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My Turn

Disaster Images

10/23/2007 1:26 PM

Just mind blowing, toggling between BBCA’s “BBC World News America” and CNN’s “The Situation Room.”
First, incredibly, on BBCA is a roundup story about rains and flooding in – New Orleans. Eight inches of rain, the blurb noted. TST and I were just down there last week and it rained hard for short bursts. And eight inches of rain might well overwhelm things in various places here in New York.
But it was just incredibly chilling to see, having just had a tour through the newly carpeted Morial Convention Center, where so many took emergency shelter in the awful days after Hurricane Katrina. One quick image on the BBCA blurb, of a street with water over a man’s ankles, looked a bit like the Lakeview drive I took last Thursday.
Then on CNN, rivers of flame along the California hillsides, and the Katrina comparisons – 500,000 have been evacuated, the most since Katrina and Hurricane Rita; evacuees are headed to Qualcomm Stadium; FEMA says it’s much better prepared now. Two have died, at this writing (8:15 p.m.), a far cry from Katrina, but the smoke issue is a real one and will be for days. The media have leapt into action, undoubtedly for good, and stories like these are what keep news channels in business. But it really just makes you shiver to see.

September