Tag Archives: Mississippi

New Orleans Levee Break In Progress

New Orleans Floodwall Breach After KatrinaThis is what happens, and what can be created with no experience, time on your hands, and don’t want your mind to be a devil’s workshop. Some folks like to put themselves out there. I’d rather put out a creation that speaks for itself as I work from behind the levee.

For those who don’t know, almost six years ago, I started this website, intended to show the struggles, strength, determination, & resiliency of people affected by Gulf Coast hurricanes. But soon, the site was lonely. I decided to start building a network. So this blog was born.

Just like any aging old institution (me), I looked and saw this network needed to be remodeled, renovated, renewed, resuscitated, rejuvenated, and rebuilt.

The old theme was starting to look outdated and causing too many technical issues. With a fresh, bold new look and a brand new name – The Levee Break - the new KC blog is in progress, using the latest in themes and technology, aiming to be more relevant, contemporary, and socially engaging. So I made this blog better.

Some websites and blogs don’t last 5 years. A website is never really “finished”. It’s in progress. The tweaking is all to make it better. I’ve put countless (and sleepless) hours & hundreds of my own dollars since 2007 keeping this thing online, I expect (nor receive) nothing in return, I publish this site simply because of an inner passion – a love for helping others that embodied me after August 28, 2005. I’m not about to give up on it now. I’ll be doing more posting (took me two weeks to write this one) and looking for your comments. So we can make this blog mo’ better.

I need your support to polish it; to find the niche to make this a relevant resource for storm & storm survivor information, networking, and post-Hurricane Katrina news anywhere. If you didn’t already, register for this blog now, so we can start some meaningful conversations. Let’s talk about issues like flooding, FEMA, housing, blight, crime, schools, employment, or whatever’s on your mind – go ahead & vent. This is a good place for it. It’s about more than just a hurricane. Together, we can make this blog one of the best!

Wayne Filmore, Publisher/Editor

KatrinaConnection.com, Inc

Right Now

WHEW!…..I’ve missed you! And I’m missing you….RIGHT NOW!

The last two months have been rough for this website. It all started when somebody with too much time on their hands – more than I have, anyway – sat down and wrote what’s called malicious code into the internet, looking for vulnerabilities in websites to send false search results, disrupt connections, and lower other peoples’ internet rankings.

The Katrina Connection Network, which is actually three websites in one and quite a few computers in my little apartment, was affected by these “bugs”. Sometimes, you just couldn’t get to the blog. Then, KatrinaConnection.com came up in search results for certain products we wouldn’t dare sell. In fact, KatrinaConnection, a non-profit incorporated right here in Louisiana, has nothing for sale.

Well, I found the codes, added even more security, rebuilt the network databases, and added other features these past two months. I hope your cruise through the KC Network is smooth right now. Write now, on the blog, or by e-mail to edi...@katrinaconnection.com, with your ideas, suggestions, comments, or stories.

The Katrina Connection Network has almost a dozen security walls, bridges, and fences installed across the network to protect your security and mine. The internet will always have those who try, for no sane reason, to exploit or manipulate it – a “control the internet and control the world” mentality.

With close to 40,000 hits since starting out in February this year, the KC blog has attracted increasing interest and experienced many growing pains while bringing info and views affecting Hurricane Katrina and Rita survivors.

Thanks to people like you, this young website network is now ranking close to the top 1 million among the top 1 million websites in the world by Alexa, with a Google PageRank of 4 (out of ten) and climbing. That shows you’re interested. And I want to keep you coming back.

The goal is to make KatrinaConnection.com a premier internet destination for the thousands of surviovrs of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita – the storms that changed our lives forever.

And I’m missing all my friends and family, now living in other parts of Louisiana and in Tennessee, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, California, Colorado, Arkansas, Alabama, Washington, New York, and especially my nephew in the Saudi Arabian desert (much love)!

So, right now, c’mon, everybody – all you Katrina survivors – WRITE NOW, on the latest WordPress platform blog! Let me know where u at.

CNN Investigation Continues

The folks at CNN who uncovered $85 million in unused Hurricane Katrina goods a few weeks ago have found yet another bone for Hurricane Katrina survivors to pick at.

The CNN investigation found that Mississippi, the state hardest-hit by Katrina’s wind and storm surge, was one of 16 states that had reportedly received surplus supplies meant for Katrina victims, but not followed through in distributing the goods to the intended recipients.

According to the news network, coffee makers, cleaning supplies, dishes, linens, clothes, and shoes all ended up with Mississippi state agencies, prisons, and schools.

Also, CNN reports, a spokesperson for a state agency that handled the surplus said, “There may be a need, but we were not notified that there was a great need for this particular property.” (GASP!)

Other media reports state that non-profit organizations must qualify through Mississippi’s Department of Finance to be allowed to buy the surplus supplies and for more info, to contact that department at (601) 939-2050.

