Hurricane Katrina, natural and political disaster, ten years ago

This video says about itself:

26 August 2015

A new survey conducted on residents in Louisiana found that 80 percent of white residents believe that New Orleans has “mostly recovered”’ from the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, compared to only 40 percent of African-Americans who believe a recovery has been achieved. Simone Del Rosario is down in New Orleans with the details.

By Joseph Kishore in the USA:

Ten years since Hurricane Katrina

27 August 2015

This week marks the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, which made landfall on the US Gulf Coast on August 29, 2005.

The world looked on in horror as events unfolded a decade ago. The storm surge that accompanied Hurricane Katrina breached New Orleans’ hopelessly inadequate levee systems, flooding four-fifths of the city. Tens of thousands of residents, unable to escape the storm’s path, were trapped in their homes, in many cases clinging to rooftops, without food or drinking water. Thousands remained stranded for days in horrific conditions at the New Orleans Superdome. Hundreds of patients were trapped in hospitals that had lost electrical power.

At least 1,800 people were killed across five states by the hurricane and the catastrophe that followed. One million people were displaced from their homes and forced to move to cities throughout the region.

Amidst the plethora of media commentary already produced for the anniversary, there is little that speaks to the real significance of these events. The tragedy that struck the city of New Orleans, along with coastal areas from Florida to Texas, was not simply a natural disaster, but a social and political crime.

The devastation wrought by the storm exposed the reality of American capitalism—the Third World levels of poverty, the pervasive inequality, the disastrous consequences of decades of neglect of social infrastructure, the stunning incompetence of the political establishment, the indifference with which the ruling class treated one of the most important economic and cultural centers of the country, not to mention its working-class inhabitants.

That a serious hurricane could produce such a disaster was neither unforeseeable nor unforeseen. Scientists had warned that New Orleans’ levee system was inadequate to protect the city from a direct hit. Yet nothing was done.

It was known that a breach of the levees would lead to mass flooding. Yet no evacuation plan was put in place.

As the storm approached, residents were urged to leave on their own, but thousands lacked the means or resources to do so. There was no mechanism in place to provide public transportation, medical assistance or emergency aid to alleviate the human suffering caused by the floods.

The response of the Bush administration to Hurricane Katrina came to epitomize its particular combination of stupidity and ruthlessness. While the government ensured unlimited resources for waging war abroad and, in the name of “homeland security,” building the framework of a police state at home, it washed its hands of responsibility for the disaster. Rejecting federal initiatives to aid victims of the hurricane, Bush urged the American people to make contributions to charitable organizations.

Foreshadowing the government’s response to the Boston Marathon bombing and protests against police violence, the main response of the state was to send in the armed forces, including the National Guard and federal troops. Curfews were imposed and a media campaign organized around sensationalized and exaggerated claims of “looters” roaming the streets. In one incident, police shot and killed fleeing residents attempting to cross the Danziger Bridge. Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco, a Democrat, declared at the time, “They have M16s and are locked and loaded. These troops know how to shoot and kill and I expect they will.”

Both Democrats and Republicans have blood on their hands for what happened a decade ago. For 25 years, administrations of both parties had diverted social resources from infrastructure and social programs and funneled them into the coffers of the corporate and financial aristocracy.

The destruction of New Orleans was seen by the ruling class as an opportunity to restructure class relations in the city and make it a model for the entire country. In the decade since the hurricane, virtually the entire public school system has been dismantled or handed over to for-profit companies. Major public housing projects have been razed. Charity Hospital, founded in 1736 to provide for the poor and indigent, was shut down in 2005 despite minimal flood damage, depriving thousands of uninsured residents of a crucial source of health care.

Entire sections of New Orleans were depopulated. Tens of thousands who fled have been unable to return. The official population of the city collapsed from 455,000 to 208,000. Today, it is 379,000, according to the latest figures from the US Census.

However, in some neighborhoods (including the Lower 9th Ward, which was among the hardest hit by the flooding) the population is still barely a third of what it was a decade ago. Other sections of the city, such as the Tremé neighborhood—a historic center of jazz and working-class culture—have been gentrified.

The ruling class used Katrina to accelerate a social counterrevolution that was already underway. The assault on public education and social services and privatization of public assets carried out under the cover of “rebuilding” New Orleans has since been extended to Detroit, under the auspices of a dictatorial “emergency manager” and the federal bankruptcy courts.

The financial equivalent of Katrina, the 2008 Wall Street crash, has been used under President Obama to carry out an unprecedented transfer of wealth from the working class to the rich and the super-rich.

It is for this reason that the official commemorations of Hurricane Katrina contain an element of celebration. The ruling class is cheering its “success.”

The New York Times summed up the general sentiment in official circles in its main article on the anniversary, writing: “In a city long marinated in fatalism, optimists are now in ascendance. They promise that an influx of bright newcomers, a burst of entrepreneurial verve and a new spirit of civic engagement have primed the city for an era of greatness, or, at least, reversed a long-running civic-disaster narrative.”

