2005 ARCHIVE: What is your reaction to Hurricane Katrina?

What is your reaction to Hurricane Katrina? (9-10-05)

  • LB, Ward:
    Like the rest of the world I am devastated by what I have seen and been told. Those who lost only material things, hard as it my be to let go, can thank God that they can touch a loved one and say "I Love You." Faith in God and their fellow man can restore the loss. This was a natural disaster, take out a dictionary. And for some reporters and elected officials to say it was the fault of government, they have snakes in their heads. These people need to get a dose of reality. They saw the same weather reports as we did, so where were they during this time? Hilliary Clinton should know a thing or two about finger pointing, but I guess she was just proud that the finger wasn't at her family this time. I applaud Bill Clinton for coming to the aid of the people. Now all he has to do is teach his wife how to be diplomatic.
  • JS, Columbia:
    In case you aren't familiar with how our government is SUPPOSED to work. The chain of responsibility for the protection of the citizens in New Orleans is: 1. The Mayor 2. The New Orleans director of Homeland Security (a political appointee of the Governor who reports to the Governor) 3. The Governor 4. The Head of Homeland Security 5. The President
    What did each do? 1. The mayor, with 5 days advance, waited until 2 days before he announced a mandatory evacuation (at the behest of the President). The he failed to provide transportation for those without transport even though he had hundreds of buses at his disposal. 2. The New Orleans director of Homeland Security failed to have any plan for a contingency that has been talked about for 50 years. Then he blames the Feds for not doing what he should have done. (So much for political appointees) 3. The Governor, despite a declaration of disaster by the President 2 DAYS BEFORE the storm hit, failed to take advantage of the offer of Federal troops and aid. Until 2 DAYS AFTER the storm hit. 4. The Director of Homeland Security positioned assets in the area to be ready when the Governor called for them 5. The President urged a mandatory evacuation, and even declared a disaster State of Emergency, freeing up millions of dollars of federal assistance, should the Governor decide to use it. Oh and by the way, the levees that broke were the responsibility of the local landowners and the local levee board to maintain, NOT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT. The disaster in New Orleans is what you get after decades of corrupt
    (democrat) government going all the way back to Huey Long. Funds for disaster protection and relief have been flowing into this city for decades, and where has it gone, but into the pockets of the politicos and their friends. Decades of socialist government in New Orleans has sapped all self reliance from the community, and made them dependent upon government for every little thing. Political correctness and a lack of will to fight crime have created the single most corrupt police force in the country, and has permitted gang violence to flourish. The sad thing is that there are many poor folks who have suffered and died needlessly because those that they voted into office failed them.
  • WS, Columbia:
    There were many decent, innocent people trapped in New Orleans when the deluge hit--but they were trapped alongside large numbers of people from two groups: criminals--and wards of the welfare state, people selected, over decades, for their lack of initiative and self-induced helplessness. The welfare wards were a mass of sheep--on whom the incompetent administration of New Orleans unleashed a pack of wolves. All of this is related, incidentally, to the apparent incompetence of the city government, which failed to plan for a total evacuation of the city, despite the knowledge that this might be necessary. But in a city corrupted by the welfare state, the job of city officials is to ensure the flow of handouts to welfare recipients and patronage to political supporters--not to ensure a lawful, orderly evacuation in case of emergency. No one has really reported this story, as far as I can tell. In fact, some are already actively distorting it, blaming President Bush, for example, for failing to personally ensure that the Mayor of New Orleans had drafted an adequate evacuation plan. The worst example is an execrable piece from the Toronto Globe and Mail, by a supercilious Canadian who blames the chaos on American "individualism." But the truth is precisely the opposite: the chaos was caused by a system that was the exact opposite of individualism. What Hurricane Katrina exposed was the psychological consequences of the welfare state. What we consider "normal" behavior in an emergency is behavior that is normal for people who have values and take the responsibility to pursue and protect them. People with values respond to a disaster by fighting against it and doing whatever it takes to overcome the difficulties they face. They don't sit around and complain that the government hasn't taken care of them. They don't use the chaos of a disaster as an opportunity to prey on their fellow men. But what about criminals and welfare parasites? Do they worry about saving their houses and property? They don't, because they don't own anything. Do they worry about what is going to happen to their businesses or how they are going to make a living? They never worried about those things before. Do they worry about crime and looting? But living off of stolen wealth is a way of life for them. The welfare state--and the brutish, uncivilized mentality it sustains and encourages--is the man-made disaster that explains the moral ugliness that has swamped New Orleans. And that is the story that no one is reporting.
  • DT, West Columbia:
    If talk could raise a city from the mud New Orleans should surely be a shining city on a hill by now!  For the next disaster (Ophelia perhaps) I suggest we put the reporters in charge.  Then recovery would begin within 3 hours and rebuilding would surely be completed the first day.  Right?
  • HB, Springfield:
    I think it is the worst natural and political disaster to hit the USA.  I have contributed to the Red Cross and can't imagine what I would do if I were caught in something as horrendous as Katrina.  But,I'm tired of the bickering, the finger pointing and appalled that our government leaders are using this as leverage in partisan politics.  I'm also tired of the city of New Orleans and the state of Louisiana blaming everything on the federal government.  Where was the Louisiana National Guard the day after?  Why didn't the state have more shelters set up if they knew there were so many people that weren't evacuated. Why didn't the City of New Orleans go door to door beforehand like the state of Florida did to warn the residents.  Why wasn't there a back up levee like the Lake Murray backup dam.  There are an infinite number of "Whys".  This begs the old cliche..."If you point a finger, there are three pointing back at you."
  • LB, Elgin:
    I think know we can see the best and worse of people in a desperate situation. But I am happy to say that the best out weigh the worst even though the worst get the most attention. I have heard the some of the trouble has spread to the motel rooms donated to the refugees and that Richland County had to be called out.
  • AS, Irmo:
    It's a shame that this catastrophe happened. It was expected but no one knew the extent of the damage and no one was prepared for it. We are doing all we can to help the evacuees. People would have done the same thing for us in this situation. Just think....it could have been us!! Thank you to all who are helping with this  tragedy and God Bless!!
  • KO, Cassatt:
    Katrina is the worst natural disaster that I have seen in my lifetime.  I thought Hugo was bad, but there is not comparison.  I am very disappointed and upset that the people affected by Katrina had to wait so long for help to arrive.  I am very glad to see the way South Carolina is receiving and how welcome our state is making the evacuees feel at home. That says so much for our state.
  • GD, Columbia:
    Hurricane Katrina was a natural disaster.  The construction and failure of a levee around a city built on swamp land was a man made disaster.
  • EC, Elgin:
    It is a terrible experience for those who lost everything. I feel sorry for the parents that dont have any idea where their kids are. I cant imagine not knowing whether my kids are alive or not and not knowing where they are. I am praying for those people and may God be with everyone.
  • RT, Blythewood:
    Katrina proves that there are two America's.  One for those who have, strongly supported by this Presient, and the rest.
  • DP, Blythewood:
    I do think it is a horrible disaster and I think that the local government really let the people down. To say the Federal Government is responsible or at fault is ridiculous. Some of these responders are so wishy-washy. They want states rights until something goes wrong and then they want the Federal Government to take over. WOW! On another subject, I would like to know when President Bush is going to fix the sink hole on Gervais St. as it appears the local government is not capable of doing so.
  • GW, Newberry:
    My reaction to hurricane Katrina is that it was the worst storm ever to destroy a part of the United States. The governments actions toward helping those stranded by the floods was slower than we desire, although not unusually slow. An army had to be mobilized to help the thousands affected by the aftermath of the storm. Four days is pretty fast to mobilize an army. We should not point blame at the US government. The first lines of defense were the local government in New Orleans. They failed to move people out of harm's way. The state government of Louisiana seemed paralyzed before, during and after the storm. The US government came to the rescue. It only took them four days to get there! FEMA and the DNS need to be examined closely and reorganized. They could, possibly, have responded one day earlier with massive support. This is not an issue of race or wealth. It is a matter of organization. I wish the best for the victims, regardless of race or economic status, of Hurricane Katrina. New Orleans should not be reinhabited. Only yhe ports of New Orleans should be bebuilt.
  • JO, Prosperity:
    I just read where the government is going to issue $2000.00 debit cards to the victims of Katrina...I don't want to sound hard-hearted,but I think this is a huge mistake. Had most of these people been fiscally responsible all along,they would have had the resources to escape the dangers of Katrina. This approach is just asking for abuses. Throwing money at every problem is not always the best solution...fact is,it's very seldom the best response.
  • JS, St. Matthews:
    The destruction is on such a massive scale that measuring it is difficult to imagine.  However, most media reports seem to focus more on finding someone to blame rather than on heroic efforts by people.  Gov Barbour is correct in saying that no matter what the resources thrown at this disaster, the improvement is going to be slow and has to be accepted - focus on the good - not on blame -
  • DR, West Columbia:
    I think all local news reporters need to stay away from New Orleans and the whole affected area. There is no need for them to be there and are just causing more problems. They can get all the film footage they need from national sources.
