The Facts: Hurricane Katrina

Even though The Debate is here to delve into the opinion side of the week's big issue, I think it's only fair that you have plenty of good news sources on the subject as well -- if only so you'll know where I'm getting my facts.

So, each week, I'll try to pass on some of the key news links I'm combing to frame The Debate. Here are a few that immediately come to mind.

The Washington Post has a page with links to all the Hurricane Katrina stories, information on where to donate, and lots of photos, audio and video from the scene. (Full disclosure: I work for the Post. But you probably guessed that already.) The New Orleans Times-Picayune and the Sun Herald -- serving Biloxi and Gulfport, Miss., two of the hardest-hit cities -- provide the local angle as written by those most directly affected. For technical information on Hurricane (now Tropical Depression) Katrina, NOAA has it all. Another place for maps, video and straight information about the storm is

By Emily Messner |  August 31, 2005; 5:00 AM ET  | Category:  Facts
Next: This Week's Issue: Hurricane Katrina


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Local channel WWL has a very good breaking news section - no analysis, but often updated with noteworthy developments.

Posted by: Tracy | August 31, 2005 02:43 AM

Hmm, this comment section doesn't seem to like HTML very much, here's the link:

Posted by: Tracy | August 31, 2005 02:45 AM

Regarding the devastation in New Orleans, Biloxi and Alabama; If Mr. Bush wants to really help, either send in the navy ships to evacuate people or have FEMA obtain cruise ships to help those people. Since the only way in is either by air or sea!!!!
Stop wasting time. People are dying.

Posted by: Micheline Vosges | August 31, 2005 09:07 AM

I am very curious to know which (if any) foreign countries have offered their assistance in the aftermath of Katrina. Anyone know?

Posted by: Maureen | August 31, 2005 10:24 AM

As to the question of whether any foreign countries have offered help. Fox commented on the issue last night, in its usual "bushlike" manner. I don't know if they (foreign countries) will help or not. But if they don't - blame the man in the whitehouse who took office and in effect told the whole world to kiss his you know what. I am truly not surprised.

Posted by: Maxine | August 31, 2005 11:59 AM

This disaster brings us to a point which seems like a good time to end the totally unneccessary and costly Iraq War and tend to fixing our own country.

Posted by: Chuck | August 31, 2005 12:25 PM

Maxine, I would not be surprised either (for multiple reasons). However, GW Bush isn't the one suffering through this disaster. I would hope that foreign governments and/or individuals would step up like our folks do.

Posted by: Maureen | August 31, 2005 12:26 PM

If you were waiting for this disaster to make up some more negative comments about my president, shame on you! The fact is that if your presidential candidate was in charge I would respect and serve him as I did former presidents of differing ideological bents. This is our country get behind it in a positive way or move to Afghanistan.

Posted by: Sam Douthit | August 31, 2005 12:40 PM

On the surface, it is disgusting to hear/see the hand wringing about the cost of gasoline...but here is another perspective from Arizona, where we have pitiful mass tansportation and long distances between housing and working areas.... in 110 deg weather...walk? ride bikes? The people with Hummers will fill em up and gripe about cutting back their lattes, but the working people WILL suffer and even lose jobs. In the can count on Arizona Americans to donate blood, send money, emergency/firefighter teams, Red Cross volunteers...and pray for the people that ARE on the frontlines and in harm's way to keep up their strength and courage in the days ahead.

Posted by: R J Clouse | August 31, 2005 01:16 PM

Could someone explain to a non US citizen this.
If your country has afforded huge tax cuts and billions almost trillions on invading,killing the people and controlling other countries why was not anything available to state governments for flood protection ?
Engineers prior to the the hurricane striking knew that flood protection was at risk so obviously this isn't a case of being wise after the event.

Posted by: Peter Morris | August 31, 2005 09:07 PM

Hi, one assumes countries like Australia will be sending you guys help - we send people everywhere else in the world, so the US should be no exception. Kim...

Posted by: Kim | September 1, 2005 04:02 AM

Alqaida has excepted his involvement in Katrina disaster, it is not a natural disaster it is a power and curse of God and Muslims as well to USA, we only cut what we sow, if you are children of God then why God is doing those with you?

