As of 12/14/2005, NOPD and Orleans Criminal Sheriff buildings do not have power. Entergy, the power company, is a privately held company. If you go to New Orleans on a Sunday, you will see Entergy crews everywhere. Again, how many disasters in US history saw critical city infrastructure down for 3 months? This is not a city official or corruption issue. This is the media under reporting how widespread the damage truly is. FYI – NOPD is working out of the Royal Sonesta hotel on Bourbon Street and Orleans Criminal Sheriff has full time generator power. It isn’t anarchy, I'm just pointing out that there is way more going on here than city or state officials.
Data and phone lines are still at less than 60% up. People are buying cellular wireless cards to get internet access because they can not get their cable or phone lines up in a reasonable time.
The above data is only New Orleans. I have a DVD of some footage taken in Plaquemines Parish a week or so after the storm. These people are driving where there was 40 feet of water. There is nothing standing. Nothing. These aren’t the rooftops you see flooded in the same helicopter footage you were seeing over and over. These are home that are splintered. These are businesses that are no more. Much different to see this from the angle of a car driving by than a helicopter. Where is the media on this area.
Washington Parish – this is a small rural parish north of New Orleans. Bogalusa is the Parish seat. They eye wall passed just east of this heavily pine wooded parish. They keep cutting and cutting and cutting the pine trees that snapped. There are still areas that have no power. Bogalusa would be bankrupt had not a private citizen donated the money to keep the city afloat. Who is reporting on that human interest story?
Cudos to HDNet for having a story on HD News on Pecan Island. They focused on the fishing, primarily shrimping industry. They showed shrimpers going out and catching barely adequate hauls. When they started interviewing the owners of the boats most of which are old families and the owners of the businesses that support the fishing industry, they started asking how much insurance paid for the rebuilding. They were shocked to find out that the shrimpers had simply helped each other get their boats off the levees and docks without any help. Businesses were quoted as “we haven’t seen an insurance or FEMA person. If we waited for them we would be out of business.” When asked how they did it, they replied “we all did it ourselves”. Too bad HD News has a tiny viewer ship since you need an HD set and DirecTV to get it. That is the old gulf coast way. You don’t cry, you rebuild and move on. I guess that doesn’t make good news.
BTW, there is extensive damage in Mississippi and Texas. I see little coverage on this any more.