  • SR, Columbia:
    What a horrible mess. We had a city built in a basin, below sea level, on the Gulf Coast where huge hurricanes rage ashore every year. It is apparant that the only preparations was praying that the storms would not hit the city.  I spent a week in Jefferson Parrish at a Law Enforcement conference.  I was disgusted by the squalor and filth of the city and its people. The yards were littered with beer cans, wine bottles and just general trash. No one deserves what happened to this city, but the people have to take some personal responsibility. It seems that they just sat on their butts and did nothing to evacuate or get ready for a storm.
  • SS, Camden:
    I feel terrible for all of the people affected by Hurricane Katrina - and hope that in some way we can all learn something from what has happened. I think a lot of people are very quick to point blame at our President, and that is not where the blame lies.  The foundation of America is that each locality and state has their own government and policies in place - just as in SC - and that they are responsible for what happens in their locality/state.  What happened in New Orleans could have been avoided if the Mayor and Governor of LA enforced the mandatory evacuation and made arrangements for the poor of the city to get out.  The Mayor knew he had a large group of people without resources to leave the city - yet he did nothing to get them out.  He told them to go to the Superdome and provided nothing for them there.  The LA Governor said they didn't provide anything because they didn't want people to get "too comfortable" and stay there after the storm... well, I think we all know no one at the Superdome was
    "comfortable".   There is a large Army post not too far away too - Fort Polk - why weren't they activated to help in the evacuation or to provide shelter?  To this day I have not heard one mention of that Army base... and don't tell me every soldier is in Iraq - I know that's not true.  I think the President did get help to New Orleans - the problem was not so much the hurricane, although that was terrible, the flooding that occured is what has left the city destroyed. I do think that there needs to be improvement in the process used to
    escalate issues and to get rid of paperwork when a crisis occurs.   It should not take a committee to approve aid when a national disaster occurs.   Everyone seems to be very quick to point fingers at FEMA and the
    President - they are easy targets and there are those that are already banking their future political campaigns on this disaster.. I believe that will be the most shameful thing to come out of this tragedy.
  • TM, West Columbia:
    In response to the Hurricane Katrina, it is an absolute nightmare for people in their situation. I feel the public has helped to explode the situation by pointing the finger at the President and the White house. It is a shame that the disaster as been turned into not only a hate game against the goverment but a racial situation. That is truly sad that you have TV personality encouraging up this thought process up. This was a natural disaster and the responsibility of the State lies with the local officials and then up from there. I think people need to get priorities straight and quit blamming and put that energy into fixing this horrible mess. Thank you
  • BG, Lexington:
    Hurricane???  What hurricane?   Seriously I wish the media would quit with the minute by minute coverage from New Orleans when they were not the area directly hit by the hurricane... how about some coverage from Mississippi and Alabama.
  • CD, Columbia
    Hurricane Katrina was a natural disaster. The construction and failure of a levee around a city built on swamp land was a man made disaster.
  • LD, Columbia
    I look at the pictures and news coverage of Katrina and think I'm watching devastation from another country. Then I realize, if it were a foreign country, the US would be right in the middle, handing out food, water, manpower and money. How sad that we can't expect the same help in our own country, as we give to "strangers". My opinion has always been that we treat strangers better than we do our own families. This has proven that more than ever. Don't blame our government? Hogwash! When it comes down to responsibility, the President holds all the cards. Isn't he the one that pushes everything thru that HE wants? Isn't he ultimately responsible for all that happens in the nation he was elected to run? The buck stops with him. I read, with great distress, that he had to cut his vacation short to attend to his duties. He knew this could be a diaster of great preportions on Saturday. Oh wait, he was on vacation....I'm sure he had his mind on cutting those trees that were rotting on HIS property. But it was nice that he cut his vacation by 2 days....3 days AFTER the storm hit and people were going without water and food for their third day. I wonder how many meals he lost. Apparently none, because if he was thirsty and hungry, I'm sure he would have realize how important the mere necessities were to the people of La and Ms. Yes, La was aware that this was a probability a year ago. But who cared about the US when Bush was funneling every penny he could get, into a war of his own choosing. A war that began in a country that housed his father's advocate. He had to go in and finish daddy's job. One that even his father said couldn't be done because there was no way to win. But Bush had the purse strings and the fire power, so he was ready to risk using all our reserves and money to fight a war that we can no longer pull out of. That's were the support went. The people of La and Ms had to wait for their aid...Bush was busy spending billions on "his" priorities. We have bombed them, then rebuilt and feed them. His humanity is great for every one else. Some where along the line, he forgot that the people of La and Ms are the same ones who worked everyday, paid their taxes and helped him fight his war. Don't they deserve as good as we give to "strangers"? Or do they have to wait their turn because he's spent so much on a futile war, that the kitty is getting pretty empty? Some want to blame the Mayor Nagin...yes he had a responsibility to his city. But, knowing that this could happen, had anyone taken it seriously enough to have a plan ready? Apparently not. Michael Brown of the Federal Emergency Mangement Agency appeared to be "at a loss" when it came to a plan. Now that's his JOB! Why was he put in a position of so much responsibility if he couldn't handle a disaster? Maybe Bush should place competent people instead of "just who he wants" for a change. La. Governor Kathleen Blanco reported that she was "overwhelmed" by the situation. Why? This is her state. Had no one told her that her job was to be up to date on anything that could happen in her state? Again, why was she elected??? Unfortunately, the good people of La and Ms are paying for a lack of response and readiness that they had every right to expect from their elected officials. Most focus has been placed on the people who stayed. Some say they should have gotten out when told to leave. As I sit in my dry home, with food and water, it's easy to say they should have left. But I don't know their situation. Some of these people are die-hard souls who live as most of us do, week to week. Yes, I would have walked to safety, but I can't condemn these people for their choices. And Jessee Jackson and Clyburn are not helping by adding fuel to the flame and bringing race into this. I could no longer call myself an American if I believed that for one minute! If anyone saw THE STATE on Sunday, there was a picture of a 5 year old black boy holding the hand of a 105 year old white woman. They could teach us something. The only thing I approve of, that Bush has done during this tragedy, is have the sense to hold off the witch hunt for who is to blame. This is a time for help and he is finally "trying" to do something. Besides, he's probably afraid that the road to "who dropped the ball" will lead right to his door step. And we all know, he thinks he's right, no matter what our opinion is. By Friday, he'll be patting himself on the back and saying it's all under control. But for the thousands who are still without food, water and a roof over their heads, it's not.
  • BG, Irmo:
    My reaction was to donate a couple of hundred dollars to the American Red Cross Hurricane 2005 Relief Fund.  Forget all the finger pointing and political bull, put up or shut up!
  • KA, West Columbia:
    No words can express the sympathy I have in my heart for the people effected by Hurricane Katrina. Even though I am grateful the government is sending troops to help these people, I believe that the troops that are being sent are going to be able to do much to help them. Don't get me wrong, sending troops down there is a smart thing to do, but they can only do so much. I think what those people really need is someone to care for them for more reasons than one. Therefore, I believe it would do those people good to have families in South Carolina and other states to sponsor families who have lost everything. I believe it would bring not only relief to those in need, but it would bring hope and faith, that someone out there still cares and is willing to help in more ways than one.
  • MM, Columbia:
    I truly feel bad for the people in New Orleans and all of the other areas ravaged by this storm. But as I read and listen to the 'knowledgable' people, I just can't help but wonder why they think our government has caused this. I am sure that at no time did they ever tell them to' go ahead and live in a bowl below sea level, nothing will ever happen',no, even the Red Cross pulled out there office 2 years ago. Common sense does that to people. We have been hearing that this was due to happen, well here it is.  I also think that they need to remember how long it takes to get help anywhere in the world in response to tragedies. these are most likely the same people that tell you we need to cut back on military spending then complain when the response isn't fast enough. As for me, I think I will refuse to give anymore in aid out of my pocket until The 'Right Rev Jesse Jackson' publicly apologizes for bringing race into this. I am now a victim and Jesse, you have stepped on MY rights now as an American. I should not have to be degraded and suffer 'degradation of character' by your bigotry and hatred for all races but yours. Please go crawl back in the woodwork and Shut Up!! Let the people that really care and aren't afraid to go help do their jobs. They are down there doing it without any thought of media coverage for their racist retorick like you. The same goes for the 'rap' star...what's his face. When did a TV become a part of the daily diet? That is the people they say are looting, you idiot. Not people looking for food, mattresses, etc. I would like to see them digest some of the jewelry and electronics they were taking. As for the race side, LOOK at the videos!!! Jeezz, get a life, get off your butt and GO HELP!!
  • SP, Camden:
    I think Katrina and the aftermath is truely a tragedy, but the continued slamming of the government is uncalled for.  As a former military logistician I can tell you from experience that dealing with a tragedy and all that is required to begin assistance isn't an instant procedure.  All of this was further compounded by the lack of communication from state authorities, and the unwilinggness of the residents to follow emergency instuctions.  You have to know where and what to send in, you have to be able to reach these areas.  I watched the convoys roll through water above their doors, how were they to have gotten sooner with that water.  Our military forces are already stretched to the ends of the world.  And then there is the question, where are all these countries we have helped, our disater is as devastating as any they have had.  So I think it's time people pull togather to help, and stop blaming anyone for deficiencies.