At the time of social catastrophe triggered by Katrina, the World Socialist Web Site wrote:

Hurricane Katrina has laid bare the awful truths of contemporary America—a country torn by the most intense class divisions, ruled by a corrupt plutocracy that possesses no sense either of social reality or public responsibility, in which millions of its citizens are deemed expendable and cannot depend on any social safety net or public assistance if disaster, in whatever form, strikes… The central lesson of New Orleans is that the elementary requirements of mass society are incompatible with a system that subordinates everything to the enrichment of a financial oligarchy.

These basic truths resonate all the more clearly ten years later.

WE’RE STILL NOT READY FOR THE NEXT KATRINA “Where the city’s geography is unique, its vulnerability is anything but. Just about every coastal city, state, or region is sitting on a similar confluence of catastrophic conditions. The seas are rising, a storm is coming, and critical infrastructure is dangerously exposed.” [Wired]

David G. Spielman’s The Katrina Decade—An unsentimental look at how things are now: here.

10 YEARS AFTER KATRINA 100,000 OF THE POOREST PEOPLE HAVE NOT RETURNED! TEN years of uneven recovery have exacerbated the economic inequalities that predated Hurricane Katrina, says Louisiana SEIU local 21LA: here.

Hospitalizations for cardiovascular disease rose precipitously in Orleans and Jefferson parishes after Hurricane Katrina. The increase in rates lasted for more than one month after landfall and rates were higher among the older black population, compared to the older white population: here.

REP. STEVE KING DISPARAGES KATRINA FLOOD VICTIMS At a town hall on Thursday, white supremacist Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) claimed he was told that New Orleans flood victims didn’t try to help each other and only asked for outside assistance, unlike Iowans who “take care of each other.” [HuffPost]

Breast cancer patients who endured Hurricane Katrina in 2005 have a 15% higher mortality rate than those patients not exposed to the storm, according to a University of Michigan researcher. This increase was likely caused by disaster-related health care disruptions, said Sue Anne Bell, an assistant professor at the U-M School of Nursing and a member of the U-M Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation: here.

Actress Ellen Page against British government honouring homophobe

This video about Northern Ireland says about itself:

25 January 2009

A brief history of homophobia and the DUP.

From “Save Ulster from Sodomy” in the 70’s to the Iris Robinson debacle of 2008. (made before the sex/finance scandal of 2010).

From daily The Independent in Britain:

Ellen Page tweets ‘F*** that’ over Queen’s decision to award Maurice Mills – who blamed Hurricane Katrina on homosexuals – with MBE

Hollywood actress shows disgust over Mills’ inclusion in New Year Honours list

Loulla-Mae Eleftheriou-Smith

Tuesday 06 January 2015

The New Year Honours list, in which the Queen recognises the achievements and services of extraordinary people across the UK, is covered extensively in the British press but is a subject that rarely makes a splash across the pond.

But the Queen’s decision to award Maurice Mills, the Northern Ireland politician who reportedly blamed Hurricane Katrina on the LGBT community and claimed that Aids is the result of the “filthy practice of sodomy,” has reached Hollywood since his anti-gay comments came to light and Ellen Page has voiced her anger.


“The Queen honored a politician who blamed Hurricane Katrina & AIDS on LGBT people:” fuck that
3:05 PM – 5 Jan 2015

The Oscar nominated actress, who came out while giving a speech at a packed conference for LGBT teenagers in Las Vegas last year, tweeted a link to a Vice article about the honour bestowed upon Mills with a picture of the Queen and the words “F*** that”.

Mills, a Democratic Unionist Party councillor for Ballymena, is a “committed born again Christian” and has been awarded the MBE for his services to local Government.

He reportedly blamed the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina, which killed 1,300 people, on divine revenge for the annual LGBT New Orleans festival called Southern Decadence, claiming: “Sure this is a warning to nations where such wickedness is increasingly promoted and practised.”

Mills has also reportedly blamed gay people for Aids, claiming: “This abominable and filthy practice of sodomy has resulted in the great continent of Africa being riddled with Aids.”

Page has taken to Twitter before to shame those who speak out against LBGT rights, and in March last year addressed a message to a pastor who had contacted her about her sexuality.

She tweeted: “Being gay isn’t a belief. My soul isn’t struggling and I don’t want the arms of the Heavenly Father around me. A girl’s arms? Yes.”

Read more:

Page shames pastor who offered salvation for being gay

Maurice Mills, who blamed Aids on ‘filthy sodomy’, awarded MBE

Moore and Page banned from filming lesbian scenes in school

Homophobic politician honoured by British government

This video says about itself:

SO GAY. Short documentary to help prevent homophobic bullying in young people. Combats youth suicide.

