Hurricane Katrina in words and pictures

Updated 9/7/05: Two quick notes and then I'm done (really) ...

First, there is a really cool auction of photographs on Flickr to aid hurricane victims. Click here to go to the main auction page. The set-up is a little confusing. Basically you look through the 424 photos in the auction pool or read through the 372 discussion threads to the find a photo that you like and bid using the comments system (look to see what others have bid first). Some people have provided links to their auction from their photo page, but not all. Make sure you're on the auction discussion page and not on the original photo page. (Good grief, now I'm confusing myself--click here for directions on how to bid.) A recent update: you do not need a Flickr account ... you can place your bid by email. Click here to learn more about that.

Some nice ones to bid on: Leaf Life, Lily, Naples Fishing Pier, Reaching Out, Yellow Chair, Music Man and Poppies against Blue Sky (shown above, by Camra_Art).

OK, second thing: If anyone out there donated money to Noah's Wish or the Red Cross after reading my crazy long-weekend-long blog-a-thon, please go here and log your contribution (scroll down). The total raised by The Truth Laid Bear's crazy (in a good way) Hurricane Katrina: Blog for Relief Weekend? Over one million dollars, including 18 contributions to Noah's Wish totallying $1,550.

Updated 9/5/05

It's Monday and I'm going to put up a few more notable Hurricane Katrina pictures and links and then take a break from posting for a while. I made a small donation to the animal rescue organization Noah's Wish last night. I hope that, if you're reading this, you might be moved to do the same. The Red Cross can also use your help.

A makeshift tomb at a New Orleans street corner conceals a body that had been lying on the sidewalk for days in the wake of Hurricane Katrina on Sunday, Sept. 4, 2005. The photo on the left, made by AP photographer Dave Martin, is from the gallery "Survivors and Destruction" on The same scene made the cover of The Times-Picayune today but I like Martin's image better. It has a certain quiet dignity to it, but also a sense of loneliness and abandonment. All 13 photos in this gallery are worth looking at, especially the first two items, which show the Superdome as it is today and how it looked in better times.

Here are the front pages of yesterday's and today's The Times-Picayune. Click on either image to get a PDF of the cover. Think about the job that photo editors have to do--from the thousands of images being made in the area, each one more compelling than the next and all of them telling an important story, they have to pick the best ones. I think they picked the right one on Sunday. You can see a larger image of that rescue-scene photo here (still looking for it). Access the Nola photo galleries and archives from the past week here.

UPDATED ... 9/4/05

I've been posting Hurricane Katrina links since Thursday (see below). I had to start a new post because the formatting was getting all fucked up in the old one and I didn't feel like crawling through the html to see what was wrong. Clean slate and all that.

Today I'm going to try to stick with my plan to post only examples of the words and pictures that I found most moving. There are plenty of other people doing all the rest of it. I'm doing this as part of The truth laid bear's Blog for Relief Weekend. My charity of choice is Noah's Wish, an organization that is helping out with animal rescue efforts in Hurricane Katrina's wake. They are updating with words and pictures as often as is possible here.
David Usborne reports for The Independent (UK) from inside the Houston Astrodome:

It is the mess with the buses that makes Ms Benson most angry. She and her family had abandoned their home in the projects last Sunday and fled immediately to the Superdome. The stampede for the buses began on Thursday. She described soldiers of the National Guard barking orders - "Make a hole, make a hole, that was their favourite order," she says - and making no effort to keep parents and children together. "They treated us like dirt, like dirt. They wouldn't even help my kids when they got lost. 'Ma'am, you've got to stay behind the barricade' is all they said." The soldiers did at least give them water while they waited - throwing bottles into the crowd. "Just popping people on the head with them."

Now that the victims of Hurricane Katrina have been evacuated, stories like this one (and much, much worse) will start to come out. Read more of the refugees' first-person accounts here.


A baby is passed above the crowd as people wait to leave the Superdome in New Orleans September 1, 2005. This National Geographic photograph by James Nielsen is the best I've seen so far. The expressions on the men's faces, the utter helplessness of the baby--it tells the story in a very powerful way. And the composition and other technical issues are simply perfect. Click on the photo to see the full-size image on the National Geographic site.

New Orleans resident Alex Perez carries his cats to dry land after being rescued by boat from his house near Lake Pontchartrain. This Getty Images photo (no photographer credited) is surreal--you have to look at it twice to double-check that you're seeing what you're seeing. Not as powerful nor as technically good as the first, but it still caught my attention and it still tells a story. Click the photo to see the full-sized image on the National Geographic site.
"Living Paycheck to Paycheck Made Leaving Impossible." A clear and compassionate piece of writing by Washington Post staff writer Wil Haygood offers a glimpse of the economic reality of those who lived in the path of the hurricane for the many people--including me--who just didn't get it:

To those who wonder why so many stayed behind when push came to water's mighty shove here, those who were trapped have a simple explanation: Their nickels and dimes and dollar bills simply didn't add up to stage a quick evacuation mission. "Me and my wife, we were living paycheck to paycheck, like most everybody else in New Orleans," Eric Dunbar, 54, said Saturday.
Read the full article here.
The Washington Post has a special section with many, many stunning Hurricane Katrina photos. I cannot link to them because they are presented in flash format, but if you go to this page you will see thumbnails and brief descriptions of each gallery.
The number of photos (and the number of pop-up ads--you get a new one every single time you click something) is a bit overwhelming, but there are three galleries that are really worth the time and effort. They include some of the Hurricane Katrina photographs that are likely to stay in our collective memory. (The above link opens in a new window so you can click on some of the photos I've suggested rather than going through every one.)

Scroll down the page to look for the following galleries:

Floods Ravage New Orleans: Two burst levees allow Lake Ponchartrain to inundate New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The first seven photographs in this gallery are must-sees. Image 1, of the river rushing through the breached levy, is simply astounding. Image 2, of a flooded cemetery, is eerily beautiful. Images 13 and 18 are also noteworthy.

Chaos Hampers Relief Efforts: Relief supplies and National Guard troops move into New Orleans and other areas of the Gulf Coast affected by Hurricane Katrina. However, continuing incidents of chaos and violence, including shots being fired near the Superdome, have slowed efforts to move people housed there to Houston's Astrodome. Click on image 5 – another image where facial expressions tell the story. The woman in the center of the photograph, Terri Jones, is literally the face of compassion. Click on 11 to see the photo of Daryl Thompson and his three-month-old daughter (left). Images 19 and 20 are also noteworthy.

Finally, check out the panoramic photo gallery ... The photographs, taken using a special camera, offer sweeping vistas of the destruction shot at eye level. The unique perspective and crystal sharp clarity make you feel like an eye-witness to Katrina's destruction.

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