  • CG, Columbia:
    I can't believe the media is slamming Bush for the deaths that occured as a result of a natural occurence that took place in an unnatural enviroment. The bible says WOE to those that live house on house and I would add surrounded by water with the majority of the town below sea level. They were warned yet their governor and mayor failed them miserably by not getting as many people as they could OUT of there BEFORE Katrina laid the city desolate. Thank God the dome held up but woe to those that had to live through it there. I am disturbed at the ignorance and plain old stupidity of many of the people we call our fellow Americans. FEMA says on it's website that it  could take up to seventy-two hours for a response to mount in such a disaster. Guess what? Starting Tuesday (only time they could even start getting there after the storm) adding seventy-two hours is just about the time the government started getting people out of there in masses. Now, most (if not all that want to be out of there) are out of harms way and fed and clothed and hydrated. Don't look to government to be your savior for it will fail you. Prepare for these things yourself and use wisdom and you will come out just fine with or without the governments aid. What a wonderful country we live in to see what people can do in the face of disaster. It's regular old people that do the best works and many of those people just happen to be in our government. I think the feds did a fabulous job, I think where people really need to cut heads is Louisiana's government leaders. Shame on the media for trying to turn this into a racial thing too, you should be ashamed. I have a lot more faith in my black brothers and sisters than many of their so called "leaders" do. What I saw was a mass amount of white folks saving a whole lot of black folks.
  • LH, Irmo:
    Well now..They had at least a 3 day warning to get out of town.. The people I blame most is the state and local government for not UTILIZING all those school buses and city buses in getting these people out of town PRIOR to the storm.  Now is not the time to point fingers however..it is time to help those in need.
  • EP, Columbia:
    I am so very sorry for the natural disaster that occurred in New
    Orleans and the surrounding areas.   I hate reading in the newspaper and
    hearing on T.V. that people are holding Pres. Bush responsible for what is happening.  I believe that everyone who lived through this terrible tragedy should be down on his/her knees thanking God for another chance. This was a NATURAL DISASTER -- not something that man caused !!  I do pray for God to be with all who are affected by this terrible event.  America is a wonderful country and we always pull together to help those in need. I shouldn't copy what others' say regarding the people of New Orleans being forwarned; therefore, should have left, but I can't help it.  If I didn't have a car I think I would have WALKED anywhere to get away from this terrible tragedy.  May God bless America.
  • CH, Columbia:
    I hurt for the citizens of Louisiana, Alabama, and Mississippi. I can only imagine what they are actually going through.  I know a tragedy of this magnitude can only come from a power greater than man. God loves us so much, He is constantly trying to get our attention, and warning us of how much we need a Savior. I really don't understand how we think we can solve the problems of other countries when we can't solve our own. The powers in control want to remain in control; not just of us, but other countries, as well. That's one reason, and perhaps, the biggest reason why there are so many people in this country working for minimum wages. We are willing to spend billions of dollars to help someone who seem not to want our help, nor our presence, people who find ways and means to kill us daily, and we fail to recognize the importance of taking care of home.Does something seem to be wrong with this picture?  Although we are here to help others, we certainly are not, based on my knowledge, privy to neglect our own. So, who's to blame?  We all are!  Pray! Pray! Pray!
  • JG, Columbia:
    Since the Katrina relief effort is still in its early stages, I'm sure President Bush will declare "Mission Accomplished!" any day now.
  • HB, Columbia:
    Yes, Bush is partially to blame.  Why?  Because everyone knew this was a possibility.  He cut funding for flood control measures.  He and everyone else knew that a category 5 storm could potentially hit the US at any time during hurricane season, yet he and his administration did nothing.  When it happened, they did nothing for how many days?  How many people died because of the lack of coordinated action?  If we can prepare for terrorist attacks that may or may not happen, I think we should be able to prepare for hurricanes that we know will hit.
  • AR, Columbia:
    Lets see,, The Mayor did now have a plan.  The Governor did not have a plan. They both knew a Cat 5 storm was coming, they both knew the levee would not stand a Cat 5 and yet they did nothing.  Now they are blaming the federal government...typical democrats.
  • MG, Batesburg-Leesville:
    I, for one, am tired of hearing people complain about rescue efforts being slow. New Orleans and other areas hit by the hurricane are dangerous places now, with bacteria in the water, and rescuers must take care before they jump in "with both feet".  It seems to me that the city has plenty celebrities coming to their aid, that is the bashing of the government, even to the point of them saying that the President is racist. Please, celebrities, put your money where your mouth is and donate monetary funds to these people affected by the storm.  Our government has always helped where needed, in our country and in others, so unless you are there, celebrities, please be quiet and let them do what is needed.  I saw an interview with the mayor of N.O. and Katie Couric.  Ms. Couric brought out an excellent point - does the city of New Orleans not have emergency factors in place to help people should a catastrophic event, such as Hurricane Katrina, occur.  I'm not downplaying the seriousness of the disaster - it just seems as though preparedness should have been stepped up a notch or two prior to the storm, and especially since so much warning was given prior to the storm's hit on New Orleans. Give our government a chance - they will do what is best.
  • JP, Columbia:
    The whole issue is one of responsibility.  The mayor is responsible (not the federal government) to issue the evacuation order and then enforce it. This mayor knew the danger and failed to order the evacuation until 36 hours before the storm tore the city apart. He did nothing to enforce the order. The governor had the responsibility to assist (when requested by the mayor) in evacuation.  The mayor did not request or receive state help. The federal government CANNOT enter into the situation until REQUESTED by the governor, this NEVER HAPPENED.  The citizens (like a bunch of dumb cattle) stayed in the path of a very dangerous storm. They could have walked to safety. All levels of state government failed to take timely appropriate actions, in fact, they failed to take any action at all before the storm was already hitting the coast. This storm has created an enviromental disaster that will take many years and billions of dollars to clean up. Remember, one final note, THEY WERE WARNED that any storm above Cat 3 would break the levees. Ask the mayor and governor what they did about that.
  • SH, West Columbia:
    I'm very sympathetic to those people but I'm also selfish because I'm glad it didn't happen here.  Everyone is so ready to blame Bush for things not happening fast enough.  Tell me, where were the major and governer when they could have been using buses to evacuate those without vehicles prior to Katrina?  If they want to blame someone, blame themselves.  The buses are flooded just like everything else because they weren't used.  The plain simple fact is that no one knew because the paper the next day stated that Louisiana was not the major hit; rather we were told Mississippi was the devastation.  Because of the destruction of other states, it took time, I'm sure, to clear roads enough to get people to Louisiana for a rescue mission.
  • CP, Columbia:
    Talk about ingratitude. If not for the federal government (which KK hates)and the hundreds of volunteers who are risking their lives to help them, these mentally challenged chimps would still be swimming in their own feces. If it were up to me, when they started cursing and yelling at the people trying to help them, I would have puled out and let them rot.
  • KB, Lexington:
    First of all, this is NOT the President's fault!  The leaders in New Orleans knew four years ago the EXACT outcomne of this situation if it ever occured, they never did anything about it.  Not to mention that I was disgusted at the comments I read in this column whining that the government has not done enough.  I am positive that they would love some ideas on how you would have handled the situation.  It is so easy sometimes to sit back and blame everyone else but yourself.  I give much credit to our President, volunteers, and especially The Red Cross, Salvation Army, etc. who are risking their lives right now to save thousands while we sit here and just whine that they haven't worked fast enough.
  • MM, Columbia:
    I understand that the majority of people who stay during a hurricane are the ones who can't afford to get out or don't have the basic means to be able to do so.  However, there is always a telephone nearby where they could call someone and ask for assistance in leaving town.  As far as blaming the President along with everyone else for not having daily essentials, it's ridiculous.  If people who quit acting out, and trying to harm aid workers, help and supplies could get to them.
  • DH, Columbia:
    I am so saddened by this situation and the various responses. As I sit here and watch the news, my heart breaks. And I am so upset that "idiots" would blame the people of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama for what happened to them. One must remember that these are low income families, those who don't have transportation, money, or the means to up leave at the drop of a dime. These are people of various races and backgrounds. These are college students, elderly people, whites, blacks, hispanics, asians, etc. Yet it is true that majority of these people are minorities who come from low income backgrounds. The government is to blame for their lack of response and support. Yet we still have the "ignorant" mentality living among us. All I can say is to put yourself in the shoes of those people. Or much more, I challenge you to go down there and live amongst them in all the horror. But yet you won't. Many of you probably won't even volunteer or make donations b/c of the ignorance that lives among us. I challenge those of you with some compassion to get involved and show that we can't let this happen to our fellow American citizens. Do what you would want done for you in the same situation. God Bless everyone.
  • HM, Irmo:
    I was sad for all those people who were hit by Katrina.  I wish all the kids were as lucky as me.  I am 7 1/2 and I do not know what I would do if I lost my mom and dad...I hope that they find them soon.  I raised money Sunday selling water and kool-aid and took all of my money to the red cross after school.  I want to help more....I hope everyone will too.