From daily The Independent in Britain:

New Year Honours: DUP politician Maurice Mills who blamed Hurricane Katrina on gay people is awarded MBE by Queen

The born-again Christian called homosexuality ‘wickedness’ and that the deadly storm was God’s punishment

Adam Whitnall

Thursday 01 January 2015

A politician in Northern Ireland who reportedly blamed Hurricane Katrina on gay people and said Aids was the result of the “filthy practice of sodomy” has been awarded an MBE in the Queen’s New Year honours list.

Maurice Mills, the Democratic Unionist Party councillor for Ballymena, is described by the local newspaper as a “committed born-again Christian”.

Listed as “Alderman Maurice Turtle Mills”, the controversial politician has been recognised “for services to local government”.

According to the Guardian, Mills said that Katrina, which killed 1,300 people, was God’s revenge for an annual gay pride event called Southern Decadence.

“The media failed to report that the hurricane occurred just two days prior to the annual homosexual event called the Southern Decadence festival which the previous year had attracted an estimated 125,000 people,” said Mills.

“Surely this is a warning to nations where such wickedness is increasingly promoted and practised.”

The comments prompted gay rights activists to stage a protest in Ballymena in early 2006, as well as demanding that Mills apologise.

But Mills has never retracted the comments, and the DUP resisted calls to condemn them.

“There is a principle at stake here and that is homosexuality is a sin before almighty God,” the councillor said at the time.

“If I were to apologise for my comments then God would have to apologise.”

The Guardian also reported that Mills gay people for Aids, saying: “This abominable and filthy practice of sodomy has resulted in the great continent of Africa being riddled with Aids.”

The Queen just honored a politician who believes Hurricane Katrina was caused by gay people: here.

How Big Oil wetland destruction helped New Orleans Katrina disaster

This video from Louisiana in the USA says about itself:

Louisiana Wetlands – What we are losing?

26 May 2010

View unique images at: I made this video in July 2009 for the purpose of helping save our wetlands through the non-profit organization “For The Bayou.” Little did I know that it would also serve as a pictorial representation of the beautiful scenery we are loosing due to this catastrophic oil disaster. Mr. President are you watching???

By Greg Palast from the USA:

Crime scene: New Orleans

Monday 1st September 2014

Don’t blame Mother Nature – it was Big Oil that wreaked destruction on the Crescent City nine years ago, writes GREG PALAST

Nine years ago, New Orleans drowned. Don’t you dare blame Mother Nature.

Ms Katrina killed no-one in this town. But it was a homicide, with nearly 2,000 dead victims.

If not Katrina, who done it? Who is to blame for the crushing avalanche of water that buried this city?

It wasn’t an act of God. It was an act of Chevron. An act of Exxon. An act of Big Oil.

Take a look at these numbers dug out of Louisiana state records: Conoco 3.3 million acres, Exxon Mobil 2.1m acres, Chevron 2.7m acres, Shell 1.3m acres.

These are the total acres of wetlands removed by just four oil companies over the past couple of decades.

If you’re not a farmer, I’ll translate this into urban-speak — that’s 14,688 square miles drowned into the Gulf of Mexico.

Here’s what happened. New Orleans used be to a long, swampy way from the Gulf of Mexico.

Hurricanes and storm surges had to cross a protective mangrove forest nearly 100 miles thick.

But then, a century ago, Standard Oil, Exxon’s prior alias, began dragging drilling rigs, channelling pipelines, barge paths and tanker routes through what was once soft delta prairie grass.

Most of those beautiful bayous you see on postcards are just scars, the cuts and wounds of drilling the prairie, once the US’s cattle-raising centre. The bayous, filling with ’gators and shrimp, widened out and sank the coastline.

Each year, oil operations drag the gulf four miles closer to New Orleans.

Just one channel dug for Exxon’s pleasure, the Mississippi River-Gulf Outlet, was dubbed the “Hurricane Highway” by experts — long before Katrina — that invited the storm right up to and over the city’s gates, the levees.

Without Big Oil’s tree and prairie holocaust, “Katrina would have been a storm of no note,” Professor Ivor van Heerden told me.

Van Heerden, once deputy director of the Hurricane Centre at Louisiana State University, is one of the planet’s leading experts on storm dynamics.

If they’d only left just 10 per cent of the protective collar. They didn’t.

Van Heerden was giving me a tour of the battle zone in the oil war. It was New Orleans’s Lower Ninth Ward, which once held the largest concentration of African-American-owned homes in the US. Now it holds the largest contrition of African-American-owned rubble.

We stood in front of a house, now years after Katrina, with an “X” spray-painted on the outside and “1 DEAD DOG,” “1 CAT,” the number 2 and “9/6” partly covered by a foreclosure notice.

