all this rain and moisture doesn't change....that number will no doubt continue to climb.  I hope that New Orleans never has to experience an EF5 tornado with only 10 minutes of warning to take cover....and if you're able to emerge from your shelter (8 people were killed while in their basements either by debris falling on them or being sucked out by the tornado), you find absolutely everything that you owned is splintered and scattered across a field and later hearing that some of your things are ending up hours later 90 miles away in another state.  All of that with only 10-15minutes to prepare.

Xavier said...

ejan88...I agree with your argument. My heart goes out to those displaced by the floods in Iowa, but there are to many differences between the two localities for this tragic event in Iowa to be comparable to that of Katrina.

Charlotte said...

Ya know, there really cannot be comparisons in disasters. Was Katrina worse than the China earthquake? How do the shoddily built schools there that collapsed and killed so many children compare with the shoddily built levees here that drowned our children? Was Katrina's destruction about the same as the Myanmar cyclone's? Didn't they suffer more casualties than us? How about the fires on the west coast...is it more or less agonizing to the victims than a flood?
What purpose does comparisons serve? Why even entertain the idiotic musings of the New Orleans/Katrina bashers?

I just finished reading Mark's post and now yours.
I love New Orleans. What happened here was really bad. But wallowing in self-pity and whining "we had it the worst of all" is unproductive. I am really tired of it all. No offense meant. Most of the New Orleanians I know and interact with have moved on. It's called life. Endless discussion is a luxury.

E said...

you're right

New Orleans News Ladder said...

First off I can't tell you folks from Iowa apart when you don't leave a calling card. This anonymocity is for the birds. You don't have to worry about us, which leads me to...
Second off: I don't get the vitriol here.
No one is kicking anyone's teeth in, Iowa. Check the Ladder and you will see that we have been all over you since the water was a foot from the edge of the Coralville damn. All over you. It is 2:30 in the morning and I am still posting articles, waiting on breaking news, trying to keep an eye out.
Why? Because your welfare upstream matters greatly to our welfare down here. Your safety matters as much to me as the safety that we were denied in New Orleans in 2005.
We All Matter Sinn Féin.

New Orleanians are not self pitying fools but incredibly sensitive around national disasters--as you are realizing about yourselves right this moment. We remember.
We have endured unbelievable condemnation for our role as survivors of the Federal Flood of New Orleans. Hard, right wing, kill-them-all Hitler shit that nobody deserves for any reason.
This is exactly what Toulouse Street was responding to on his posts: one of those absolute neocon fool icehole corksuckers who decided to use Your tragedy as yet another hammer to try to knock Our teeth in...again.

I read the entire article that E referenced without one "Katrina".
On the Ladder I have posted ledes where Iowans have referred to this flood as "Their Katrina"--but they weren't being derisive...just stating that they had never seen such flooding before.

Katrina is the benchmark for Ass Kicking Nature. Katrina is when the Fat Lady Sang. However, while we survived Katrina, the Corps of Engineers is another matter and will forever be (till my dying breath)the absolute fool's gold standard for Federal Criminal Negligence in the perpetration of our own flood.
The only thing our floods have in common is their lack of precedent...and the sheer fear and pain of loss perhaps. But that is where most comparison ends as far as I can see.
Y'all are getting more of everything from the Feds than we did which was nothing. I'm not talking about the recovery. I am talking about when they left me to die. We had nothing for 6 days. Nothing. Nothing. Nothing. Worse than nothing, we had FEMA.

I suspect this is what E means by "don't even go there". And I agree. I don't know...it is hard enough to type with one foot already stuck in my mouth.

Let's try for both feet...
Everyone needs to calm down and pull together. No shit.
Iowa needs to reevaluate the Corps of Engineers roll in their State's flood control.
Y'all need to know who built your levees. If it is the same group that built ours then...well, you know already.
You need to learn the roll hugemungous agri'ethanol production plays in your State's water management.
You can learn much about this from studying New Orleans.

We need to help each other. I see a great deal of support and attention paid to this flooding by the nola blogging community.

We have to stick together.
It is as true now as when we faced the bloody British: Either we hang together or we shall all surely hang separately.

And...We were brought together for a reason so Y'all leave your names with ours. That's only good manners.

Thus spake,
Editilla

Anonymous said...

Look all you pieces of $hit, any tragedy is a terrible thing for our county to face. How about instead of fighting over who has it worse, the residents in New Orleans come here to Iowa and help out with the clean up like we helped you. I personally know seven people who dropped everything (wives, kids and businesses) to come to Louisiana and help with the results of Katrina. Rather than crying over "we had it worse than you," (boo freaking hoo), how about we all pull together as citizens of the U.S. and help each other out.