Posted by: Kelly | September 1, 2005 10:09 AM


Posted by: Kelly | September 1, 2005 10:17 AM

By Guy Gugliotta and Peter Whoriskey of the Washington Post, Their article was way off base. It is not a question of how much time and cost to rebuild. It is a question of why rebuild in a below sea level area? This can and will happen again.

Who will want to insure this mess? Does the American taxpayer want to pay for this all over again?

Let's ask the correct questions before we through more money down a bad soup bowl.

Posted by: Mike | September 1, 2005 10:29 AM

This is the most boring blog I've ever read. Why is the stooping so low?

Posted by: Angela | September 1, 2005 11:50 AM

Would you agree with me that this display of the constant demographics of the cultural group most affected by Katrinia is mind-boggling? Yes, all those affected have my utmost sympathy. As an African American who have never visited the deep South, I truly am impressed by this pictorial view of thousands of poor, black Americans. Somehow it increases my knowledge of U.S. slavery history. I can't explain it, but my pain, skepticism on how they will be accepted in Houston or any other state is probably just as intense as each of those 'refugees' waiting to be exported. What a picture for the rest of the world to interpret. I pray
for America

Posted by: Jean | September 1, 2005 12:18 PM

Would you agree with me that this display of the constant demographics of the cultural group most affected by Katrinia is mind-boggling? Yes, all those affected have my utmost sympathy. As an African American who have never visited the deep South, I truly am depressed by this pictorial view of thousands of my people. Somehow it increases my knowledge of U.S. slavery history. I can't explain it, but my pain, skepticism on how they will be accepted in Houston or any other state is probably just as intense as each of those 'refugees' waiting to be exported. What a picture for the rest of the world to study and interpret.

Posted by: Jean | September 1, 2005 12:22 PM

A dozen of foreign countries have offered aid for Katrina. The U.S. State Department has yet to decide to accept this assistance.

Posted by: Michel | September 1, 2005 04:00 PM

People are dying in the streets of Baghdad by the hundreds. They are dying in streets of New Orleans because the levy's couldn't be upgraded like the army corp of engineers wanted to in 2001 because of tax cuts. Gas prices are well over $3.00 a gallon. Thank God gays can't marry and the rich got a huge tax cut. That is what is important!

Posted by: Bob | September 1, 2005 06:04 PM

Sorry, but string, scotch tape, glue and prayers to Jesus won't save people. Instead, we need real leadership in this country and certainly haven't got it. For this New Yorker who watched the horrors of 9/11 from his roof two miles from Ground Zero, I must say four years later we have a real crisis of leadership in this country--in both political parties. This is shameful and all Americans must unite and overcome this regime.

Posted by: Wilford Scott | September 1, 2005 09:35 PM

I wanted to say that it was predicted quite before by the govenrment agencies to eavacute the city, then why people didnt leave intime, may be they stayed to loot, why the army did not keep people evacuate by force from every house, and I want to add that if people arround the world willing to help as a global neighbor it is a time to show humbleness not the rude behavior and except the brotherly help, your people needed the help anyways, because it is a mass distater countries dont have this much funds for this big emergency. I hope this will get help from arround the world, USA should not make it a matter of its pride and accept for his own people.

Posted by: TOM | September 1, 2005 11:54 PM

bush is a james dobson dick sucking low life scumbag,

bush is a worthless piece of shit, is how we would phrase it in California...

cheney is a coward, and bush is a cock sucker...

seems simple enough to me

Posted by: copocabana | September 2, 2005 01:39 AM

Living in New York and being a rofftop eyewitness of 9/11 don't qualify your commentary in any significant way, as everyone with half a brain knows that New York and California are in no way representative of the rest of the 48 states that make up our nation.

There is no more a crisis of leadership in this country now, than there has been over the last 39 years of our lives. This debacle could have just occurred with Bill or Hillary Clinton in office. That it occurred now, is only a matter of bad timing and luck for George Bush, because all the finger-pointing blamethrowers will dump all of our current problems on him because it's easier than getting off of their collective, empty and meaningless gesture, "do-it-because-it-feels-good", lazy asses.

If more people knocked off the hand-wringing and got their act together and went south to offer their physical support as opposed to rhetoric, then maybe we could accomplish something here. The harsh reality, however, is that millions of others like you are going to watch the stars on the upcoming telethon and phone in some coin to alleviate yourselves of some guilt. Want to do something more significant? Take one or more of these "dislocated, poor families" into your home.

Oh yeah, quit blaming Bush for all of our problems.

