Wednesday, September 14, 2005

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A good news post about New Orleans

Kirsten Scharnberg and Mark Silva provide today's latest on New Orleans in the Chicago Tribune:

As military helicopters circled overhead and rescue teams combed New Orleans' flooded neighborhoods in search of remaining survivors, Mayor C. Ray Nagin stood in historic Jackson Square in the city's fabled French Quarter and announced that air and water testing conducted throughout the city by the Environmental Protection Agency had yielded much more optimistic results than expected.

Tests showed that at least four of the city's neighborhoods-- the French Quarter, the Central Business District, Uptown and Algiers--would soon be safe to occupy again. Those neighborhoods escaped much of the flooding that had covered 80 percent of the city.

"If I had to guess, I'd say by Monday we can open parts of the city," said Nagin, adding that such a move would be possible only if a written EPA report was as positive as a briefing he had received over the phone earlier in the day.

The city's death toll from the disaster jumped sharply Tuesday as body-recovery teams began finding some of the hidden victims that officials had been fearing....

Elsewhere in the New Orleans area, officials were sounding upbeat as they permitted more business owners into the city center to begin damage assessments and cleanup work, and contractors and utility workers swarmed the streets to reconnect power and water lines.

Nagin said he hoped many residents would be allowed to return to the city soon. Unlike officials in surrounding cities, who so far have allowed residents back in for only brief periods to assess damage and retrieve essential personal items, Nagin said residents of the cleared New Orleans neighborhoods would be allowed back permanently, with a curfew likely after nightfall.

All the neighborhoods that may be reopened are suffering from power outages, but energy officials were predicting power would be restored by next week. Nagin said water, too, would once again be running, though probably not yet safe to drink.

I hope in the ensuing days and weeks there are more stories containing this kind of good news.

posted by Dan on 09.14.05 at 11:33 AM


The Port of New Orleans reopened yesterday, at least in part. I'd call that pretty good news.

posted by: Mitch H. on 09.14.05 at 11:33 AM [permalink]

I cannot be optimistic about the results of this. The desire to say New Orleans is alive is outweighing common sense. I do not know the source of water for New Orleans but I do know some things about water borne diseases and the effects of chemical toxins in water. Water is the most necessary substance necessary for life. It is use in cooking and cleaning, personal and other. Nothing I have read even addresses these issues.

Lets think about the Water in New Orleans. Water sitting in the pipes and conduits prior to the loss of power have sat in those pipes and have lost whatever treatment was done to them. Water being pumped in know has been subjected to bacteria and viruses in loads beyond the normal treatment rates. Have these been adequately resolved? There is an Super fund site that is under water on the west side of the Industrial canal. Has it been checked to determine if it is intact? The petroleum products(this includes most common cleaners, waxes, furniture polish et al) in commercial and residential sites have leaked into the water. Many are cancer causing and are not water soluble. Most water systems are not designed to remove these and one can not have any faith in the New Orleans infrastructure given past neglect.

Is it really the intention of the city of New Orleans to be accessory to chemical poisoning and its long term effects?

posted by: Robert M on 09.14.05 at 11:33 AM [permalink]

I've never been there, but I'm going to assume those are the wealthier areas, right? Calypso Louie was right!

posted by: Katrina Coverage on 09.14.05 at 11:33 AM [permalink]

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