Shannon Stacey


I can’t bring myself to blog about writing or funny crap today. Not after spending the early morning hours watching Hurricane Katrina coverage. The loss and devastation is horrifying, and yet the recurring thought that has taken up residence in my head is “What the :censor: were you doing on the :censor: roof with your wife and kid?” This led to a heated, pre-caffeine saturation discussion on how some people don’t have options, which I think is bullshit, and today’s just not a day for scintillating conversation.

So I’ll simply add my thoughts and prayers to those winging south and quietly go back to work.

14 comments to “Tuesday”

  1. Anna Lucia
      · August 30th, 2005 at 11:31 am · Link

    Amen, Shan.

  2. Ellen Fisher
      · August 30th, 2005 at 1:55 pm · Link

    I thought much the same thing, Shannon. Sure there are people who can’t get out for some reason– there were thousands of them at the Superdome. But it infuriates me when people are just too stubborn to leave. Other people then wind up having to risk their own lives to save them.

  3. Tori
      · August 30th, 2005 at 2:24 pm · Link

    I’ll second that!!!

  4. nataliedamschroder
      · August 30th, 2005 at 4:21 pm · Link

    I haven’t gotten to see much yet, but I was thinking much the same thing. Uh, what were people doing in the Superdome, anyway? It’s not like they didn’t have DAYS of warning. Why were they not prepared to leave as soon as it became clear it was definitely coming?

    It’s very sad when there are elderly or disabled people, especially with no one around to help them, who have no real way to get out (though I’m sure there were services to help those people, too). But anyone who makes a conscious decision not to evacuate is just stupid.

  5. Karen Scott
      · August 30th, 2005 at 5:00 pm · Link

    It just about broke my heart when I heard a man being interviewed who’d lost his wife. Apparently she’d told him to take good care of the kids because she knew she wasn’t going to make it.

  6. Ellen Fisher
      · August 30th, 2005 at 5:19 pm · Link

    The people in the Superdome were homeless people who presumably didn’t have any way to get out of the city, I believe. But I just read on Yahoo that they spent last night getting 1200 other people to safety in New Orleans. 1200 people! Weren’t those people under a mandatory evacuation order??

  7. Shannon
      · August 30th, 2005 at 6:00 pm · Link

    That might be the man I saw, Karen. Mr. Jackson? He was being interviewed with his little boy standing next to him. They were on the roof of the house, and then the house split apart. He had her hand, but she told him she wasn’t going to make it and to take care of the boy.

    I cried for them, but I still wondered…why? Probably finances were an issue. But, no matter if there’s a mandatory evac order or not, every city in crisis offers shelter. If they’d left the city or (assuming they were in New Orleans, I didn’t catch if he was from NO or Gulfport) made their way to the Superdome, his wife and that little boy’s mother wouldn’t be dead.

    Points that were made to me this morning—

    1. Some people have literally no money. While we’re certainly not rolling in it, we have a credit card so we CAN get a plane ticket, a rental car, a hotel room. We have options.

    2. How many times have these people been given dire warnings only to have some wind, rain and minor power outages.

    Well, this one was different. They knew they were getting hit badly. Did they know the pumps would fail? Machinery fails. Would I allow my child’s life to depend on a government-maintained piece of machinery? No.

    As for people with no money? The Superdome was full of them. And I’d have begged a ride in the back of a pickup truck to get my kids out of there if I had to. And once you get to a destination? There’s not a fire station or community action center in the country that will let a child go hungry in this kind of situation. Every single person in that city had options. Some evacuated. Some found shelter in the Superdome or hotels. (You wouldn’t have found my kids on the 29th floor of a hotel, either.) And some chose to “ride it out.” And so begins the death toll.

    I saw a law enforcement officer from one of the parrishes tell people to “haul ass” on television. He used those words.

    When your public officials tell you to haul ass, it’s time to get the :censor: out of Dodge. I don’t care if your house made it through Camille without even so much as a puddle in the kitchen. I don’t care if you have five dollars to your name and have to beg a ride in the back of a contractor’s work van. Hell, steal a car. At least if you get arrested you know the authorities will see your kids to safety. Haul ass means haul ass.

    I don’t mean to sound heartless. But to risk your loved ones—your children—for your house? For your pride?

  8. Rae
      · August 30th, 2005 at 7:58 pm · Link

    I whole heartedly agree. I have a cousin who left Biloxi, by the grace of God or she’d be dead and went to stay with friends right outside Mobile–she thought they would be safe there and for the most part, she was–minor damage. But as my aunt talked to her through the night on the phone, she said that my cousin went into almost a state of shock–I survived Hugo and I know what that wind sounds like as it rushes past you. I’ve watched trees fall and the water come rushing by and there is no way in hell I would’ve stayed near there. I know I saw an interview with a young woman who was a single mom going to school with no money and she said she would beg, borrow and do whatever she could to get her and her young son out of there. I hope she made it.

