Wednesday, May 09, 2007

22 Levees Breached in Missouri and. . . .

. . . George Bush showed up in Greensburg, Kansas wearing a FEMA jacket. There was a statement on CNN that was very close to what he said on Jackson Square--as much as it takes as long as it takes. It was heard briefly then disappeared to be replaced by him saying that he admired the spirit of the people in the heartland, giving his condolences, then that they would work with the local and state "folks" so that the Feds could then give them "as much help as is appropriate" and in there was a telling comment: "within the law." Read STAFFORD ACT. Clearly his advisors told him not to say anything like what was said here.

My heart breaks for the people of Greensburg and the flooded towns in Missouri. I drove through Greensburg so many times on the way to visit my family in Kansas City. The road from New Mexico to KC is Highway 54. It runs right through Greensburg. The standing joke in my family is that I once got a ticket going to KC and coming from KC on the same trip, and both times in Greensburg. I paid them, just for the record.

The Governor of Kansas earlier this week criticized the administration for having too many men and too much equipment in Iraq that could have been used to help the people of Greensburg. Sounds eerily familiar.

The people of Levacy, Missouri were evacuated. The town of Big Lake, Missouri is a total loss. The town of Mosby, Missouri is under 4-5 feet of water so far. At least 20 levees breached and I've heard numbers between 20 and 25, with most reporters saying 22. Sounds eerily familiar.

As George Bush was admiring the pluck of the Kansans who lost 95% of their town of 1600 to a tornado (WIND), and said he knew they'd rebuild, I watched with a sick feeling in my stomach. Let's see how they all are doing in a year, or nearly two years, without help.

And what about their insurance coverage? Missouri (NOT BELOW SEA LEVEL) will have their homeowners policies yanked or raised to immoral limits because the damage was due to water? What, then Kansas will experience the same problems but the reason given will be wind? We need to watch these two situations and see what the insurance companies do.

I also wonder how many horrid comments will be posted on various blogs saying, "You shouldn't rebuild _______________ because it's prone to tornadoes or floods and the people that live there are stupid for living there."

Here's one of my personal favorites from a masochistic day of reading comments (this is from a USA Today article on insurance):

Skye wrote: 3d 7h ago
Do not rebuild New Orleans! New Orleans is below sea level and continuing to sink. The levees are not high enough to protect against a major storm. It is very likely there will be other major storms. People are already settled in their new homes, new jobs and new schools in other areas. They do not want to suffer a repeat of the horrors of Katrina. As sad as this is, it is a wakeup call. We are not just talking about money here but human lives and raw human emotions. Those of us who live in other areas have suffered, too. We witnessed the horrors of the superdome, death, separation, and miles and miles of rubble representing lost homes and possessions. We do not want to go through this again, either. Other people have to relocate against their wishes for reasons of employment, health, family, etc. New Orleans was a grand city and its loss will be mourned by the entire country if not the entire world. But we have to accept reality here. It can never return to its former glory and we have to accept this to be able to heal and move on.

SHE doesn't want to go through it again "either." Gotta love that. I wonder if she'll write the same thing to the people of Greensburg, KS., Levacy, Big Lake and Mosby, MO. I doubt it.

Levees. Water. Levees breaking. In Missouri, not New Orleans. I wonder if people will be determined to relocate all those people. Or the people living in Florida and California where the wildfires are raging? Do ya think Skye will feel everyone should move and not rebuild these places?

I wonder where she lives. I wonder if she has levees? She may and might not even know. She needs to watch this:


Anonymous said...

Great post sweetie!

Anonymous said...

I still haven't seen (heard) the video. It was too crazy at work and, now that I'm home, something's wrong with the sound on the PC that I'm using since the laptop is fritzing and the other laptop is out of town with The Oldest.

BUT, even without the video's audio, this is a great post, and it speaks to what I think is the heart of the matter, the bizarre need so many folks seem to have to blame New Orleanians. I have to think it's what they do to sleep at night, continuing to pretend that no such thing could ever happen to them. We do it with crime (oh, that's in another part of town, just drug dealers killing each other), we do it with cars (oh, he wasn't wearing his seat belt, or he was drunk or driving too fast - things we would never do), we do it with everything. If we can blame the victim we can continue to trust in our own safety, to avoid accepting that really bad shit happens to really good people, and that really bad shit could happen to me.

It's some funky manifestation of denial, part of the behavior pattern of addiction on a societal level and turned outward and bent.

Thanks, Slate. Excellent.

Marta said...

It so happened that, a couple of months ago, I was emailing an acquaintance about New Orleans and Katrina, and this person started to spout off that kind of crap about the people of New Orleans being uneducated and not realizing it was stupid to choose to live in a place that is below sea level. I only met this acquaintance, to begin with, because he claimed to be a very close friend of someone I really respect. When the acquaintance started to spout off this total b.s., though, it completely disgusted me and led me to stop speaking to him. My impression is that, with any form of relocation or rebuilding, people are really afraid of extreme Gentrification/ Disneyfication which makes it impossible for many of the poorer citizens to ever return, and destroys the historic character of the city's architecture and etc.
But I have to admit -- I actually have wondered, as a person who lives quite far away, if it might not be possible to rebuild certain portions of neighborhoods on higher ground -- not far away, but maybe just slightly higher land close to where they used to be -- and in a manner that IS truly respectful of the city's heritage and the fate of the poorest citizens?... I don't want to come across as completely ignorant here, but in fact I really AM ignorant :-) because I only know New Orleans very indirectly, having visited there only twice 8-10 years ago, and never lived there; and I can't afford to travel there again any time soon.

oyster said...

I echo g girl. Excellent post on a very sad topic with which we are all too familar.

Anonymous said...

Tiburon Grande, you have made possibly one of the most intelligent comments I've seen since the flood actually occured...simply by following up a reasonable assessment of the "situation" by acknowledging that you have no specific "revealed knowledge" to draw on, and in fact would probably benefit from thorough research into all of the facts before passing "judgement".

But that those who hold the pursestrings in Washington should operate with the same attitude as you...

Marta said...

Thanks you, puddinhead. Actually, the only thing I did not communicate correctly is where I do or do not pass "judgment." I am with the majority of enlightened individuals, like Slate, who pass very harsh "judgment" on the Bush administration for severely neglecting the needs of the people of New Orleans, particularly the poorest citizens (who are quite often African-American). And by contrast, I definitely pass NO "judgment" on the average citizen. New Orleans seems to be one of the greatest cities to have ever existed, and people from all walks of life would obviously want to live there -- and so, it seems so crass, and clueless, for someone to say that "...people should have known not to live below sea level, blah blah blah" --That's a bunch of horse-stuff (crap, manure), in my opinion. I'm just saying that, going forward, if the gov't. is maybe never going to be willing to build levees to the proper capacity, would it, say, make sense in some cases to GIVE people enough money to rebuild a home a couple miles away from where they are? At any rate, it sounds to me like what's been happening is that almost NO ONE is being compensated or given ANYTHING they deserve, under ANY plan. Whether it would involve leaving each house standing exactly where it is and rebuilding it right there, or relocating some houses, or even being temporarily given a trailer to live in until you can rebuild, or etc. -- But yes, as you DID correctly absorb from my last post, I am more than willing to admit my ignorance. I'm just a person who lives far away who feels compelled to speak up a little bit on these issues, in case there is some way I could be slightly helpful. But, my resources are pretty limited. (Wish I could be a big benefactor of something or another!...)
--Marta P.