Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Stories of the Storm

The aftermath of Katrina in New Orleans continues to worsen. We hear that two levees are broken and the water is now flooding the French Quarter and downtown. The entire electrical grid for the city is wiped out and authorities say it will be 6 to 8 weeks before it can be restored. The flooding has contaminated the water supply so there is no safe water.

It's hard to conceive of the effects of all this. There are tens of thousands of refugees in the Houston area. All of our hotels/motels are totally booked.Last night the local television news ran extended videos of the area so they could see what was going on back home. So we are all hearing some of the personal stories from friends with ties to New Orleans, if we don't have any ourselves. Here are a few I heard today.

--One friend has a son in graduate school at Tulane University. He got out of New Orleans before the storm and is now living at home. She believes that school will not resume this semester so is planning to encourage him to look for a part-time job to keep him busy until then.

--One of the teachers in our church's school has twenty-one relatives who are refugees from Katrina living in her home.

--Another story heard at lunch is about a friend whose aunt is stranded in a New Orleans hotel without electricity and water. She has 6 small children she cares for with her. They only had 5 sandwiches last night and all the vending machines at the hotel have been looted. There is no more food and the roads are now impassable because the levees broke. The aunt didn't have transportation and her neice is prepared to drive to New Orleans to pick her and the children up--but you can't get into the city because the roads are flooded. Is there a way to get people out of the city to a "staging area" where relatives and friends could drive and pick them up?

Now take those stories and multiply them by about a million people who lived in the areas devastated by Katrina. Words fail me. It is a miracle more weren't killed. Thank God for the technology that gave enough advance warning to evacuate most of them.

UPDATE: One of the young women in a study group I lead just emailed asking for prayers for her cousin and his son who are missing in Pascagoula MS. They lived on the beach and the family can't find out whether they evacuated. Also her aunt in that city lost her home and it is not in the flood zone so there will be no insurance. She has a number of other family members she can't find both in New Orleans and in Mississippi. I am afraid I will hear this type of story repeated often over the next few days.

5 comments:

Avie said...

Plenty of refugees here in Austin as well. In fact, Dave's house has become a campground for the New Orleans family of a friend of theirs for the next week (Dave's roommate Will is out of town on vacation so they have a spare room). Thank God for the kindness of strangers (and graduate students).

Purechristianithink said...

Apparently Mobile and Pensacola are also full of refugees--and they are still recovering from Ivan! BTW--Ivan and Katrina(Catherine) were both notorious Russian rulers. Coincidence????

John said...

Grace, my wife and I would be glad to open up our home to a refugee family. If there are any camping out at your church (or that you otherwise know of), please e-mail me.

Quotidian Grace said...

Thanks, John. If I hear of anyone who can use housing in Orlando, I'll email you.

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