August 30th, 2005


As if New Orleans didn't have enough to worry about

So the city and several neighboring municipalities are partially flooded. Levees are all screwed up, and it looks like the water is still coming in. Civil order is going out the window. How could things get any more screwed up?

How about a hostage situation?

A deputy at Orleans Parish Prison, his wife and their four children have been taken hostage by rioting prisoners after riding out Hurricane Katrina inside the jail building.

The family was brought in because the jail was thought to be secure against the storm. It was. Just not against the prisoners, whose mass escape attempt has thus far only taken them out of their cells. (Of *course* they have improvised weapons.)

Looting is getting increasingly out of control. One officer who confronted looters was shot in the head, but he's expected to live. Police have been too busy with search and rescue to make much of a dent in the looting. There are reports that some police and firefighters have even taken part in such theft. Unless the governor of Louisiana makes -- and enforce -- a public statement to the effect that looters will be shot on sight, it's only going to get worse.

Update: well, my bet is it's just a rumor, but one area news station is apparently reporting that a small bull shark was seen swimming in the flooded streets. Oh, joy. Because *that's* just what a flooded, devastated city that's coping with a full evacuation and massive civil disorder needs. Sharks.