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Mississippi's Floodbeaters
IBD Editorials ^ | May 23, 2011 | Staff

Posted on 05/23/2011 4:16:45 PM PDT by Kaslin

Property: Fair or foul, U.S. officials diverted floodwaters to farmlands to save cities as the mighty Mississippi spilled its banks. But there was a surprise: Farmers chose not to be victims.

The weekend was full of disheartening news of tornadoes striking Missouri and Minnesota, as well as creeping floodwaters making their way down to the Gulf states in the worst flooding in at least two decades.

But there was one unexpectedly heartening development: News photographs from tiny Vicksburg, Miss., where 2,100 people have been displaced, showed dozens of farm houses along the Mississippi River and its Yazoo tributary encircled by homemade levees, many of them shielding these homes from the destruction of the river.

In the great vastness of the Mississippi deluge that seemed so impossible to escape, these farm houses are now islands of hope.

IBD called around the area and found that these levees were the result of self-reliant farmers taking matters in their own hands in a classic instance of Made In America preparation, initiative and ingenuity.

Vicksburg residents told IBD the farmers acted on their own, not waiting around for the government to rescue them or tell them what to do.

"We're not the Ninth Ward," said Robin Jeffers, who works at the Total Horse feed store in Vicksburg, which serves the farm community 11 miles from the river, in a rueful reference to the constant blame-the-government game and nonstop calls for aid that occurred after 2005's Hurricane Katrina.

"We knew the flood was coming a month ahead of its arrival. Everyone did," she said.

(Excerpt) Read more at investors.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: floods; levees; mississippi; werenotthe9thward

1 posted on 05/23/2011 4:16:47 PM PDT by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin

“We’re not the Ninth Ward.”

That’ll leave a mark.

Deservedly so.


2 posted on 05/23/2011 4:21:29 PM PDT by fightinJAG (I am sick of people adding their comments to titles in the title box. Thank you.)
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To: Kaslin

Take that 9th ward losers


3 posted on 05/23/2011 4:21:38 PM PDT by yldstrk (My heroes have always been cowboys)
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To: fightinJAG

Unfortunately, 0 is trying to turn our entire country into the Ninth Ward.


4 posted on 05/23/2011 4:25:13 PM PDT by tgusa (Investment plan: blued steel, brass, lead, copper)
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To: Kaslin

“We knew the flood was coming a month ahead of its arrival. Everyone did,”

Another ant and grasshopper story.


5 posted on 05/23/2011 4:29:14 PM PDT by meatloaf
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To: fightinJAG
Please explain to us how someone living in the ninth ward could have built a levee around their house?



The ACE levees and flood walls that were there certainly didn't hold.
6 posted on 05/23/2011 4:48:43 PM PDT by Kirkwood (Zombie Hunter)
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To: fightinJAG

Actually, no. It’s an ignorant, cheap shot that compares apples to oranges.


7 posted on 05/23/2011 4:52:23 PM PDT by Psycho_Bunny (Public employee unions are the barbarian hordes of our time.)
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To: Psycho_Bunny

Just saying the betrayal of Israel


8 posted on 05/23/2011 4:53:43 PM PDT by scooby321
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To: Kirkwood

Any and all “Rebuilding” there should be limited to houseboats and barges.

There is NO question it will happen again, only when.


9 posted on 05/23/2011 5:17:50 PM PDT by Loyal Sedition (Loyal Sedition, often described as "To the right of Attila The Hun"!)
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To: Kirkwood

Any and all “Rebuilding” there should be limited to houseboats and barges.

There is NO question it will happen again, only when.


10 posted on 05/23/2011 5:18:20 PM PDT by Loyal Sedition (Loyal Sedition, often described as "To the right of Attila The Hun"!)
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To: Kirkwood

I didn’t take the comment that literally. I took the comment to mean that one takes one’s situation in hand and does something about it with one’s brains. Instead of bleating about “where’s my government check,” one would come up with something to do to assist.


11 posted on 05/23/2011 5:30:11 PM PDT by yldstrk (My heroes have always been cowboys)
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To: Psycho_Bunny

Interesting perspective.

