Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Australia's "hurricane" and New Orleans

Australia had a big "hurricane" (We call them "cyclones") and flooding not long after the New Orleans event. The town affected (Innisfail, my birthplace) was quite small so not comparable to NO in size. What was VERY different was the self-help response from the people living there. Contrast the report below with the endless whining still emanating from the New Orleans leadership. Innisfail was actually largely back to normal after a week

The head of cyclone Larry recovery efforts General Peter Cosgrove today said while "remarkable" progress had been made there remained a few cases of people yet to recover from the disaster. Speaking 12 months after the massive storm hit northern Queensland destroying homes and crops, General Cosgrove said much had been achieved. "It's had remarkable progress since all of those terrible scenes people saw a year ago," Gen Cosgrove told ABC Radio. "Thousands of homes have been repaired, many hundreds of people have been supported in staying in employment, kids are back to school and life returns almost to normal."

A few dozen people are still awaiting repairs or rebuilding of their homes. "You've still got a handful of cases that are chronic, really sad and bad, which will take still some time to resolve," Gen Cosgrove said. The former defence chief said those people were either waiting for labour costs to decrease or to receive charitable donations.

He conceded there had been a few shortcomings in the relief effort. "That's the nature of human activity. "But I think people rallied magnificently well, governments really sort of put a bomb under themselves and got moving very quickly. It's sort of a benchmark for the future (for) what Australians in need might hope for from governments when they ... find themselves in the same predicament."




Mr. Melpomene said...

Glad to hear you are recovering nicely. Nicely enough to feel confident in your 'whistling past the graveyard' cockiness. Maybe the reason we are bitching so much is because you don't often have a city 80% destroyed by an unaccounable bureaucracy's blundering. Have you seen a White House flying the worlds most expensive 747 through clouds of denial instead of mounting the rubble and grabbing a bullhorn? There is much more to this story, maybe you should read up on the local news, blogs etc. After all, we're all new media, right?

doctorj2u said...

Boy, it must stink to hate Americans so much. If you want to REALLY know what is going on, get your butt down to the gulf coast and see what is really happening (and NOT happening) in Mississippi and Louisiana. Then you would know how ashamed you should be of yourself.

TravelingMermaid said...

Not. Worth. The. Effort.

Craig said...

First of all, let me say that I hope that your hometown is recovering as well as the reports indicate. Having seen first-hand how bad these things can be makes my heart go out to them.

Second, you need to realize that you are comparing apples to car tires. It's hard to begin laying out the difference - they are so numerous. When the disaster hit your hometown, people were able to immediately go to work fixing/rebuilding - NOLA was underwater and -> inaccessible <- for over a month! Given the radical difference in size, the defense forces were able to set up tents at the airport in Innisfail to house the folks who were homeless. In NOLA, they could have completely covered the airport in tents and not been able to house 15% of the homeless. And it's really nice that the defense forces actually thought to do that for your folks - we weren't that lucky. Our "who's got the brain today" trio of President/Governor/Mayor couldn't even figure simple things like that out for weeks after Katrina.

Most importantly, though is the question of why many many folks have not been able to start rebuilding.
A - The entire infrastructure of a major city was wiped out. How can you rebuild your house when you can't get running water, electricity, or gas? Not for a day or week or month, but for 6 months or MORE?
B - How can you rebuild your house or business when the insurance company won't settle your claim, and then even if they do, you can't find out yet how high you may have to raise your foundation before you can even get insurance on the rebuilt house?
Many people are still waiting for the government to give us the flood-level guidance they need to rebuild.

In summary, you really need to look into things before you talk out of the bottom part of your body.

Mr. Melpomene said...

finished my day job. If you 'astute' types want to understand the difference, I'd suggest starting here. http://noitsjustme.blogspot.com/2007/03/its-easier-than-being-here.html You see, we're all just middle class folks. We woke up one day and found ourselves like Tom Hanks in Castaway. We don't have anything to rely upon, God, Money, Government, Hope, consider that. It is not that we can't get our lives together, it's that in the interconnected world of law/insurance/debt, we are totally fucked by the same people who, like heroin addicts, don't care how bad they treated you, need their payment now. Having an abusive relationship with the sane, civil, world is an unusual experience. I hope you can explore our peril and learn something useful to you or people close to you.

Mr. Melpomene said...


Loki said...

You fatuous ass. Come dwn here and compare fro first hand experience. I will happily take you through the tens of miles of devastation.

Oh by the way, your home town was hit by a hurricane. Our city was flooded when the federally built levees failed.

Katrina? Category 5? Yes, the Big One hit the Gulf Coast BUT New Orleans was on the weak side f the storm and only subjected to Cat 2 winds. The US Army Corps of Engineers (last I checked they were a federal agency) has assured us for decades that the levees were sae up to Cat3.

Come on: Get The Facts, NOT The Spin!