September 2nd, 2005


Try to Price Gouge the City of Biloxi and See What Happens...

I can't wait 'til I find out the name of the company who tried to price gouge the entire city of Biloxi. I will swear a lifelong oath to give their name such black notoriety that it will forever be spoken as a curse, long beyond living memory. It will be a parable of how not to fuck with a wounded city who's just pissed enough to can your re-negging, self-serving, get-rich-on-other-people's-pain ass.
City officials have fired the FEMA-certified contractor who was on standby to remove debris following a hurricane.

Along came Katrina and the contractor wanted more money, Vincent Creel, city spokesman, told the Sun Herald on Tuesday.

"The one we had on standby - he was awarded the contract in June - wanted to change the terms of the contract," said Creel. "We can't have that."

But Biloxi won't be without help to remove the trash Katrina created. The city has temporarily hired the second-lowest bidder to perform the work during a 70-hour period to allow other contractors to bid on the job.

"The one we had on standby had agreed to get X-amount of dollars per cubic square yard of debris removed," said Creel.

Now, the contractor has asked for hourly wages and a mileage allowance, said Creel.

"We can't allow that."

The name of the contractor was not immediately available, nor was the price the city agreed to pay per cubic square yard.
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    Go Away Duncan Sheik!
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My mother's family just got water back today, although much of the city is still without power and some still without water. They still can't drink the water, but if they're desperate, they can boil it. Horace's mother and brother also brought down several cases of drinkable water from Jackson to tide them over.

I think the reason they got their power back so quickly is because they are on a separate grid/system from the rest of Hattiesburg. They're also a privileged neighborhood. The thought of their getting special treatment rankles me, but I'm still glad that they've got power. It might also be that the city's power system is just that much larger and it takes longer to get it back up.

As of right now, the biggest concern is fuel, just like further north. The difference without power, the pumps won't work and the ones that do can't get resupplied at all.

Dad has been driving back and forth from one end of the town to the other because he has obligations in both places. As the Canebrake Golf Club pro, he's got to get the course back to normal slowly, plus he's got about fifteen cats that he has to feed. Canebrake is about ten-fifteen miles to the west of town. He's also driving to the far southeast outside of town to the family farm to help them cut clear their driveways and get tree trunks off the roofs. The farm extended family is using a generator to operate the water pump on the property, so once again, fuel is a very precious necessity.

The hospitals are still closed. Both my step-mother Rita and my grandmother had to miss doctor's appointments to tend their broken ankle and wrist respectively. They're also running out of pain and heart medication, so that's a genuine concern. There's not much I can do about it right now. And even if I were to drive down and pick up someone to bring them closer to a doctor, I wouldn't have the fuel to get back.

I am slightly less worried than I was before now that I know my mother, Horace, and Grandma have drinking water. However, there are so many more growing concerns that appear as the rebuilding of utilities extends into the second week.
  • Current Music
    Rod Stewart - "I Wish That I Knew What I Know Now"
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WLBT Shows Aerials of Hattiesburg and Laurel!

WLBT's skycam, which has been giving us the most extensive aerial views of the Mississippi Gulf Coast, has also taken stock of Hattiesburg and Laurel (i.e. the Pine Belt region).

I think this has already been linked before, but just in case, NOAA has made available TONS of satellite imagery of the coastline, which will help people get close-up images of their...where their homes used to see how much damage their property sustained during the hurricane and tidal surge.

So if you're curious about areas that the WLBT's skycam did not fly over, you can see how they fared by using the NOAA link.
  • Current Music
    My neighbor's Latin polka that they blast from their car
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