Introduction to Katrina: A Baton Rouge Diary

by The Editors

09/10/2005

Baton Rouge, LA

Neighborhood: Letter From Abroad

Johnny Adriani lived in New Orleans. Then, shortly before the Hurricane Katrina disaster, he moved to Baton Rouge. Johnny is a former EMT, and he has tried to lend a hand to Baton Rouge residents and city officials faced with shortages, traffic, civil unrest, and more that have developed since tens of thousands of New Orleanians moved to Baton Rouge in recent weeks.

Johnny has been keeping a diary of the event, and we are honored that he has permitted us to post it for the benefit of our readers. Part 1 is about the days between Aug. 29, 2005, before the hurricane’s landfall, and Sept. 1. Part 2 is from Sept. 2 to Sept. 9. This portion of Mr. Beller’s Neighborhood will be updated as new entries from Johnny’s diary arrive.

UPDATE: Part 3 of Johnny’s diary, recounting the gradual return from panic between Sept. 10 and 12, has now been posted.

UPDATE: Another week of life, like the proverbial show, inconceivably continuing to go on. In Part 4, Johnny takes a look at news coverage and compares the reality of Hurricane Katrina with its distorted afterlife as a mass media construction.

In Part 5, Johnny returns to New Orleans. He becomes a looter in his own house, kicking down his own door. He examines the scene.

UPDATE: Evacuated from New Orleans for a second time, this time with the impending arrival of Hurricane Rita, Johnny makes a mad dash for more supplies with barely a second to meditate on the compounding absurdity.

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