We had to evacuate for the Blizzard of '78. Our parents carried us out over chest-high water to the Scout. We wouldn't have gotten out if it didn't have a waterproof ignition. Our upstairs neighbors were rescued the next day -- they stepped right out of their window into the boat. I don't remember much except getting to watch an unprecedented amout of TV and wear my pajamas for a week. Because of the Scout, my dad drove around getting people to shelters. He was telling me the other day how people just broke down, sitting on stairs that led to houses that were no longer there.
I bring this up not because it confers any legitimacy to what I am about to say. Someone from the Red Cross told NPR today that "the urge to do something is not necessarily helpful," and the same is true for the urge to "relate." What the world needs now is not another douchebag telling the internet how he feels about other people's misery. So I'll spare you.
But it brings up this question: why is it necessary to force every single remaining inhabitant of New Orleans to leave their homes? Instead of tormenting the survivors, FEMA and co. need to shut the fuck up and pick up the corpses.
As of yesterday they were 65 days from draining the city. [That math took me hours, but for the record: 181 sq. mi. x 60% flooded x 10 ft. high = 30b ft.3 (confirmed in the Times); 5387 cf/s pumping capacity on 9/7 = 465m cf/day]. But that is just a fraction of the total capacity -- station # 6, the biggest, reopened today and others will follow. Plus, there are, you know, portable pumps that they can bring in. So where does this 3 months bullshit come from?
Of course you don't want half a million people running around, but what's the problem with a couple thousand? These people have survived hurricane, flood, violence, and a week and a half of government incompetence. Give them some food and a bucket. They can clean up too.