  • AB, Columbia:
    Very sadden by the catastrophic events and even more troubled by what appeared to be a lack of a hurricane/flood evacuation plan by the local and state officials.  Considering where the city sits on the map and surrounded by water was there a plan?  A plan to include an emergency response team, who would report where and what they would do, ponies or helicopters to report back or communicate with those at headquarters, where the people would be taken or to report to once an evacuation was issued, means of notifying the people in case of a flood and a loss of communication( bull horns, helicopters),  where the people would report for pick up, where the transportation would come from ( school buses, city buses), what city blocks would go to what shelters, a log of who was entering the shelters, what facilities further inland would be used as shelters.  With all the money the states have received for terrorism had the even consider a terrorist attack  on the levee and how the city would respond? Where was the plan for where the hospital patients would be sent, how they would be transported.
  • CT, Orangeburg:
    My responce is not about the storm but about aid going to someplace other than New Orleans.  As I recall, Biloxi and a lot of the Gulf Coast was hit as bad or worst but nearly all the news coverage is about New Orleans and blaming someone for something.  So much for brain dead news reporters.
  • JH, Columbia:
    all I can say is all those people new almost a week ahead of time what was fixing to happen they should have gotten out of there now this sorry state of sc & the city of columbia has $$$$$ in there eyes!!!!!
  • HJ, Columbia:
    I can't even really put into words what all I think about this. Except one thing. That our gov't needs to be doing so much more for those people. And, that FEMA needs to be doing more also. When the tsnumi hit Shri Lanka we where there day 1. It took 2-3 days for people to get to New Orleans and help. And, 4-5 days for people there to feel like there there is hope again. And, further more it's even more pathetic on our gov't that our citizens are doing more for these people than the gov't itself. And, that countries who are 3 world are doing more than we are. FEMA, Pres. Bush, and the rest of Washington need to get off their high horses and help thse people. They are humans too, regaurdless of race or how much money they have. We brag about being the land of freedom, the land of
    wealth, land of all these diffrent things, and we don't even help our own
    people. What does that say for our nation? For the people who live here?
    It makes us( the citizens ) look awful. If this had happened to a city that was well off, the people would be out, fed, clothed, have somewhere to stay, and the city would be well on its way to recovering. It makes me sick to see how poorly FEMA and the Gov't is acting to this. It's simply pathetic.
  • EH, Columbia:
    As New Orleans was flooding, President Bush was on vacation.  As New Orleans was burning and people were dying Sec. Rice was shoe shopping and going to Broadway.  If this were compassionate conservatism, I would hate to see the uncompassionate version.  Is this what SC coast has to look forward too, a President who is more concerned about speeches and fundraisers than people's lives.  The sad thing is we still have over three years left on his contract.  May be gas will be a $4.00 dollars a gallon by then because we "SC residents" will continue to vote for people who support his failing policies. President Clinton did a have sexual relationship with an adult women other than his wife but how many
    Republicans have done the same thing.  However I could afford to go to lunch, take a seven day vacation, gas was around a $1.00, and jobs were plentiful when he was President.  I wander how many of you are brown bagging lunch like I am now because you have to have more money for gas, and are taking a long weekend for your vacation because you are afraid
    that if you take your vacation time your company may find a reason to let
    you go and you know other people who are making a lot less than they did before President Bush and his polices.  By the way I drive a Saturn L200, which gets 30-MPG highway and 23-MPG city and people are wander why New Orleans is going through what it is.
  • KJ, Lexington:
    As much as everybody loves to sit back and blame the President for everything, the fault begins with the people who refused to leave and have caused this entire bottleneck and overwhelmed the rescuers/medical personnel.  The Mayor and Governor made it very clear that this was a MANDATORY evacuation and for  everyone to get out, that the entire city could be underwater.  They even  provided buses to take people out FREE. While more effort should have been made to go get the elderly and sick out, the able bodied were at least able to walk somewhere to get on a bus, and chose not to.  As far as tne National Guard and Military go, they don't just see a problem and jump in their truck and leave.  There actually is a process that takes days to activate.  It is up to the local government to request the assistance and that was not done in a timely manner either.  Once Military help was requested, it came as quick as it could.  As far as the President goes, he had already declared the area a disaster BEFORE the hurricane ever hit enabling FEMA to have the funds
    needed and for them to be there waiting to come in and provide assistance.
    If the able bodied people would have left, there wouldn't have been such a problem evacuating afterward.  Money or not, if I saw a category 5 hurricane about to decimate my city, I would leave even if I had to walk out.  You get one  chance to leave, if it is a false alarm, you can always return.  Even today, Sunday Sep 4 a whole week after the hurricane, the media is showing people down in the flooded areas who still refuse to leave their home.   And I am sick and tired of Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, and the NAACP sitting back  complaing and never doing a thing to help
    their own.  People all across the U.S are doing everything they can to help and what are they doing?  Nothing as usual.  Also, to address the issue of gas being $3.00 per gallon.  The reason we are having this problem is not because President Bush made it this way, you can blame the environmentalists for that.  If we were drilling in other areas, particularly Alaska and building refineries to meed the needs of America,
    we wouldn't be in OPEC's pocket and we could take care of ourselves, even if a natural disaster such as a hurricane, takes out a few refineries. Wake up America.
  • JZ, Irmo:
    It's horrible that people are going through this. I see myself in all there eyes and everytime I drink water and eat I think...where is their food and water.  I am disgusted at our federal govt. and Pres. Bush.They have not acted fast enough in helping all the victims but especially the poor individuals still in New Orleans.  Five days without any water or food.  I noticed he was glad to go to Mississippi and visit, but how about New Orleans where the situtation is dangerous. He should be critizied for his inability to get more done.  This should not happen anywhere but most of all in our country.  I'm just so sad for President Bush that he had to leave his 5 week vacation. When's the last time you took a five week vacation? Concerned citizen
  • TB, Aiken:
    Of course this is a huge tragedy andmuch human suffering is evident.Having said this it only took a few days for the professional racists and complainers  of the NAACP to start making this a racial issue by stating that if whites were the main victims things would have happened quicker. Why didnt the NAACP sent food and water in immediately. I will tell you the answer, NCAAP is in the business of getting not giving. They would rather spend their time playing the victim than doing anything construtive. Some things never change
  • KK, Columbia:
    Our government has seriously failed its' citizens in New Orleans. We can get food, clothing, and supplies to places around the world in less than 24 hrs., but it takes 4 hours in our own country. The administration should be ashamed of how this situation has been handled, and lets hope it was a learning experience for them. People are dying due to the lack of response from the gov't with food,water,and medical aid. How frustrating it must be for these people not to be able to count on their own government for aid and support.
  • AW, Irmo:
    Why is the media referring to  our fellow Americans in New Orleans as refuges?  Is New Orleans not a part of the United States?  Did I fall asleep in the great United States of America to wake up to a time of over 200 years ago when blacks were not even considered humans?  What is going own?  Is the true side of America showing.  If the people trapped in New Orleans were actually dogs, cats, elephant, or other animals, we would see helicoptors, planes, and  people risking there lives to save them!
  • L, Eastover
    I am a student at Xavier University of LA in New Orleans and I returned home to SC on Sunday. I am very devastated by the events that have occurred over the last few days. It all seems so surreal. My college career has been interrupted and the city that I love so much is destroyed. I am upset over the response of FEMA and other organizations. There are thousands of people dying in front of their eyes and all they can say is, "Help is on the way." National Guard troops are few in number because all of them are in Iraq fighting for another country. The National Guard and our troops should be home taking care of our "Nation's" business. I think now is the time for the US to come together to show support for our own people in need. A lot of people have lost everything, including family members, jobs, and their lives. My thoughts and prayers are with them in their time of need.
  • AA, Columbia
    I am disturbed that people want to blame the federal government for this tragedy. This was and is a national disaster which no one had control over. What we did have control over was evacuation. Prevention!! i think the mandatory evacuation was handled poorly. They knew the levees would not hold. Parents who refused to evacuate should have been given the option to leave or their children would be evacuated without their permission. Folks want to blame the government for this but those who chose to stay, well they were warned. After 9/11 there were no pictures of people looting, only people trying to help each other. Well, blame the looters for the delay in the rescues. If the police/milityar shoot and kill them then guess what will happen, after all of this is over, the "police and military killed innocent people". I guess one of the nice things about being an american is we do help others in need. We step up to the plate during crisis at home and in other countries. We are not greedy heathens. The blaming needs to stop and folks just need to do their part to help.
  • MM, Orangeburg
    I think it is a very sad thing that has happened to the gulf coast,But people we got to think also, our President is not to blame for all the problems they are having,It is a bad situation down there I think the American people should pull together and not gripe , I understand that most of the city is underwater and that it will be months maybe years before things are back to normal. And I realize that alot of people could not leave but there were a lot of people there thinking they could be Brave and ride out the storm, Ingorance doesn't have a chance with a cat 4 hurrican, New Orleans is below sea level, they should have known to begin with GET Out we had hugo here there was Andrew The people should have known what we were faced with it was aired on the television it was not a game. People should wake up and stop blaming people for nothing they can control, Everyone was informed it was a strong hurrican and what was going to happen, So stop blaming the goverment they are all doing what they can, If any one could do a better job then run for office.
