9.01.2005

Katrina: the Height of Devastation

Hurricane Katrina was undoubtedly one of the most horrific natural disasters in United States history. Three days after the maelstrom nearly leveled the Lousiana and Mississippi coasts, over 80,000 are still trapped in New Orleans alone. Hundreds of thousands have been made homeless in just a few days. The original blast of wind and water was bad enough, with 27-foot storm surges and gusts powerful enough to rip gigantic structures apart and carry ships across the land. Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour said Tuesday that the coastal city of Biloxi "looks like Hiroshima," with 90% of the buildings leveled or damaged beyond repair. But the water dumped as Katrina continued through the U.S. flooded rivers and lakes, bursting dams and spilling billions of gallons of sewage, gasoline, and putrid water into below-sea-level New Orleans. What has become one of the most-viewed pictures of the tragedy was taken by the Coast Guard on August 29th (see image at right). The photo shows one of the major highways completely flooded, with overpasses leading straight into the brine. Although officials have refused to release any casualty lists, they say that the death toll is probably in the thousands already, with tens of thousands more still at risk. Right now, people are still huddled in attics and on rooftops, hoping beyond hope to be rescued. But help is not far away. National Guard and Coast Guard helicopters have been working around the clock, hoisting stranded refugees from their perches and carrying them to safety. Thousands of people left homeless are crowded into the giant Louisiana Superdome, where conditions are steadily worsening. Sadly, however, this is the least of worries now. Looters are rampaging through flooded cities, destroying what little is left of them. Some are only trying to get food. But most . . . are not. When the water began to rise, officials threw open the doors of the jails in the Big Easy, releasing thousands of convicts into the streets. These desparate criminals have stolen automatic weapons and roam New Orleans in gangs, looting anything and everything in sight. In bursts of anger, they have even taken to firing on rescue helicopters. New Orleans mayor Ray Nagin has declared the equivalent of martial law in the devastated districts due to the mounting chaos. A large contingent of the police force has been told to stop relief efforts and end the looting. BlackHawk and Chinook helicopters will be flying in 240 Regular Army troops from Fort Hood to Louisiana to quell riots and aid in the rescue work. After surveying the damage, Bush is asking Congress to approve a $10.5 billion relief package for the ravaged territory. He said that even so it will take years for the area to recover. And the hurricane season is not yet over! What can I say? I will end with a quote from Luke 21:
"There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. Men will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken. . . . When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near."
Even so, come quickly, Lord Jesus! In Him, D3

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

I believe that Jesus is coming soon like you do. And the reference you quoted applies well enough. However, these are human lives we are talking about. These are eternal souls! I have been too swift to tell and discuss with others what I've seen and read about New Orleans. You might say I've been bitten by sensationalism. But it is better for Christians to pray to God than to talk to each other. I have had to repent of my gossiping attitude. I'll close with a prayer: May the Lord Jesus Christ reveal Himself as Comforter and Redeemer to the poor lost and suffering souls ravaged by Katrina. God have mercy on us all!

MVB said...

Amen.

This is totally devastating. The worst part are these newly formed gangs. There are about 10 hostage situations, at the moment. Fire fighters, civilians being held. May God help these poor people.


As a side note, I don't think that we should totally rebuild New Orleans. What's the point? I understand, a few houses.. But we shouldn't rebuild the whole city, unless, we can do something to ensure that this will never happen again ( at least on this scale.)

David S. MacMillan III said...

So true, anonymous. It's just too easy for us to get caught up in sensationalism.

So many people have been lost in this disaster, and so many more lives are at stake. But, in the words of Ken Ham: "The real disaster will not be the number of lives lost, but rather the number of souls lost."

MVB: Speaking of the gangs:

Personally, I think that anyone who is so calloused as to take advantage of the very people who are trying to help them simply ought to be shot. Don't get me wrong; these people are souls that need saving, but LET'S GET RID OF THE PHYSICAL PROBLEM BEFORE THE SITUATION GETS WORSE, for crying out loud!!!!!

I also agree that the Big Easy probably shouldn't be rebuilt. Not entirely, anyway. And they certainly shouldn't start now, before the hurricane season is even over!

MVB said...

Yeah, there should be some really big punishment for these thugs. National guard, volunteers, etc.. are risking their lives to save these people, and what do they get, attacked and captured???? I think we should send these thugs to Guatanamo Bay, for a while, until we get things cleaned up. Then we can bring them back and put them on trial.

What do you guys think of the looting? Not the looting of stores like - Sears, Payless, Sporting Goods, etc..., but the looting of grocery stores? Many media journalists I hear think its terrible and disgusting. But what if you had a newborn baby that needed food, what if you and your family were starving, what if there was an elderly person who was sick? Would this stealing be wrong? I think in this case, since no one is there to sell the food, it is ok. What do you guys think?

jonCV said...

Gosh David, what a way to be an example to the believers. You're statements seem to contridict. You admit they are souls, but say they should be shot, presumably without given the Message of Christ? We as Christians should be slow to become angry, for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life God desires. (James 1:19b-20.) It is human nature to get mad, but we all called to be self controlled and let the Judge judge, lest we discriminate among ourselves and become judges with evil thoughts. (James 2:4)

jonCV said...

Your*

SecDef said...

joncv, you might as well go into Iraq with a Bible and try to convert terrorists. :) Sure, they are souls, but they are breaking the law and need to be punished. Shooting at military and law enforcement agents is not a good idea, and they need to know who they are dealing with. Because of these thugs, people died, since the helicopters decided not to land due to the shooting. And I support those who are getting food from the stores. It's going to go bad, anyways.

David S. MacMillan III said...

Hey Jon,

It's absolutely true that these are souls that need saving. But in this kind of situation, we have two choices; shoot the terrorists (which is what these people have become) and save the lives of the people on the ground and give them the message of the Gospel, or leave everyone to drown and hope that the terrorists give up and present themselves to be given the Gospel.

It's kinda hard to tell someone how much God loves them when they have an AK-47 leveled at you and are unloading it through the barrel and the spent cartrige ejection chamber.

On the subject of grocery looting:

FoxNews interviewed the head of the police in New Orleans. She said that Bush has asked for no looting whatsoever, but that the cops are allowing anyone to take survival items such as clothing, food, diapers, etc., as long as they are not doing it to an excess.

However, the policy is 0 tolerance for any unnecessary looting (guns, electronics, furniture, appliances, etc.).

This sounds logical to me. In a complete disaster/chaos situation like this, communism does seem pretty attractive until everything is settled down a bit.

What do you guys think?

BTW, HSLDA is setting up a system whereby homeless homeschool families will live in homeschooled homes across the States until they can find employment and lodging. We are considering taking someone in (although it would be hard since my grandmother has cancer and Mom has to help her out a lot.

MVB said...

I agree with you about the looting, David.

People have died because the National Guard were to busy handling these gangs to go rescue them. These thugs should be charged with murder!

jonCV said...

I was not trying to suggest what the police should or should not do, I was simply stating our job as Christians. We are to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us. Has it even occured to you to pray for those committed these acts? You seem so ready to enacting revenge without even asking God to stop the problem. Ours as Christians is not to be judges, doling out punishment as we see fit.

As for the police, I think it a little extreme to shoot someone for doing something as trivial as looting. They are stealing mere worldly posessions, which moth and rust destroy, but by shooting them, they steal their eternal souls which will exist forever.