Chicago Fire -- Johnstown Flood -- San
Francisco Earthquake --- Hurricane Katrina.
The devastation, horror and human tragedy
in New Orleans and all along the Gulf Coast east through
Mississippi and Alabama to Florida are, in a word,
From the Washington Post:
Federal and local authorities struggled
Thursday to regain control of this ruined and lawless city,
where tens of thousands of desperate refugees remained stranded
with little hope of rescue and rapidly diminishing supplies of
food and drinking water.
The chaos that has gripped New Orleans
after Hurricane Katrina showed signs Thursday of spreading to
Baton Rouge and along the storm-ravaged Gulf Coast, as weary
refugees continued their slow and confused exodus to higher
ground. Fresh waves of National Guard troops began pouring into
the region in an attempt to quell the unrest, but large swaths
of New Orleans and other sodden areas remained essentially
By the end of the day, the American Red
Cross announced that its hurricane shelters were full, with an
estimated 76,000 refugees at facilities in Louisiana,
Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Texas and Arkansas. The
official death toll in Mississippi climbed above 100, and
Louisiana officials repeated warnings that thousands could be
dead in New Orleans. The Energy Department said about 1.8
million customers remained without power due to Katrina.
Those left behind in the Crescent City,
including many with diabetes and other worsening health
conditions, clung to rooftops, gathered on overpasses and
bridges, and huddled on islands of dry ground, waiting for help
that never came. Parents carried small children, and grown
children carried their elderly parents through the flotsam.
Corpses floated in fetid waters and lay amid the crowds of
refugees. Helicopters airlifted hundreds of seriously ill
patients to a makeshift field hospital at the city's airport.
At the storm-damaged Superdome, faltering
efforts to transport as many as 23,000 refugees to the Astrodome
in Houston were temporarily halted after a gunshot was
reportedly fired at a military helicopter. Authorities continued
to struggle with incidents of looting, carjackings and other
PULSE to read and see an
extensive array of media accounts.
The nation and, indeed, the world has begun
to respond to the call for help.
from the Delaware National Guard have taken their place among
volunteer soldiers from many states and the federal military to
restore order. Medical personnel, utility workers and providers
of other humanitarian services are there or en route. Those who
necessarily remain afar are contributing money and material. The
provision of shelter at the Astrodome is symbolic of what is
happening in big ways and small. Delaware State University has
offered to receive students whose education has been
interrupted. Many nations -- including Venezuela and others with
whom we are not on the best of terms -- are giving us as we gave
them in their times of need. As often happens, disaster brings
out the best in far more people than it draws out the worst from
Gradually and painfully, the affected
region will recover and then rebuild. There has been some
suggestion that New Orleans will be an exception -- that the
city will be abandoned. That cannot be allowed. 'Katrina' is
destined to be a name forever etched in annals of history. But
it should go without saying that the blow the storm dealt will
be subordinate to the story of how it was overcome.
a likely cutoff of federal transportation financing for
Delaware, Wilmington Area Planning Council directors approved a
third version of its fiscal 2006 transportation plan. Although
the vote was unanimous, some council directors made it clear
they were not happy doing so.
The long-awaited Wawa store in Claymont
opened for business on the appointed day.