As I see it, what this comment meant was the Ninth Ward also had plenty of time to prepare for Katrina, including taking advantage of various government and private evacuation programs and assistance.

But a lot of people sat around waiting for . . . I don’t know, exactly, what they were waiting for, but they sure were still there when that hurricane, which I could see on my TV with my own eyes for at least a WEEK headed toward New Orleans, did in fact hit New Orleans. And many of them still had no plan on how to protect or take care of themselves in light of the coming emergency.

I fail to see how the comment was “apples to oranges.”


12 posted on 05/23/2011 6:26:16 PM PDT by fightinJAG (I am sick of people adding their comments to titles in the title box. Thank you.)
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To: Kirkwood
I don't think this comment was AT ALL about building levees around one's home! Please. Of course that wasn't possible in the Ninth Ward or anywhere else in New Orleans.

What I took the comment to mean was, as I posted upthread, a reference to the fact that so many in New Orleans, especially in the Ninth Ward, seemed to do almost nothing to prepare for the storm by at least evacuating themselves.

There were many people in the Ninth Ward and elsewhere in New Orleans who waited around, while it was clear that a huge and destructive hurricane was on its way, instead of doing what they could do, and what was offered to them to do, to take care of themselves -- i.e., evacuate, rather than sit there and then -- oops! -- guess it's time to follow the government orders to go to the SuperDome and create a Third World nightmare there.

That is, if one hadn't already been rescued off one's roof by a soldier risking his life to get a basket down to you out of a helicopter.

Didn't see anybody spray painting "Help Me" on their roofs in this article to catch the attention of National Guard choppers.

Why? Because they used their brains to evaluate the KNOWN and PREDICTABLE THREAT and then did what was available to them to do to reduce the likelihood they would get caught in the flood.

This comment wasn't about building levees -- good grief. It was about taking personal responsibility, whatever that looks like in a particular situation, in the face of a KNOWN, PREDICTABLE DANGER.

The comment itself was coupled with the idea of one of the farmers saying "we've known for a month that the flood was coming." Just as the residents of New Orleans knew for at least a week that a very dangerous storm was headed their way.

Point of this article being: these farmers knew the threat, they took action, they did what they could to take care of themselves, they did not wait or depend on someone else (especially not government) to do it for them.

That is all.

13 posted on 05/23/2011 6:37:56 PM PDT by fightinJAG (I am sick of people adding their comments to titles in the title box. Thank you.)
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To: yldstrk

Exactly. As I have also explained in response on this thread.


14 posted on 05/23/2011 6:41:42 PM PDT by fightinJAG (I am sick of people adding their comments to titles in the title box. Thank you.)
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To: Kaslin

GOD BLESS AND PROTECT you good folks in Mississippi!

You faced an awful trial and you’re still standing! GOOD FOR YOU!! May God keep your levees secure and may your fields be richer from the flood waters as divine payment.

The rest of you jerks, just shut up and cheer for these struggling folks. They’ve shown us the true grit that Americans are famous for, but you seem to have forgotten.

Screw the Ninth Ward. Cheer for the embattled underdogs. GO MISSISSIPPI!!!!!


15 posted on 05/23/2011 7:48:22 PM PDT by DNME (With the sound of distant drums ... something wicked this way comes.)
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To: Kirkwood

“Please explain to us how someone living in the ninth ward could have built a levee around their house?”

I know this will sound tacky to you, but if you are in the ninth ward, thank those folks upstream who left their homes to the flood waters, and were so resourceful as to build their own dams, so that you wouldn’t be flooded again.

Then again, your post is tacky.

BTW, you might want to question why the flood walls didn’t hold.


16 posted on 05/24/2011 12:04:10 AM PDT by dixiechick2000 (Age, skill, wisdom, and a little treachery always overcome youth and arrogance!)
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To: Black Agnes

“We’re not the Ninth Ward,”

Bump!

Thank you so much, Black Agnes!

I love this! Dems my homies, and I’m so proud of them!


