Tuesday, August 30, 2005


Sadly, after looking for a time yesterday that it wasn't going to be "that bad," it turns out Katrina has indeed been that bad. With large numbers of residents being told to stay away for an entire month, and the 20,000 or so who have apparently taken up shelter in the superdome, it appears that we have our own non-trivial refugee crisis.

Lots and lots of people have neither the family nor their own resources to allow them to keep their families sheltered for a significant amount of time. Many or old and/or have chronic illnesses. This is a massive disaster requiring some serious leadership.

It appears that the money has been moved in the president’s budget to handle homeland security and the war in Iraq, and I suppose that’s the price we pay. Nobody locally is happy that the levees can’t be finished, and we are doing everything we can to make the case that this is a security issue for us.

-- Walter Maestri, emergency management chief for Jefferson Parish, Louisiana; New Orleans Times-Picayune, June 8, 2004.