Hurricane Katrina

I’m struggling to finish writing a textbook chapter by the end of the day, so I’ve been largely out of touch with the rest of the world for several days. I’d been hearing a lot about Hurricane Katrina through blogs, but I hadn’t read the news, listened to the radio, or, of course, seen any TV coverage, so I didn’t really know how bad it was: the strange isolation of modern life. This afternoon I took a break from writing and started to catch myself up on the news. I read about how gas prices are likely to reach $4.00, I read a tourist’s musings on her time in New Orleans [link broken], read a Southerner’s account of what hurricanes are like, read about people who are organizing charity events, and then found myself in tears while looking at the NYT’s slideshow of photos from the hurricane-struck areas. [photo below is from that slideshow]


Mayor C. Ray Nagin of New Orleans said on CNN that his unique and historic city, which had been jarringly transformed overnight, was “in a state of devastation.”

“We’re not even dealing with dead bodies,” Mr. Nagin said, according to The Associated Press. “They’re just pushing them on the side.”

I know a lot of us are struggling for money right now, especially students, but if you’ve got any extra funds at all, you know who needs it more than you do. I took mine out from my savings. I look at the the piles of boards in the street that used to be buildings, the multistory complexes that are now halfway submerged, the people getting ready to evacuate the Superdome–where they’d been evacuated to in the first place as a last-resort measure–and I read that parts of New Orleans are now twenty feet under water, and I’m thinking I should give even more money, because goodness knows when these people are going to be able to get back home again and what they’ll find when they get back.

[This post was imported on 4/10/14 from my old blog at]