Friday, April 28, 2006

Hurricane Recovery - Rebuilding the Gulf Coast

Hurricane Recovery - Rebuilding the Gulf Coast:
"'I had a good visit with the Governor and the Mayor, as well. One of the things that we're working on is to make sure that we've learned the lessons from Katrina -- we've learned lessons at the federal level and state level and the local level. And we're now working closely together in preparation of the upcoming hurricane season. Secretary Chertoff was down here working with the Governor just to make sure that communications are clear, that equipment will be pre-positioned, and that the communications system, which failed last time, will be up and running should there be another catastrophic storm.'

-- President George W. Bush
April 27, 2006"

President Discusses Volunteerism During Visit to Hands on Gulf Coast Civic Action Center

The president went to Handson!!

President Discusses Volunteerism During Visit to Hands on Gulf Coast Civic Action Center:
"I've come to the conclusion that I'm at a terrific place where people are here bound by a common desire to show compassion to their neighbors in need. I really thank you. It's a compassion commune -- (laughter) -- where people are united by a singular purpose and setting a great example. Everybody -- most people I talk to say, well, that's make me feel better. The truth of the matter is, when you volunteer to serve somebody in need, it does make you feel better."

Plaquemines Levee Work May Not Be Completed In Time - Yahoo! News

Plaquemines Levee Work May Not Be Completed In Time - Yahoo! News:
"There is concern that critical levee work in Plaquemines Parish may not be completed by the start of hurricane season."

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Evacuees Find Housing Grants Will End Soon - New York Times

Evacuees Find Housing Grants Will End Soon - New York Times:
"Of about 55,000 families who were given long-term housing vouchers, nearly a third are receiving notices that they no longer qualify, FEMA officials said. For the rest, benefits are also being cut: they will have to sign new leases, pay their own gas and electric bills and requalify for rental assistance every three months."

....the notices have panicked evacuees and raised the ire of local officials and landlords, who say FEMA is reneging on a promise and dismantling a program that is helping more people and is far less expensive than other housing solutions like trailers."

PC(USA) - Presbyterian Disaster Assistance - Stories of hope - Katrina/Rita stories

Gary just sent me the following is really interesting to see how much the time in the gulf has affected people AND how much good has come out of it down there!

PC(USA) - Presbyterian Disaster Assistance - Stories of hope - Katrina/Rita stories: "Stories of hope: Presbyterians respond to bring hope following Hurricanes/Rita"

He also provided some numbers from the Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA):

"Katrina Recovery - Quick Numbers To Date
* Over 25,000: the number of uninsured or underinsured homes that still need work.

* Over 10,000: the number of volunteers to visit the Mississippi coast to assist with the recovery efforts through PDA.

*Over 4,000: the number of PDA volunteers to work during the spring break month of March.

* Over 1500: the number of casseroles prepared and delivered by the Presbyterian Women to feed those hungry volunteers.

*Over 1200: the number of houses that have been worked on by PDA volunteers.

*Over 300: the number of houses re-roofed.

*2: the team of George and Linda Bates who continue to work tirelessly for the PDA to coordinate their recovery effort on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

*1: the number of work teams currently booked for March of 2007"
The last one may be the most scary!

Thanks Gary and to all the volunteers THANKS!!! and keep up the great work!

BBC NEWS | World | Americas | Katrina agency faces closure call

BBC NEWS | World | Americas | Katrina agency faces closure call:
"The US Federal Emergency Management Agency (Fema) should be abolished and replaced with a new agency, a Senate inquiry panel has recommended.

The new agency would operate under the Department of Homeland Security, but be able to communicate directly with the president in the event of a disaster."

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Experts debate hurricane warnings - Yahoo! News

Experts debate hurricane warnings - Yahoo! News:
"'There is a lack of communication between the scientists and the risk-management folks,' said Sytske Kimball, assistant professor of meteorology at the University of South Alabama who chaired a discussion on the issue. 'We speak different languages, use different terminologies"

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

The Sun Herald | 04/24/2006 | Lott, Cochran announce $11 million for Bay, Waveland, state agencies

The Sun Herald | 04/24/2006 | Lott, Cochran announce $11 million for Bay, Waveland, state agencies:
"Federal funding totaling more than $11 million is slated for Hurricane Katrina recovery efforts in Waveland, Bay St. Louis and includes federal assistance for two Mississippi state agencies, Sens. Trent Lott and Thad Cochran said Monday."