The professor translated: “9/6” meant rescuers couldn’t get to the house for eight days, so the “2” — the couple that lived there — must have paddled around with their pets until the rising waters pushed them against the ceiling and they suffocated, their gas-bloated corpses floating for a week.

In July 2005 van Heerden told Channel 4 Television: “In a month, this city could be underwater.”

In one month, it was. Van Heerden had sounded the alarm for at least two years, even speaking to George Bush’s White House about an emergency condition — with the gulf closing in, the levees were 18 inches short.

But the army corps of engineers was busy with other rivers — the Tigris and Euphrates.

So when those levees began to fail, the White House, hoping to avoid federal responsibility, did not tell Louisiana’s governor Kathleen Blanco that the levees were breaking up.

That Monday night, August 29, with the storm bypassing New Orleans, the governor had stopped the city’s evacuation.

Van Heerden was with the governor at the State Emergency Centre.

He said: “By midnight on Monday the White House knew. But none of us knew.”

So the drownings began in earnest.

Van Heerden was supposed to keep that secret. He didn’t. He told me, on camera — knowing the floodwater of official slime would break over him.

He was told to stay silent, to bury the truth. But he told me more. A lot more.

“I wasn’t going to listen to those sort of threats, to let them shut me down.”

Well, they did shut him down. After he went public about the unending life-and-death threat of continued oil drilling and channelling, LSU closed down its entire Hurricane Centre — can you imagine? — and fired Prof van Heerden and fellow experts.

This was just after the university received a $300,000 cheque from Chevron. The cheque was passed by a front group called “America’s Wetlands” — which lobbies for more drilling in the wetlands.

In place of van Heerden and independent experts, LSU’s new “Wetlands Centre” has professors picked by a board of petroleum industry hacks.

In 2003, people in the US protested “No Blood for Oil” in Iraq. It’s about time we said: “No Blood for Oil” — in Louisiana.

There are more revelations from Professor van Heerden in Greg Palast’s bestseller Vultures’ Picnic (Constable Press). Palast is also the author of the New York Times bestsellers, Billionaires & Ballot Bandits, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy and Armed Madhouse.

After Hurricane Sandy, still more misery?

This video from New York City in the USA is called Staten Island tries to bounce back after Sandy.

By Bill Van Auken in the USA:

Millions still without power as temperature nears freezing in Eastern US

5 November 2012

One week after Hurricane Sandy pummeled the Eastern Seaboard of the United States with high winds and a record storm surge, nearly two million homes and businesses remain without power in New Jersey, New York and Connecticut as temperatures fall near the freezing mark.

Fear is growing that Sandy’s death toll, already topping 100, will be augmented by further fatalities, caused not by natural disaster but rather the inability and unwillingness of all levels of government and a social system driven by private profit to mount an adequate relief effort for the millions of people left without electricity, heat, water and food.

On Sunday New York City’s billionaire Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced that between 30,000 and 40,000 New Yorkers would be left homeless by the storm for a lengthy period, the bulk of them residents of the city’s public housing developments. Much of this housing, he said, will be “out of commission for a very long time.”

Bloomberg said that the numbers left homeless were comparable to those recorded in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina in 2005, noting that many then left that city for Houston, Texas.

These comments raised the very real possibility that the ruling establishment in New York may well use the devastation of Hurricane Sandy as a pretext for eliminating a section of the city’s public housing, which layers of the financial and corporate oligarchy have long regarded as an anachronism and an impediment to profitable real estate development.

In many of the housing projects, conditions have gone from bad to worse after nearly a week without power, heat and water. Even where lights have been restored, as in the developments on Manhattan’s lower east side, heat remains off and residents are attempting to warm themselves by turning on stove-top burners or boiling water, raising the threat of fire or asphyxiation.

The overwhelming sentiment heard over and over again throughout the region is that victims of the storm have been left behind in working-class and poor areas, while unlimited resources were lavished on getting Wall Street up and running with full power a day after the hurricane ended.

Bloomberg was the target of these sentiments Sunday when he sought to make a brief disaster tour of the Rockaway section of Queens, which has been left without power since the storm. Residents were pushed back by his police escort when they began yelling, “When are we going to get some help?” and questioning what was going to happen to older people trapped in high-rise public housing. The mayor was hastily hustled out of the area by his bodyguards.

The incident took place just a day after Bloomberg was forced to suddenly announce the cancellation of the New York Marathon, an annual event that has been held for more than 40 years. Public anger over the social inequality and class divide that pervades New York focused on the event, particularly after news reports that generators were being set up in Central Park for media tents and other facilities related to the race, while truckloads of food and water were arriving for the runners. People in devastated areas of Queens, Brooklyn and Staten Island and beyond demanded to know where their generators, food and water were.

The anger was exacerbated by the fact that the race’s starting point was in Staten Island, where the bulk of the city’s 41 deaths have taken place, and where the bodies of two little boys swept out of their mother’s arms by the storm surge were recovered only on Thursday.

