It's Chaos and chaotic down South.
Food and drinkable water were scarce, forcing city officials to order nonessential people to evacuate. By afternoon, officials were also ordering rescue shelters to evacuate.But, contrary to some posits, there is no shortage of military personnel to help, rescue and keep order.
The fabric of civil order was frayed. The Superdome changed from an arena of sports heroics into a grim experience for about 10,000 refugees. Three hospital patients died in the dome and another death was reported by officials. One suicide was also reported, but could not be independently confirmed.
Inmates took over a local jail and looting continued for a second day. [SNIP]
Houses that were not damaged by wind began to collapse as the standing water eroded their structures, particularly along the shore of Lake Pontchartrain.
Law enforcement officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the news media, said that inmates took control of an Orleans Parish jail.
[New Orleans Mayor Ray] Nagin said that electricity will be off in the bulk of New Orleans for at least a month. There was no estimate yet of when the city's drinking water might be available. A major water main was shattered.
At least 300 rescue boats were deployed in the New Orleans area, ranging from 24-foot Boston whalers to 14-foot aluminum bateaus, said Bo Boeringer, spokesman for the state Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. They were forced to maneuver their boats around unusual underwater obstructions such as street signs and fences, he said.
In Washington, National Guard officials said the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan have not affected their ability to respond to Katrina. Nearly 124,000 troops were available for duty in the 17 states along Katrina's path, the National Guard bureau said today.
More than 6,200 Army and Air National Guard troops were on duty in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida when the storm struck.
Lt. Gen. H. Steven Blum, chief of the National Guard bureau, had promised governors that no state would lose more than half their troops to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. So far, that only happened once when Hawaii briefly dropped to 49%, a Guard spokesman said.
It seems as unreal as 9/11 did initially…but it’s really happening.
(Thanks to Michelle Malkin)
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