Friday, April 21, 2006 Times-Picayune Updates Times-Picayune Updates:
"Volunteers are asked to come to St. Bernard Cemetery on Bayou Road Saturday for a clean-up day.

The group will meet there at 10 a.m. Volunteers are asked to bring lawn mowers and weed-trimmers, if possible. Water, snacks and trash bags will be provided across the street at St. Bernard Church.

The historic cemetery dates to the 1700s."

Deadline to gut homes is set

Deadline to gut homes is set:
"Concerned that thousands of residents are doing nothing to fix up their flooded homes, the New Orleans City Council voted Thursday to set Aug. 29, Hurricane Katrina's first anniversary, as the deadline for people to clean, gut and board up their homes, or risk having the city seize and demolish them."

Sign up sheets to go back to Mississippi or Louisiana

Hi everyone...

I have posted signup sheets outside my office (231 Murphy). It would make things much easier (espeically for transporting people and things to the region), if we had some idea when people from SBU were going down this summer. So, please let us know as soon as you know.



Firefighters Battle Huge Debris Fire In Ninth Ward - Yahoo! News

Firefighters Battle Huge Debris Fire In Ninth Ward - Yahoo! News:
"The debris fire was difficult to fight due to the ongoing drought conditions in New Orleans and a lack of water sources for fire crews.

New Orleans Library would like books

From an email:


New Orleans Public Library is asking for any and all
hardcover and paperback books to restock the shelves
after Katrina. The library staff will assess which
titles will be designated for the shelves. The rest
will be distributed to destitute families or sold for
library fundraising. The books can be sent to:

Rica A Trigs, Public Relations
New Orleans Public Library
219 Loyola Avenue
New Orleans, LA70112-2007"

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Evacuee Study Finds Declining Health - New York Times

The effects of the hurricane are still being felt :(

Evacuee Study Finds Declining Health - New York Times:
"Based on face-to-face interviews with more than 650 families living in trailers or hotels, it provides a grim portrait of the hurricane's effects on some of the poorest victims, showing gaps in the tattered safety net pieced together from government and private efforts.

Among the study's findings: 34 percent of displaced children suffer from conditions like asthma, anxiety and behavioral problems, compared with 25 percent of children in urban Louisiana before the storm. Fourteen percent of them went without prescribed medication at some point during the three months before the survey, which was conducted in February, compared with 2 percent before the hurricane.

Nearly a quarter of school-age children were either not enrolled in school at the time of the survey or had missed at least 10 days of school in the previous month. Their families had moved an average of 3.5 times since the storm.

Monday, April 17, 2006

"The Sun Herald newspaper, which didn't let Hurricane Katrina interrupt its 121-year tradition of never missing an edition, on Monday won the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for public service.

The newspaper shared the award with The Times-Picayune of New Orleans."

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Mayor: 'We are making history every day'

The Sun Herald | 04/12/2006 | Mayor: 'We are making history every day':
"Mayor A.J. Holloway said Tuesday the city has completed about 88 percent of its debris removal, but there is much work left to be done.

Holloway spoke to the Biloxi Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday morning on the 32nd floor of the IP. He said city has removed more than 2.5 million cubic yards of debris and the work would have cost about $40 million, but FEMA has reimbursed the city.....

'I am not going to say anything bad about FEMA,' Holloway said. 'We have always had a good relationship with them.'
Holloway expects the debris removal to continue for another six to eight months"

The Sun Herald | 04/13/2006 | Airport fancies more flights

The Sun Herald | 04/13/2006 | Airport fancies more flights:
"BILOXI - For the Coast economy to take off, government and business leaders told airline executives at an air service summit on Wednesday, passenger air carriers will have to get on board early.

Gov. Haley Barbour and officials from gambling, development and capital investment interests gave their best pitches to the airlines to direct more flights to Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport.

'A bunch of money is going to get made down here. A bunch of airlines will make some of that money,' said Barbour. 'This isn't about philanthropy. It's business. It's good business.'"

Dr. Bob: Miracle Man

Yeah the title is supposed to be ambiguous. It is his title for the person he met, but I think many of us who know Dr. Bob would put him in that catergory as well!

