Don't get me wrong--but there's plenty of time to go into Palin's issues between now and the election (though as Obama has said, we shouldn't go into Bristol's pregnancy because that's a family problem of the Palins.) And those having to do with her work as a leader are important. But we should not lose sight of what's going on in Louisiana as we focus on them. Because the disaster and anguish continue in Gustav's aftermath.
Perhaps many are relieved that Gustav missed landfall at New Orleans. But according to this report,
other parts of Cajun country were not as lucky.
In low-lying parishes across Louisiana's southeastern and central coast, homes were destroyed and towns flooded.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal said he has received reports of widespread damage across three parishes — Terrebonne, Lafourche and St. Mary — near where the eye of the storm hit.
This low-lying Cajun country is an area with a distinctive, fascinating culture which is now seriously endangered due to the vanishing of the wetlands which have been occuring at a rate of a football per half-hour.
In fact, dizzydean has posted an excellent series of diaries on the effect of Gustav on the Chitimacha tribes in the Houma area, who he says in effect are virtually being ignored in light of 24/7 Sarah Palin coverage.
While it is good news that New Orleans has been spared much of Gustav's fury due to being 75 miles away (according to one report I heard) from landfall, that doesn't mean Kossacks should out of relief go back to forgetting about Louisiana, which, still suffering after Katrina, now must endure new wounds. And even New Orleans herself waited until today to allow residents other than recovery and other essential workers to come back. In fact, regarding NOLA, it ain't over yet. In this diary Nightprowlkitty tells of evacuees who are anxious to go back home and see what became of their property.
In fact, the damage is widespread. This article adds,
there were unconfirmed reports of significant damage in northern Louisiana. "The storm was expected to head more west. Instead it went through Louisiana and so literally now you have a storm that has caused widespread damage through a wide geographic part of our state," Mr Jindal told a news conference.
It is not limited to southern Louisiana--it can be found as far north as Alexandria. While the blogger was lucky not to lose her house, she did lose a car and truck. According to the Alexandria-Pineville Town Talk, those cities experienced serious storm damage and the water situation there is critical. On top of this, flooding from Gustav's remnants is becoming serious.
Lafayette's newspaper theadvertiser.com reports two deaths from Gustav's storm system.
Not only Americans were affected by Gustav--its effects were tragically felt in Haiti, a country which previously been hit by several other storms and is so poor that the people have already been reduced to eating dirt.
And, as Gustav evacuees want to return home, Nightprowlkitty reminds those of us who may have forgotten that three years after Katrina and flood, people in New Orleans and evacuees who haven't been able to come back still need the compassion of their fellow Americans. Also, bear with me for linking a diary on John McCain, but because this is on his disaster relief record following Katrina and the flood, it's germane to this Blogathon. I'm sure that if he's elected he'll prove all of his election-year Gustav pronouncements to be a sham as well as further neglecting the post-Katrina recovery which still has a long way to go.
Here's more information from Tom Head on the post-Katrina situation in Mississippi in the Mississippi Human Rights Report.
Last but not least, here are a couple of places to donate towards hurricane relief:
Network for Good. Or, as Barack Obama suggests, donate to the
Red Cross. Give what you can--but give. Thanks!