Monday, September 01, 2008


Even from the safe distance of being on the other side of the world, Gustav watch has become an obsession.

Since Katrina, which was sad and horrifying enough to observe from afar, I’ve followed the plight of Lisa through her blog and virtual friendship as she and her family have gone through the ups and downs of temporary homes, work, schools, dramas and a return to New Orleans. Three years on her home is still not habitable. Imagine three years of dealing with a recalcitrant insurance company, dodgy contractors and living with your mother? Actually I can’t, I get too stressed just contemplating it.

Now they are doing it all over again. Fleeing the city, which means a long slow crawl in bumper-to-bumper traffic. Finding and paying for accommodation for an unknown length of time. Knowing how bad it was last time. Who knows what will happen next?

For the Gustav obsessed, the various radar and other images at Weather Underground are compelling. Almost as much as tuning into the local bloggers – tales of evacuation but also some brave/mad souls who are staying put (keep an ear out for Craig, he’s doing some media links with Australia).

Being an atheist there are no pithy platitudes to use at such a time (surely a second hit on such an amazing city is all the proof you need that there is no god?) but for what it is worth my thoughts and hopes are with you all.

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Blogger Alexander M Zoltai said...

"surely a second hit on such an amazing city is all the proof you need that there is no god?"

If there'd been a period at the end of that sentence, I'd have not made a comment; the question mark provoked me ;-)

I'd say that the second hit could only prove there's no God if God were only merciful. Yet, since the major religious traditions show that God is merciful but also expresses justice, there could be argument for a "necessary" second hit...

But that's only a rational argument, certainly not a religious one...

~ Alex from Our Evolution

12:25 am  
Blogger Lene Andersen said...

I read an article today accompanied by a video showing water sloshing over the not yet fully repaired levees. Three years later and the bleedin' levees are still not repaired?

It's heartbreaking. And infuriating.

10:41 am  
Blogger LisaPal said...

Thanks for this post and for your concern for the city of New Orleans and your friends here. Thankfully, this was no Katrina. I'm still not sure the state of things in the different parts of the city in general other than that the power is out all over, including at my mothers house, which is otherwise okay.

Alexander, what is New Orleans guilty of that would require a "necessary" second hit in order to express justice? I'm rather curious.

Iene, there's a big difference between water sloshing over a levee and water pouring through a breach.

The levees have been repaired and additional flood control measures have been implemented in the last three years. Raising and fortifying the entire levee system (hundreds of miles) to provide full protection from a serious storm is expected to take until 2011. What's important is that the levees did not fail, (overtopping is not the same as failure), though we can't be sure this would have still been the case if Gustav had been another Katrina.

Feel free to read more about the state of the levees here.

4:59 pm  
Blogger Alexander M Zoltai said...

"...what is New Orleans guilty of that would require a "necessary" second hit in order to express justice?"

I'd said my statement was a logical response, not a religious one.

Guilt belongs to a moral framework not a logical evaluation of your original statement: "surely a second hit on such an amazing city is all the proof you need that there is no god?"

12:33 am  
Blogger Another Outspoken Female said...

AMZ: thanks for dropping by - when I am in the mood for a discussion as the existence or otherwise of a higher being I will visit your blog. For now I'll just use my philosophical energy for wishes and meditations in the direction of those facing larger struggles in life than my own.

Lisa - great to get an update. Heard that people are returning home again. Hope the power is flowing once more and that your house repair has not been set back too much and your mum's abode is ok.

8:46 am  

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