By Matty on 11:19 AM
Editor's Note: This post is from Armando in Mobile, Alabama, who rode out the hurricane in his house in north Mobile. Armando has spent much of his life on the Gulf Coast, and knows a great deal about the region's economic importance to America and the world.
At left: Port of Mobile.
A week ago, Hurricane "KATRINA" was announced, heading toward Florida. But later, it bypassed Florida, and on Monday, Aug 29/05, finally hit NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA and most gulf cities of Mississippi, causing heavy damages to homes, businesses and people, ravaging and completely destroying some areas, with untold losses for everyone.
In Alabama, especially in Mobile, damages were caused to homes and businesses in the gulf areas, with fallen trees, high water levels, and loss of power and services, and only now most utilities and services are working again.
No one could have predicted the immense damages caused by KATRINA, until a few days ago, when scenes blared on television of water covering up to 90% of NEW ORLEANS, and other areas in Mississippi. Chaos and violence ruled, as the death toll kept increasing, as more bodies seemed to have drown in the avalanche of water, that encircled most of New Orleans, where thousands lost their homes.
Official estimates now put the death toll to over 2,000 people. There is panic all over, as both rich and poor suffered. President Bush visited the damaged areas, and said it will take years to bring New Orleans back to its old "Big Easy" status.
NEW ORLEANS, which is to the whole World, the Center for Mardi Gras, The French Quarter, the Superdome, the Dixie Land Jazz and Louis Armstrong and other great artists, is no more. Besides New Orleans has been a major Gulf Seaport, up to the Mississippi River. This is land acquired by the United States as part of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. Also the Battle of New Orleans was the last battle of the War of 1812.
MISSISSIPPI: Indications are that over 200 people so far have lost their lives, including loss of businesses and services in the major gulf coast towns and cities, including Gulfport, Biloxi, Pass Christian and others. The Casinos are gone, and the State will suffer tremendous losses of income and employment.
MOBILE, Alabama: As mentioned earlier, did suffer, but not as much as the immense damages in New Orleans and Mississippi. Most of the utilities and power are back. But there is a tremendous shortage of gasoline and cars line up three blocks to try to be served by a gasoline station.
Having grown in the Tropics(Belize), and having lived several years in Mobile, I have witnessed various hurricanes, but do not recall anything like KATRINA. Incidentally KATRINA means "PURITY". You might now want to call it, THE MONSTER KILLER HURRICANE KATRINA.
A CHALLENGING IDEA FOR THE FUTURE: Some residents of New Orleans and Mississippi headed to Mobile, to avoid KATRINA. They are still watching developing losses. Officials say it will take several months to get back to normal, possibly years.
A CHALLENGE for politicians of Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana would be to get together and consider developing the port of MOBILE, as a major gulf port, to serve as an alternative to New Orleans. Offficials say there are around 86 cargo ships from different countries at the port of New Orleans waiting to be loaded or unloaded. New Orleans has been a major port for Grains and foodstuff, almost 60% of products from the gulf.
It would also serve to give employment to those people who are now unemployed, and allow the gulf to continue as a major international outpost. Even the Casinos and other businesses lost in both New Orleans and Mississipi could be re-instated in Mobile.
LET us all hope for the best, especially for those who suffered the most, or lost their lives, and completely "Put trust in the Lord(Ps: 4:5).
-- Armando in Mobile