Sunday, September 04, 2005

Too Much Rain

As stated in my earlier post, I am participating in the Hurricane Katrina: Blog for Relief Weekend from Thursday, September 1 to Monday, September 5. This is an entire weekend of blogging by thousands of bloggers on an international basis all focused on raising awareness of and funds for relief efforts to aid those affected by Hurricane Katrina.

To date, this effort has raised USD$712,308 in contributions so far with 1,654 blogs participating for over 220 recommended charities.

For more details, check out this site:

If you are making a contribution after reading my blog , then please do log your contribution by going to this site :

I read of this doctor’s story in the eye of the storm that was published in BBC news on 2nd September 2005.

Hurricane aftermath: A doctor's story

The doctor is Greg Henderson who is a pathologist from New Orleans.

After Hurricane Katrina struck he stayed in the city and has set up a makeshift hospital at the Ritz Carlton Hotel, along with fellow doctors who were attending a medical conference.
From there he sent updates to his friends on the desperate situation in the flooded city.

One of those friends, S Syer, from Dallas, sent Mr. Henderson's latest update to the BBC News website:

“Personally, my family and I are fine.

My wife and two young girls are now safe in Jackson, Mississippi, and I am now a temporary resident of the Ritz Carlton Hotel in New Orleans.

In addition, this hotel is in a very old building on Canal Street which sustained little damage.
Many of the other hotels sustained significant loss of windows and we expect that many of the guests may be evacuated here.

Overnight on Monday the water arrived. Now Canal Street, true to its origins, is indeed a canal.
The first floors of all downtown buildings are underwater.

I have heard that Charity Hospital and Tulane Hospital are limited in their ability to care for patients because of flooding.

Ochsner is the only hospital that remains fully functional.

However, I spoke with them and they too are on generators and losing food and water fast.
The city has no clean water, no sewage system, no electricity, and no real communications.
Bodies are still being recovered, found floating in the floods.

We are worried about a cholera epidemic. Even the police are without effective communications.
A group of armed police are here at the hotel trying to exert some local law enforcement.

This is tough because looting is rampant. Most of it is not malicious looting.

These are poor and desperate people with no housing, no medical care, no food and no water trying to take care of themselves and their families.

Unfortunately, some people are armed and dangerous. We hear gunshots frequently.

Most of Canal Street is occupied by armed looters who have a low threshold for discharging their weapons.

We are still waiting for a significant National Guard presence.

The health care situation here has dramatically worsened overnight. Many people in the hotel are elderly or small children.

Many others have unusual diseases.

We have set up a makeshift hospital in the French Quarter Bar in the hotel.

There is a team of about seven doctors and pharmacists. We anticipate that this will be the major medical facility in the central business district and French Quarter.

Our biggest adventure today was raiding the Walgreens on Canal Street under police escort.
The pharmacy was dark and full of water. We basically scooped entire drug sets into garbage bags and removed them.

We are anticipating dealing with multiple medical problems and acute injuries.

Infection and perhaps even cholera are anticipated major problems.

The biggest question to all of us is: Where is the National Guard?

We hear jet fighters and helicopters overhead, but there is no real armed presence, and hence the rampant looting.

There is no Red Cross and no Salvation Army.

We are under martial law, so a return to our homes is impossible.

I don't know how long it will be and this is my greatest fear.

The greatest pain is to think about the loss, and how long the rebuilding will take.

That, and the horror of so many dead people.”

This is a story from BBC NEWS:

There is also a special update and information provided by Kaye Trammell from the University of Florida about displaced academic faculty and staff who are seeking employment. There are many campuses around the state which are housing tens of thousands of refugees.

Subject: For displaced faculty and staff seeking employment
COLLEGE INFORMATION (The Advocate, 2 September 2005)

Officials also want college faculty and staff to know their jobs are secure. Faculty and staff seeking employment opportunities are asked to register with the Board of Regents' Web site,

Some 72,000 college students have been displaced in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, and education officials are trying to keep them in other Louisiana universities reopening Tuesday.

Campuses that will be closed even after next week include University of New Orleans, Delgado Community College, Nunez Community College, LSU Health Sciences Center, Xavier University, Dillard University, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, Tulane University, Loyola University, Southern University-New Orleans, Our Lady of Holy Cross, and four Louisiana
Technical College campuses.

