America; Houston has a problem–Ike WILL be far worse than Katrina

This just in–water is available in Liverpool, 30 miles from Galveston!

Do not expect any documentable real news from Ike’s strike until later today or probably tomorrow. As in any disaster, initial reports will be too rosy or too dire. It will take days for the full scope of this disaster to be known. No one has a clue how many people ignored the mandatory evacuation orders, so those involved with search and rescue do not know how many people they are looking for. Estimates of close to 150,000 people in the counties affected make this a daunting task for sure.

Due to the size of Ike, hurricane conditions will continue to buffet the entire area most of today. Do not expect to see anything but the barest of live of coverage from the worst areas. It is simply not safe for anyone to go out until the water recedes and the winds die down. Houston must endure many hours of relentless high tides and winds. No definitive details of its fate will be known today.

High tide in Galveston matched pretty much when Ike came ashore. Only time will tell what has become of the estimated 15,000 people who stayed and refused to leave the island. The honest fear is that from Galveston all the way to the western suburbs of New Orleans when the water recedes what will be found is carnage due to the high numbers of people who failed to leave the areas.

The time has come in America for mandatory evacuations to mean just that. If people refuse to leave, they should either be arrested and hauled to some secure facility or sign a paper acknowledging NO emergency services are available and no lawsuits can be filed. Images of emergency personnel risking their lives to save those who at the very last minute “chickened out” and wanted to escape the storm make me very upset.

What good does a “mandatory evacuation” order mean if 20% of the people ignore it? The entire evacuation process in this country is a joke. Evacuations are ordered when not needed and not ordered when they are. People pick and choose which “mandatory” evacuation orders they want to abide by and then expect to be rescued when they ignore such orders.

For the next few days, just like after a major earthquake, the emphasis is on search and rescue. Those trained in this field are called “first responders” and their mission is to find, treat and rescue anyone still alive after this disaster. Only after those in critical situations are rescued will the search for those who died start in earnest. Only after that will the emphasis switch to helping those NOT in life threatening situations.

This tragedy will far surpass Katrina simply due to the amount of people involved and the size of the area covered. Just as in Katrina’s case, there will be hundreds of thousands of people with no power, no jobs and pretty much no house for weeks if not months. Sure, in a few days look for every spare electric truck in the country to head toward this area to help get the power on. But, along the coast there will be no power and no help for a very long time.

Keep this in mind; there are still thousands of people in Louisiana and Mississippi and Alabama who have never gotten repairs made to their homes after Katrina three years ago. There is simply not enough crews, money and charities around to get to everyone. Now this disaster will be added into the mix. Everyone knows those with the most money will get repairs first, for they can afford to pay cash. Those who must hassle with insurance companies many times go months and years before receiving the funds needed to get roofs fixed and other repairs.

Just as in Katrina and Rita’s cases, there will be thousands of people who had no insurance and who must depend on FEMA or charities to provide assistance. Again, due to the size of this disaster, every governmental and charitable organization in existence will be taxed to the max over the next few months and years.

Make no mistake about it. We will be dealing with various effects of Ike for years. There are NO quick fixes after a major hurricane hit. Everything will go in slow motion for quite some time due to a multitude of issues from contaminated water to broken glass to electric wires down to hundreds of thousands of buildings which must be gutted before the mold makes them uninhabitable to …

As this drama turns the page to what comes next, please continue to pray for those whose lives have been turned upside down and inside out by this storm. Honestly, we will not know much of anything about the scope of this disaster for days. In the meantime I pray America realizes that like it or not; we have Katrina #2 on our hands—only worse.


5 Responses to “America; Houston has a problem–Ike WILL be far worse than Katrina”

  1. 1 Ghostradomas
    September 14, 2008 at 5:10 am

    heh, sounds like you have no idea how bad katrina actually was.

  2. September 14, 2008 at 6:30 am

    Yes I do know how bad Katrina was and at the time I wrote this, I thought Houston had gotten hit worse than it did. I have spent all day revising my thoughts and let it be said here that NO; Ike was nowhere near as bad as Katrina–But 12 more hours over the water and 20 miles to the west and it would have been worse than any hurricane to hit the United States.

  3. September 15, 2008 at 6:16 am

    No wind for 31+ hours and FEMA has done nothing but say that trucks are on their way to Houston. Floodwaters rose again due to up to nine inches of rain overnight signaling a cold front. Four million without power. Most with no running water. No gasoline, drinking water or ice.

    Only 3% of residents have electricity. 3/4 of us were urged to stay home, so did. Two gas stations open in town, and people are driving over an hour to get here to wait three hours to fill gas cans to power their generators because they’re in the dark with no frig or cooking facilities or air conditioning on hot humid days.

    Everyone seems to be sending supplies and volunteers to Galveston or New Orleans. All of SE Texas is affected including major cities and suburbs. NE TX sent linemen to Louisiana instead of SE TX. Go figure.

    There is a news blackout (no helicopter traffic over sites) probably because FEMA doesn’t want reporters to see the bodies of all those too stupid to get out of mandatory evacuation zones given plenty of assistance and advance notice. One homeless person spent the night in a park in Galveston underneath a park bench clutching it for dear life. He refused to leave. Must have been protecting “his” property.

    Again, we are a few miles from the evacuation zone furthest from the coast and were told in no uncertain terms to stay home. Now we have water everywhere and none to drink or bathe in. No power, gasoline, essential supplies and the roads are yet again under water.

    I can’t compare the two, Katrina and Ike. But those comparisons will be made and once again, FEMA can’t learn a lesson from Katrina and can’t even get water and ice and MRE’s out where they are needed. Red Cross is in Galveston but no-one is supposed to even be there!
    I’m not sending canned articles or films but writing my own observations and sending photos to fellow WordPress blog cookingwithdee.net. Dee

  4. 4 Steven
    September 27, 2008 at 7:19 pm

    As a resident of Ocean Springs, Ms, during Hurricane Katrina (our youngest son was in Gulfport Memeorial Hospital NICU through the hurricane), I can definitely understand exactly what the survivors of Ike are going through. FEMA should have learned something from Katrina but everyday since this storm landed we can see how that’s not the case. God bless all that are going through this. FEMA is the agency that is well paid and accountable for the emergency assistance and coordination of long term relief. Many heartfelt thanks for the help but DON’T CUT EM’ ANY SLACK!

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