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Old 08-30-2008, 07:24 PM   #81
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Just reporting in...

We made it safely to Jonesboro, Arkansas. Traffic was very heavy with other evacuees but moved steadily along at 55-65 mph most of the way. Frank drove his Murano, and I followed in my Solara. We communicated by cell phone, took our time, and stopped frequently, including stops for a long breakfast and lunch.

Looking at Gustav's development, I am so glad we left.

Tomorrow we will probably drive up to Springfield, which is only another 3-4 hours from here. Then while we wait, we can further explore our likely ER location - - a pleasant place where we feel happy, secure, and safe.

Travel safe W2R! We have relatives in Houston who are keeping an eye out on it. You know how those things can shift.
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Old 08-30-2008, 07:35 PM   #82
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Glad to hear you have left town, Want2Retire! I hope that everyone else in Gustav's path gets out of the way too. Also, hope that the storm weakens a lot before it hits land. It must be really scary. But thank God people can evacucate on the buses with their pets this time! That makes a bad situation a little more tolerable.
Great points Oldbabe. Being involved in animal rescue, I am very aware of how many animals suffered during Katrina. A friend of mine went down to help with the efforts to help people and their pets in the aftermath. Her accounts of this effort were very touching. Even those not tuned into to animal rescue know it was a mistake not to let people take their companion animals. That was one reason many people who should have sought shelter and safety stayed behind. I even heard stories about blind folks not being allowed to take their seeing eye dogs.

This was one of the lessons we learned. In order to protect human life, we also need to be aware of what people love and can't let go - including their 4 legged companions. I was happy to read a story in the Washington Post today about how the Louisiana SPCA is involved in the evacuation effort. Let's all hope we get it right this time.
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Old 08-30-2008, 08:10 PM   #83
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I could careless about the animals that died. Especially when I read the amount of elderly who died. Take care of the people then worry about the critters.
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Old 08-30-2008, 08:50 PM   #84
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I could careless about the animals that died. Especially when I read the amount of elderly who died. Take care of the people then worry about the critters.
Notmuchlonger, I couldn't agree with you more that human life is more valuable. The fate of the helpless and elderly was something I will never, ever forget and I am still haunted by the visions of the elderly lady who died in her wheelchair at the Superdome - neglected, alone and forgotten.

Shortly after Katrina, the federal agency I was working for (a financial regulator) set up a hot line to help those who couldn’t access their money. I spent untold hours talking to people who were living out of their cars and didn't know how they would buy food for their families. I can't even begin to explain how much this impacted me. Hearing the voices of people living in such a desperate situation was a truly life altering experience for me.

The point I wanted to make is many people did not get out of harms way because their pets were not taken into account and they wouldn't leave them behind even in the face of disaster. My elderly mother lives with a pet she would not leave, even if she was in danger. Many people, particularly those who are elderly and alone, consider their pets the center of their universe and the only source of love they know.

This was one of many errors in how Katrina was handled. We waited too long to get people out - we put them in the Superdome without proper support and help - our response to the suffering was simply beyond inadequate.

Of course, if we had a disaster in my area, I would take care of my mom. If she was alone in this world and didn't have family to help, I would hope the relief effort would take her and her calico cat Tipper into a safe place together if that was the only way she would seek shelter.
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Old 08-30-2008, 09:37 PM   #85
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Hmmm - since the ole rolodex has at least a dozen folks on cell - the towers that went in Katrina wonder what's gonna happen come Gustav.

As I recall it seemed to take forever to regain communication last time.

heh heh heh -
I found cell phones to be useless during Rita even though all the towers remained intact. The problem was folks who were evacuating in cars simply stayed on their cells phones througout their drive as hinted at by want2retire and her Frank. All we got was "connection busy, try again later" for a couple of days during the evacuation. Land line worked fine though.
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Old 08-30-2008, 10:09 PM   #86
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Enjoy it while you can! I remember the 1+ weeks of blackout you had after Katrina.
Latest tracking shows it moving into west Louisiana and east Texas. Looks like I shouldn't have a loss of power this time, but I do have enough beer just in case.
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Old 08-30-2008, 10:16 PM   #87
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Latest tracking shows it moving into west Louisiana and east Texas. Looks like I shouldn't have a loss of power this time, but I do have enough beer just in case.
What about your golf Dawg!
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Old 08-30-2008, 10:20 PM   #88
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What about your golf Dawg!
Well if it keeps tracking west, I shouldn't have much down time. Maybe not any.
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Old 08-30-2008, 10:29 PM   #89
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Just saw the Mayor of N.O. on TV saying EVERYBODY MUST EVACUATE!!! (West bank starts at 8AM tomorrow, and East bank at 12 noon) If you don't, YOU ARE ON YOUR OWN!!! Wow, I've never seen an elected official say that one before, in my experience.
Good luck!!!
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Old 08-30-2008, 10:45 PM   #90
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Just saw the Mayor of N.O. on TV saying EVERYBODY MUST EVACUATE!!! (West bank starts at 8AM tomorrow, and East bank at 12 noon) If you don't, YOU ARE ON YOUR OWN!!! Wow, I've never seen an elected official say that one before, in my experience.
Good luck!!!
Jefferson Parish Sheriff Harry Lee, announced just before Katrina hit: "You better haul ass! Y'all should have left yesterday."
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Old 08-31-2008, 06:52 AM   #91
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Just saw the Mayor of N.O. on TV saying EVERYBODY MUST EVACUATE!!! (West bank starts at 8AM tomorrow, and East bank at 12 noon) If you don't, YOU ARE ON YOUR OWN!!! Wow, I've never seen an elected official say that one before, in my experience.
Good luck!!!
When living in Florida we did a similar thing. When the emergency operations center declared a mandatory evacuation they also advised that if you stayed they could not guarantee when help would arrive if you needed it. Also during mandatory evacuations we went door to door advising of the evacuation. If the person wanted to stay we asked for a next of kin. Put in that light most people left.

