This just in–water is available in Liverpool, 30 miles from Galveston!
I wrote a post Friday night entitled “Epitaph for Those who Chose NOT to Get Out of Ike’s Way”. I thought Saturday that perhaps this was too harsh and the end result might not be as bad as feared. With each passing hour, I fear that my initial impressions were closer to the truth than everyone thought yesterday.
I just read that search and rescue crews have found a total of 2,000 people so far. This is great news except there were supposedly 140,000 who ignored the evacuation order. There is a growing knot in my gut that is telling me that the number of people who may have perished in hurricane Ike may be higher than anyone wants to think. The logical question in all this is very simply; where are these people?
We can safely assume that many of these people are stranded in places impossible to reach due to storm damage. We can safely assume many of these people made it to higher ground just before the storm hit. We can safely assume many people are getting to safety on their own as the waters go down. We can safely assume there were errors in the reported number of people who stayed behind in the first place. This will certainly account for a certain number of the missing. But…
I realize that crews have not been able to get to many areas due to flooding and debris on the road. Many areas are still under many feet of water. The disturbing question comes down to what became of the thousands of people calling 9-1-1 at the beginning of the storm? Of course all phone service went out soon after the storm hit and there was no way to contact anyone afterward.
Most everyone I know, especially those who worked the phones in the grief counseling center set up after Katrina, confirms the actual number of fatalities from Katrina far exceeded the “official” count. No one can offer any good explanation as to why the government refuses to divulge REAL numbers. Do they not know them? Are they afraid of public opinion? Is it bad politics?
I just heard there is a news blackout and helicopters are not allowed to shoot footage of many sites. Once again it appears FEMA is covering up the truth regarding just how bad this storm really was. Why do the authorities not want America to know the truth regarding how many people lose their lives in these powerful hurricanes? Where are the investigative reporters demanding answers?
Here are the facts as far as they have been reported:
*There were assumed (who counted them?) to be 140,000 people in mandatory evacuation areas who defied the order and stayed in their home (or did they?).
*Early in the storm, there were “thousands” of calls to 9-1-1 operators from these people asking for assistance, which of course was not available.
*As of Sunday afternoon, 2,000 of these people have been rescued and I believe the “official” fatality count is around 9 in the whole country.
*Video footage and firsthand accounts verify that all buildings near the coast subjected to the surge are gone. All that is left are the foundations.
*Numerous areas in the mandatory evacuation zones have been or still are under many feet of water. Many of the dwellings which are submerged are single story.
We have a troubling and very difficult problem on our hands. Where did the rest of these people go? The answer, at least in part, is one that no one wants to talk about or acknowledge. It is the ever growing elephant in the closet.
There is absolutely NO DOUBT that hundreds, if not thousands of these missing people were swept to their death with the storm surge. Their bodies will never be found because they were swept out into the Gulf of Mexico. I hate to be the one breaking this news, but it is the truth; just as it was with Katrina.
Hundreds, if not thousands of bodies will be found once the water levels drop and the search teams can get into remote areas. I do not like writing this any more than anyone likes reading it; but the sooner everyone comes to grips with the reality of the situation the sooner the grieving and healing can begin. The one undeniable fact is that stern warnings were given over and over again that anyone who stayed in certain places in certain types of structures faced “certain death”.
Unless somebody comes up with a logical explanation to account for the whereabouts of well over one hundred thousand people, the unfortunate reality is that many of these people perished. This is truly a heart wrenching thought. I pray this morbid post proves to be wrong. I pray there is some other logical explanation for the whereabouts of so many people. Unfortunately, I believe I could pray night and day for months to no avail.