Gut Rumbles

August 30, 2005

this is gonna be bad

I thought New Orleans escaped with minimum damage from Hurricane Katrina, but that ain't so. A broken levee is threatening to flood the city.

This is a terrible story, especially when you consider how some residents reacted.

Amid the flooding, looters raided clothing, jewelry, grocery and drug stores, sometimes filling garbage cans and floating them away on pieces of wood and other building materials in waist-high waters.

"It's downtown Baghdad," said Denise Bollinger, a tourist from Philadelphia, as she watched looting in the French Quarter, the Associated Press reported. "It's insane. . . . I thought this was a sophisticated city. I guess not."

As I've said before, people will be people. Some display great nobility and courage in a crisis. Others behave like gutter rats.

I hope the rats enjoy their ill-gotten gains.


I hope the police have "shoot looter on sight" orders.

Posted by: The Other Mike S on August 30, 2005 04:13 PM

I'm in a hotel in Taiwan right now and CNN Asia is practically 24 hours on Katrina. Now they're reporting a Supertyphoon heading my way in tomorrow. The planet seems a little pissed off right now!

Posted by: WitNit on August 30, 2005 04:26 PM

I don't have a single thing to complain about after seeing the state of affairs in New Orleans. People waiting on their roofs to be rescued and not having any clean water or food or anywhere to go.

Posted by: UziQ on August 30, 2005 04:28 PM

During the last Johnstown flood in the seventies, looting abruptly stopped after the mayor issued a shoot-to-kill order.

People in South Miami had to sit on their rubble piles with shotguns after hurricane andrew.

People are often torn between evacuating and staying to protect their property. The policy of not letting people back in after the storm causes more harm than good. If people are willing to accept "wild west" conditions, let them back in!

Posted by: Larry Kephart on August 30, 2005 04:30 PM

while I agree that opportunistic looters should be shot on sight, some of these people are just trying to feed their families. One shot I saw was of a Winn Dixie being emptied of anything that could be eaten quickly, water, and diapers.

Most of those people (in the W-D) didn't have enough time to gather the food they would need for 2 days, let alone a week. And as far as I'm concerned, I'd rather see the food and other perishables get looted rather than go to waste. At least some of these people will get a decent meal. Probably their last until the Red Cross gets its supply chain together.

The other looters, ripping off TVs, jewelry, fancy clothes, etc. are reprehensible. First of all, it ain't yours and it will keep for the rightful owner. Second, What the fuck are you going to do with a TV when there won't be any power for months???

I hope some of those assholes get bit by the snakes floating arounf the city.....

Posted by: caltechgirl on August 30, 2005 04:35 PM

My city in Texas has refugees everywhere. All the hotels are sold out. You see people with Louisiana and Mississippi license plates all over the side of the road with cars full of stuff, but with no where to go. It is unbelievably sad.

A bunch of local businesses (I am proud to say including mine) are stepping in to donate goods and services, but how do you comfort someone who has lost everything?

Posted by: blondage on August 30, 2005 05:03 PM

Why give some poor NG guy nightmares for having to shoot an American?

Drowning (or dying of cholera) for stolen jewelry/electronics would be a more poetic form of justice.

Posted by: Juliette on August 30, 2005 07:30 PM

You're there. You're stranded for whatever good reason. You have no food - or very little nonperishable food. So, you go to Walmart and grab some juice, water and canned goods. Can't fault that. You start taking the rest of the stuff Walmart sells, that's another story. Then it's time to kick up the consequences. What if I want to grab a bottle of Jack D? Should I keep a running tally of what I took and send them a check? (yeah, who else but me would think to do that.) But who would want to be the one in authority on site trying to judge the whole mess? Who's to say what we'd do.

Posted by: KathyP on August 30, 2005 11:30 PM

Call me cruel...but I find it very hard to have much sympathy for the majority of those people. I'll guarantee you that most of them could have left town if they'd wanted to...but they CHOSE to stay, knowing full well what the consequences could be.
And let's be honest.....those THUGS doing the REAL looting (not taking food and water)...those are the kind of people this world be better off without anyway. So...let 'em drown.

Posted by: Lanie on August 31, 2005 12:17 AM

The 'New Orleans Shopping Club' is not a new group. They loot after every storm and take everything they can, even unbolting seats from the Superdome and ripping them out of the floor to take with them. The people getting diapers and canned food shouldn't have had to take it; there should have been someone there handing it out to them! I don't call them looters, I call them survivors. There's a difference between them and the 'shoppers' breaking into drugstores and helping themselved to drugs! I've been there and seen that, so I know the difference.

Posted by: Michele on August 31, 2005 09:16 AM

A-Man, I just got back last night from seeing it in the east part of Mississippi. we went out, checked on our house (we got lucky), and drove right back to Florida. I walked through a neighborhood where not a single house was standing. Pictures, plates, all sorts of things laying about. I can't imagine how Biloxi and New Orleans look up close...

Anyone who steals from those people deserves to die.

Posted by: Adam Lawson on August 31, 2005 10:15 AM
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