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Visual Impact of Hurricane Katrina

Some of you may know that we are also among the millions of refugees/evacuees from Hurricane Katrina. We’ve been in Atlanta for over a week now, waiting for the electricity and water to be turned on and the roads to be cleaned up back in Mobile, Alabama.

Where we are staying, we have had no television access, but we have had the Internet and cell phones, so we get plenty of information on what is going on. Being without a television for the news isn’t new to us. We’ve had plenty of experience as we live on the road and travel extensively, and often major news events happen and our only resources for information is the radio. Huddling around my Grundig Shortwave Radio in our travels, we’ve seen the wars in Bosnia and Yugoslavia, Afganistan, Iraq, the tsunami in India, and now Hurricane Katrina in our minds as we listen to reporters from NPR and BBC radio describe the scenes and victims share their stories.

So for us, it was very shocking to finally see image collections from AP news, Guardian’s photo gallery, MSNBC, and the Photo Gallery (sidebar) of AP images showing the massive destruction and devastation of Hurricane Katrina. I know most of you have seen these images played out on television. A week after the hurricane, we’re seeing these for the first time.

Dauphin Island is a 20 minute drive directly south of where we have been living, a Gulf Shore island that took a huge portion of the brunt of Hurricane Ivan only 10 months ago. It had just been cleaned up and open for tourists for the summer, with repairs on major structural damage to homes and rebuilding underway. Now, many of the homes that survived Ivan are gone, wiped off the map, and buildings and homes are destroyed all across the Island. An oil rig that broke loose is sitting only a few yards from the edge of the beach. This tiny spit of sand community may never recover from this second blast from Mother Nature.

While we’ve been reporting on how bloggers are reporting on Hurricane Katrina, and telling stories of our own, nothing has hit us as hard as these images.

We are intending to leave Atlanta in the next day or two, now that we have heard that water and electricity has been restored. We are still nervous about the gas prices and availability as price gouging and lack of electricty for pumping has caused panic and fear all throughout the Southern US, so we will make our decision tomorrow.

Thanks to everyone for their support and good thoughts during this time. We were very lucky and got out safetly, but many of our friends were not so lucky and we will help out as best we can when we return.

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