Hey peeps, I’ve been away, and not near a computer, but when I finally got a chance to check my email, I got this letter from my good friend Brian, who grew up in New Orleans and still has family there. Thought I’d pass it along…SPB
Hi everyone – To all of you who have called or e-mailed to ask about my family’s well being, thanks so much. It has been quite a week watching my hometown come undone and I appreciate your support.
Everyone that I know is safe and out of harms way, though my mother was unable to contact me until today to let me know that she was safe. She is fine and her home was lucky to have been spared serious damage in a heavily wooded area 25 miles north of New Orleans (Covington) which is now covered with downed trees (a pine tree over 3 feet in diameter missed her house by 6 inches!). Power is still out and will likely be that way for weeks. Cell phone networks began coming back up today, which is how she was able to call me. The heat and humidity is punishing everyone, as you would imagine.
My father and his family fled New Orleans before the hurricane and are now hotel hopping their way closer and closer to New Orleans. They hope to find temporary housing close by, as it could be months before residents are allowed to return to the city. They have no direct news of the condition of their home, but they live in a relatively high part of Jefferson Parish (Metairie) and are hopeful that the house is not inundated with water (it always floods a little when the city pumps break down, so some damage would be par for the course).
Most of my friends live near the lake and their homes are completely under water. Things are a mess — to say the least — and the chaos, eruption of violence and desperateness in New Orleans right now is difficult to watch from afar. I hope to go there soon and participate somehow in the recovery and rebuilding. I am thankful that everyone I know survived.
If you have not done so already, please please please consider making a donation through one of the charitable organizations listed below to help those not as fortunate as my friends and family in Louisianna, Mississippi and Alabama. I don’t make a habit of paraphrasing George Bush, but he is 100% right when he says it will take years for the south to recover from this tragedy. The sooner we get on with that process, and the more resources we have to do it with, the better it will be. There are literally tens of thousands of people who have lost both their homes as well as their livelihoods and everyone down there will be negatively affected by the disaster. Please help in whatever way you can.
American Red Cross
www.redcross.org (click Donate Now button)
or call 1-800-HELP NOW (435-7669)
www.salvationarmy.org (click Donate Now button)
or call 1-800-SAL-ARMY (725-2769)