17 posted on 05/24/2011 12:06:38 AM PDT by dixiechick2000 (Age, skill, wisdom, and a little treachery always overcome youth and arrogance!)
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To: WKB; Tupelo; mstar; jdirt; Vietnam Vet From New Mexico; wardaddy; KLT; montesquiue; Downsouth55; ...

Missippy “we’re not the ninth ward” ping!


18 posted on 05/24/2011 12:08:41 AM PDT by dixiechick2000 (Age, skill, wisdom, and a little treachery always overcome youth and arrogance!)
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To: WKB; Tupelo; mstar; jdirt; Vietnam Vet From New Mexico; wardaddy; KLT; montesquiue; Downsouth55; ...

Missippy “we’re not the ninth ward” ping!


19 posted on 05/24/2011 12:09:45 AM PDT by dixiechick2000 (Age, skill, wisdom, and a little treachery always overcome youth and arrogance!)
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Sorry about the burp. ;o)


20 posted on 05/24/2011 12:10:26 AM PDT by dixiechick2000 (Age, skill, wisdom, and a little treachery always overcome youth and arrogance!)
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To: fightinJAG
"What I took the comment to mean was, as I posted upthread, a reference to the fact that so many in New Orleans, especially in the Ninth Ward, seemed to do almost nothing to prepare for the storm by at least evacuating themselves. There were many people in the Ninth Ward and elsewhere in New Orleans who waited around, while it was clear that a huge and destructive hurricane was on its way, instead of doing what they could do, and what was offered to them to do, to take care of themselves -- i.e., evacuate, rather than sit there and then -- oops! -- guess it's time to follow the government orders to go to the SuperDome and create a Third World nightmare there.

80% of the pre Katrina inhabitants of New Orleans,based on the 2005 population of 454,863 that would be approximately 363,890 people, evacuated before the storm. As one who has done it several times, I can tell you that evacuations are not a cheap undertaking. Many of those that didn't leave couldn't afford to leave. There was no "third world nightmare" in the Superdome, just the usual overwrought reports of the media. Please read- They Shoot Helicopters Don't They? How journalists spread rumors during Katrina. Matt Welch from the December 2005 issue of Reason http://reason.com/archives/2005/12/01/they-shoot-helicopters-dont-th

"The comment itself was coupled with the idea of one of the farmers saying "we've known for a month that the flood was coming." Just as the residents of New Orleans knew for at least a week that a very dangerous storm was headed their way."

As I explained above, the vast majority of those who could do something about it did so.


21 posted on 05/24/2011 3:59:10 AM PDT by Mila
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To: dixiechick2000

“I know this will sound tacky to you, but if you are in the ninth ward, thank those folks upstream who left their homes to the flood waters, and were so resourceful as to build their own dams, so that you wouldn’t be flooded again.”

Well actually I think that everyone in this area, I’m in a New Orleans suburb, should be thankful to the engineers who after the 1927 flood designed and built the Bonnet Carre and Morganza Spillways. They are opened to allow the Mississippi River to flow through Lake Pontchartrain or the Atchafalaya Basin to the Gulf of Mexico in order to, among other things, keep New Orleans and Baton Rouge from flooding when the river reaches a certain high benchmark.

Bonnet Carre Spillway

The spillway was built in response to the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 that inundated much of the Mississippi River basin. It was first opened during the flood of 1937, and nine times thereafter through 2011 to lower river stages at New Orleans. The most recent opening began on May 9, 2011, when river levels in New Orleans approached the flood stage of 17 feet (5.2 m).[3]

The spillway is part of the United States Army Corps of Engineers’ multi-state plan, called the Mississippi River and Tributaries Project (MR&T), providing flood protection for the alluvial valley between Cape Girardeau, Missouri and the mouth of the river near Venice, Louisiana. Due to the wide expanse of the project and the complex problems involved, the plan contains an array of features.

