Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Good luck New Orleans!

The news about Hurrican Ivan and New Orleans and Biloxi is not good this morning. I am very worried. I love New Orleans and hope to go there a lot more. It is such a diverse and interesting city, and so hospitable to all who come there. The southern charm of the place exudes through it's antique pores. The idea of being 10 feet below sea level doesn't really sink (oops) in, until you realize that you walk UP several flights of stairs to get to see the Mississippi River. The whole place is one low-lying area. There are no hills to flee to. The folks that live in those smallish houses in the close nieghborhoods use public transportation, so they can't drive away. And I heard today there are no shelters. I suppose all the usual places where shelters could be set up would be under water too if the levees failed and the water reached the 12-18 feet they say is possible. Those unique and interesting shops on the French Quarter are very low, very packed with merchandise and antiques and I can't imagine how they can withstand a flood. I am very worried about my favorite city.

Biloxi is in the bullseye too. The casinos there are huge, and are situated on floats out over the water. They have not been tested by a hurricane yet, although they are designed to withstand high winds and water. The casinos are a lot bigger and more glamourous than I had imagined and the windows overlooking the water are huge--probably hundreds of feet high. How can they board those up? The chandeliers alone are as big as a house. This hurricane is really incredible with the damage it has done, and I'm very afraid there is a lot more to come.