It is still not entirely clear what caused Bloomberg to suddenly reverse himself only hours after he had insisted that the race was necessary to give New Yorkers something “to cheer about” and to boost business. It has been reported, however, that the city’s police commissioner, Ray Kelly, had weighed in heavily in favor of calling off the event. No doubt Kelly was receiving reports from the commanders of the army of police sent to maintain order in the devastated parts of the city that conditions were turning into a social powder keg that could be ignited by fury over the marathon.

Bloomberg on Sunday urged people without heat to go to warming centers and shelters, warning, “You can die from being cold.” However, people in the affected neighborhoods have reported that many of these centers are already overflowing, without room to sleep or enough food to give those coming for help.

Utility companies have given no precise timetable for when power will be restored, with reports that in the more hard-hit areas it could be off for as long as two weeks or more.

Meanwhile, still another storm is set to strike the region by the middle of this week, bringing heavy rains and wind as well as more coastal flooding.

The New York Times noted Sunday that even after power is restored and repairs are completed, the region’s infrastructure will remain “just as vulnerable to the next monster storm,” rendered all the more likely and inevitable by climate change and the increasing frequency of extreme weather.

From Associated Press today:

TRENTON, N.J. — Forecasters are tracking another coastal storm that threatens cleanup and recovery efforts in New York and New Jersey after the devastation of Superstorm Sandy.

The National Weather Service says the nor’easter could hit the region on Wednesday into Thursday.

The storm could produce strong winds, heavy rain and cause moderate tidal flooding along the coast, Raritan Bay and lower Delaware Bay.

Buildings and trees weakened by Sandy would be vulnerable to additional damage.

The storm would also hamper efforts to restore electricity that was lost during Sandy. Meanwhile, temperatures have dropped in the region.

New York after Sandy: Lights on in Wall Street while others suffer: here.

With tens of thousands homeless and hundreds of thousands still without power from Hurricane Sandy, the Northeast of the United States was hit by another storm Wednesday night: here.

The end of the current generation of environmental satellites will likely produce a gap lasting up to four years, in which crucial data used in predicting the intensity of hurricanes will not be collected: here.

J.A. Myerson, In These Times: Hurricane Sandy struck the Bay Parkway Community Job Center, New York City’s only center for day laborers, and the NYPD continues to deny entrance to the area. This has forced workers to go back to street corners: here.

Poem on Hurricane Sandy: here.

Hurricane Sandy brings deaths, destruction to USA

This video from the USA is called Hudson River FLOODS Overflows Hurricane Sandy New York & New Jersey.

By Fred Mazelis in the USA:

Massive hurricane hits Northeastern US

30 October 2012

A deadly hurricane hit the densely populated northeastern United States on October 29, affecting tens of millions of people and posing a grave threat to the region’s transit and power infrastructure.

The storm, Hurricane Sandy, made landfall in southern New Jersey, only about 100 miles from the New York metropolitan area, on Monday evening. Wind gusts of up to 75 miles per hour were accompanied by steady rain and storm surges of 6 to 11 feet that led to widespread flooding.

As of Monday evening, there were reports of thousands of people stranded in flooded homes, and reports of fatalities, including some caused by fallen trees, had also begun to come in. Whole communities were cut off by the storm on the coast of Connecticut, and the Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy told a news conference of a “Katrina-like” situation.

The entire area from Virginia to Massachusetts was battered by hurricane or gale force winds. Governors in nine states declared states of emergency, and 2 million homes lost electricity in the tri-state region of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut alone. In Connecticut 37 percent of utility customers, some 460,000, reported no power as of Monday evening. In New York state the number without power had reached 1 million and in New Jersey it was 500,000.

Unheard of scenes of massive flooding in lower Manhattan were reported, with 2-3 feet of water damaging countless street level businesses in the area. Battery Park, the well-known tourist destination from which ferries to Staten Island and the Statue of Liberty depart, was totally flooded. Electric power in this area was almost completely gone, with many skyscrapers in the business district totally dark. Some subway stations were flooded, but the extent of the damage to the transit system was not clear and would not be clear for some time as the storm surge and flooding continued.

The destructive power of the storm in the New York area was primarily the product of wind and storm surges, with relatively little rain, at least up to Monday night. Wind gusts of 50 miles per hour were forecast until at least 12 noon on Tuesday.

On Sunday afternoon, New York Mayor Bloomberg had ordered the evacuation of 370,000 people living in the low-lying areas of the city’s five boroughs, including the Rockaways in Queens, Coney Island and Red Hook in Brooklyn, Battery Park City in Manhattan and City Island in the Bronx.

Bloomberg, insisting that 45,000 residents of buildings managed by the city’s Housing Authority leave, ordered the shutdown of power to building elevators, along with heat and hot water. Some residents pointed out that residents of luxury apartment buildings in low-lying areas, such as Battery Park City, were not pressured similarly to leave their homes.

