June 19, 2008

Comparing midwest floods to Katrina

I've noticed emails like this begin to circulate. They make me mad.

> Subject: Flooding in Iowa/Illinois
> "I have been reading about and seeing the devastation of the floods in
> Iowa, Illinois and Wisconsin. It is terrible. I have heard it compared to
> the devastation of Katrina. One thing I haven't noticed. I have not
> noticed anyone blaming President Bush. I have not noted any looting. I
> have not noted anyone spending any money vouchers on Tattoos, Body
> Piercings, Drugs, or Parties. I have noticed people helping each other and
> working together. Not just sitting around and waiting for some Government
> Agency to bail them out and give them a bunch of freebies, and then
> complaining that what they are given is not enough. Perhaps the Press has
> just missed that. Can anyone explain this?"

This is a hillbilly comparison--and, frankly, racist. There's a big difference between A) abandoning thousands of people for days without water, shelter or adequate security while the incompetent cronies that President Bush hired to run federal agencies debated what they could or should do and B) responding immediately to provide shelters, FEMA trailers, the national guard, and other agencies to make sure that people in the midwest have been safeguarded during (even before) the floods.

I'm proud of the way Iowans have responded to our local disasters, but that does not change the fact the local, state and federal governments failed miserably to serve the victims of Katrina. Even President Bush himself has acknowledged that our government did not respond appropriately to that disaster.

1 comment:

  1. Katrina killed more than 1,600 people, destroyed 200,000 Gulf Coast homes, displaced about 1 million people (source).

    Floods in Iowa killed two dozen people, injured 148. Approximately 35,000 – 40,000 people evacuated from homes (source).

    It is silly to bargain whose tragedy is worse, especially for the families of the fatal victims, but If one wants to compare I think that numbers are speaking for themselves...