  • MS, Pelion
    FEMA director Micheal Brown made the comment that people that did not evacuate bear the responsibility of their fate. What about the people who had no choice but to stay because of no transportation or money? Maybe a plan should have been there to help these people get into shelters. All of these plans should have been prepared before she hit the coast. She has been a Cat 5 days before she hit as a Cat 4. The Government should have prepared for this one..and not wait days into the disaster to start planning.
  • JM, Lexington
    i am completely disgusted by what i am reading. you would think that bush himself sent the hurricane. thankfully it was a natural disaster or people would be blaming him. get over it. it does not matter what political party you are affiliated with, now is not the time to start blaming and pointing fingers. if you are so upset about the situation, then do something to help it. complaining and back biting about woulda coulda and shouldas, absolutly do not help.
  • GP, Columbia
    We can send tusnami relief half way round the world but cannot send hurrican relief a couple of hundred miles away. What I am watching on TV turns my stomach. Whoever is in charge should have his/her butt dropped off at the convention center without food, water or security and see what it feels like. I missed something yesterday. The USC football game! Govenor Sanfor goes on TV and tells us that the pipeline to SC is only handling 30% capacity and to conserve gas. Yet this evening I turn on the TV to see hundreds and hundreds of cars wating in traffic to see a stupid football game. That why we are paying so much for gas.
  • RO, Lexington
    Heartsick. The victims of this disaster are in my prayers constantly; I pray for relief for the refugees in New Orleans and Mississippi.
  • GB, Orangeburg
    I think it's great that the "stars" are concerned and doing a concert to raise money, but I don't hear much about them donating funds. They are some of the richest people around; and the got that way by monies from the common person's support of them. Let's hear about them giving some of the millions back to those who support them.
  • CC, West Columbia
    Now first, Kerry and Edwards told people over a year ago that gas prices would be $3.00 or more if Bush did not do something, well we did some thing, Bush back in office! Now New Orleans, do you all relly thing the Gov. gives a blank about us? This should make a few wake-up or are people still going to believe the lies, they have already pulled the Big Guns out, that is all you see on TV now. The only time the Gov. knows people are alive is when you don't pay TAXES. Now if this was another country, help would have been there five days ago. Now the Red Cross, ask the people in New York if they have gotten the money that people donated for them. The Red Cross goes to make money not to give it. If our Guard was not fighting in some foreign land that does not even want us there, they would be in the US helping the people in New Orleans. I thought that was what the Guard was for, guess I and a lot of others were wrong. So the next time some one says a good family values person in Office, remember the families that did not help. If this was SC it would not ahve been any different. I was told actions speak louder than words. Remember the next time you go to vote. These good old BOYS! Geroge W. Bush really is a good christian? W stands for Walker, after his Grandf ather, not the Texas Ranger.
  • BY, Chester
    Where is the Red Cross? I have not seen a Red Cross vehicle in any of the pictures coming from New Orleans on TV.
  • DT, West Columbia
    I get so weary of smug journalists in their air-conditioned studios pointing their fingers at the people doing the real work in this emergency and whining that it isn't happening fast enough! We were told as early as Tuesday that recovery would take weeks if not months. It hasn 't been even ONE week yet and already the finger-pointing and blame-placing has begun, thanks in large part to smug journalists with their uncanny 20/20 hindsight. I heard Tim Russert on "The Today Show" this morning commenting to the effect that, unlike 9/11 when America was attacked, a natural disaster like this would not bring about the same kind of unity in the face of a common threat. Why not? Are we so cynical and partisan that without a terrorist plot to blame this calamity on we will turn on one another? I hope not, but if that's true I say we have a generation of post-Watergate journalists to thank for it.
  • CM, Newberry
    It's like this... I feel very sorry for whom every decided to stay or could not leave any of the affected areas. But noone can go back to what has already happened and redo it. So why is the media repeatedly going back to what could have been done, lets move forward to the problems at hand. Like moving aide in, getting needed supplies and medication to the most needy and making temporary shelter for those displaced. Homeland security has failed us. Homeland security should not be for just pre planning of unknown acts, but for the aftermath of any and all acts of nature and/or unnatural disaster. Let's quit second guessing what should have been and start working on the present catastrophe at hand. Then, once this is behind the nation, deal with those who have failed us. Secondly i am destoryed by some accusations that the lack of relief is a racist issue. I worked relief for hugo and never once did i look at the color of anyones skin before offering relief. I watched as the towers feel and never once was it considered racist.....is this different, sure it is. The victims involved are shooting at the relief, raping women for what? beating each other for no good reason! it is a different situtation, and the people involved are behaving differently. It's not racist, everyone is trying to help by sending aide or give money. But especially in time of need, we need to help ourselves, and not try to hurt others. It's not racist, but some will make it out to be....everyone needs to consider this... If you are a relief worker and are asked to go into a war torn area like new orleans, and it is optional.....would you go where there is a chance that you will lose your life to a mad gun man, or be raped because the gang needs new members. I would consider my children and loved ones first. My prayers will continue to be with the lost in new orleans and the other war torn areas affected by katrina. But now we must move forward and not look back at what could have been, but what must be done.....
  • HG
    Everyone take a deep breath! The government was prepared for a hurricane, not a levy breaking…. Stop blaming the government, an agency or another person. Please put your energies to better service and help – donate monetary funds, food, clothes, and/or your time. Make a positive difference and help! Stop complaining. Thank you.
  • AW, Blythewood
    As any and every one can see the whole thing is DEVASTATING. Absolutly horrifying. In no way shape or form do I think the United States government has responded to these people as rapidly as needed. Now on the other hand the citizens of America have responded greatly. They have gone in and volunteered themselves. Rescue people are working over overtime. But the United States Gov. Please. It's the citzens, the people of America that put forth the effort to help all of these people. And those of you that have the audacity to complain about gas prices need to get on your knees and thank your God or Higher power that YOU have a home to go to, food to eat. You can pick up the phone and call your loved ones and let them know you are safe and ok. Gas will go down, we all know this. We just have to dael with what's dealt to us; for a short length of time. Stop crying! Katrina has the ability to open up the American eyes. On Sept.11th we all stood in awe as we watched our country change forever. We watched the mothers and fathers that were lost. The brothers and sisters. We pulled together to comfort those around us. But over time we all went back to living an ordinary life. The day was there, but the drama was gone. So now we have another situation on our hands, more devastation and destruction. Not by man but by nature. I honestly think that this time every God fearing American needs to give all they can give. Wether it be time, food, clothes, blankets or money. Just give. And dont just give now. Give forever. Please don't be the one that gets stuck in a sympsthy state for a moment in time. All ways remember what you have and all ways know that it can be stripped from you in a moment of time.
  • DM, Columbia
    First of all, hindsight is 20/20. Without the benefit of a crystal ball, who really knew how bad the situation would be? For me the bottom line is those people created the mess they're in. If more of them that could have left, would have left, there wouldn't be near the number of people having to be rescued and cared for. They didn't even choose to go to the Superdome. They did NOTHING to try to help themselves. There was a mandatory evacuation issued for God's sake. The people in the Superdome should be taken care of first. Then word gets out that those people are getting a ride out of there, and then all the rest of them come out of the woodwork, and the numbers of people just grow, overwhelming those trying to assist. I want to help those who truly cannot help themselves; I especially feel bad for the elderly. Can you imagine the chaos if FEMA or Bush dropped supplies, food and water to them? There would be a stampede. THEN we would be finding fault with that. There is no way to efficiently meet the needs of 75,000 people who have lost everything and are living in flooded areas. NOBODY would be able to do that to satisfy them. I have a lot more compassion for down and out people than the angry "give me what I want" animal like people that keeping getting shown on TV. I hope they learned a valuable lesson. I heard this morning that Fats Domino was rescued. I'm quite sure he had the means and income to GET OUT. He chose not to, and now he's putting a strain on the resources that are there. What do you expect from people who are used to the government taking care of them???
  • LB, Columbia
    I guess all of the Bush voters in the world are wishing they had not voted for him, because he obviously thinks more of other countries then his own.
  • WW, Columbia
    It is a disaster. They have known this was going to happen since 1969. Did anyone except the stupid democrats expect the government to stop the storm. New Orleans is flooded. No one can drive anywhere. The scumbag looters are shooting at the rescue helicopters. What do you expect the government to do? Everyone is yelling "evacuate". To Where? Anywhere they go they will need massive support. If you want to blame soneone, blame Jesse Jackson and the NAACP for teaching these people to sit on their butts and blame the government for everything. I see a lot of heroic people working themselves to death trying to help and getting cursed by the people they are trying to help. For GW, your comments indicate you were educated in South Carolina so I will just assume you are too dumb to know anything else.