The city’s subways were shut down at 7 p.m. on Sunday, and transit officials predicted they might not reopen until Wednesday at the earliest, and then only in part. The public schools were shut for at least Monday and Tuesday, along with government offices and most of the city’s business and commerce. The New York Stock Exchange was also closed for Monday and Tuesday, the first time it had been shut for two consecutive days for weather-related reasons since the 19th century.

The storm. developing toward the end of the August-October season in which the great majority of hurricanes and tropical storms hit the eastern US, packed an especially life-threatening punch because of its unusually wide path and also its westward track.

Most hurricanes weaken and turn out to the Atlantic as they approach the northeast, but this one was being drawn to the west by a huge trough of high pressure. As a result of this, it was expected to turn into a winter storm, dumping up to two feet of snow in parts of Kentucky, Virginia, West Virginia and Ohio before weakening in the Ohio Valley.

What made the storm especially destructive was its enormous size, at least 1,000 miles in diameter. The prolonged high winds and storm surges, coupled with the full moon on Monday night that increased high tides, all contributed to the massive, almost unprecedented flooding over such a wide area.

The wind, high tides and storm surges were expected to pose a grave threat of flooding to the New York City subway system. As of Sunday night, a maximum water level of 11.7 feet was forecast for the Battery in lower Manhattan, breaking the record of 10.5 feet that was set by Hurricane Donna in 1960. One meteorologist on the Weather Underground web site warned of “a 50 percent chance that Sandy’s storm surge will end up flooding a portion of the New York City subway system.” The lower Manhattan areas of the system would be flooded at levels of 10.5 feet “unless efforts to sandbag the entrances are successful.”

The destructive potential of the storm surge was put at a record high of 5.8 on a scale of 0 to 6, according to Weather Underground. This is a higher potential than any recent hurricane, including Hurricane Katrina. As of Monday night the extent of the flooding of the New York subways that would be taking place over the next six to 12 hours was not yet clear.

If the subway’s electrical system becomes saturated with salt water, parts of the system could be out of operation for a month or more, at an economic cost of some $55 billion. In addition, underground electrical infrastructure used by Con Edison and other utilities could also be badly damaged by salt water.

According to Klaus Jacob, a climate scientist at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Tropical Storm Irene, only 14 months ago, came, on average, just one foot short of paralyzing transportation into and out of Manhattan. If the surge had been just that much higher, Dr. Jacob told the New York Times last month, subway tunnels would have flooded, segments of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Drive and roads along the Hudson River [the two north-south highways serving Manhattan] would have turned into rivers, and sections of the commuter rail system would have been impassable or without of power.

Climate scientists have warned with increasing urgency of the dangers posed by extreme weather, particularly under conditions in which the infrastructure has been allowed to decay. The surge of the current storm is predicted to be more than a foot higher than that of Irene. In the period following that major storm, however, nothing has been done about the threats to New York’s transit and electrical distribution systems.

This Massive Indoor Hurricane Simulator Could Save Your Life: here.

What Controls Atlantic Tropical Cyclone Development? Here.

Chris Williams, author of Ecology and Socialism: Solutions to Capitalist Ecological Crisis, examines the man-made factors contributing to the disaster of Hurricane Sandy: here.

Fundamentalists abuse Hurricane Sandy for gay-bashing

This video from the USA is called Hurricane Sandy Superstorm Update 11pm Advisory.

Hurricane Sandy, the largest tropical system recorded in the Atlantic, strengthened as it began making the transition to a superstorm that may push a wall of water ashore in the Northeast and lash the East with wind, rain and snow: here.

You think Sandy’s bad? Saturn had a storm that was bigger than Earth: here.

Hurricane Sandy Eyes DC, Baltimore, Philadelphia And New York (PHOTOS, LIVE UPDATES): here.

From ThinkProgress in the USA:

Anti-Gay Preacher Blames Hurricane Sandy On Homosexuality And Marriage Equality

By Zack Ford on Oct 29, 2012 at 10:50 am

John McTernan

A Christian religious leader has already claimed that Hurricane Sandy is further proof that “God is systematically destroying America” as political judgment for the “homosexual agenda.” John McTernan previously made similar allusions about Hurricanes Katrina (2005) and Isaac (2012), which he reiterated in his urgent call to prayer posted Sunday evening (via Gay Star News):

Just last August, Hurricane Isaac hit New Orleans seven years later, on the exact day of Hurricane Katrina. Both hit during the week of the homosexual event called Southern Decadence in New Orleans!

McTernan believes that it is noteworthy that Hurricane Sandy is hitting 21 years after the “Perfect Storm,” because 3 is a “significant number with God”:

Twenty-one years breaks down to 7 x 3, which is a significant number with God. Three is perfection as the Godhead is three in one while seven is perfection.

