More Hurricane Katrina: Folklore vs. Fact

Folklore: Hurricane Katrina was the worst natural disaster in the country’s history

Fact: Hurricane Katrina is the seventh worst natural disaster in US history.

Folklore: Ray Nagin said on September 5th on the Oprah Show, “They’re murdering people in there (the Superdome).” (VIDEO HERE)

Fact: Both sources (Louisiana National Guard and State health department officials) said no one had been murdered inside the stadium.

One victim was found in the Superdome but was believed to have been brought there, and one was found at the Convention Center, he added.

Folklore: Ray Nagin said on September 5th on the Oprah Show, “They’re raping people in there (the Superdome).” (see above Oprah-Nagin video clip)

Fact: The vast majority of reported atrocities committed by evacuees — mass murders, rapes and beatings — have turned out to be false, or at least unsupported by any evidence.

Folklore: “There are Babies dying!” cried Nagin… “The children!” screamed Oprah. (see above Oprah-Nagin video clip)

Fact: There are no known babies that died in the Superdome.

Folklore: Babies stuffed in freezers.

Fact: Nope.

Folklore: Katrina cannibalism. “Black hurricane victims in New Orleans have begun eating corpses to survive.”

Fact: Nope.

Folklore: 30-40 Bodies stuffed inside a freezer at Convention Center. (Hat Tip Donny Baseball)

Fact: Nope. (Hat Tip Acassa)

Folklore: I’ve got a report there are bodies stacked in the basement of the Superdome. (FEMA doctor)

Fact: National Guard officials put the body count at the Superdome at six, saying the other four bodies came from the area around the stadium.

Six… Of those, four died of natural causes, one overdosed and another jumped to his death in an apparent suicide.

Of the 841 (885 9-27) recorded hurricane-related deaths in Louisiana, four are identified as gunshot victims, Johannessen said.

Folklore: Mayor Nagin on the Today Show, “It wouldn’t be unreasonable to have 10,000…” (VIDEO HERE)

Facts: There have been 885 deaths in Louisiana attributed to Hurricane Katrina:

701 are at the makeshift morgue in St. Gabriel

Parish Coroners:

Ascension — 5
Assumption — 2
East Baton Rouge – 72
Iberia – 6
Jefferson – 30
Lafourche — 2
Livingston — 5
Plaquemines — 3
St. Charles – 8
St. Tammany – 7
Tangipahoa — 26
Terrebonne — 15
West Baton Rouge – 3

Most of the dead from Katrina have been sent to the makeshift morgue in St. Gabriel, Louisiana a town of 5,500, 15 miles south of Baton Rouge.

Folklore: They all drowned!

Fact: Any death that is determined to have been caused as a result of Hurricane Katrina will be counted as a hurricane-related death. For example, this applies to people who drowned as well as people who required life-support but had it cut off and died as a result when power was lost during the storm.

Folklore: Many foreigners perished (96 British citizens are unaccounted for!)

Fact: Only one foreigner was killed in the hurricane, a British woman.

Folklore: The levee was blown up to destroy the black part of town.

Fact:

Folklore: The federal government was slow to respond.

Fact: “The federal government pretty much met its standard time lines, but the volume of support provided during the 72-96 hour was unprecedented. The federal response here was faster than Hugo, faster than Andrew, faster than Iniki, faster than Francine and Jeanne.”

For instance, it took five days for National Guard troops to arrive in strength on the scene in Homestead, Fla. after Hurricane Andrew hit in 2002. But after Katrina, there was a significant National Guard presence in the afflicted region in three.

Update: (Thursday, 9-29) For more on the Louisiana Hurricane Katrina Deaths, go HERE

Update 2: (10/05/05) Today it was reported that the violent rumors actually slowed the aid process to those suffering in New Orleans. For the recent “Folklore and Fact” GO HERE.

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