So, 80% of New Orleans is under water, people who fled before the storms are being told they may not be able to return home for up to four months, and the initial estimates have insurance companies paying out up to $25 billion in damages. But the epicenter missed the city — most damage was from city’s extensive system of levees failing. And why did this happen? Because G. W. Bush refused the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ request for a mere $65 million in 2005 for flood-proofing construction projects. It’s not like everyone didn’t know what would happen in the event of a storm like this (see for example this 2004 study, which pretty much guessed right). But the money was spent instead on invading Iraq, and the Louisiana National Guard is off sitting in bunkers overseas watching television with their fingers crossed.
In other news, I’ve just read that the Dresden Dolls will play in town on October 26th! This is very exciting; they’re supposed to do a great live act. Their lyrics rock and their instrumentation is great too: a singer/pianist backed by a percussionist (and sometime guitarist). Irshad Khan, a great sitar player, is also playing here on September 10th.