It was on Wednesday, mid week, when I had time off and had the priviledge of sharing lunch at a local restaurant (the first such for me, in Biloxi, since I arrived here in September - "where's the time?). Local resident and friend Lee Smith joined me. Some of you may remember Lee's story, as told in one of my letters a couple of months ago: A man in his 50's with endstage cancer and malfuntioning heart valve, whose greatest hope is for his 2 daughters (living and being schooled in Houston since the hurricane), while he lives in a tiny trailer on the site of his former home, totally destroyed down to a slab by Katrina. Lee has been slowly, methodically, and persistantly pursuing every angle to find a way, and the money, to build a new house, and home, on the site where he lived most of his life, in the town where his 11 siblings, mother, father, and grandparents lived out their lives. This he is doing so that his daughters, age 17, and 14 will have a home, at their homeplace, before, and after he dies. The prospect of death has its daily presence around Lee, because of the extent of his disease. However, his life is sustained by the hope of providing a future for his girls, in their home town, and at their homeplace.
Two hour phone conversations are the norm for Lee - with his girls - as they exchange news, speak supportive and encouraging words, cry their tears of separation, worry, and a deep caring love for one another, made only more melancholy by their awareness of Lee's mortality.
So, where is the "miracle" in this MIRACLE MAN ? Lee does not tell his story as a great and important public figure who has done marvelous things for the world or his community. He is quiet, unassuming, humble, with a practical and homespun intelligence and wisdom. This is attributes to his being blessed by God, by being held up, saved, protected and rescued several times over from near death - for a purpose. "God has a purpose in mind for me - there is something he wants me to do before he takes me away, why else would he have rescued me all these times".
Eighteen years ago, Lee had much of his Colon and abdominal Lymph nodes removed for Cancer. He had peritonitis from a subsequent bowel perforation, lay comatose, septic and near death for weeks in a hospital in Houston, far from his family. Lee survived. He underwent rigorous and sickening Chemotherapy. Lee survived, "though I liked to give up and die after each treatment", he says. Two years ago he was told of 'tumors' growing in his liver - a new Cancer?. He has been receiving montly Chemotherapy since, and "it lays me low and keeps me from getting fat by overeating" for a week afterward. Last year he developed a leaking heart valve, hhad congestive failure, was severly short of breath, and had at least one Cardiac arrest after hip replacement surgery. He has been advised against heart surgery for fear of dying at the attempt.
Lee's wife, mother of his two daughters, walked out on the family when the girls were preschool age. Lee has been their faithful father and 'mother' all these years, seeing to their well-being. schooling, feeding, clothing, entertainment, and "even combing and brushing their hair before school in the morning".
Lee lived in a tent and with friends before Fema sent his trailer, nearly 8 weeks after Katrina. He applied for this and other 'assistance' , repeatedly turned away with the strongly worded statement that he "should go out and find a job", since he was "well enough to come to the FEMA office often enough to bother them" with questions and inquiries about his trailer and benefits. Lee has recieved no money from FEMA ["you get social securuity disability benefits] desoite the fact that, like all the other residents in his devastated and flooded neighborhood, all of his worldly possessions were washed away, including his cars AND his homeowners insurance will pay not a penny on the "settlement" that all was damage due to flooding.

Lee reiterated this , and told many other parts of his life story, as we enjoyed a typical business lunch (sans alcohol) in a typical suburban Ruby Tuesdays restaurant. He even managed to smile and laugh a bit as we compared family antics and accomplishments, and our pride in them. Lee said, in his simple, yet profound wise and philosphical manner, how God had protected him, that his family and especially his daughters are his life's treasures, and how he will work as hard as he can, " as long as the good Lord wants me to", to take care of his girls, help his brothers and sisters, his church and neighbor friends, to the best of his ability, until the Lord decides his work is done. There is little doubt in my mind that this MIRACLE MAN, as a walking and working miracle will do just that.

Here on the Mississippi Gulf Coast there are hundreds of MIRACLE MEN AND WOMEN, quietly, faithfully, and successfully, working miracles. They are doing this with the power of the love of others and the love from God.
Thanks be to God that they are here, at this time, for there are still a lot of "miracles" that need to happen to save the fallen, the downtrodden, the least, the lost, and the [nearly] wiped out. Pray and hope for them, and don't forget them.


Monday, April 10, 2006

Dr. Bob, part I

Volunteers are Miracle Workers

This is from a fairly long email from Dr. Bob (I will post a bit more later):

"Consider this: 65,000 homes destroyed, over 200,000 people displaced, stunned, and discouraged; the entire infrastructure and supports for whole communities, seriously impaired; promises of financial help, repairs, and reconstruction made, then broken; make-shift this, and make-shift that; unsympathetic government beurocracy and faceless, remote and uncaring political figures with their hands on the national purse; day after day of having to look at debris and wreckage; having to beg for assistance and be humiliated before petty officials. Now, THAT is no trifle. By late week I was weary and discouragement was moving in like a silent, but pervasive morning fog. I was looking only in front of me at ALL the massive amount of work still needing to be done to restore normalacy to this wretched and forelorn place, while pouting over the loss of use of a junker, aged automobile. Pitiful, wouldn't you say?