Posted by: EchoMike66 | September 3, 2005 02:04 AM

Welcome to Republican America, Y'all!

It is with no great pleasure I watch my fellow citizens angrily tangle in long lines at gas stations to fill up their monster SUVs and trucks, that maybe 1 out of 10 has any 'need' to own. You know who made the 'gas crisis' y'all? Y'all did! Now you just shut up and get in line and say 'Thank you' to the corporations that are making record profits while you pay record prices!

With the inspired leadership of Republicans at the State and Federal levels here in Georgia and Louisiana and the rest of the country, 4 years after 9/11; they can't handle the emergency, they can't even keep the gas flowing at rip off prices. Heck, they can't even nudge the auto companies to boost the average corporate fuel mileage up to the level of the 70's.

You know who's to blame? Y'all are! You've been electing these water carriers for the wealthy and powerful for a long time now, no matter how bad they make it for you. As long as their talking heads on radio play to your own greed and prejudices you just keep giving them more wealth and power. Like those idiots that voted for Sonny Purdue in Georgia because they believed he would give them back their rebel flag; fooled, foiled and ultimately betrayed. Well, that's what happens when you get into bed with the snake, you get bit. Just the nature of a snake to begin with. If you didn't want it to happen, don't do it.

Little wonder then, when Sonny says, there is nothing to get alarmed about with the gas supply, all those who voted for him and along with those that didn't, clog every gas station around no matter how much they jack up the price.

And if you repeat whatever those disgraceful shills for the rich say on radio, I'll just trying to slap a little sense back into that noggin. Like, "Why didn't those people leave New Orleans when they had a chance?" said like only the truly thoughtless can say. They are the poor, old, etc., service workers, minimum wage families and what not and every city has them. As the AJC wrote, "Each time you hear a federal, state or city official explain what he or she is doing to help New Orleans, consider the opening paragraphs of a July 24 story in the New Orleans Times-Picayune.
"City, state and federal emergency officials are preparing to give the poorest of New Orleans' poor a historically blunt message: In the event of a major hurricane, you're on your own."
So there you go. Try to remember that and when you don't, I'll slap it back into you.

And this fall, do try to keep your mouth closed as the popular talking heads blame you for the social security benefits cuts (too many of us living). And at the same time tell us how the rich deserve even more millions to be passed tax free from generation to another generation that has never worked for them. And you shouldn't even get enough to fund your rotten social security benefits fully. Just pretend that the one has nothing to do with the other, just like the talking heads say. If you start parroting them though, I'll have to smack you again if you're in reach.

And now, the chief executive will appear once again at the scene of his criminal laxity and pronounce how Halburton will receive another couple of billion dollars in profits to deliver not much. Hail to the chief, y'all?!

Posted by: John | September 3, 2005 09:22 PM

Once all the poor individuals are finally evacuated and safe comes an even bigger dilema. The rebuilding of a city below sea level! Why waste billions of dollors, both private and tax payer, to rebuild a city for the next 100 year storm to destroy!?! The city should be abandoned, residents and businesses alike relocated, everyone start anew. I can't see throwing more good money after bad.

Posted by: Bill | September 4, 2005 09:27 AM

DUCT TAPE! That's the best that DHS and FEMA came up with. Funding has nothing to do with the ineptitude of Chertoff and Brown. An evacuation is an evacuation is an evacuation. Whether it's triggered by a terrorist attack or a flood is irrelevant. Now we all know that DHS and FEMA are not ready and don't have a plan. The money spent for the DHS in past years are wasted forever. Now Chertoff will probably ask for more money to waste. After all he thinks this was a "magnificent" operation. Another one or two of these "magnificent" operations and we are all screwed!

