New Orleans has a population of just less than 484,674. But that's just the city. The New Orleans Metropolitan area, or Greater New Orleans, has a population of 1,337,726 (this includes the population of the city proper)
Now let's take into account the adjacent Parishes:
St. Bernard: 67,229
St. Tammany: 191,268
That comes to over 2 million people. Although it is true that none of these adjacent parishes have a major city that lies beneath sea level, the Hurricane would have devastated these areas as well. St Bernard, apparently, is underwater. Plaquemines parish is that little "finger" that stretches out into the gulf, and bore the initial brunt of the hurricane. Reports have been coming in about the damage done to Mississipi and Alabama, and that there are even law and order problems in those places, too. Even if New Orleans remained dry, the damage to these areas is incredibly bad.
So while the focus is obviously upon the 100,000 or so who remain in New Orleans and who are trying desperately to get out, there is a good chance that there are currently over 2 million people who have been displaced by this disaster. These people have spread out through Lousiana and adjacent states.
Already there are reports of looting in Baton Rouge, the capital of Lousiana. The city of 227,818 has apparently doubled in population due to refugees.
Of course, getting the trapped people out of the sunken city is of prime importance. But the fact is that maybe 2 million people have major problems of their own, along with the towns and cities they have fled to. This problem will linger for months...
According to the Wikipedia page on the subject, the following facts are apparent:
Jefferson: Residents unable to return permanently for at least one month.
Plaquemines: No public services. All roads impassable. Martial law in effect. Southern part of parish reclaimed by Mississippi river.
St Bernard: Flooded as per New Orleans. A television reporter said that the parish was "gone"
From the Department of wha's happnin?
© 2005 Neil McKenzie Cameron, http://one-salient-oversight.blogspot.com/
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 2.5 License.