Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Katrina Journal: Tuesday

Written earlier today:

Unfortunately, this morning the news gets worse. We've just found out that the 17th Street Canal did break, not far from our house. The breach is pretty close to where the canal joins Lake Ponchartrain. Flood waters are continuing to raise the level of the lake, and all that is pouring in through the breech. The water has spread throughout our area into Mid-City and beyond. We now expect that our whole house (2 storeys) will have been flooded. This happened after the storm had passed, so people in the Lakeview area who thought they'd escaped with just wind damage suddenly saw the water rising in the streets and it has continued to do so ever since. This breech has vastly extended the area of the city which is under water. The Times Picayune has a good article about the breech and our home area.

My partner Lillie's eldest sister Ann with her husband Glenn and their 13-year-old daughter Lisa are in New Orleans. Glenn was on duty at one of the hospitals (he's in charge of computers at Baptist Hospital) and so they weathered the storm on the 4th floor there. We have finally managed to get through to them on the phone this morning, and they're safe.

It's very bizarre watching the coverage unfold on television now and trying to make the connect between "disaster coverage" and "this is my home". I'm making the connection at an emotional level (we're all exhausted even when we sleep), but the mental leap is just not happening yet for me yet. New Orleans is going to be a severely damaged place for a very long time to come.

The two things that are helping me are contact with people and getting sound information.

Thanks for all your thoughts and wishes. - Rose Vines