College students have an option to enter into another school in Louisiana at no extra cost until their original school reopens, or they can begin online courses at no additional cost starting the first week in October. Call toll free (866) 415-2269 for details.

New fall registration at all campuses starts Tuesday for displaced students, and all credits will be transferable to any Louisiana college or university. Campuses around the country also are offering registration for visiting students. Students and faculty should call (225) 922-1633 for details or visit

Baton Rouge Community College will open special registration Sunday and Monday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Students will not lose financial assistance, including TOPS. Call (866) 415-2269 or the Office of Student Financial Aid, (800) 253-5626, Ext. 1012.

Officials also want college faculty and staff to know their jobs are secure. Faculty and staff seeking employment opportunities are asked to register with the Board of Regents' Web site,

Campuses around the state are housing tens of thousands of refugees.

The following colleges outside Louisiana have announced policies welcoming students affected by Hurricane Katrina. However, students should check the universities' individual Web sites.
• University of Texas at Arlington
• University of Texas at San Antonio
• University of Kansas
• St. Mary's in San Antonio
• University of Virginia
• Virginia Community College System
• All of Tennessee's public universities
• All of Arkansas' public universities
• Arizona State University
• Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville
• University of South Florida
• University of Georgia
• University of Tulsa in Oklahoma
• Syracuse University in New York
• University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
• Johnson & Wales
• Texas A& M
• Washington College

Special offers:
• Randolph-Macon College in Virginia is offering free tuition and board for 2005 to all affected students.
• The University of Arkansas is offering free tuition to native students and in-state tuition to all others affected by the hurricane.
• Florida Gulf Coast University is waiving late registration and out-of-state tuition fees.
• University of Wisconsin-Madison is welcoming back Wisconsin natives and working on options for out-of-state students.
• Displaced students can attend any Illinois community college for free.
• Rice University will welcome Houston-area undergraduates who were enrolled at Tulane University.
• University of Idaho is accepting affected students and has 10 one-year tuition, fee and room scholarships.
• The Alabama College System will pay one semester of tuition and fees for students in affected two-year and technical colleges.
• The Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities is helping Loyola University New Orleans students find temporary academic homes.
• Oklahoma City University is offering free tuition to any hurricane-affected student.
• Hollins University has announced that it is welcoming applications from women enrolled at colleges or universities that are unable to open due to the impact of Hurricane Katrina. These students will be able to attend Hollins tuition-free for one semester and will be obligated to pay only room and board during that time. Students and parents are encouraged to contact the Hollins University Admissions Office at 540-362-6401 or 1-800-456-9595 for more information.

Those interested to know more can check out Kaye’s web site at

Kaye Trammell received her PhD from the University of Florida & currently teaches visual communication as an assistant professor in mass communication at Louisiana State University.

In the midst of this tragedy, I remember a song called “Too Much Rain” by Paul McCartney. The lyrics are set out below:

Too Much Rain - by Paul McCartney

Laugh, when your eyes are burning
Smile, when your heart is filled with pain

Sigh, as you brush away your sorrow
Make a vow, that's it's not going to happen again

It's not right, in one life
Too much rain

You, know the wheels keep turning
Why, do the tears run down your face

We, use to hide away our feelings
But for now, tell yourself it won't happen again

It's not right, in one life
Too much rain

It's too much for anyone, Too hard for anyone
Who wants a happy and peaceful life
You've gotta learn to laugh

[Guitar solo]

Smile, when your spinning round and round
Sigh, as you think about tomorrow
Make a vow, that your gonna be happy again

It's all right, in your life
No more rain

It's too much for anyone, Too hard for anyone
Who wants a happy and peaceful life

I also recall this poem below:

(from "Prometheus Bound") by: Aeschylus

EARTH is rocking in space!
And the thunders crash up with a roar upon roar,
And the eddying lightnings flash fire in my face,
And the whirlwinds are whirling the dust round and round--
And the blasts of the winds universal leap free
And blow each other upon each, with a passion of sound,
And æther goes mingling in storm with the sea!
Such a curse on my head, in a manifest dread,
From the hand of your Zeus has been hurtled along!
O my mother's fair glory! O Æther, enringing
All eyes with the sweet common light of thy bringing,
Dost see how I suffer this wrong?


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