New Orleans News Ladder said...

Anonymous,
I spent all that wind trying to convince my fellow bloggers that you are worth the benefit of the doubt--and you ruin it.

My Senator voted for your state to become the 2nd most subsidized state in the nation, so Archer Daniels Midland could force you idiots to plant corn and the Corps of Engineers punked you Iowans into buying their brand of flood control and now your State is drowning from it you stupid idiot.
Hell at least we know who stuck it to us. You haven't a clue.

I tried to open up to you and you kicked me in the testicles.
Stop it! Go find out who built your failing flood control system and call them worthless $hits.

Don't come around our town sucker-punching and back-stabbing anonymously. That is so neocoward.
Everyone here has left their name but YOU.

Thanks for nothing,
Editilla

Me said...

What's happening in Iowa is nothing like the travesty of Katrina for several reasons, much of which is explained here. http://lagniappeslair.blogspot.com/

People in Iowa are smarter and more self-reliant, and they'll rebuild it a lot quicker than New Orleans because Iowans will actually do it themselves instead of whining and demanding $2000 debit cards and then running off to the casinos and liquor stores to spend it. And I haven't heard of an Iowan shooting at police officers or other rescuers yet. Have you?

Anonymous said...

I'm Susan from Cedar Rapids: I didn't intend to be "anonymous" but didn't want to go through all the registering....

No one I know would even think of comparing our tragedy to the New Orleans tragedy. The scope is much different, but the personal sense of tragedy is what these people are comparing, I think. People here also lost their childhood homes, and many old, historic businesses will be gone for good. Our government buildings are flooded. A community called Czech Village was inundated, along with all the homes surrounding it. I viewed the destruction from the interstate over the city, and it was something hard to fathom, much less describe. That sense of devastating loss and destruction is what the Katrina comparisons are based on, not the scope of the two events.

We are extremely, extremely grateful for all the help, support, and interest taken by those around the country. Traveling I-380 a few days ago just hours before the interstate closed from flooding, I saw so many out of town and out of state vehicles filled with people coming to help -- and there was a big van of supplies from Mississippi!! So no one means to belittle or berate your tragedy from Katrina, and none of us here can truly understand what you endured no matter how hard we try. As one post commented, those warned here did have the means to evacuate, whereas many in NO did not. Anyone following the hurricane's aftermath is fully aware of the magnitude of the differences that made.

Please don't base your opinions of Iowans or Cedar Rapidians on the uninformed and biased comments of a few. We are all in this together, and we will all remember Katrina, as well as the Iowa floods of 2008.

Anonymous said...

Editilla-
Excuse me for not leaving my name- Alison from Manchester, IA. (That sure made a big difference, didn't it!)
Obviously you did not understand what I was trying to say. Admittedly, emotions were running rampant while responding to some of the cruel things people had said. The point I was trying to make was this.....
Iowans are facing the most horrible natural disaster in history. Tornadoes hit just two weeks before all this flooding happens and take the lives of 8 people, and then the water comes. Then during the flood, another tornado hits and kills 4 Boy Scouts. (Granted, three of them were from Nebraska, but that is besides the point.) We are not begging for pity, nor expecting everyone to drop everything and come to our aid. Things happen out of our control, and we are clearly getting the attention we are BECAUSE Katrina happened before this. Hopefully the government learned from all their mistakes made during Katrina, and feel that this is possibly their chance to try to redeem themselves.
The ranting and raving is not going to get us anywhere. Iowans are pulling together as much as they can. Thousands upon thousands of volunteers have showed up in every place to help. Iowa is a small state, with small towns, and you can't really go anywhere without running into someone you know. Our great state is doing everything we can to help out our fellow neighbor, because that's what we do here. Time wasted on playing the pity game is just that- time wasted.
We prayed for you in your time of tragedy, and really, that's all we expect in return.

Anonymous said...

Let me clear up what I said before. I am not saying this is the most horrible natural disaster in history, I meant it is the most horrible natural disaster in OUR (Iowa's) history.

E said...

I think we're all friends now, yes?

I wish I hadn't posted anything at all.

Obviously I was made bitter by the Katrina comparison because [and I am not a native New Orleanian] I believe that US government has effectively abandoned this part of the country. This is not the case (as far as I know) in the flood zones in Iowa.