  • RB, Chapin
    People quite sitting back scratching your heads over what the government is or is not doing at this time. Take a stand and do something yourself for them. They need help now, I urge each of you to donate monetary funds to the American Red Cross Central South Carolina PO Box 91 Columbia SC 29202, the Salvation Army, Southern Baptist Convention and local area churches are taking food and clothing donations. Do your part and help these victims now, ti, me is critical........
  • AS - Washougal, WA
    I simply can no longer watch the events following Hurricane Katrina onfold silently. We need to help our fellow americans. They will not survive for another several days in the conditions they are being made to live in.
  • MB, Sumter
    I'll have to, admit that I really didn't pay much attention to the storm. Monday I was reading the news reports and realized that there were people looting and I couldn't believe it. First of all, please tell me where they were going to plug in a television, radio, cd player or whatever?? When I heard about people pushing aside the, dead to loot their homes it sickened me. Now to find out that people are being raped and attacked. I'm finding it hard to believe that these people are sane. Your life is in danger, and all you can think to do is attack or rape?? I am sickened, just sickened. The people of New Orleans, Mississippi, and Alabama are in my prayers. I pray that this insanity that's going on will stop, and that the citizens of these places will get the aid they so desperately need.
  • SD, Columbia
    Its amazing how we could, get much help money and food for the people overseas in Iraq and the tsumnami victims but when it could to taking care of our own (US) we turn our back. We have all the skill to feed other countries but cant think enough of sending the patrol military convoy with food and water on the trucks but yet they go in to sick and hungry neighbors empty handed and you wonder why the honest folk the hungry ones loot. Dont get me wrong I feel if you loot to feed your family is ok but to try to loot to get toys TVs, VCR, for what you dont have any power?
  • PC, Columbia
    Why blame our President. He released disaster funds before the storm hit. Everyone says "give to the Red Cross"! Where is the Red Cross? Have you seen one truck or Red Cross volunteer handing out so much as a bottle of water in New Orleans. Katrina is no longer killing the people. The agencies, governmental and private, are shamefully doing it for her!
  • GW:
    I sit here and wonder why it is that Bush can send Iraq over $100 Billion dollers but yet he asks us Americans to give money, especially when our gas prices are over $3.00 a gallon. I also dont understand why the authorities worry about the looters when there are thousands of people that still need to be saved, let me ask you this, have you ever gone several days with no food or water in over a 100+ degree heat like these poor people have, I thank god everyday when I wake up to bless my family and every living soul on this earth, but I will have to say, if I was over there and had no food or water for several days in that heat, I myself would be right along the side the rest of them looting and so would you or bush. I look at it like this, if I did get arrested for looting at least i would get 3 hots and a cot, which is alot more then most of those poor people over there are getting. We have had many offers from other countries but bush has not accepted any help from them, could it be because bush has to much pride to let these other countries know that our people need help, that shows me that he dont care as much about our homeland as he leads on to, he should be accepting help from where ever we can get it, those poor people will suffer longer because the man we allected as our president will not accept help from other countries and that is sad. I have to believe that if bush was stuck over there, the whole calvary would be in there a few days ago. I have had MSNBC on my T.V. since all this has happened and if bush would have done his job better, these people would already be out of there, you can not expect people to go days with out food or water and not loot, now it has gotten to the point where people are getting angry and will do what ever it takes to get food or water and I can not say I blame them. I can hear on the news now that they are going to send out a red cross ship on Friday, that will get there some time next week, that ship should have set sail the day after the hurricane hit, every one knew this hurricane was comming, what did they think, it wasnt going to do much damage at 145 mph, please, give me a break, this is not the first hurricane the united states has been through, I can not comprehend why it has taken our president and the government so long to get these people the help they so despratly need, there are people that will starve to death before the are rescued and that is so sad to know that our president is not doing all he can, but i guess when you have had money all your life and never had to worry about where your next meal is going to come from or where your going to lay your head when night falls, you dont tend to think of the poor people. I remeber when we went to war with iraq, we flew our planes over iraq and dropped them food, I have not heard of this being done for our own people, why not, its sad to know that bush will take better care of other countries then he will his own, and trust me when I say, I am not the only american that feels this way. I have been laid off of my job and I now collect food stamps, something I have never in my life had to do and I am 35, but I am taking half of what I get from my food stamps to go buy water and food to take over there for those people and I will have to let some of my bills go just to have the gas money to get there and back,  I dont have much I can offer but what I do have I will give it up gladly because I still have a roof over my head and central air to keep me cool and food in my cabinets. Mcclellan is on the news talking right now and a reporter asked him if they was going to have a lower tolerance for the people who are stealing food and water, Mcclellan told the reported that there will be no tolerance for stealing that there is food and water available, that is a lie, we like all americans have been watching the news and there are alot of people that have not been able to get to the food and water. the bottom line is, us americans elect you people in office to take care of things like this and this is how you all take care of the united states, I could do a better job then that. The way i look at it, bush should have had all these trucks already loaded with food, water, generators, ect. before the hurricane hit and sent them over there as soon as the hurricane was out of the area, I have been very fortunate in my life so far, but I could not imagine going several days with no food or water, it devastates me to see these people crying out for help to these news casters begging for help 4 days later, theres a woman on there right now that her baby is dieing in her arms, the news caster is talking to a man on the news right now saying there is no food or water for them, he has watched 2 people die in front of him from dehydration along with little babies, so tell me how can you go on the news and tell us people they have food and water when you know as well as we do that they do not have food and water, shame on you all, you all will have to answer to god one day for all this. food should be flown over that convention center and dropped, i can not believe this is happing to our people, bush sure stepped up to the plate when it come to taking care of the iraq people, i am just sickened to think that our government dont have more common sense then what i have seen so far. I can only hope that our next prsident can straighten out what bush has done to our acconomy and us americans.
  • KL, Lexington:
    I cannot believe that the U.S. cannot do better for our own people.  If this were some other country we would have been there immedieately with food drops, medical facilities (tents), medical personnel, and whatever else was needed.  I cannot believe the people in the area of the dome cannot even get a bottle of water.   There are plenty of soldiers left in the US to handle this emergency.  It was clear before the hurricane ever hit, that this would be much more than the people of New Orleans could handle on their own.  It is just unbelievable that people are just left to die at the dome.
  • TP, Newberry:
    There are several reasons that the prices of gas has gone up. First off, the prices you are paying at the pump reflects what the gas stations are going to need to pay to refill their underground tanks.  They may have purchased 8,000 gallons for $2.46, but the $20,000 in revenue is not going to refill the tank when they are forced to spend $3.02 a gallon.
  • KQ, Columbia:
    I believe WIS-TV 10 should have continued with the NBC Nightly News special one hour edition tonight (9/1/05, ) instead of focusing extensively on the USC first football game hoopla. It is disgusting that some folks are so consumed with sports and having a good time at a ballgame and that a reputable news organization spends so much time reporting on a sporting event when there is a disaster and crisis along the Gulf Coast/southeast. I have 4 degrees  from USC and understand that sports is very big business. However, what is happening along the Gulf Coast, the distress/crisis the people are suffering, and a major American city being evacuated takes priority over sporting events and sports news. The USC first game only merited mention during regular sports segments not extensive coverage during news casts. Sporting events are so insignificant at a time of crisis in the southeast/Gulf Coast region. People need to get their priorities straight and start helping those harmed and left homeless by Katrina. All the money spent at the USC game could have been better spent helping those in need along the Gulf Coast. Thank you.
  • TP, Irmo:
    Unfortunately, once again, the american people have been let down by their goverment. Chances are most of the people we have watched suffer on the news were the ones who voted for President Bush. There should be no waiting for congress to come back, he should just get the necessary things for these people who unfortunately had no means of escaping. Why does it take an act of congress? People are dying,the news showed that. Why should someone die with a note clipped to their body in a wheelchair. Hunger and suffering is not what it means to be an american, while others are safe and sound on the ranch. I will be on the telephone tomorrow with my pledge, I hope everyone else will, including the President and all his little men and women.
  • TH, Lexington:
    All I can say is how truly outraged I am that more has not been done to help the people in New Orleans.  There is no doubt in my mind that if the situation had been neutralized from the beginning that the rescue operations wouldn't be threatened today.  There is also no doubt in my mind that this great nation of ours could have taken control if our leadership governed with the people in mind - not profits.  It is amazing that we can parachute special operations personnel into a combat situations in other countries to forward political and financial objectives.  We can airlift food, water, personnel into incredibly dangerous and inhospitible situations but we can't save our own desperate people in a disaster situation.  They call it a logistics nightmare - no doubt that it is.  More appropriately, it as a leadership nightmare.  I am truly sickened and disgusted with what I see in every way.
  • PC, Columbia:
    I am so deeply saddened to see the devastation and human tragedy going on and going on and going on.  Where is the calvary?  The Red Cross, FEMA should have been in the middle of the crisis days ago.  Babies and the elderly are dying from the shameful failure of our agencies.
  • HS, Columbia
    There is simply no excuse for not airlifting food and water to these people. So someone has fired some shots? Well, don't the National Guard troops have fire power, too? This is like a war zone, folks. And if it WAS a war zone in a different country, we'd have troops in there not only to fight, but to take care of the innocent victims. Can we do no less for our fellow AMERICANS?
