The Wider World

Will Ida be as bad as Katrina?

A WATER TOWER toppled by Hurricane Katrina in 2005 (Wikipedia).

As Hurricane Ida hits Louisiana and approaches New Orleans, residents, government officials and travelers wonder if this powerful storm – already described as one of the strongest on record – will cause as much damage and loss of life as Hurricane Katrina did in 2005.

According to the Associated Press, winds of up to 150 miles an hour are hitting the state on the same date that Katrina hit 16 years ago. “This is not the kind of storm we usually get,” said Gov. John Bel Edwards. “This is going to be much stronger than we usually see, and, quite frankly, if you had to draw the worst possible path for a hurricane in Louisiana, it would be something very, very close to what’re seeing.”

A difference between Ida and Katrina could be the levee system. Those barriers intended to keep rivers and lakes overflowing into New Orleans failed in 2006, but newer versions are expected to hold up better.

Katrina ended up taking the lives of 1,833 people and doing what amounts to $176 billion damage in today’s dollars.

U.S. drone stops suicide attackers

A car full of explosives and would-be suicide bombers in the Kabul area was blown up Sunday by a U.S. drone attack.

MQ-9 REAPER drone taking off (Wikipedia).

According to The New York Times, the strike prevented an assault at the airport from which thousands of people are being evacuated from Afghanistan in the wake of the Taliban’s conquest of the nation.

“Significant secondary explosions from the vehicle indicated the presence of a substantial amount of explosive material,” said a spokesman from the U.S. Central Command.

Those killed are believed to be members of Islamic State Khorasan, a radical Islamic group opposed to both Western nations and the Taliban.

At Dover Air Force Base in Delaware, President Joe Biden stood with the families of the 13 U.S. troops killed by suicide bombers in Kabul this week. They stood by as the bodies were removed from the military transport that brought them back to America. Biden and his wife, Jill, met privately with the families. 

Ed Asner – TV’s “Lou Grant” – dies at 91

ED ASNER in 1977 (Wikipedia).

He was known as the grumpy but sometimes lovable boss on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and the newspaper drama “Lou Grant,” and now it’s time to write the obit for Ed Asner.

According to USA Today, Asner died Sunday morning in his home at 91. A veteran actor, he followed his TV success with roles in the animated film “Up” and movie comedy “Elf.”

He became a household name and face as the news director who hired Mary Richards (Mary Tyler Moore) at a TV station in Minneapolis.

When that show ended, his role was spun off into a newspaper drama in which Lou Grant was the city editor for the fictional Los Angeles Tribune.

In his television career, he won seven Emmys.

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