Report from the New Orleans Evacuation

Friday, September 23, 2005
In the light of the current Houston evacuation, which is starting to look, well, ill-considered, I thought it would be good to post a report I got from a friend of mine on how the New Orleans evacuation went for that %80 of the population who obeyed the mandatory evacuation.

We evacuated the city of New Orleans the day before the storm hit. Thousands and thousands of people were trying to evacuate and our pace was averaging around 10 mph. After about 13 hours of driving we made it to our destination: a small town in Mississippi called ___. We got there with only 5 hours to spare before the storm hit. We escaped some of the storm's fury but it was still pretty bad where we stayed. I was so scared. Trees were dropping down all around us and panes on the roof made an awful banging noise. (The roof was made of long metallic panels.) We thought the roof was going to blow off but it did not. I prayed and prayed for safety. Maybe it was a miracle that we escaped serious harm.

Now we have rented a house in ____ for one month. We lost electricity and water in the house where we were staying earlier. The house we are renting has electricity and water. We are doing well under the circumstances. My father the doctor doesn't think he will have patients to see for as long as 6 months. He specializies in allergy and immunology which people don't necessarily have to be treated for. They may put up with the symptoms while they cannot afford to pay a doctor.

New Orleans is a ghost town. My father visited the city yesterday. We cannot move back yet. No stores are open. The police force was nowhere to be seen.