I think it is reckless and foolish not to have a couple shelters open. The story I am hearing is there won't be any shelters open in New Orleans. Last time his plan was based on ignorance and lack of respect this time it seems to be based on fear.
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Old 08-31-2008, 07:41 AM   #92
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I think it is reckless and foolish not to have a couple shelters open. The story I am hearing is there won't be any shelters open in New Orleans. Last time his plan was based on ignorance and lack of respect this time it seems to be based on fear.
In the past, the word has always been that there would be no shelters of last resort, but then they open up the Superdome and so on at the last minute. They did that for Katrina, too, and have stated that there will be no shelter of last resort consistently when hurricanes threaten, but then provide them as needed. I think the idea is to push those who can leave, to leave, rather than to save money by staying in a shelter. It is hard to know if they really mean this or not, this time.

We noticed that the rest stops along I-55 in Mississippi that we tried to stop at seemed way, way over-filled with many hundreds of people who appeared to be poor blacks from New Orleans, who were camping there. Some had set up tents. No parking spots were open so it was no longer possible to stop and use the rest stops. Probably they will be safer there than in New Orleans.
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Old 08-31-2008, 10:20 AM   #93
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Gustav is far away from Sarasota ,Fl. but the winds are wreaking havoc with my outdoor furniture . I really hope it does not return to cat.4 status .
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Old 08-31-2008, 10:21 AM   #94
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We noticed that the rest stops along I-55 in Mississippi that we tried to stop at seemed way, way over-filled with many hundreds of people who appeared to be poor blacks from New Orleans, who were camping there. Some had set up tents. No parking spots were open so it was no longer possible to stop and use the rest stops. Probably they will be safer there than in New Orleans.
I made the mistake of getting on I-20 this morning. Going to the hiking trail and lake where I take my mutt. Anyway, traffic moving through Meridian fairly well but cars as far as the eyes can see. No rooms available here. Might be some in Birmingham. I imagine that is where lots are headed.

All the fast food joints covered up big time. The weather is nice here, but looks like a good day to stay put.
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Old 08-31-2008, 11:04 AM   #95
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I think it is reckless and foolish not to have a couple shelters open. The story I am hearing is there won't be any shelters open in New Orleans. Last time his plan was based on ignorance and lack of respect this time it seems to be based on fear.
It sounds cold, but I think it's the only way you can get some of those folks to leave. In Katrina 80% of the city flooded and stayed that way for weeks. The concern is not protecting them from the winds but the water. If they are there when it floods you're going to have to evacuate them anyway, only then it's a hundred times more complicated, dangerous and expensive.

A little fear works wonders. One of my former co-workers commanded the security for a shelter in Houston when Rita was heading this way. They had a lot of Katrina folks there, some of whom decided to act a fool. He made one announcement: "anybody who can't act like an adult gets tossed outside and can fend for themselves." There was instant and lasting peace after that.
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Old 08-31-2008, 11:12 AM   #96
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Sounds to me like the problem is that many people simply dont have the means to leave. No money, no car, realization that the job they're working on may go away in a day or two for a week or two and needing to keep at the job until they shut the doors.

So rather than the pontifications about leaving now or you'll get no help, then having to expensively evacuate people later, what would be the rocket science in lining up all the school buses and offering to haul people to somewhere safe they can live in for free until the storm has passed and the area is safe to return to?

Then leave anyone who just decided they werent going to leave. Improve the gene pool.

Hey, arent all those katrina trailers still sitting around somewhere? :
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Old 08-31-2008, 11:42 AM   #97
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So rather than the pontifications about leaving now or you'll get no help, then having to expensively evacuate people later, what would be the rocket science in lining up all the school buses and offering to haul people to somewhere safe they can live in for free until the storm has passed and the area is safe to return to?
That is what they're doing. They've been running buses and special trains out of there for a couple of days now. The smart thing this time is they are taking them far north, rather than a lateral movement along the coast to someplace like Houston - which might be the next target as it was in 2005.

I have a great deal of sympathy for the NOLA poor. They are, to some extent, the victims of a long trail of city and state politicians who bought votes by creating a place where the poor were sort-of taken care of, but were also guaranteed to stay poor. Some people find it easy to blame them, and at one point I was one of them, but the more I learned about that city the more I realized that a near permanent underclass was created to make them dependent on a political machine.
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Old 08-31-2008, 11:43 AM   #98
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Hmm, okay so theres less dumbness than I thought. I just read an article chock full of people being interviewed who said they'd like to leave but dont have any way of doing so.
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Old 08-31-2008, 11:46 AM   #99
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Hmm, okay so theres less dumbness than I thought. I just read an article chock full of people being interviewed who said they'd like to leave but dont have any way of doing so.
Hmmmm. I haven't seen that, but I did see an interview with an Amtrak official yesterday who said they had run two special trains so far and would try to do a third if the storm's progress permitted it. And I have seen people boarding buses in NOLA for a couple of days.
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Old 08-31-2008, 11:49 AM   #100
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Strapped for cash, some in New Orleans stay and hope - CNN.com
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