It appears that God gave America 21 years to repent of interfering with His prophetic plan for Israel; however, it has gotten worse under all the presidents and especially Obama. Obama is 100 percent behind the Muslim Brotherhood which has vowed to destroy Israel and take Jerusalem. Both candidates are pro-homosexual and are behind the homosexual agenda. America is under political judgment and the church does not know it!

Religious spokespeople have frequently tried to draw bizarre connections between natural disasters and the LGBT community. Last year, the American Family Association’s Buster Wilson similarly claimed that Hurricane Isaac was punishment for the Southern Decadence LGBT festival. Rick Joyner had the same to say about Hurricane Katrina, claiming that “[God]‘s not gonna put up with perversion anymore.” Pat Robertson has long believed that acceptance of homosexuality could result in hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, terrorist bombs, and “possibly a meteor.”

It’s likely that McTernan will not be the only religious figure to draw such allusions from this devastating storm.

Rabbi blames Hurricane Sandy on New York’s equal marriage law: here.

Hurricane Sandy is God’s October Surprise, Says Conservative Christian Author of Apocalyptic Novels: here.

Mitt Romney In GOP Debate: Shut Down Federal Disaster Agency, Send Responsibility To The States: here.

Axe FEMA, Romney Says – as Hurricane Sandy Looms: here.

Hurricane Isaac threatens Louisiana

This video from the USA is called New Orleans ‘on frontline’ of Hurricane Isaac.

By Kate Randall in the USA:

Hurricane Isaac takes aim at US Gulf Coast

29 August 2012

Hurricane Isaac was expected to make landfall early this morning as a Category 1 storm, threatening major flooding. States of emergency were declared in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi, as the region braced for the storm to hit exactly seven years after Hurricane Katrina ravaged the region on August 29, 2005.

The storm left at least 24 dead in the Dominican Republic and Haiti as it moved through the Caribbean and caused soaking rains in Florida, where 80,000 were without power as of Monday evening. The Republican Party delayed the start of its national convention as pounding rains hit Tampa, but caused minimal damage in the surrounding area.

Politicians, Democratic and Republican alike, are fearful of anything approaching a repeat of Katrina. More than 1,800 people were killed—with many more never accounted for—as a result of the storm and the criminal lack of response by authorities at both the federal and local level. Over 1 million people were displaced. The indifference of the Bush administration and the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) to the suffering provoked widespread revulsion, both in the US and internationally.

Five years after Katrina, Gulf Coast residents and small businesses are still reeling from another disaster—the April 20, 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, which crippled fishing and tourism and caused widespread ecological damage. Official unemployment in the Gulf region still stands above 8 percent, and nearly one in four residents relies on government assistance.

In the aftermath of Katrina, a $14.5 billion hurricane protection system has been constructed, ringing the greater New Orleans, Louisiana area with 350 miles of levees, floodwalls and floodgates. However, the system has yet to be tested, and several sections remain uncompleted. As the storm took dead aim at New Orleans on Tuesday, engineers closed 127 floodgates around the city, hoping to keep water from the Gulf from surging into the area.

While attention focused on New Orleans, the storm’s winds were expected to be felt more than 200 miles from the storm’s center. The effects of water were expected to be worse than wind, as the slow-moving storm picked up moisture from the Gulf. Isaac was predicted to bring 7 to 14 inches of rain to southeast Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, with some regions expecting up to 20 inches of rain. The storm could push walls of water, dumping rain and flooding the low-lying coastal areas of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and the Florida Panhandle.

In low-lying areas and areas outside the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority East system, levees were expected to be breached. In Cocodrie, Louisiana, two major floodgates intended to protect this coastal community are still under construction, and one of them will not be completed until next hurricane season. Residents in the area are under a mandatory evacuation order.

From USA Today:

Isaac, upgraded from tropical storm to Category 1 hurricane earlier Tuesday, touched land in Plaquemines Parish, about 90 miles southeast of New Orleans Tuesday evening before heading back over the Gulf of Mexico. By 3 a.m. EST, the storm remained stationary about 70 miles south of New Orleans, according to the National Hurricane Center.

BREAKING: Forecasters say Isaac begins to move inland in southeast Louisiana, top winds still at 80 mph.

Isaac may stir up oil from BP Spill: here.

Post-Katrina Reforms in New Orleans Continue to Disenfranchise African-Americans, Poor: here.

Katrina survivors sue Big Oil over global warming

This video from Associated Press in the USA says about itself:

Judge: Katrina Flooding Due to Corps Negligence

A federal judge in New Orleans has ruled that the Army Corps of Engineers’ failure to properly maintain a navigation channel led to massive flooding from Katrina. (Nov. 19)

From the (Conservative) Daily Telegraph in England:

Hurricane Katrina victims to sue oil companies over global warming

Victims of Hurricane Katrina are seeking to sue carbon gas-emitting multinationals for helping fuel global warming and boosting the 2005 storm.

