New Altantis, Louisiana
The media saturation of Hurricane Katrina has now equalled the water saturation of New Orleans. The devastation and horror is too much to take in. The mind numbs. We learn hourly how the latest disaster domino has toppled into three more, with each of these creating new layers of torment.
When manmade levees separating a city from the endless sea begin to crack open, the result is nothing less than pulverizing. Even if they manage staunch the leaks this second, you still have a sprawling urban center flooded beyond description, perhaps beyond final repair. The sea surge, high winds and the quiet levee tsunami are bringing a host of terrors not anticipated: snakes are coming above ground in great numbers (as they do with heavy Southern rains); the local aquarium has given up its sharks, which roam the submerged streets competing for prey, one imagines, with the local alligators; a new influx of parasitic and disease-bearing mosquitos will descend; and corpses are disgorged from swollen cemetery grounds and above-ground mausolea.
For those still stuck in the massive toxic soup that used to be New Orleans, the water supply is not potable and may not be for months. There is no electricity, no frozen food, no way to cook. Grinning demons vaguely resembling human beings still loot abandoned stores, with TV crews only passively filming them, perhaps too exhausted to thwart their crimes. Hospitals totter on the verge of generator failure. One woman gave birth while fleeing the city.
We read about the stranded in the Superdome, but not why they're there. It's because they were too poor or otherwise unable to evacuate in time, or because they were infirm, homeless, or elderly. Imagine two days of hunger and thirst and two pitch black fright nights. All in all, the most fragile human beings got it the worst. Is a suicide beneath that smothering canopy terribly out of place? Transporting tens of thousands of sick and bewildered survivors to Houston will be a Herculean task.
As of this writing, no one in the New Atlantis can watch TV to catch their bearings. Most cell phones are dead, their providers' cell systems fried through overuse.
All this seems so strong and prayer so weak. But pray we must, for God says that His power is somehow at full strength in weakness.
And as stories of heroism pour in, and they will, I'll post on them, too.