The MR&T Project provides for levees to contain flood flows, floodways such as the Bonnet Carré to redirect excess flows away from the Mississippi and has other aspects such as channel improvement and river bank stabilization for efficient navigation and protection of the levee system. It also involves reservoirs and pumping plants for flood control drainage.[4]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bonnet_Carr%C3%A9_Spillway

Morganza Spillway

The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 was the most destructive river flood in the history of the United States,[6] in large part due to the Mississippi River swelling to 80 miles wide in spots.[7] To prevent a repeat of the Great Flood of 1927, and better control river flooding in general, Congress passed the Flood Control Act of 1928 to authorize the United States Army Corps of Engineers to build the Bonnet Carre Spillway (located 33 miles above New Orleans and completed in 1931),[8] the Birds Point floodway in Missouri, and the Morganza Floodway as part of the 1928 Mississippi River and Tributaries Project.[7]

The Morganza control structure portion of the project was completed in 1954[7] and subsequently became incorporated into the Mississippi River Commission’s 1956 project design flood,[9] which added the Old River Control Structure in 1963 to the protections used to prevent Mississippi River flood.[10] The Flood Control Act of 1965 provided further regulation over the Morganza Spillway’s role in Mississippi River flood prevention.

A concrete pit called a stilling basin was added at the Morganza Spillway in 1977 “to provide erosion protection after the velocity of water pouring through the open bays during a 1973 flood caused severe scouring of the land behind the bays.”[11]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morganza_Spillway

“BTW, you might want to question why the flood walls didn’t hold.”

That question was asked and answered before a Senate committee in April of 2006.

The Times-Picayune
Corps chief admits to ‘design failure’
Thursday, April 06, 2006
By Bill Walsh
Washington bureau

WASHINGTON — In the closest thing yet to a mea culpa, the commander of the Army Corps of Engineers acknowledged Wednesday that a “design failure” led to the breach of the 17th Street Canal levee that flooded much of the city during Hurricane Katrina.

Lt. Gen. Carl Strock told a Senate committee that the corps neglected to consider the possibility that floodwalls atop the 17th Street Canal levee would lurch away from their footings under significant water pressure and eat away at the earthen barriers below.

“We did not account for that occurring,” Strock said after the Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing. “It could be called a design failure.”

A botched design has long been suspected by independent forensic engineers probing the levee failures. A panel of engineering experts confirmed it last month in a report saying the “I-wall” design could not withstand the force of the rising water in the canal and triggered the breach.

But until Wednesday the corps, which designed and oversaw construction of the levees, had not explicitly taken responsibility for the mistake.

“We have now concluded we had problems with the design of the structure,” Strock told members of the subcommittee that finances corps operations. “We had hoped that wasn’t the case, but we recognize it is the reality.”

Experts from the National Science Foundation, the external review panel for the corps, said potential problems have been known for some time. They cited a 1986 corps study that warned of just such separations in the floodwalls.

But Strock told the panel that the corps was unaware of the potential hazard before Aug. 29, when Hurricane Katrina drove a massive surge of water against New Orleans’ storm-protection system. He said the corps is evaluating all the levees to see whether they, too, could fail in the same way.

“There may be other elements in the system designed that way that may have to be addressed,” Strock said.

http://web.archive.org/web/20070930185042/http://www.nola.com/frontpage/t-p/index.ssf?/base/news-5/1144306231230500.xml


22 posted on 05/24/2011 10:24:42 AM PDT by Mila
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To: Mila

Your points are well-taken, with some caveats.

I also have lived in a hurricane-prone area and I know the costs involved. I also know that it MUST be part of one’s personal budget for each year, to have a plan and set aside the means for evacuation. Otherwise, you’re just stuck on stupid. Wow, hurricanes are bad, who knew?

There was plenty of notice that this storm was coming.

“Couldn’t afford to evacuate?” Sorry, that sounds all sympathetic at first blush, but it simply doesn’t hold up to scrutiny. There are all kinds of way people who take responsibility and initiative to take care of their own situation can do so, at least to some extent, even if they themselves can’t afford it.

(And see above: even if you are on welfare, shouldn’t you be putting aside a few dollars a month to create a “gas fund” in case you have to evacuate and even just sleep in your car for a few days? During Katrina, there were people on TV saying they “couldn’t” evacuate because they didn’t have the $30 for gas money. THIRTY DOLLARS! Who living below sea-level, with an active hurricane season about, doesn’t find a way to put aside THIRTY DOLLARS over the course of a few months so they have gas money to get the heck out of town if they need to? How much does a carton of cigarettes cost?)