St. Bernardians relocated to MS

We are a retired couple from Violet. LA who had to relocate to Brandon MS and we wondered how many more of us are out there. One of our sons went back home to live in our house because his was demolished. One son relocated to Madison MS, and one is still in school. We are middle income retired and have purchased a home close to the Dogwood Mall. If anyone from our parish is in the same situation and would like to communicate, please respond

Scarier Than Formaldehyde

Not only is FEMA getting out of the ice-supply business after a disaster, but seems to be trying to distance itself from the notion of the agency as a temporary housing solution.

FEMA banned further use of its poison-laced travel trailers as an option for temporary housing in October 2007, because of the formaldehyde.

But last week the agency released its 2008 disaster plan, with revised guidelines for use of its trailers in “unusual and extraordinary disaster conditions”, and furthermore placing the burden of choosing the temporary housing squarely upon the shoulders of the state in which a disaster happens.

In releasing its disaster plan the agency stated that, as of May 29, 2008, there were 7,500 unused temporary housing units in its inventory, with only 889 units ready for use in response to disasters.

“FEMA of 2008″ Cuts The Ice

Joke of the day for those who haven’t heard:

The new attitude of the “FEMA of 2008″, as FEMA Director R. David Paulison reportedly said at a recent U.S. Senate hearing, is that ice is not a life-saving commodity.

To cut the cake-spending, FEMA officials reportedly announced that the agency will no longer directly offer ice to victims after a disaster such as a hurricane. The revelation has caused a storm of protest, and anyone who’s suffered through any hurricane, especially Katrina or Rita, would probably beg to join in and disagree.

Ice – that “commodity” treat of frozen life-saving water, is actually a life-saving necessity, especially when the power is out for miles around and stores are closed for days, weeks, or even months.

Word is, FEMA is slipping the ice job over to the Army Corps of Engineers who will only provide ice on request to a state facing an emergency, to be used for medical emergencies.

Guest Bloggers Welcome

Do you have news, an experience, a problem (sorry, no marriage counselors available), event, opinions, ideas, or any yadayadayada you want to share with other Hurricane Katrina or Rita survivors? Are you searching for someone?

It’s been too many days here without some of you regulars. Immersing myself in recovery news, events, and information ain’t easy. That’s why here on the TalkBox, with no writing staff, I look forward to visitor contributions. In other words, DON’T JUST READ – WRITE!!

There’s a lot of recovery left, from Plaquemines to St. Bernard, Biloxi and the whole Mississippi Gulf Coast, along with parts of Alabama, as well as New Orleans.

Information and communication is an important part of the recovery process, just as it was crucial in those frightening days we endured in 2005. If you’ve got information to share, register for this blog and post it (sorry -no porno)!
[All posts are reviewed before final publication]

-wayne

Could You Fill Up Your Gas Tank And Evacuate TODAY?

Suppose a major, destructive hurricane was headed for your home and you and your family had to evacuate NOW?

As the price of a gallon of regular gas has soared close to the dreaded $4.00 per gallon national average, do you have the money and could you afford to fill up your gas tank TODAY?
Please take a quick survey! Look for the results to be published here soon!


Then And Now

Anything sound familiar in our nation’s horrifying response to the horrifying disaster in Myanmar? Given the eerily ironic, deja vu feeling as our hearts go out to all those affected, KC won’t get involved in partisan politics, so you are invited to THINK PROGRESS for some outstanding reminders of where that feeling comes from. Thank God it’s not happening here and now.

‘KKK’ burned in yard of New Orleans area family

An African-American family in the New Orleans area are victims of a hate crime so hideous, it’s not been seen or done in years. But it sends a loud message to the new homeowners…and America (Full story and video)

In post-Katrina America, it’s sad that the incendiary injustice done to New Orleans before, during, and after Hurricane Katrina somehow prevails today in the form of racism or prejudice toward some of the city’s survivors, who, by all rights, should have overcome in 2005.

From nationally-recognized nooses in Jefferson Parish to the behavior in this story, the New Orleans area, that proverbial melting pot of American culture, must overcome all biases, welcome and strive to bring any and all of its area Katrina-surviving residents back, and work together to ensure a better quality of life, uncluttered by racism or prejudice, in order to return in glory and assume a rightful spot in America.


Embrace The Rain

Mississippi native and award winning novelist Michael Holloway Perronne has released his most personal book yet, Embrace the Rain, a novel which explores post-Hurricane Katrina life in the small coastal town of Long Beach, Mississippi.

“Almost three years later the area is very much in recovery,” Perronne, a coastal Mississippi native, says. “As much as I love, and will always love the city of New Orleans, the complete and utter devastation of many coastal Mississippi towns was virtually ignored by the national media. It’s one of the reasons that I felt compelled to tell the story of the people of the Mississippi Gulf Coast, the forgotten survivors of the storm.”

Perronne himself felt compelled to leave his home in Los Angeles to move back to the area last summer to spend some time with his family. “During the storm, days went by when I didn’t know how members of my family were doing and if they had even survived. All I could do was watch the news coverage to get some sort of sense of what the situation was down there.”

The book also explores some of the cultural and demographic changes the area is facing with an influx of Latinos since Katrina. “It’s fascinating what’s happening there now. You take an area which culturally has not seen much change in an extended period of time and almost hit a fast-forward button. I think it’s been good for the area’s citizens to be exposed to new cultures, but I can also see it’s been a struggle for some.” It’s this struggle that’s highlighted in the book and told through the eyes of the Mexican-American Santos family who moves to Long Beach, Mississippi after Katrina due to the exploding construction industry.