You guys are getting the response you deserve and what I want more than anything is for the flood waters to receive quickly and for there to be as little damage as possible.

I agree with Charlotte's comment.

Editilla d'Aphasia said...

Thank you.
You may have noticed by now that you are not dealing with media-stereotyped New Orleanians, eh? It would behoove Iowans to get to know Rising Tide:
http://risingtideblog.blogspot.com/
Vivent Longtemps la Marée Croissante Trois!
But don't just take my word for it. And please forgive my presentation here.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.
But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

To be, or not to be, that is the Question:
Whether 'tis Nobler in the mind to suffer
The Slings and Arrowes of outragious Fortune,
Or to take Arms against a Sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them: to die, to sleep
No more; and by a sleep, to say we end
The Heart-ache, and the thousand Natural shocks
That Flesh is here too? 'Tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish'd. To die, to sleep,
To sleep, perchance to Dream; Aye, there's the rub,
For in that sleep of death, what dreams may come,
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause. There's the respect
That makes Calamity of so long life:
For who would bare the Whips and Scorns of time,
The Oppressors wrong, the poor mans Contumely,
The pangs of dispriz'd Love, the Laws delay,
The insolence of Office, and the Spurns
That patient merit of the unworthy takes,
When he himself might his Quietus make
With a bare Bodkin? Who would these Fardles bare
To grunt and sweat under a weary life,
But that the dread of something after death,
The undiscovered Country, from whose Borne
No Traveler returns, Puzzles the will,
And makes us rather bare those ills we have,
Than fly to others that we know not of.
Thus Conscience does make Cowards of vs all,
And thus the Native hew of Resolution
Is sicklied o're, with the pale cast of Thought,
And enterprises of great pith and moment,
With this regard their Currents turn away,
And loose the name of Action.

Sinn Féin!
Editilla

Anonymous said...

Thank you 'e' and thank you Charlotte. I more than whole heartedly agree with both of you. It's good to see that others have the same perspective on the situation.
Alison, Manchester, IA

Civitch said...

To me, the most important aspect of both of these disasters is the failure of the Corps-built levees. Instead of taking pot-shots at each other, let's focus our anger on the feds for allowing our cities and homes to flood.

Charlotte said...

Don't be so hard on yourself, E. You're one of the good guys. The "we had it worse" attitude is shamefully perpetuated every time another part of the country has a disaster. It happened with the fires last year.
Look, it's easy to jump in the poor Nola bandwagon when your co-bloggers, friends, etc are doing it without thinking it through first. I've done it too. We aren't perfect.
Sometimes I think those of us who went through Katrina, the evacuation and exile get tunnel vision. It wasn't fun, it was nerve-wracking and sorrowful. Just as it is now for the people in the flood zones up north. We, of all people, should understand how they feel.
I respect you for manning up.
Hugs,
Preachy Charlotte ;) (who does the best she can)

Editilla d'Aphasia said...

Need a hand here:
http://www.desmoinesregister.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080617/OPINION04/806170339/-1/NEWS04

Editilla said...

There is no shame in "Man'ing-Up" when popped across the face. It is important in this discussion to note that Nola bloggers were not posting blogs disparaging Iowa. No. I would have spotted it. We have been supportive of Iowa since the first drop of rain Sinn Féin.
It is important to note who in fact is starting this vile discussion in their blogs like Big Dog who Toulouse Street rightly bitch'slapped and btw who has been so flogged by our righteous friends that he felt a need for another post, spinning like a blind lemming. THEY KNOW THEY ARE WRONG. Wrong matters--especially when you are talking about the Flood of New Orleans and the Flood of Iowa and Who Built Our Levees. No. I did not lay down. I started jumping for Iowa around June 7th with my site. This issue does not offend or piss me off--IT BREAKS MY HEART.

This Register story has taken on a life of its own because Goddess protects us and will see the real story told.
Iowa knows who her friends are because New Orleanians are showing up there and all down the river to help.
It is important to stick up for your friends when they are attacked by bullies who have the advantage of national exposure.
It is important that that we stick together.
Thank you all for responding to my call,
Editilla
Sinn Féin

Editilla d'Aphasia said...

BE PROUD NEW ORLEANS!
WE KNOW WHAT IT MEANS!
REMEMBER NEW ORLEANS
REMEMBER
Sinn Féin
E...it stands for
Editillero!
Which rhymes with HERO
...and BEERO
...and DON'T FLOOD ME BRO!
...and VITTER IS A HO!
...and GO GO GO SAINTS!