Published: 12:28PM GMT 04 Mar 2010

The class action suit brought by residents from southern Mississippi, which was ravaged by hurricane-force winds and driving rains, was first filed just weeks after the August 2005 storm hit.

“The plaintiffs allege that defendants’ operation of energy, fossil fuels, and chemical industries in the United States caused the emission of greenhouse gasses that contributed to global warming,” say the documents seen by the AFP news agency.

The increase in global surface air and water temperatures “in turn caused a rise in sea levels and added to the ferocity of Hurricane Katrina, which combined to destroy the plaintiffs’ private property, as well as public property useful to them.”

More than 1,200 people died in Hurricane Katrina, which lashed the area, swamping New Orleans in Louisiana when levees gave way under the weight of the waves.

The suit, claiming compensation and punitive damages from multinational companies including Shell, ExxonMobil, BP and Chevron, has already passed several key legal hurdles, after initially being knocked back by the lowest court.

Three federal appeals court judges decided in October 2009 that the case could be heard. However, in February the same court decided to re-examine whether it could be heard this time with nine judges.

Other companies named in the suit include Honeywell and American Electric Power, with the residents charging that “the defendants’ greenhouse gas emissions caused saltwater, debris, sediment, hazardous substances, and other materials to enter, remain on, and damage plaintiffs’ property.”

They allege that the companies had a duty to “avoid unreasonably endangering the environment, public health, public and private property.”

A New Orleans police supervisor pled guilty February 24 in a federal court to charges of conspiracy to cover up the police shooting of six unarmed people a few days after Hurricane Katrina struck the city: here.

Amnesty International: Hurricane Katrina Victims Had Human Rights Violated: here.

Global warming threatens plant diversity: here.

April 2010. The Coast Guard, the State of Louisiana, and the Chevron Pipe Line Company (CPL) are responding to an oil spill from a pipeline in the Delta National Wildlife Refuge, approximately 18,000 gallons of crude oil has been released. An area of approximately 160 square miles has been impacted by the spill- 40 square miles of marsh and 120 square miles offshore: here.

‘Legacy of Katrina’ report details impact of stalled recovery on mental health status of children: here.

Traces Of Katrina: New Orleans Suicide Rate Still Up: here.

New documentary takes aim at Army Corps of Engineers for their role in Katrina: here.

New Orleans Dumps FEMA Trailers – and Maybe the People in Them. Julianne Hing, ColorLines: “New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu delivered on his promise to shut down the remaining FEMA trailers in the city, though not in the way struggling residents would have hoped. As of Jan. 1, New Orleans residents still living in FEMA trailers parked on their property face fines of up to $500 every day they remain in the government-provided housing units. Residents received notice days before Christmas, the AP reported”: here.

Jordan Flaherty, Truthout: “Jury selection begins today in what observers have called the most important trial New Orleans has seen in a generation. It concerns a shocking case of police brutality that has already redefined this city’s relationship to its police department, and radically rewritten the official narrative of what happened in the chaotic days after Hurricane Katrina. Five police officers are facing charges of shooting unarmed African-Americans in cold blood”: here.

A jury Friday found five current and former New Orleans police officers guilty of shooting six innocent residents and then covering it up in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina: here.

Global Warming-Denying Scientist Hid Funding from Fossil Fuel Corporations: here.

Bush to blame for Katrina disaster

This video from Associated Press in the USA says about itself:

Judge: Katrina Flooding Due to Corps Negligence

A federal judge in New Orleans has ruled that the Army Corps of Engineers’ failure to properly maintain a navigation channel led to massive flooding from Katrina. (Nov. 19)

From in the USA:

Army Corps Of Engineers Blamed For Hurricane Katrina

A federal judge has ruled the Army Corps of Engineers’ failure to properly maintain a navigation channel, led to massive flooding by Hurricane Katrina.

In a landmark decision, U.S. District Judge Standwood Duval Ruled in favor of residents, who claim the Army Corps’s oversight of the Mississippi River- Gulf Outlet, led to the flooding of New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward and neighboring St. Bernard Parish.

Wednesday’s (November 18) ruling just says what New Orleans’ residents have been saying since the storm hit on August 29, 2005, [it]was a man made disaster caused by the Army Corps’ failure to maintain the levee system protecting the city.

See also here.

Well, the Army Corps of Engineers is of course a United States federal government institution. And as such, it can hardly be blamed as the sole culprit of the Katrina disaster.

The George W. Bush administration had been, and was still, cutting back on the Army Corps of Engineers’ anti flooding work, in order to throw tax money into the bottomless pits of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. It had sent local National Guard people, who otherwise might have helped the flood victims, to those wars. These Bush policies cost many lives.