Wednesday, August 31, 2005

In New Orleans, Katrina Aftermath

(Photo via Steve Gilliard).

It was a mistake to breathe a sigh of relief when the storm passed, because the worst was yet to come. Although New Orleans escaped from the worst-case scenario of being flooded from the ocean due to storm surge, it was flooded from the other direction, as the rain-swollen lakes and rivers (particularly Lake Pontchartrain, which is almost as big as a Great Lake), overflowed. New Orlean's levee system was unable to handle the strain, and one of the levees broke.

Steve Gilliard has several articles about the aftermath of Katrina, including the discrepancy between the way the media describes black and white victims. He shows two different news service photos, one showing a black man wading through water with a bag of groceries, another showing a white couple wading through water with a bag of groceries. The first picture's caption: "A young man walks through chest deep flood water after looting a grocery store...". The second picture's caption: "Two residents wade through chest-deep after finding bread and soda from a local grocery store...".


Anonymous Rich said...

Sometimes what looks like looting may not be looting.

Chris Graythen, the captioner of the second photo in question, tries to explain the circumstances here (no permalinks, do a search for his name).

there were a million items floating in the water - we were right near a grocery store that had 5+ feet of water in it. it had no doors. the water was moving, and the stuff was floating away. These people were not ducking into a store and busting down windows to get electronics. They picked up bread and cokes that were floating in the water. They would have floated away anyhow. I wouldn't have taken in, because I wouldn't eat anything that's been in that water. But I'm not homeless. (well, technically I am right now.)

So I guess he's personally entitled to some slack. (Though I think there might have been an editor higher up who might have taken the time to think the thing through.)

(Via Salon)

9:01 PM  

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