Katrina: Democrat, Ike: Republican

Over at Pajamas Media, Dr. Melissa Clouthier is having trouble integrating after Hurricane Ike even though, as she quickly admits, many are much worse off than she.

Every home — and that is not an exaggeration — had at least one tree down. The community is called The Woodlands for a reason. Trees define it. The question was where the trees went. Many went through the roofs of their owner’s homes causing flooding.

Saturday morning brought unrelenting rain, so a hole in the roof meant water damage, too, which means mold. Once the rain leaves and holes are plugged, there is heat. So while the homes might not be total losses by being buried by water, they will be a big mess for a long time.

Heat was rising in the refrigerator and the house, too. My anxiety and that of my neighbors rose with the temperature. Toughing it out with cans of tuna and a shotgun might seem fine without kids, but with children, the notion doesn’t seem so palatable especially considering Entergy’s three-week estimate for returned electricity. Two days without electricity felt like a long time. Two weeks?

…We packed clothes, kids, dry food, and the dogs before dark — no light — and we left.

For 60 miles the communities alongside I-45 sat dark. The drive was eerie. Traffic was light leaving Houston, but a steady stream of cars drove toward the city. Did these people realize there was no gas? No food? Why were people coming back already? Past Huntsville, every hotel was packed full. Until Dallas, hotels had no vacancy.

Perhaps the most challenging part of this experience is the lack of good information. Even as an evacuee, the national news is worthless. People need solid information about their neighborhood and their community. Specifics. Families outside the area want direct confirmation that their family is safe. With no communications from within the community, this is impossible.

You’ll want to read it all.

Glenn Reynolds has a really good round-up regarding the aftermath of Hurricane Ike, with emails from people letting him know how the recovery is going.

He also wonders why there is so little interest in the devastation wrought by Ike, versus Katrina, which we’re still talking about.

A friend of mine emailed me the simple answer, which I borrowed for the header. Boiling down her rant, what she said was this: Katrina got tons of coverage, crying newscasters, incorrect but dramatic stories of “roving gangs raping babies” at the Superdome and Sean Penn in a sinking boat because it was a hurricane that hit a Democrat city, with and incompetent Democrat Mayor and an inept Democrat Governor. Bad local and state governance, and the woes betiding Democrats in general = handy hammer to beat Bush and GOP in ’06. So much coverage we’re still talking about it.

Ike got little coverage, no crying newscasters, no fake horror stories and no celebrity attention because it was a Hurricane that hit a bunch of Republicans in cowboy boots, who’d elected a competent Republican Mayor and a capable Republican Governor. Good local and state governance, and no woes betiding Democrats in general = no hammer to beat Bush and GOP in ’08. No coverage.

Yeah, it’s partisan in the extreme, I agree. But, I can’t see where she’s wrong, either. I mean, have you seen the pictures from Galveston? It looks like a bomb went off there. And for the press, it is all a bit of a shrug. Not interesting.

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About Elizabeth Scalia