Archive for August 18th, 2007

Why are they still missing after Hurricane Katrina?

August 18, 2007

I’ve said it before…Katrina didn’t discriminate.  The following report indicates that the poor and the elderly were primarily impacted.  No Kidding.  It took a team of  Doctors and their data to prove that?  All of the hubbub about race playing a role in the aftermath of the disaster infuriates me.   Katrina didn’t discriminate. FEMA wasn’t discriminatory.  It was the leadership at the parish and state level that failed – not just at the time, but has been failing for years.

The news lately about the Recovery School District in New Orleans is a typical example of failure.  Over 17,000 dollars are being given to teachers who decide to come to this district.  Yes, the teachers are needed. No, I don’t think they understand the problems with the New Orleans School Systems existed prior to Katrina.  22 million dollars, for example, went missing….Teachers who didn’t work in the district any longer were being paid!  The measley 17,000 dollars they are being offered is a nice incentive.  I’m just skeptical of the offer. They might be paying for it in the end.

Read further for the complete excerpt of the Katrina related deaths and how the statistics tell the true story of the poor and elderly in Louisiana.  What’s been said about the ICMP and identification of remains and review previous posts on the issue.

Findings On Katrina-Related New Orleans Mortality Data

“Dana Troxclair, MD, Instructor of Pathology at LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans, will present mortality data on Louisiana storm victims at a poster presentation at the 2007 Gulf Coast Post-Katrina Forum of the Gulf States Alliance on August 20, 2007 from 9:45 – 10:15 a.m., 2:45 – 3:15 p.m. and 4:30- 6:00 p.m. at the Beau Rivage Hotel in Biloxi, MS. The research team also included Drs. Robin McGoey, Gary Lipscomb, Richard Tracy, and William Newman, all of the Department of Pathology at LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans (LSUHSCNO). Drs. Troxclair, Tracy and Newman were among the LSUHSCNO forensic pathologists who performed autopsies on bodies found during rescue and recovery missions following Katrina.

LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans pathologists were responsible for performing more than 820 autopsies on recovered Louisiana victims and report that autopsy findings comprised the single most successful identification technique.

According to the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, 1,464 Louisiana residents perished as a result of Hurricane Katrina and the flooding resulting from failed levees. Of those, 910 victims were examined and identified at two Disaster Mortuary Operational Response Team (DMORT) locations.

The LSUHSCNO pathologists were tasked with conducting post-mortem examinations for the primary purpose of identification of the dead. Examinations included field case notes, personal effects, fingerprints, dental, x-ray and autopsy findings, DNA, and anthropology. Nine hundred ten post-mortem files including more than 1,000 dental charts and 30,000+ images have been compiled and stored digitally. Pre-Katrina US Census data on Orleans Parish were analyzed for comparison.

Ninety-six percent of deaths were storm-related and 97% of individuals were positively identified. Twenty-eight percent were identified using autopsy findings-the technique that yielded the highest number of positive ids.

The latest mortality data found that 75% of victims were residents of Orleans parish with 64% older than 65 years of age. The racial distribution was: 56% African-American, 40% Caucasian, 4% Asian, 4% Native American, and 2% Hispanic. For comparison, the pre-storm published Census data concluded that only 12% of the Orleans parish population was older than 65 years of age with a racial distribution as follows: 68% African-American, 29% Caucasian, 3% Hispanic, 2% Asian, and 0.2% Native American. Twenty-six percent of families were below the national poverty line.

The researchers conclude that when final hurricane mortality data is compared to pre-storm Census data, the belief that the hurricane disproportionately destroyed any one race is not substantiated. In fact, deaths among Caucasian, Asian and Native Americans were all overrepresented; while the African-American and Hispanic populations were less impacted. Under appreciated is the fact that our elderly and poor populations, regardless of race, were the most devastated.

“We present that a lesson learned is about those left behind due to lack of physical or financial means,” notes Dr. Troxclair. “Furthermore, based on the remarkable success of the autopsy as a means of human identification, we emphasize its paramount importance as a component of a nation’s response to mass disasters. However, with 135 Louisiana residents still categorized as missing, and 23 human remains yet to be identified, the final impact of the storm remains uncertain.”

There is nothing in this story about the ICMP and the Louisiana Department of Health contracting with them to identify remains. There has been no email to date since the ICMP was questioned if they are still working on identification. Search ICMP on Louisiana Questions for more posts of this story.

From previous post…

Louisiana Questions if the ICMP is still in charge of making those identifications as declared by their 29 December 2005 news release. The news release can be found at the ICMP website. See: Beyond Katrina, ICMP , CNN , Associated Press,

Let nothing be forgotten in this place

Katrina victim’s memorial taken down.

RIP VERA

On Dean

“…Times like this, I can see that the post-traumatic stress disorder is far from post and more a way of life than a disorder.” — G – Bitch comments on Gentilly Girl

Ain’t DIS Fun? – posted by Craig Giesecke at 6:11 PM on August 17, 2007

“…That time of year again, when we pay more attention to what’s going on tropicalwise and try to prognoticate what the hell is going to happen. As a Gulf Coast resident for 25 years (and a Gulf State resident for nearly 50) it’s just part of What We Do.”

“…That said, it’s all just educated speculation for now. Do they take bets on this kinda thing over at Harrah’s?

Dean Expected To Reach The Gulf Wednesday As Category 4 Hurricane
Moreover Technologies – Louisiana news Aug 17 12:06
FortBendNow Aug 17 2007 2:41PM GMT

NOAA Dean

Is Louisiana Prepared if a Storm Comes Our Way?

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