When what appears ahead, in front of you, looms large, daunting and uncertain, turn your minds eye around and look back; see where you have been, what you have accomplished, and even more rejoice in what you, working with thousands of others in your family, community, state or nation, have accomplished - how far we have come in repairing our damaged lives. Do this every day, several times each day, and see that therein lies the strength , the energy, the endurance and, most important, the HOPE that leads us to walk on. We become the " angels of mercy" , the WALKING MIRACLES, that the good people, survivors of Katrina, tell us over and over that we are.

So implausible did it appear to be that handfuls of volunteers, committees from local churches, individual families and societies of friends or neighborhood acquaintences, could "walk and work" and accomplish so much. That they have done so, is nothing short of a MIRACLE, and persons who did this, one person at a time, are the "WALKING MIRACLES who have been WORKING THE MIRACLES we are witness to."

| Back Bay Mission in Biloxi

The Sun Herald | 04/09/2006 | Back Bay Mission in Biloxi:
"Demolition was scheduled for Monday for all but one of the seven buildings at the 1012 Division Street location...

The mission was founded in 1922 as an outreach for poor families working in Biloxi's seafood factories, but over the years has expanded to include the area's poor, homeless and disenfranchised with help with housing, food and health care"
and then the good news:
"Absolutely we will rebuild," said Nancy Wilson, Back Bay's director of development. "We're working with an architect and we think the facilities we rebuild will serve the community even better than before."
This was the site that a kind volunteer donated to in SBU's name after meeting some of our student volunteers in March.

The Sun Herald | 04/10/2006 | Six-year-olds's poster aids relief effort

The Sun Herald | 04/10/2006 | Six-year-olds's poster aids relief effort: "So far, 6-year-old Noah Ford of Sagamore Beach, Mass., has sent $2,800 from sale of his art to Habitat for Humanity to build houses for people left homeless by hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

The fund is called the Hurricane Recovery/Operation Home Delivery, but what's important to Noah is that he's helping, because 'everybody needs a house.' That's what he said three years ago, at age 3, when he created the colorful stylized picture of 100 houses that his parents, Chris and Liz Ford, framed and hung on his bedroom wall."

Friday, April 07, 2006

Months helping Katrina victims: Area couple ran Mississippi center

Months helping Katrina victims: Area couple ran Mississippi center:
"During an evening walk, Lyle Hughes saw a resident trying to clean her yard. She said she could see the sadness in the woman's eyes even though it was four months after Hurricane Katrina.

The talkative visitor from Decatur leaned over the fence and asked, 'Would you like some help with your home?'

The woman hugged her and sobbed."

Lessons learned while on break from school - Local News: Lessons learned while on break from school:
"Alison Eromin spent her spring break fixing the broken homes and hearts of those impacted by Hurricane Katrina.

Stationed in the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans to help rebuild a nearby home devastated by the storm, the 20-year-old Scituate resident and student at Hampshire College in Amherst said her experience was like no other.

Eromin saw it on the news, read about it in the papers, and heard stories of the tragedies that followed the hurricanes - Katrina and Rita - along the Gulf Coast. But to be there first hand, speak to the people who lived through it, and know that she helped make a difference, was what she credits in changing her own life.

'I wanted to try and do something meaningful on my spring break,' she said. 'And when the hurricane happened, I knew that I wanted to help.'
Eromin traveled to New Orleans with 73 other Hampshire College students aboard four minivans and two cars. They met with members of a grassroots organization known as the Common Ground Collective - a community-initiated volunteer group in the area that provides relief for the victims of hurricane disasters."

Hurricane Relief From Abroad Was Mishandled - New York Times

Hurricane Relief From Abroad Was Mishandled - New York Times:
"Thousands of ready-to-eat meals donated by governments, as well as loads of medicine, were never used, because officials learned only after they arrived in the United States that they did not meet federal health standards. Instead of distributing the supplies, the federal government spent $60,000 to store them.

Of the $126 million in cash donations received, only about $10.5 million has been spent. Nearly half sat in a noninterest-bearing account until last month, when it was transferred to the Department of Education for a grant program to help damaged schools and colleges, although no grants have yet been awarded."