There were free government-provided buses (though, thanks to Nagin, this also was bolloxed up) and many charities offering shelter and transportation.

Sorry, but there’s no way around the fact that many people, whether a majority or not, sat on their butts and did nothing *that was available to them to do* to even try to protect themselves from the storm.

And, again, I have lived in these places. Decades ago, we couldn’t see the hurricanes coming on TV. Now everyone can. Weeks in advcance. A storm as large as Katrina, you take it seriously; it doesn’t have to change course much to suddenly put others in its cone.

I KNOW people who won’t evacuate, who wait until the last minute and then wail about the traffic jams, etc. etc. etc. Been there, seen it all, heard the wailing afterward and the “why doesn’t government help me” blathering.

Are traffic jams during an evacuation a big surprise? No. Then use your brain to avoid them, by planning ahead as best as possible. These days people get plenty of notice on storms and can always reckon that “caution is the better part of valor.” Even if that means gas money and sleeping in your car in an inland Wal-Mart parking lot for a few days. That’ll save your life and the life of the guy who otherwise has to hover a chopper to try to rescue you.

And many people actually have to balance evacuation with the fact that they have a job. But not ALL. How many people in this disaster stayed behind because they couldn’t get off or didn’t want to MISS WORK?

I don’t know. But I have never heard that cited as a factor in why those who didn’t evacuate didn’t evacuate.

Finally, yes, the media probably did trump up the SuperDome nightmare, but not to the point that it’s justified to conclude that it WASN’T a Third World nightmare in there. Hell’s Bells, how could it be otherwise? The entire place was filled with a lot of people (not all, obviously) who demonstrably had no clue how to manage their own lives and were waiting on someone to do it for them.

I just think it’s irrefutable that there was not always an appropriate level of personal responsibility exercised.


23 posted on 05/24/2011 10:30:05 AM PDT by fightinJAG (I am sick of people adding their comments to titles in the title box. Thank you.)
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To: fightinJAG

You are right. It seems like many of those people did not know how to think for themselves. They depend on the fed gov’t to tell them what to do and when to do it.


24 posted on 05/24/2011 11:06:39 AM PDT by MamaB
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To: MamaB

And saying so is important! Some people have had no one to teach or model personal responsibility for them.


25 posted on 05/24/2011 12:46:02 PM PDT by fightinJAG (I am sick of people adding their comments to titles in the title box. Thank you.)
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To: MamaB

P.S. I don’t care how poor I was, I sure as Hell’s Bells would not have ended up at the SuperDome, esp. not pushing my old father in wheelchair, wailing in surprise that the pharmacies are closed and he needs insulin!

I cared for my father until his death and he was on an oxygen machine in his later years. He lived in a place where trees were always bringing down powerlines during a storm — and if the electricity went out, he only had so much bottled O2 on hand.

We had every kind of plan in place to evacuate him or otherwise deal with a potential power outage, and these situations were NOTHING compared to watching on TV as Katrina barrelled down on the Gulf.


26 posted on 05/24/2011 12:49:54 PM PDT by fightinJAG (I am sick of people adding their comments to titles in the title box. Thank you.)
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To: MamaB

P.S. I don’t care how poor I was, I sure as Hell’s Bells would not have ended up at the SuperDome, esp. not pushing my old father in wheelchair, wailing in surprise that the pharmacies are closed and he needs insulin!

I cared for my father until his death and he was on an oxygen machine in his later years. He lived in a place where trees were always bringing down powerlines during a storm — and if the electricity went out, he only had so much bottled O2 on hand.

We had every kind of plan in place to evacuate him or otherwise deal with a potential power outage, and these situations were NOTHING compared to watching on TV as Katrina barrelled down on the Gulf.


