Saturday, September 03, 2005

Data on New Orleans

Finally talked to my brother at length. They were airlifted out off the roof of Tulane Hospital, taken to Covington, and then bussed to Lafayette, where my oldest brother and brother-in-law picked him up and took him to my sister-in-law's house, where half my family is now staying.

He says both Tulane Medical Library and the New Orleans Public Library, down the street from TML, did not get water into the levels where the books are -- that the books are safe. He says the Public Library has a few broken windows, that's all. (Being as we're both book people, this matters deeply to us.) But he added that since they got pulled out, he thinks looters might well sack both places. He seemed pretty certain about this. Since he was on the ground there and I wasn't, I'm inclined to take his word for it.

Apparently things were pretty horrific, on the ground. And they didn't have internet or phone service or television, so they knew less about what was going on that we did, much of the time. They could get some information via the radio. But he was standing on the parking garage when the big explosion happened, over there by the river, for instance. It shook the city, he said, and they saw it happen, and had no idea what was going on.

Not to mention gunfire and looters in the streets. Like something out of Alas, Babylon, he said.

He says they didn't run out of food or water, because early on the cafeteria manager, also on-site, organized all the food up to the eighth floor, but they were on short rations the whole time. Nearly two hundred of them were inthe building. He's glad to be out alive, he said. He sounded like it, I must say.


bitchphd said...

I'm really glad your brother is okay. But I'm very sorry for all you've lost.

delagar said...

I talked to my father this morning - they're with relatives in Indiana -- and it sounds like it will turn out that we've lost less than most. My oldest brother's house in St. Charles' Parish is likely going to be fine. My youngest brother's house and my middle brother's apartment, both in the city, are probably gone or at least in bad shape. We don't know about my parents' house. It was in an area that often doesn't flood, but this wasn't an ordinary flood.

On the other hand, that's one house among them. Most folks don't have that. And no one is dead. Tulane, where ny brothers work, is cancelling the fall semester, but it is, probably, going to keep the IT people working, and that's what my brothers do. So, well.

Things could be worse.

So we keep telling one another. This is just so awful.