Photographer's Note


August 29, Katrina hit New Orleans, sending hundreds thousand of evacuees off their homeland to shelters around the country. Everything has been uprooted. Thousands of children got lost their parents.

This is the picture I took of one of the victims who waded through the chest-high floodwaters in the streets of New Orleans. They were plucked from their rooftops in the rescue baskets of helicopters. They survived the tragedy of the Louisiana Superdome and a 350-mile bus ride to Houston Astrodome. At his first steps in a strange city after surviving the hurricane that has been blamed for more than 700 deaths in Louisiana with some 96,000 people displaced in shelters across the country, the boy was worrying...

Yesterday, those who returned have been asked to evacuate again as Rita was upgraded to a hurricane. Two busloads of New Orleans residents fled the city as concerns grew that the effects of Rita could add to the floodwaters left by Hurricane Katrina. Some other 500 buses were standing by to take people out, plus plans made to use commercial jetliners if necessary.

As for the evacuees in Houston, they are displaced again. Local authorities said the temporary shelter for tens of thousands of Katrina refugees could not be used when Rita lands here this weekend. As a result, some 1,100 evacuees living in Houston's two largest shelters were flown on commercial airliners to Fort Chaffee military base in Arkansas starting yesterday afternoon. The shelters Reliant Arena and the George R. Brown Convention Center; known together as the Hurricane Katrina Houston Response Unified Command officially ceased operations as of 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Galveston (about 50 miles SE of Houston) declares a state or emergency and orders some mandatory evacuations as part of Hurricane Rita preparations. The approaching storm was affecting offshore oil operations hobbled by Katrina damage. Taking a cue from the suffering in New Orleans, officials called for a voluntary evacuation of this island city as Hurricane Rita threatened to slam into the Texas Coast by this Friday. They also stressed that those fleeing the coastal area should skip Houston since it could lose power and is prone to flooding, and that between 800,000 and 1.2 million Houstonians could be asked or ordered to leave in the area.

This month marks the 105th anniversary of the hurricane that wiped out Galveston in one of the deadliest natural disasters in U.S. history. An estimated 8,000 people were killed.

If you are within Zone A (BLUE) of this evacuation map and need help evacuating, please call (713) 881-3100.

To follow up Rita in Houston & Galveston, please use this link.


ChrisJ, Mingfang, elihesamian, seanf, fireflyz has marked this note useful

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Additional Photos by Ngy Thanh (ngythanh) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 471 W: 125 N: 2332] (8458)
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