27 posted on 05/24/2011 12:50:54 PM PDT by fightinJAG (I am sick of people adding their comments to titles in the title box. Thank you.)
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To: fightinJAG
During the recent tornado outbreaks here in N. AL, I learned a lot. No one in this city ever expected all of the power lines bringing power here would be destroyed. I had flashlights and candles but did not have any extra fuel for my lamps. After power was restored, I went online and ordered lanterns——3 of them. I am keeping 2 and giving one to my grandson. I got all my emergency supplies and put them in a box so I would know the next time where everything was. I may never need it but at least I am more prepared now than before. My only source for news were a portable radio and my cell phone. A local radio station went to full time coverage of weather news. They let people know where ice was, where emergency supplies were, people called in letting people know what was needed and where. The people responded in an amazing way. I have to give WDRM a lot of credit for the service they provided during those days. I will never forget the response some people said. They told the fed. gov’t to just get out of the way so they could do the job that was needed.
28 posted on 05/24/2011 1:29:00 PM PDT by MamaB
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To: dixiechick2000
Thank you for the ping Ms Dixie.

IMHO. . .We live in an unpredictable dangerous world. It is "a given" "grasshopper" moments will overtake us.

The difference the response.

One can sit around, waste energy whining about their lot, get all busy finding someone to con into taking the blame AND pay for it over and over again...

OR you can get up, a bit more wise to the hard reality that another flood, fire, earthquake is prob around the corner.
You can choose to use your experience, and that of others, to not go that way again. . . if possible.

We STILL hear the bellyaching about "Katrina and the Ninth". We don't hear much about neighboring St. Bernard Parish, also nearly wiped off the face of the earth by Katrina. Instead of endless sound bites, they used their energy to bring back their livelihood, the fishing industry passed down from their ancestors. They were doing just that only to suffer from the BP oil spell.

My understanding is they continue to take responsibility, continue to work toward recovery and prevention.

Mississippi did the same.


29 posted on 05/24/2011 1:45:36 PM PDT by mstar (Immediate State Action)
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To: MamaB

Exactly.

Americans will pull together, so long as they have not turned themselves in mind-numbed government robots.

I also have learned simple things to make our way easier in an emergency. Even for power outages, each of my children have a flashlight in the bedside drawer, so they can get around if needed.

We have a drain that tends to get clogged up with tree debris and then it floods an area of our yard. There are storms where it would be okay (safe) to go out and unclog it, but hard to use a flashlight and dig at same time. Bought a lantern flashlight that is waterproof and floats. Tie it to a string, hook to a tree or beltloop, and it goes a long way to helping to get the job done.

Etc.

People just need to think things through and take responsibility, so far as possible, for taking care of themselves.

I’m glad you and your family made it through the severe weather okay.


30 posted on 05/24/2011 3:38:30 PM PDT by fightinJAG (I am sick of people adding their comments to titles in the title box. Thank you.)
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To: MamaB

P.S. I take medicine that I must have. You can be sure that we have plans in place to maintain a supply of that, even if it means we have to go out of town to get it. I would never wake up one day after a storm has been heading my way for a week or more and realize, whoa, I’m out of medicine I need and can’t get it right now.


31 posted on 05/24/2011 3:39:59 PM PDT by fightinJAG (I am sick of people adding their comments to titles in the title box. Thank you.)
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To: Mila

“Well actually I think that everyone in this area, I’m in a New Orleans suburb, should be thankful to the engineers who after the 1927 flood designed and built the Bonnet Carre and Morganza Spillways.”

You can be thankful to them all that you want to be, but there are those upstream who voluntarily, and without rebellion, left their homes and livlihoods to the flood waters with every thought of your well-being in mind.

And, don’t even talk to me about “design failure”.


32 posted on 05/25/2011 12:11:02 AM PDT by dixiechick2000 (Age, skill, wisdom, and a little treachery always overcome youth and arrogance!)
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To: mstar

Bump you, mstar!

Thank you for such a positive post!

“My understanding is they continue to take responsibility, continue to work toward recovery and prevention.”

Kudos to St. Bernard Parish! I am so proud of them!

“Mississippi did the same.”

Yes, ma’am...they always do...


33 posted on 05/25/2011 12:15:28 AM PDT by dixiechick2000 (Age, skill, wisdom, and a little treachery always overcome youth and arrogance!)
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