Thursday, August 18, 2016

Answers for Louisiana Flooding Questions

Patrick Armstrong
1 hrNew Orleans, LA
The August 2016 Louisiana Flooding Disaster for those of y'all in the rest of America just tuning in:
- Nearly 7 Trillion (with a T) gallons of water fell from the sky in just under 48 hours over an area slightly geographically smaller than metro Atlanta.
- That much water in that short of a time in that small of a landscape would cause problems anywhere on the land surface of planet Earth.
- Massive flooding occurred, causing tragic loss of life, devastating loss of property, and driving tens of thousands of people from their homes and schools and work.
- Just like it would happen anywhere else, the high ground that hadn't flooded in recorded memory ALSO flooded. Nearly 7 trillion (with a T) gallons of water.
- The flood was very, very bad, and at one point shut off all roads west of New Orleans. All of them.
- Local, State, and Federal first responders, who take emergency preparedness very, very seriously and who have trained for events just like this for years, initiated heroic action resulting in tens of thousands of rescues for people and their pets.
- A bunch of civilians who take emergency preparedness (or boating, or both) very, very seriously initiated heroic actions resulting in thousands of rescues of people and their pets. If you hear about the "Cajun Navy" these are those folks.
- Because of professional emergency preparedness planning, authorities had some idea of where to set up shelters for individuals displaced or rescued in the flooding. Tens of thousands of people ended up in such shelters.
- Because floods are weird and don't flood everyone, a bunch of people who didn't flood then started helping out the people who did. It was a little chaotic at first, but things settled down.
- It is only a miracle that more people didn't lose their lives, but hundreds of thousands of people have lost their homes. Recovery is going to take a long time.
- This flood affected people from all walks of life. Wealthy people and poor people, white people and black people and Native American people and a bunch of other people, city people and country people, heterosexuals and homosexuals, cis and trans men and women, young people and old people, Republicans, Democrats, Greens, Libertairans, religious people and atheists. Water don't care who you are or what you believe.
- Those responding to this disaster come from all walks of life. Wealthy people and poor people, white people and black people and Native American people and a bunch of other people, city people and country people, heterosexuals and homosexuals, cis and trans men and women, young people and old people, Republicans, Democrats, Greens, Libertairans, religious people and atheists. Ain't got to agree on everything to know that being flooded sucks, agree to disagree, and load this pallet of drinking water in the truck so we can get it to thirsty people at the shelter.
- No, New Orleans did not flood. We truly appreciate you all asking after us, but we need y'all to join us in helping out Baton Rouge, the Florida Parishes, and Acadiana right now. And Mississippi. Just like how it always happens, part of MS got clobbered by this too but we hear even less about them.
- Almost everyone in New Orleans has been sending food, water, diapers, formula, clothes, and other relief supplies west as the roads have opened. When you live in a community that has faced disaster, you are empathetic with other communities facing disaster. If you need your faith in humanity restored that people will go to great lengths to help one another, call your people in Louisiana, we can get you directly in touch with miracle workers.
- Now, if you live somewhere else, you may not have heard about all this on the news over the noise of a presidential campaign and a swimmer being a jackass in Brazil.
- The flooding is still going on. It has continued to rain down here and that hasn't helped. Interstate 10 reopened just this morning east of Lafayette. Dozens of state highways are still underwater. The water is still rising in some areas downstream.
- The rescue is still going on. There are still first responders in boats helping people. There are still thousands of people in shelters, and thousands of others who have lost everything in their homes.
- The recovery will go on for a long, long time. This is where Louisiana is going to need the most help. Please stay tuned. If you want to help now, call your people in Louisiana, we can get you directly in touch with the miracle workers.
Important Note:
- You may hear some people elsewhere arguing about the President playing golf. This is not germane to this disaster in any way. Federal authorities are here and are doing their jobs, and from all reports they are doing their jobs well, and are a tremendous help to state and local authorities who are doing their jobs well. We'll be sure to let all y'all know if something goes wrong with that. But for now, traffic is bad enough in areas affected by the flood as things stand, and a Presidential motorcade for a photo op is not necessary at this time. Please resist the urge to get distracted by this and start arguing about it. Louisiana needs real help, not fake umbrage.

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