I just can't think of anything to add to this one...pathetic. I really wonder how bad the food was. People were starving and we didn't distribute it because why?

The money I can see, but at least earn some interest on it!!!

A great Story from Mary Robbins

North East Booster:
"Mary T. Robbins, reporter for the Northeast Reporter newspaper, recently teamed up with the Hands on USA volunteer network in Biloxi, Miss., on a mission to rehab houses, remove debris, counsel survivors and rebuild in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. This is her account of her experiences"
...Oh yeah, she was there with some others from SBU! ;)

"An e-mail I had received about a month ago invited me to join 300 students and alumni from my alma mater, St. Bonaventure University, to spend "spring break" volunteering in the Katrina relief efforts. It set the wheels in motion.

As a reporter for 17 years, I'm used to covering scenes of destruction, fires, horrible accidents, homicides. Nothing prepared me for the destruction I saw in Biloxi or nearby Bay St. Louis.

Six months after Katrina, devastation is everywhere.

So is a hopeful spirit."

Be sure to read the rest!

Thursday, April 06, 2006

The Sun Herald | 03/28/2006 | Volunteers find small effort is big difference

Sounds like SBU :)

The Sun Herald | 03/28/2006 | Volunteers find small effort is big difference:
"The team repairing the home is part of a 405-volunteer contingent with Kent State United for Biloxi. The Kent, Ohio, group will be working in Biloxi and Pass Christian through Thursday. The group was also patching up the Vietnamese Martyrs Church on Oak Street on Monday. They will be restoring homes throughout their visit as well as helping out with a childcare program in East Biloxi and rebuilding the gazebo in the Pass Christian park near their camp.

Volunteer Bob Christy said Kent State United expects to continue their presence on the Coast for three or four years. Already making a huge impact for Duong's family and many others, Christy is looking ahead to the next excursion.

'This first trip is just a discovery year,"

Beacon Journal | 03/29/2006 | Area students replace a roof for hurricane victims

Beacon Journal | 03/29/2006 | Area students replace a roof for hurricane victims:
"About 400 Kent State and University of Akron students and volunteers are in the Biloxi, Miss., area to provide hurricane relief during their spring break. Here is a dispatch from Kim Thompson, a public relations major at Kent State."
and later:
"our perspective has changed. One of our favorite parts of the trip is the simplicity of our daily routine. We don't have to get dressed up, and we don't have possessions to worry about.

Interacting with people who have lost nearly everything has helped us realize how materialistic we can be."

Who said it?

"The basis of successful relief in national distress is to mobilize and organize the infinite number of agencies of self help in the community. That has been the American way."
Herbert Hoover...while the webpage said he was speaking about the Great Depression, but he equally cold have been speaking about the Mississippi Flood of 1927 which propelled him into the national spotlight.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Long but interesting

This is a long email but definitely worth reading. Unedited:
"It was great to see your trip was such a success.

I have been task to try and motivate volunteers from my own Church to join a mission trip to Gulfport at the end of May.

So I have been scouring your Random Topics2 blog trying to find the right things to say.
I was crushed to read about Jerre's passing. My wife pointed out what a blessing it was though that in the end he was not alone.That God had sent him companions and hope.

I hope that you or someone is encouraging ALL of the students who went to document their stories. Even what might seem to them to be a small thing that they did for a stranger could bring hope to others and inspiration to those who feel that the world has grown cold. Perhaps there is an energetic student/computer geek on campus there who could put together an on-line "Volunteer's Story Corps" type project.

God is sending normal everyday people to the coast to deliver his blessings and grace and I'd hate for those tales to be lost.

We had another such incidence with a small group that went down a few weeks ago. They were to do a roofing job but when they got to the site they decided that the pitch was just too steep for them (hey, they're volunteers not super heroes!) so they decided to go to the next house on the list. They were well underway when the homeowner pulled up and was overcome.
They sat and talked with him. He was an elderly gentle man with a cane who had ridden out the storm in his house. The water rose and rose and when he was finally standing in neck deep water on top of his stove and holding his small dog up out of the water, he said he couldn't take it anymore and he had prayed out for God to just kill him quickly. At that point apparently the water stopped rising and suddenly went out!
Now move foreword in time. It is nearly 6 months later and he is still in his ruined house. Depressed and hopeless he remembered how he had been saved when he cried out. So that morning he had gone to church to pray for help. It wasn't clear to me that it was his church or if he even attended on but he had gone to one that morning. When he returned to his house he found strangers putting a new roof on it.
I was not part of that crew but I know how humbling and awesome it is to find yourself as part of that sort of story.