Posted by: Luc | September 4, 2005 11:22 AM

Am I the only watching all this that is disgusted. I don't care which party you subscribe to the reaction and reporting to this hurricane is horrifying. The political parties seem more interested in either defending their actions or attacking the actions of the other party. The only response a politician should have to any comment or attack right now is, "I'm sorry I do not have a response to 'insert name here's' comments. We are more interested in rescuing those still lost and bringing aid and comfort to those who are found. Perhaps after we have saved all that can be saved and buried our dead then I will reflect upon the political pandering of my colleague and respond when I have the leisure to do so. However I feel we must really focus our attentions on those men and women, American citizens, who need our help. Good day."
I see the politicians playing the blame game now. Do we really need a federal probe to tell us what we know already. The levee was insufficient. The response to the crisis not adequate. There, now that I saved the tax payers a couple of million, on to the media. The only group of people less trustworthy and less scrupulous than lawyers or at least competitively so. The media is now showing up in these places of chaos, freshly showered and pampered. They ask great questions that pay honor to academia, such hard hitting questions as "So how's it going? How do you feel now that you've lost everything?" They find surviviors who would kill to be transported out and can't. They do nothing but point their cameras and strike a pose. Why is it they can come and go through this area and rescue workers and victims can not? Why is it that the media seems more concerned with watching the news than helping those it deems worhty of recording on camera? A semi trailor full of supplies in your parking lot is not an acceptable contribution. When you have helicopters for transportation and communication equipment that can reach around the world and you don't offer your service to help people get in contact with each other or help to transport even a couple of people. Sad. Shameful. Disgraceful.
Well just some perspective. We do not need more hearings, we do not need to make Katrina out to be a racist storm, we do not need more pictures of the tragedy, what we need is to roll up our sleeves and go to this region that has been affected and help. United.

P.S.: I really can't imagine anything more pointless than politics at this time. This should be about the people not the parties.

Posted by: Jeff | September 4, 2005 02:04 PM

We were able to go to the Moon and Mar but not able to drop food and water within 24 hour for our people. Time to shop for gun + food and water ... for yourself; don't count on this Gov. to help you when needed. If you still believe them, don't just make yourself safe within 72 hours as they suggested, let make it 30 days for your own good, because it take min. 6 days for one problem, what if we have more than one problem at the same time? Don't forget that it take 6 days because all the Press searched and reported 24/7 in this country.

Posted by: james nguyen | September 4, 2005 07:12 PM

Oh. My. God. I am just listening to the newest report on Radio National (Australia) about the Superdome - apparently the 25,000 people there were _forgotten_ for DAYS. It is being reported that most of the authorities who could actually do anything had no idea the people were there.



Posted by: Kim... | September 5, 2005 03:26 AM

Its all the Federal Govt's fault, as usual.
Bush should have ordered a mandatory evacuation earlier, should have put food, water, batteries, toilets in the Superdome. FEMA should have called out the Louisiana National Guard and sent it to New Orleans when Bush declared the mandatory evacuation. DHS should have commandeered school buses, commercial busses, and taxicabs and should have used them to evacuate the hospitals and assisted living facilities.
Yes, its all the Fed's fault - the local and state governments aren't incompetent - their hands were tied until they could get permission.
It that about the way it looks in D.C?

Posted by: J. Gault | September 6, 2005 08:47 AM

The local, state, and federal governments have failed the people of Louisiana. Now that we have the BLAME GAME out of the way. Let's help those in need and stop concentrating who's to blame. Redirect your angry energy and do something constructive with it.

Posted by: JP | September 6, 2005 09:19 PM

Sean Hannity today said that New Orleans received more money for water control (including levee construction and repair) than it did the previous five years (under Clinton). Also, Louisiana remains the number one state in receiving government money for water projects (even ahead of California). La. has a longstanding reputation for greed, graft, and chicanery, and I wonder how much of the federal funds for water projects have been "diverted", and how much that may have affected the hurricane rating strength of the levees.

Restablishing New Orleans in its current location is an idea that must come from PEOPLE IN DENIAL. Lets write it off and start over for crying out loud. Make Lake Ponchartrain an alligator farm (I think alligator hides could be made to be in high demand at reasonable prices.) Sorry PETA --- After paying a reasonable management fee, I think any profits should go to reimbursing other cities who so elegantly took in some of New Orleans.

I have lots of other good ideas but will save some for next time. Hahaha.

Posted by: hammerx12 | September 8, 2005 06:59 PM

i think that it is time that we try to get everyone out of new orleans that water may be pumping out but that water is not exactly clean period

Posted by: nichole | September 9, 2005 11:29 AM

I am currently working on a project for my school and we have been debating on wether or not FEMA should be aloud to be making these people evacuate their homes after this hurrible occurance. I think that maybe if FEMA had came to the "rescue" faster than maybe more people could have been saved and more of their possessions also. More effort should have been put into the evacuations and repairing of the levees.

Posted by: Elana | September 18, 2005 04:03 PM

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