...in a single day and night of misfortune ... the island of Atlantis in like manner disappeared in the depths of the sea.
-- Plato, "Timaeus"
New Orleans and the surrounding areas are approximately 80% submerged. The refugees need to be evacuated, but according to this video interview with Mayor Ray Hagin, the city is nearly inaccessable - major roads and bridges are out. The MSN Video page shows more than you'd ever want to see.
Hundreds are feared dead all across the Mississippi Delta, and with the lack of sanitation and fresh water on top of that, much of the Gulf Coast, from New Orleans eastward to Mississippi and Alabama, is essentially a third-world country. The details are terrible. Please give if you can:
The Red Cross
The Salvation Army
(w/t to Wizbang, Dawn Eden, and Wunderkraut for some of the links)
update, 9:27, pm - it gets worse, as demonstrated by the WWL-TV bulletin: "ALL RESIDENTS ON THE EAST BANK OF ORLEANS AND JEFFERSON REMAINING IN THE METRO AREA ARE BEING TOLD TO EVACUATE AS EFFORTS TO SANDBAG THE LEVEE BREAK HAVE ENDED. THE PUMPS IN THAT AREA ARE EXPECTED TO FAIL SOON AND 9 FEET OF WATER IS EXPECTED IN THE ENTIRE EAST BANK, WITHIN THE NEXT 12-15 HOURS. Residents will probably be allowed back in town in a week, with identification only, but only to get essentials and clothing. You will then be asked to leave and not come back for one month."
The emphases are in the original. And on CNN tonight, they were talking about the few survivors (some of whom apparently remained behind to loot the city*) having to worry about crocodiles and snakes, which now have free run of the entire area via the floodwaters. It's like a Biblical plague down there.