The effects of Katrina are now pouring into the surrounding regions, and my local area is beginning to be seriously effected. We’re dealing with upwards of 30,000 evacuees (in a city with a population of around 40,000), and are starting to run short on resources ourselves. There’s hardly any bread left in the area, and I hear that many other stores are getting low on all other groceries. A coworker went on a fruitless attempt to get fuel for his truck: most nearby gas stations are completely out of all grades of gasoline. In fact, on my way home from work I only counted a few stations that had any fuel at all. Some stations had even taken their prices down all together.
Furthermore, there’s reports and rumors of sporadic rioting throughout the city. A coworker’s girlfriend drove by a long-since closed Wal-Mart which is now being used as a shelter, and said that people were out in the parking lot fighting each other. My wife said that there was a similar situation at a church that had opened its doors to the evacuees. Incidentally, I have a friend that works there. She also said that there was a group of men breaking into the vehicles at the parking garage at the hospital that she works. Everyone is seeing not-so-healthy-looking people just walking around town, nowhere else to go. All of the schools in the area are going to be closed tomorrow. The governor has commandeered all of the Rapides Parish buses and bus drivers to aid in the evacuation of New Orleans.
And, obviously, this is a good condition compared to parts of the state further south. I hate to think about what conditions are like below I-10. I hate to think about what conditions are like there. <sarcasm>Good thing we have CNN and MSNBC to remind us that such atrocities going on, rather than focusing on what’s being done to help these poor, frustrated people.</sarcasm>