  • JA, Columbia
    Where are the marvelous Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton now? Nowhere in sight? Big Surprise.
  • SM, Mt. Pleasant
    Thousands of people from New Orleans and the Gulf areas affected will never be able to resume their lives in any way. The only institution that has the depth and resources to mend lives quickly is the faith based community in America. Even though the ACLU and others would remove any references to God,prayer, or Judeo-Christian values in government, our country was founded on principles of brotherly love. If every church in the US would volunteer to "adopt" one devastated family, the children could immediately be placed in schools, housing and clothing provided, jobs offered, and hope provided immediately. The vast number of needy could be absorbed into our communities without burdening or certainly overtaxing sometimes inefficient government agencies that can only address the most basic human needs related to simple survival. Further, the expense of rebuilding lives would be shared by philanthropic people who are motivated by a desire to help, rather that a government bureauracy that cannot, by design, be responsible for healing broken hearts. As it always has, the strength of our country and the foundation of our successes lies a belief in a higher power and behaviors based on Godly principals. God Bless America, as we know He always has.
  • SS, Leesville
    Everyone needs to watch the movie Farenheit 911. This movie tells the story of the man who is running this country into the ground! GWB will never help us with gas prices. He is an OIL MAN - these exorbinate prices are lining his pockets! Oil is the only reason that we lose at least one American soldier every day in Iraq! Until the American people start conserving oil, we are at the mercy of the Oil Men (GWB included)! One thing that this horrific experience with Katrina should teach us is how inempt our federal government really is!!
  • EG, Columbia
    Ok folks let's quit complaining so much about the gas prices and dig in our pockets to help these folks who have nothing. At least we have our jobs, homes, money, and most important of all FAMILY. these folks in the gulf states don't have to worry about gas prices they have to worry about how to survive. There is nothing we can do about the gas prices going up but there is something we can do as americans, help our fellow americans now. Everyone here in Colmbia is excited about the start of Carolina Football and the Carolina Gamecocks. I say let's do something good....if every one of us who are heading to the game would donate $1.00 each think of the money we could give to the American Red Cross and for a good cause. William Brice Stadium holds 83,000 people DO THE MATH we would be helping so many people for such a small price. SO LET'S GO COCKS.......HELP THE PEOPLE WHO REALLY NEED US AT THIS TIME. REMEMBER THIS COULD HAVE BEEN OUR STATE HIT BY THE HURRICANE....GOD BLESS AMERICAN AND OUR FIGHTING GAMECOCKS.
  • DA, Camden
    I am simply surpised at Hurrican Katrina. I am also impressed that it could go from a catagory 2 to a catagory 5 in around 72 hours.
  • DT, Columbia
    The images on tv are simply unbelievable. Where do these people even begin to pick up their lives? But what is also unbelievable is what is going on at the gas stations! I find it hard to believe that prices really rose that quickly in response to a supply shortage. The gas in the ground at gas stations was refined months ago. There's no reason that prices should rise to $3 a gallon in 3 days. Yesterday (Wed) afternoon, I filled up at 4:45 pm at the El Cheapo on the corner of Bull , and Elmwood for $2.85/gal. When I drove by that station again at 9:30 pm, the price had risen to $3.19/gal. If that's not price gouging, I don't know what is. That's got to be illegal. I wonder if the owners and managers of that station can sleep soundly knowing that they are profiting from a terrible disaster and making it increasingly harder for people like me (who don't make a ton of money) to pay our bills. I am now spending more on gas in a month than on utilities at my house. And I drive a fuel-efficient car! If I drove an SUV, I wouldn't be able to afford to leave the house! And if less than a week after Katrina gas prices are like this, what does this say about our dependency on foreign oil? Something ain't adding up!
  • SM, Lexington
    I can't believe the destruction and level of human sufferring I'm seeing on TV, and I know reality is much worse. It looks like the end of the world. I urge everybody to keep praying, trust in the Lord, and keep the faith as we face one of our greatest trials
  • AS, Columbia
    I believe that the people effected by Katrina were not prepared enough for the storm. They are already in a place that is below sea leavel and should be aware of dangers that are to come from future hurricanes, and should have learned from the past.
  • JL, Cassatt
    To T.P.of Newberry, I agree with you on a couple of things. Stealing food,medicine,and perhaps a little clothing in order for you and your family to survive is understandable but TVs?Nike tennis shoes?High jacking medical supply trucks on their way to a hospital?There is only one thing i would like to give these slimeballs.
  • SP, Columbia
    It is sad to see so many people that have lost everything they ever had. It is even sadder to see the looters roaming the streets stealing whatever the storm did not destroy. The storm does not give anyone the right to steal something that belongs to someone else. The looters and their race are the vulgar scum of the earth.
  • RM, Lexington
    We see who is doing all the looting and crimes against humanity even shooting the police.Where is the National Guard?Oh,in Iraq.
  • SA, Gaston
    I am so stricken with grief for the people and animals that are stranded in the wake of Katrina. I would like to help in the relief efforts by opening my home to a family or animals in devastation. I don't know how to go about doing that. Both my husband and I are disabled and have few funds available so we are extremely limited financially, but I figure we could offer our home to those in need of shelter to give them what we can offer. I do not know if that would be a viable solution, Could we start a "adopt a family" campaign to help? I know years ago there was a "adopt a soldier" campaign for soldiers that had no families to go to during holidays and thought about this. How would we even begin to bring a family here? I really want to help but do not know how to get things started. Would any one out there also be willing to do this? Does anyone have any suggestions as how to help without donating cash as I don't feel that when you donate cash, that sometimes the donation you give is not going to help the cause in which you are giving
  • RC, West Columbia
    My wife has four sisters and one brother near Mobile and all are fine except for a bunch of trees blown down near their homes. As for the people in La. no words can describe what they must be going through. It just seems that God may be sending all of us a message, huh ? Also why in the heck hasn`t our Government sent the Army, etc, and set up large tent cities on the outskirts where their is dry land to at least get these people out of the weather. A sheriff in Texas has a very large tent city prison with thousands of inmates so you know it will work for a while. We are going to donate $100 to the Red Cross and ask that all SC citizens do the same.
  • BB, Lexington:
    I can't believe all of the destruction.  It looks like a third world country, not the US.  God Bless Them and their families.
  • LP, Lexington:
    My sympathy goes out to all of those people who are affected and suffering as a result of this disaster.   Our prayers and assistance
    should be with them for some time to come.   I do, however, hope that the
    media, which includes WIS, do not get into a mode where this is all that they cover for weeks and months on end as has been done in the past with stories such as Hurricane Hugo, education, and other stories which dominated news coverage while other news that was worthy of coverage was being made.
  • HB, Columbia:
    Call me crass, but I want to know why so many able bodied people stayed, in spite of the evacuation orders and the knowledge that a category 5 storm was coming at them and the knowledg, e that their town was about to obliterated.  I have no sympathy for people who could have left and just didn't.  To me, that's Darwin taking the reigns.  (I understand there are people there who are victims who were bed ridden or didn't have the means to leave.  That's different.  Those people are in my thoughts and prayers.)
  • RH, Lexington:
    We are the USA, Come on people!!!!! I feel we should not have any problem handeling this crisis, afterall we are so experienced in handeling it overseas!!! Why doesn't Iraq pay us back some of our money we've invested in their country in the form of CRUDE OIL???!!!
  • BM, Columbia:
    Let the oil companies pay for this tragedy. Nobody, and no one in history has ever raped America like the oil companies of today. From 2.50 to 5.00 even 6.00 a gallon in hours. Thats one gigantic profit. I really don't think the poor residence of the affected area were properly warned due to the fake positive spin thats put on everything these days. Its all bad, only about 1/4 of the national gaurd are available of what it should be. We know why, right, we know where they are right? Pretty ironic huh? Good luck people of the Gulf, people including myself are sending what we can but I doubt if it will be enough.
  • KE, Columbia:
    In times like these, you see people reach the height of human spirit and strength...strangers helping strangers, trying to comfort or find shelter..hundreds of military folks rescuing thousands of stranded people; then, in the next film clip, you see the dregs of humanity..looters, stealing from people who can't protect their businesses or homes from these low-down, filthy, scum of the earth individuals who do nothing but compound the misery already being felt in all of the affected areas..but especially New Orleans.  Did these people grow up believing that it's alright to steal from others?  Do they have no innate sense of right and wrong?  I can almost look the other way when I see them stealing basic needs..food, water, diapers...but a television, jewelry, or a pair of fancy sneakers aren't basic needs, and those people should be shot where they stand.  Police who should be out rescuing people are now being pulled to deal with the looters in New Orleans, as the looters smugly parade past cameras with arms full of stolen stuff.  It is apalling! Here in SC, we are already feeling the pinch at the gas pump...but we are dry, fed, watered, air-conditioned...instead of worrying about a gas shortage that will be a mere inconvenience for most, look around at your home and family and be grateful that everything you own isn't under water and that everyone you love is around you...not buried in rubble or on a bus to a place 300 miles or more from all they knew as home.
