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From Bad to Worse, and Worse to Worser

Governor Kathleen Blanco is ordering everyone who didn’t evacuate from New Orleans before the storm to evacuate now; she’s sending in buses and boats, and getting everybody out.

Ranting and panic, below the fold.

The situation is continuing to deteriorate before our eyes: the Army Corps of Engineers has given up on attempting to sandbag the breached levee, and projections indicate — apparently those same projections we were looking at before the city appeared to have been spared — that the water level in New Orleans, already as high as 20 feet in some places, could rise another 15 feet.

We’re back to 30 feet of water. A city abandoned. All major services discontinued. Uncollected, unidentified, uncounted bodies floating in the flood waters.

Blanco’s asking for prayer, but the entirety of South Louisiana, and the Gulf Coast at large, needs more material help than that. If New Orleans goes under, it could easily drag the economy of the entire region with it. And while Blanco’s being quite clear about her determination that the city will rebuild, there’s something implied in that that as yet hasn’t been said: “rebuilding” is a more literal term than folks might recognize. Nothing in South Louisiana can survive weeks of standing water; the mold and mildew infestation (along with godknows what all else that water will introduce) is going to require huge parts of that city to be torn down and entirely rebuilt.

But first, how do you rebuild a city once you’ve given up on repairing the wall that keeps the damned ocean out?


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