A 'Sponge' Replies
Imagine reading this after living in a zone of destruction for 3 months:
I see where Mississippi is all upset because Louisiana is hogging all the spotlight and is first in line for federal aid for Hurricane Katrina. Charlie Mitchell, executive editor of The Vicksburg Post, wrote a whiny piece along those lines.
What is wrong with Mississippi paying for the rebuilding of Mississippi? Ditto Louisiana. Don Surber War of the Sponges
You know that so many people have lost everything and yet are trying their best to cope with what is going on around them. You wake up everyday, drive along the I-10 and see the twisted trees and see some of the debris that is in place from a storm surge that followed the river and made it 10 miles inland. Then you drive into the city where you work and are grateful that the traffic lights are still working. Then you turn down the road that you almost dread because you know when you get to the end of it you know the houses will be gone and the place you work at is now 10x30 trailer.
I was very angry when I made the following comment at his site:
I live in Gulfport Mississippi. Trying to compare what happened to Mississippi to a blizzard shows your ignorance. Show me where any blizzard destroyed 66 miles of buildings in a half-mile radius. The level of destruction that Mississippi and Louisiana suffered from this one hurricane is greater than all the ones that hit Florida in the past two years.
And why shouldn't America help us out? The economy of Mississippi has been shot by Katrina and it's not just the casino industry. It's the whole coastal economy which includes shipbuilding, the seafood industry and others. In the middle section of my state, it's the lumber and pecan insudtry that has suffered the most. In the northern section of my state it's the agriculture industry that has suffered the greatest.
We are looking at 23% unemployment in the next couple of years. Before Katrina hit it was 4.9%, now it is 10%.
Preliminary estimates show that over 200,000 thousand homes were destroyed outright by Katrina. Another 100,000+ will probably have to be demolished.
So, for the first time in my conservative fiscal life I'm shouting loudly for help for my state.
Do you begin to see why we need help? The figures I've given you don't even tell you about the major roads and bridges that have been wiped out.
Nor do they tell you about the emotional toll of hearing story after from your friends who have lost their homes, their clothes, and in most cases their jobs or businesses. Do you know what it's like to go to a friend's neighborhood and not even be able to tell where his house once stood? Do you know what it's like to listen to someone you joke with everyday tell you how he, his wife and children ended up on their roof and were subjected to 145mph for 7 1/2 hours? Do you know what it's like to go the place you have been employed for 14 years and see it swept out to Biloxi Back Bay?
Do not ever call us whiners. Even though we have been facing this on a daily basis since Katrina struck, there is a will to rebuild that is so strong that it will be accomplished no matter what.
I am still angry. We need the governments help down here. There is no getting around it. And for those who say, you chose to live here, pull yourself up. I say yes, I chose to live here. I have suffered through hurricanes before. This is the third time the place I work at has had to rebuild. But I also say that Hurricane Katrina was one of those shows of nature's power that you see but once every 100 or 500 years.
Three months after Hurricane Katrina hit there are still people sleeping in tents. There are still people without power. The American people have been so very generous in helping us and I've posted my thanks to the very many who have helped here here, here, here, and here.
It's a big mess and we do need the governments help.
Linked to Basil's Lunch 12/05/05
Linked: Pyjamas Media (nee Open Sore Media
Basil's Supper 12/05/05
Phin has something to say to Don Surber also in Of Natural Disasters