10/25/2007

The California Wildfires; is this a new baseball team?

 Pulled from the AP "SAN DIEGO - Like Hurricane Katrina evacuees two years earlier in New Orleans, thousands of people rousted by natural disaster have fled to an NFL stadium, waiting out the calamity outside San Diego and worrying about their homes.The similarities ended there, as an almost festive atmosphere reigned at Qualcomm Stadium. Bands belted out rock 'n' roll, lavish buffets served gourmet entrees, and massage therapists helped relieve the stress for those forced to flee their homes because of wildfires. "The people are happy. They have everything here," Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger declared Monday night after his second Qualcomm tour. Although anxieties ran high, the misery index seemed low as the celebrity governor waded through the mob. Scarcely a complaint was registered with him."Oooh, I got a picture!" shrieked Olivia Beard of Ocean Beach, one of hundreds who pressed toward Schwarzenegger with camera phones snapping. The fires destroyed more than 500 homes and 100 businesses in San Diego County, the greatest swath of destruction in a series of Southern California blazes that began Sunday.

Population estimated at 10,000
Aggressive efforts by disaster-response officials to bring supplies helped ensure civility. A heavy police contingent and National Guard troops with automatic weapons stood by just in case. The New Orleans evacuees had dragged themselves through floodwaters to get to the Louisiana Superdome in 2005, and once there endured horrific conditions without food, sanitation or law enforcement. But these evacuees drove to the expansive parking lots in the San Diego suburbs. The worst that most endured in their exodus was heavy traffic and smoky haze."

  I heavily paraphrased this story, but you can get the idea of it. More effort has been done to save all the race horses in the first days than to save all the people in the first days of the Katrina disaster.

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