Start planning now to reduce the misery

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 7, 2005

Editor, the News Herald:

The Letter to the Editor which appeared in the Sunday Opinion Page about the flooding problems in New Orleans, was a rant which appeared more hysterical than reasoned.

I t was filled with half truths and hate.

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Yes, there is a tragedy in New Orleans and all along coastal Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, and yes, everyone would have liked quicker response to this disaster.

While the author of the aforementioned letter is second guessing the federal government, she might ask why the Mayor didn’t organize school and city busses to remove the citizens of New Orleans to safe areas.

Also, she might ask the governor of Louisiana why she didn’t ask for help from the National Guard earlier.

Rather than politicizing this tragedy by playing the blame game and playing the &uot;Race Card&uot;, we should be discussing how to solve the many problems that will arise for those who were rescued.

The first thing we should do, as a nation, is to donate money to organizations like the American Red Cross.

I delivered my donation to the local Red Cross office at 109 1/2 Clay St.

If you prefer to mail your donation, send it to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 129, Suffolk, VA 23439-0129.

Some of the things that should be considered are whether:

1. Buildings and infrastructure can be repaired and at what cost.

2. Businesses can or will resume their activities.

3. Trailers can be provided as temporary housing for people who lost their homes.

4. A city that is below sea level is a safe place to live.

5. Housing can be provided in a safer area near New Orleans which is above sea level.

6. A transportation system can be established from the housing area mentioned in #5 to jobs in New Orleans.

This would apply if the answer to #4 is &uot;No&uot; and the answer to #5 is &uot;Yes&uot;.

7. Sand barriers should be along rebuilt the coast and at what cost.

The upheaval from this disaster will be with us for years to come.

We need to start planning now on how to reduce the misery of the displaced.

Eugene Sankey