In Embrace the Rain, a forbidden teen romance and the violent act of a desperate boy forever binds a community. One year after Hurricane Katrina devastated the small coastal town of Long Beach, Mississippi, two families with deep roots in its Southern traditions are desperately trying to rebuild the way of life they have always known. But some, including the Mexican-American Santos family, are bringing a large dose of previously all-but-unknown cultures to this insular community.

Perronne’s debut novel, A Time Before Me, was a finalist in Foreword Magazine’s Book of the Year Award in 2006. His other works include Starstuck: A Hollywood Saga and Falling Into Me. Originally from the South Mississippi and New Orleans area, the author now calls Los Angeles home and is hard at work on his next novel, A Big Easy Christmas. For more information on Embrace the Rain, please visit the book’s website at www.embracetherainnovel.com or www.michaelhperronne.com.

Good Neighbor Offers An Olive Branch

Whoever it is on the legal team at State Farm headquarters in Bloomington, Illinois that does not want to add insult to injury suggested this olive branch:

State Farm Insurance Company has reached a settlement with a Mississippi couple.

A few weeks ago a 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel in New Orleans ordered a new trial and threw out a lawsuitthe couple filed against the insurance giant for denying their claim of hurricane Katrina damages.

In 2007 a Gulfport jury had awarded the couple $2.5 million in punitive damages, reduced later to $1 million by the judge. The panel said the judge shouldn’t have allowed jurors to consider punitive damages in the first place.

Another Victory for State Farm: Insult to Injury II

Judge rejects fraud claim against State Farm in Katrina suit
By HOLBROOK MOHR

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A federal judge dismissed claims of fraud in a key Hurricane Katrina lawsuit that accused State Farm Fire & Casualty Co. of using different engineering reports to deny a couple’s insurance policy after the storm…[DETAILS]

You Wonder

Let me tell you a little story about a EMT who worked in New Orleans long before katrina. He lived over on the Ms. gulf coast and did the responsible thing and evacuated his family out of harms way. He was far from rich and he was barely able to keep his families head above water (pardon the pun).

He left town with 100 bucks for gas and food and no idea what would happen to him. Luckily he worked for a good co. and they found a safe place for his family to go. The only downside was, as soon as they were safe he went to the superdome to help with all the poor, unfortunate, and downright ignorant people who refused to leave.

Upon arrival he was cussed at constantly and berated by the citizens he was there to help. He went without sleep for days, taking care of the sick and dying. There was no air conditioning and the temp soon rose to over 100 degrees. You couldnt even wipe the sweat from your forehead because of the possibility of cross contamination into your eyes. All the while the doctors and nurses that were sent from all over the country to help were being yelled at and treated like shit by the residants of N.O.

You had tourists there from germany and england that could not believe the peoples behavior. You fought and yelled and screamed like little babies. Everyone was scared, alot of people had lost everything, so what gives you all the damn right to make it personal. The only person responsible for your plight at that time was yourself.

Allow me to fast forward a couple of days. After being shot at and working on a MP that was shot, my company decided it probably was not safe anymore. On my way to a helicopter I was punched in the face and had feces thrown at me. “How Civilized”  I was evacuated to I-10 and causeway, many of you remember the place, TV crews kept calling it the cloverleaf.

My company handed me a hot breakfast when I arrived. I noticed a young boy standing nearby looking at me as I opened the plate. Considering my last 72 hrs. I really had no appetite so I gave the plate to him. His mom took the plate from him!!!!! That pissed me off to the point of violence almost.

Here we were 1000′s of volunteers helping 10s of thousands of people get out of a city, and I personally wanted to give that little boy a plate of food and his Fn mother took the plate from him. Then I looked around and noticed all these people in line bitching and crying that they had no food or water. I had been there for 5 minutes and I noticed, just across the interstate mind you 10 tons of mre’s and another 10 tons of water. People were to lazy to go get it. Another lady came up to me and asked me for a coke. I handed her my bottle of water, she threw it back at me because it was not cold.

Photographers were trying to take pictures of patients on stretchers. I was removed from the situation and placed on another helicopter to be re-united with my family 5 hrs. later. Upon seeing my wife behind the wheel of the only car we owned now, my stepdaughters 92 acura hatchback, I got in the car and she informed me that we had lost everything. I broke down, finally, not because of my loss or because I was in a strange city with no friends and only my family to rely on.

I broke down because of you stupid, incencitive, ignorant citizens of New Orleans that didnt have enough sense to evacuate a bowl, even though you had a cat. 5 hurricane coming towards you and were told to leave. I hope you leave next time, I doubt anyone will come to your rescue again.

No Place Like Home: Hurricane Katrina’s Lasting Impact

One of the findings from a study presented at a meeting of the Population Association of America in New Orleans is that hurricane survivors who lost their homes in Hurricane Katrina were over five times more likely to experience serious psychological distress a year after Katrina than those who did not…[SCIENCE DAILY]