A Gulf of Despair: Katrina

Having lived in Houston and weathered some hurricanes in my day, including a direct hit by Alicia, I have watched closely the devastation caused by Katrina. And it is clear that the devastation is unlike anything the United States has experienced. This is not just a regional problem, it is a national tragedy.

Unlike what you might see depicted by Hollywood, the biggest threat of Category 4 Hurricanes can be the flooding. The wind is dangerous too and causes significant property damage and some loss of life. But the water is unstoppable and often inescapable. That appears to be the case along the Gulf Coast states of Missippi, Alabama, and Louisana. There are reports that due to breached levees in New Orleans, the city is still flooding. Many people have been rescued, but there are disturbing reports of dead bodies being brushed aside as rescuers focus on saving the living. The death toll is certain to rise and hundreds of thousands of Americans are likely to be homeless for some time.

In a previous post, I defended Americans from the charge that they are uncharitable. I trust that we can prove ourselves again and the signs are encouraging. Ford is letting customers defer their payments for two months without penalty, Anheuser-Busch is sending three-hundred thousand cans of drinking water, Lowe's is sending trucks of supplies and matching contributions up to $1 million, Walmart has already donated $1 million to the Salvation Army's relief fund and is sending trucks of supplies to the area. Petco is even raising money for the care of pets that survive Katrina.

Please pray and contribute as you can. I suggest the Salvation Army, but there are many worthwhile charities.

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