110-120 mph. I finally found a map today that had the wind speeds from Katrina. That's what we experienced at our house. Apparently wind caused more damage than water, which is really hard to believe.
1068. That's the current number of fatalities from Katrina. It's still going up every day. People are returning home to New Orleans and are finding dead people in their houses, which must be really horrifying.
11% That's the current unemployment rate in Louisiana. Which, just further confirms to me that there are a bunch of lazy ass people around here. If you want to work, you can find a job around here. Baton Rouge has help wanted signs EVERYWHERE. I'm not lying or exaggerating when I say nearly every business I go into is seeking some type of help. I was just reading in the Baton Rouge Business Report (one of my favorite magazines) that restaraunts and retail stores have tripled their business and just can't keep up. The evacuees are getting free transportation so that can't be an issue. They just opened a free shuttle from Baton Rouge to New Orleans. Yesterday they had some huge job fair in New Orleans. They're so desperate for people to come back to work. People are all mad about all the Mexicans flooding in to do clean up work, but apparently they're the only people willing to do it. But I guess when you have FEMA paying for your room and board and every other charitable organization taking care of every other need and/or want, you don't need to worry about working.
Jenny, I've been thinking about your question and I really don't know. Somewhere the expectations of FEMA changed. I remember Rush Limbaugh talked about this right after Katrina hit and he was talking about how just several years ago immediate action by FEMA wasn't expected. It would take weeks or even a month or two for FEMA to show up after a disaster. I have this distinct memory of a flooding incident somewhere on the mid-Atlantic seaboard and one of the beer companies stopped bottling beer and started bottling water for all those people. Now, that wouldn't happen, everyone would expect the government to do that. Plus, people don't seem to worry so much or prepare for these things, it's expected that the government is going to take care of you. They were talking about how in Florida people started lining up for ice and water only 6 hours after the hurricane passed (which I'm assuming is true) and people were questioning why they didn't stock up on this sort of thing before the hurricane. I don't know the answer, other than a lot of people just aren't self-reliant anymore. As for response time, I doubt that's changed much. You can't position the rescue effort in the path of the hurricane. It's all the same problems, you have to wait for the water to recede, you have to cut up all the downed trees, make sure the downed power lines aren't live, etc.