  • PN, Lugoff:
    My response was one of terror and is now one of frustration.  I have family members that live in Lacombe, La. and I have not spoken to them since Monday at 10am.  I have been informed that they are safe,and that my parents home is completely destroyed.  I am flying out to get them Friday and bring them back to SC for awhile.  A friend kindly donated a frequent flyer ticket as prices were sky high.  Gas, airlines, water, whatever.  Someone is always going to prosper on the misery of others. Put in perspective,my family has been most fortunate in that all we have lost is a house.  There are others in desperate need.
  • SF, Swansea:
    My heart goes out to the people in the Gulf coast states and all that they are suffering. We have been in the shoes of some of these people when we have been hit by hurricanes. This morning I wanted to do something to help but since the "fat cats" in the oil industry haved decided to do to us what feels like gouging to all the American people it now will be all I can do just to pray for everyone.  Thanks to all the talk of increasing gas prices we can only afford to pay for gas for work and cannot afford to send anything to these people who are suffering so. God Bless America as we watch bigger problems develope.
  • EB, West Columbia
    Why can't our government drop food and water packages to those on the ground. We do it for our armed forces so I know it is an available source. As that football player Favre said If we sent money to organizations it will take awhile for them to implement this while now they NEED substance in the area of food and water., Since we cannot get through on land the sensible thing would be to drop packages that will float on water and get these neighbors of our some help... what do you think?????
  • JO, Prosperity
    My heart goes out to all of those that have lost so much to Katrina. May God Bless Each and Every One. I am,however, surprised by the number of people that seem to think that looting (stealing) is in some way justified during this tragedy. I doubt very seriously that any of the looters stole only medications and quietly went back to administer to those in need. But then again,what can you expect from cockroaches???
  • EA, Columbia
    I am saddened and horrified at the devistation. Lets see those countries who were blaming the US for not giving enough to the victims in Asia come through and give aid to our citizens. Also, I think the government needs to place a price cap/freeze on gas prices. The oil companies are taking advantage of us for profits!
  • JP, Sumter
    It is horrible that the looters are stealing what little is left of the victims lives. For TP of Newberry, there is ABSOLUTELY NO excuse for looting. These trash were not stealing prescriptions unless beer and wine and designer clothes are on prescription in New Orleans. The looters are scummy trash that have no conscience, God or soul. They should be shot like the heathen animals they are.
  • GC, Swansea
    Every time I read/watch reports on Katrina, my eyes water. My heart is just breaking for all the people in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and the rest of the States affected by this moster storm. I am glad the Pentagon is "finally" reacting and sending assistance - something that should have been acted upon "yesterday". So much damage, what can you say? Are there any foreign governments helping us? I hope all America pulls together and helps the people. People need the help and so do the animals. I just hope these massive gas price increases are "really" because of the damage, and not just the oil companies wanting to be richer. My prayers goes out to everyone.
  • SY, Irmo
    There are Federal laws on the books that will allow the President to declare that area under marshal law. This would allow them to halt and roll back prices in the effected areas. They should freeze all prices in that area until a stable time comes. They should also be obtaining the news videos to ID the looters for criminal proscution at a later date. These same laws would allow the Federal Government to come in right away to investigate price gouging, looting, and other crimes against those folks. What does stealing a tv or beer have to do with survival. By the way big companies should not be exempt from this action either. I think the creator is going to be watching to see how we handle this all. By the way where are the other countries that have received our help in times of trouble. Where are you Canada anjd the rest of the world.
  • JP, Columbia
    I felt compassion for the people that lost everything they had. I was very angry at the amount of looting that was going on. Looters should be shot on sight. The good people have suffered enough without having the trash race come thru and steal anything that is not broken.
  • TP, Newberry
    I feel sorry for those that lost their homes and lives. My comment is for those negative about the looters. There are reasons that Pharmacies were looted. Certain pills come in 30 day supplies. That should have been sufficient for the storm, but with the after effects, it may be months before a supply is readily available. I do not blame people for looting pharmacies. My father is a diabetic and I would definately steal him a supply of meds if needed.

    Some people with children also need to ensure they have sufficient food. As the officer on Fox News said, he can't tell people it is okay to loot, but do what is needed to survive.

    For those stealing other expensive items like Plasma TVs, you must realize they are not going to have work for many months. It is likely they were living from check to check. How would you suppose they pad their income for repairs until insurance makes good?

    We should definately cut them some slack.

    Hope is with all those effected by the storm. Hope is with the oil businesses not to gouge prices to generate money for rebuilding oil rigs and refineries.

  • BI, Lexington
    My heart and prayers go out to the people in this hurricane's path. It is heartbreaking to watch the news to see the devastation and know that we cannot physically help the people of LA, AL and MS as yet. It has taught me a valuable lesson if SC is ever again evacuated. Many people couldn't leave LA because they had no place to go, no way to get there and no funds to stay elsewhere. Maybe if we trusted more, we could open our homes to people fleeing devastating storms such as this. Before damage from Katrina had even been assessed, gas stations around under on Hwy 1 in the Oak Grove Community had already begun raising their prices. It has gone up more than $0.40 in 2 days. There's no way the effect could have been that instant. Laws should be enacted to prevent this type of price gouging in America at the time of crisis but as citizens, we continue to allow it to happen! Shame on us!
  • TW, Ridgeway
    I think that it is very sad and upsetting to have to see what has happened to many people and to see what all they have lost from the storm. It really touched my heart when a man was crying on national TV while holding his children's hands saying that he did not know what he was going to do because he has lost everything. It is terrible to see that many of my fellow american citizens have lost everything, including the lives of loved ones.
  • DC, Columbia:
    Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone in Katrina's path. Although they will never be the same, I hope they find the strength to endure and rebuild.  I almost feel guilty with relief that Katrina didn't come this way.  We have been so fortunate the past few years.
  • JT, Elgin:
    Two weeks ago we received the joyous news that our first grandchild was born- in New Orleans. But for the last three days i have been glued to the television and telephone, hoping to hear from my son and his beautiful wife and daughter.  It has been hell, but I keep telling myself it cannot be as bad as what those poor kids are going through, watching their lovely city disintegrate before their eyes. It's a shame that people will have to pay more for their gas, or be otherwise inconvenienced by this storm, but it cannot compare to the human costs that cannot be measured.  Please send your thoughts, prayers and when you can, your assistance to these poor folks.
  • SB, Camden:
    I'm just sick about it. I can't watch the TV long before I cry. I would feel better, however, if the oil producers would give their profit for one day of this price gouging for every day that Katrina has existed and exists as even a tropical depression to those poor people down there. Naturally, it will be left up to the rest of us, the ones here and in the rest of the country who are paying these ridiculous prices to also give to the people of the Gulf States, and we will. BUT the businesses who are making money hand over fist should be the first to kick in. After all, they are raising prices in anticipation of a shortage. Prayers for all of those suffering through another dark night of hell.
  • EB, Irmo:
    I have been watching the coverage on cable news almost constantly.  Our son lives in New Orleans.  He evacuated and is safe in Montgomery, LA.  Also his rental house seems to be OK.  He rents in the west bank area of Algiers.  We are so thankful and feel so blessed that he is fine.  Our hearts and prayers go out to all the people who have lost so much.
  • DT, West Columbia:
    Katrina may be a storm no more, but the worst seems yet to come. It will be days, maybe weeks, before we know the full extent of what has happened.  To me the most disheartening news of all comes from New Orleans, where the city seems on the verge of anarchy.  It isn't just in this case, but after every major disaster we see episodes of this kind of lawlessness.  It is a frightening reminder of how thin the veneer of civil society is and the ugliness that lies beneath it. There is good to be sure, good that we will hear much less about in the news of the next few months, but society seems to be the thing which restrains those easily tempted to wickedness.  It is frightening to see how quickly those tendencies express themselves in its absence.
  • FD, Irmo:
    Our thoughts go out to all of those this storm will effect. This will change many of their lives for ever.  I really have a concern how the Oil Industry will use this storm to their advantage by raising prices again.  We are being ripped off and the government is allowing this to take place.  There are no shortages and tight supply of oil and gas!  Have you seen any gas stations close yet?  It is disgraceful to use this tragic event to add to their already enourmous profits and gouge the American public!
  • HS, Columbia:
    I am glad it wasn't quite as bad as they had predictie. I suppose it is better to err on the side of caution when forecasting these storms. I just hope that if a big one hits here WIS will have more sense than the cable networks and not consider putting their news people in jeopardy just for a photo op. Someone is going to get killed by flying debris someday just for a picture. Not worth it.
  • KE, Columbia:
    I just pray that everyone in Katrina's path are listening to the experts and staying safe and dry.
  • FD, Irmo
    Our thoughts go out to all of those this storm will effect. This will change many of their lives for ever. I really have a concern how the Oil Industry will use this storm to their advantage by raising prices again. We are being ripped off and the government is allowing this to take place. There are no shortages and tight supply of oil and gas! Have you seen any gas stations close yet? It is disgraceful to use this tragic event to add to their already enourmous profits and gouge the American public!