When you share your stories from the Gulf with people now, do you ever find yourself listening to what you are telling them and thinking ... this all sounds so terribly overdramatic. More and more I find myself tempted to water down what I saw and was a part of ... or not even talk about it at all because it all seems so overdone. That's what it's like down there though. I guess for us the phrase "beyond belief" has new meaning.

Two more random thoughts.
1) This may be the first time in history that 10s of thousands (if not hundreds of thousands) of students have invaded the Gulf Coast for Spring Break ... and left it in better condition then they found it.

2)The on going relief effort on the Gulf Coast may well be the largest mobilization of (non war related) volunteers in US History ... and it is going largely unnoticed by the nation! I am basing this by the posts and links I am reading on your blogs as well as other places.

In the third week of March alone, Westminster Presbyterian Church in Gulfport reported they had coordinated 220 people from around the US and Ontario. This included a Presbyterian relief group from Pennsylvania that has made a 5 week commitment and also 150 Jewish college students.
The following week they were expecting another 135 Jewish college students who were planning to complete 12 to 15 roofs and build an entire home from the ground up.

I don't believe this lack of mass media coverage is some sort of plot but rather the nature of what we do. Being volunteer groups our focus is not in recognition but in helping. Even if we did want to shine a light on the effort, very few of these private groups have "PR" departments.
I know there is some coverage but it usually surrounds a single event or group. To my knowledge there is no "Official" agency that is keeping track of how many and from where these volunteers are streaming.

I wonder if it would parallel the WPA programs at the end of the great depression?
Maybe I can get hold of a NOVA producer at WGBH and get them interested in that aspect.

Once again, it's human beings being selfless in mass quantities ... I hate to see that not get some exposure.

Well, I've rambled long enough.
Thanks for keeping up the blog.


Publishers: Newspapers Withstood Storms - Yahoo! News

Hats off to all of the newspapers and other media outlets in the region. Without your getting the word out, volunteers would never know to come. You did a GREAT job!

Publishers: Newspapers Withstood Storms - Yahoo! News:
"Our readers have bonded to us as never before,' he said. 'They have showered us with compliments. In my 26 years as publisher, I've never seen it like this.'

People who never read their local newspaper before have become faithful daily readers since the hurricane, according to both Phelps and Ricky Mathews, president and publisher of The Sun Herald in Biloxi, Miss.
For Mathews, the experience of the past seven months and his paper's increased valued role in the community have made him more optimistic about the industry's future. But having an emergency plan is essential, he said — a newspaper without one is 'writing a formula for failure.'

Although most employees had their homes damaged or destroyed, The Sun Herald never missed an edition during the crisis."

The Sun Herald | 04/03/2006 | Feeding need for hope

A sign that things are getting better :) YEAH!

The Sun Herald | 04/03/2006 | Feeding need for hope:
"'It was absolute chaos,' recalls Yvonne Mallett of seeing her business the day after the hurricane. 'I was scared that they didn't lock the door between the lounge and the bar. Well, we got down there and found the door, but that's about all we found.'

These days, the phone never stops ringing for reservations and the customers dining in the dimly-lit wings keep the orders coming.

'We've got our old memories,' she says, 'and now we're just making new ones over here.'"

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Heat, Mold Raises New Health Concerns - Yahoo! News

MOLD! Gee, do we know anything about this?

Heat, Mold Raises New Health Concerns - Yahoo! News: "Record temperatures could lead to more mold growing in the Hurricane-Katrina affected areas.

Jonathan Wilson from the Center for Healthy Housing explained how the rising temperatures help the mold grow.

�Once you get some heat on them and some moisture, that's going to help them bloom. You're going to get new eruptions of mold colonies in these homes,� explained Wilson.

Currently, a �healthy home� has a spore count of about a 1,000 parts per cubic meter of air.

�We're seeing over a million spore counts, in those homes when work's being done, so, those are extraordinary numbers,� said Wilson."

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Disaster News Network: 'I want everyone to return'

Disaster News Network: 'I want everyone to return':
"Thank you for coming, volunteers are so good to have,' he said to the crew."

The volunteers have also been moved by the survivors stories, noting that just being a listening ear is often the best thing they can do for a person. "It's about helping and listening to them," said Mary Vlazny.

"The destruction is unbelievable, you see it on TV, but it doesn't hit you until you get here. You see what it looks like down here seven months later and you know why it will take ten years for everyone to recover."