    I know there are those who thought it wouldn’t be much and wanted to say: “I made it!”

    I was kidless when Hugo went thru SC. And I stayed in an area that they claimed would be okay.

    You just never know about Mother Nature. Which is why it baffles me that NO is where it is–surrounded by water. You can hide from the wind, but you have to run like hell from the water.

  9. Shannon
      · August 30th, 2005 at 9:07 pm · Link

    *sigh* I guess it’s time to expend all energies on sending up prayers for the missing, the survivors, and those who have been displaced. With an extra prayer for the Superdome. If it has to fall, I hope it can hold on until the tens of thousands of refugees are moved. (I heard there were 30k in there now.)


  10. Anna Lucia
      · August 31st, 2005 at 3:05 am · Link

    I heard they were going to have to evacuate the dome not because it was dangerous, but because of ‘unrest’. *shakes head* Let’s hope the authorities get a handle on the situation as soon as they can, and that the flood waters just…. don’t.

    You’re right, Shan. But some people just don’t see it that clearly, and they make the wrong decisions, based on the wrong values.

    Time for prayers.

  11. Karen Scott
      · August 31st, 2005 at 5:19 am · Link

    Shannon, I think it was the same man. I must admit, I’ve been befuddled as to why people were still there, when they’d had the news 24 hours prior.

  12. Shannon
      · August 31st, 2005 at 7:46 am · Link

    I think a part of it is that gulf storms are no stranger to these people. They’ve weathered them before. Add in the money issues and the “Dude, I was THERE” issue, and it doesn’t surprise me that a lot of people stayed. It pisses me off, but doesn’t surprise me.

    There was one family who were absolutely in shock their home’s devastion. It had been weathering gulf storms for two hundred years with nothing more than the occassional broken window. Now it’s gone.

    This truly was a storm like no other for them. And it was a ‘water’ storm instead of a ‘wind’ storm.

    I’m just glad i’m not in charge of evacuating the Superdome (they didn’t allow them to bring food, but they have GUNS?) or the prisons.

  13. Jewell Mason
      · August 31st, 2005 at 10:49 am · Link

    I do believe that people become nonchalant about dire weather warnings over time. Especially since it appears meteorolgy is such a hit and miss science. The truth is Mother Nature can’t be well tracked. I don’t live anywhere near hurricane areas, but I can’t tell you how many times weather forecasters have predicted horrendous snow storms, only to have just a few flakes fall. At the opposite end of the spectrum, freak storms come along and dump over two feet of snow and knock out power with no warning.

    As to NO, I had a sick sick feeling this was going to happen there. When the city didn’t flood during the initial storm surge, I breathed a huge sigh of relief. I’d been biting my nails when I heard they were telling people to go to the superdome if they couldn’t make it out of the city before the storm hit. Having visited the dome, I felt it was a Huge swimming pool waiting to happen if the storm surge was too high. It does rest on slightly elevated ground, but the truth is, once you enter the building, the playing field is fairly deep underground. Meaning that if water levels peaked to reach the outside walkway, the water would flow into the site through the doors, and the refugees would have to seek seats in the upper level. ACK!

    And with sewer, water, and electric knocked out, that many people in one building over a period of time … well it turns into a human cesspool.

    One thing, though I do believe some people rode it out in the devastated areas just for the thrill of saying I survived…I do believe many others had no choice, or felt it in their best interest to stay. (mind you, if I had kids, I’d have been hightailing it out of there if I possibly could.)

    I wonder how many ablebodied stayed because they were worried that if the storm wasn’t devastating in nature, that their homes would be open to looters. Not a valid excuse in hindsight, but an issue to them at the time.

    Also, as far as NO goes, think of it as a mini-NYC. Due to the thin design of the streets in places like the French Quarter etc., many people don’t own cars. They walk where they need to go, or use public transportation. And numerous people in these sections are poor. They live, scrape by, on the tourist trade.

    Well, I better stop now. I’m getting way to wordy. Suffice it to say, this is a tragedy of tremendous magnitude. The very width of this storm made it a demon that affected so many.


  14. Shannon
      · September 1st, 2005 at 9:08 am · Link

    I can’t believe they’ve had to stop the evac of the Superdome because some idiots are firing shots off. I hope they realize that the crowd of refugees will turn on them and beat them to death with said guns if they don’t stop.

    And looters are even worse than virus creators. They were will be a special level of hell for them, once hopes.

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