AN AMERICAN TRAGEDY (p. 44) “It may be weeks before the lights come back on and months before New Orleans is mopped out, a year before the half a million refugees resettle in whatever will come to function as home, even without anything precious from the days before the flood. But it may take even longer than that before the nature of this American tragedy is clear: whether the storm of ’05 is remembered mainly as the worst natural disaster in our history or the worst response to a disaster in our history. Or both,” writes TIME's editor-at-large Nancy Gibbs, in the opener to TIME's 52-page package on Hurricane Katrina.
“Canal Street lived up to its name. As the temperature rose, the whole city was poached in a vile stew of melted landfill, chemicals, corpses, gasoline, snakes, canal rats,” writes Gibbs. “Many could not escape their flooded homes without help. Among those who could, only a final act of desperation would drive them into the streets, where the caramel waters stank of sewage and glittered with the gaudy swirls of oil spills.”
As the floodwaters rose, EMS technicians told TIME they were left stranded at the downtown Hampton Inn by panicking cops who jumped into their private cars to flee the city. When Dr. Greg Henderson, a pathologist turned field medic, arrived at the Convention Center on Friday, he was the only doctor for 10,000 people. “They’re stacking the dead on the second floor,” he told TIME by phone. “People are having seizures in the hallway. People with open running sores, every imaginable disease and disorder, all kinds of psychiatric problems." He tells TIME, "The crowds here have gotten a bad rap. There are not many human beings you could cram into a building with 10,000 others, in 105° heat, that wouldn’t get just a little pissed off.” Henderson went in with New Orleans police. He tried to tend to the sickest and the babies first.
TIME’s in-depth 52-page cover package also includes a gallery of photographs, information on how you can help, graphics and vignettes from survivors.
TIME.COM: Turn to www.time.com for daily analysis from our reporters in the stricken region. Check in regularly for the latest photos, more on the health crisis and updates from TIME’s Washington bureau.
BROADCASTERS: TIME’s correspondents and photographers in the region are available for interviews. Call Jennifer Zawadzinski at 212-522-9046 to book guests.
HOW THIS HAPPENENED (p. 52) “Who’s running things? Nobody, as far as I can tell,” Colonel Timothy Parchick of the Air Force Reserve 920th Rescue Wing told TIME’s Brian Bennett in New Orleans. Early Monday morning, Parchick had told FEMA and Northcom that he and his men were ready to go. But his helicopter wasn’t ordered to deploy until Tuesday afternoon-an “unacceptable” delay, he says. In 72 hours, his men rescued some 400 people. He wonders how many more he could have saved. Louisiana Representative Jim McCrery, chair of a powerful Ways and Means subcommittee, told TIME: “I’ve talked to the White House staff. I’ve talked to FEMA. I’ve talked with the Army. And of course, I’ve talked with the state office of emergency preparedness. And nobody, federal or state, seems to know how to implement a decision, if we can get a decision.” However, Patrick Rhode, the No. 2 at FEMA, told TIME: “I am actually very impressed with the mobilization of man and machine to help our friends in this unfortunate area. I think it’s one of the most impressive search and rescue operations this country has ever conducted domestically.” http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1101278,00.html
THE PRESIDENT: Dipping His Toe into Disaster (p. 51) "President Bush seemed so regularly out of it last week, it made you wonder if he was stuck in the same White House bubble of isolation that confined his dad," TIME's White House correspondent Matt Cooper writes. "And he was so slow. Everyone knew on Sunday morning that Katrina was a killer. Yet when the levees broke after the storm, the White House slouched toward action. And this from a leader who made his bones with 9/11. In a crisis he can act paradoxically, appearing-almost simultaneously-strong and weak, decisive and vacillating, Churchill and Chamberlain. This week he was more Chamberlain," Cooper writes. "Of course, Bush has a history of floundering at the start of a crisis and then finding his voice. Handling Sept. 11 is now considered his finest hour, even though he stumbled dramatically at first...What’s more, while Americans might have rallied around Bush as he faced a foreign threat, this time the enemy is his own bureaucracy, the one that left American refugees to fend for themselves far longer than anybody thinks is acceptable." http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1101279,00.html
REBUILDING A DREAM (p. 64) For a long time, before it can become a city of construction cranes, New Orleans will be a city of bulldozers, writes TIME’s Richard Lacayo. That’s what could do the most damage to the things that gave the city its character-the center-hall cottages with their columned porches, the rows of single-file shotgun houses with their carved brackets supporting deep overhangs. . . Once they are gone, will flavorless 21st century tract houses replace them? Rebuilding the city, however, will open opportunities to do things better. Hospitals could be redesigned to provide parking on the lower floors so that any future flooding would not reach the floors where patients and medical records would be kept.
BILLION -DOLLAR BLOWOUT (p. 80) Katrina disrupted a vital node in the country’s transport network. You name the commodity-coffee, fertilizer, lumber, steel, wheat-it ships through the Gulf’s ports, rails and riverways, reports TIME’s business writer-reporter Daren Fonda. Consumers can expect to pay more for basics such as coffee, bananas and paint (made at idled chemical-processing plants in the Gulf). Everyone from homeowners to truckers to airlines will pay more for energy. But the U.S. economy can withstand some big blows, reports TIME. The nation was emerging from recession on 9/11, and that event didn’t ruin the recovery (thanks to billions in tax breaks). While Katrina’s impact on the Gulf economy is devastating in the near term, an infusion of federal disaster-relief dollars should stimulate industries from homebuilding to appliances and help lift the economy in 2006.
THE FRAGILE GULF (p. 72) As for measures to combat global warming, the Bush Administration has consistently resisted any legislation or global treaty that would hurt the energy industry or require sacrifices from American motorists, writes TIME science writer Jeff Kluger. In the face of the lives lost last week and the billions of dollars it will cost to rebuild the devastated cities and ports, those policies seem tragically shortsighted, he argues.
VIEWPOINT Walter Isaacson: How to Bring the Magic Back (p. 71) The soul of the city of New Orleans was in its neighborhoods, reflects New Orleans native and former TIME managing editor, Walter Isaacson. “Saving New Orleans will require not merely re-creating the French Quarter. It will involve nurturing back to health the genuine and distinctive neighborhoods that serve as an incubator for the city’s music and food and funkiness,” Isaacson writes. “The city needs to restore itself authentically rather than produce a theme-park re-creation. It needs shotguns (cottages), not cold condos. Its talented preservation and community-planning experts should be offered the chance to devise a land-use approach that revives charming old neighborhood patterns rather than producing alienating cul-de-sacs or artificial quaintness. It has the opportunity to rebuild itself in a way that emerges from its rich heritage while guarding against any projects that would sap its soul.”
IN THE ARENA WITH JOE KLEIN: Listen to What Katrina is Saying (p. 27) “Government cannot prevent hurricanes, of course, but the prevailing haplessness reflected 25 years of distorted priorities,” writes TIME’s political columnist Joe Klein. “In a civilized community, there is a need for collective thinking and preparation-not just for immediate risks like a natural catastrophe but also for more abstract concerns like the environmental issues that worry Robert Kennedy, as well as for eternal problems like poverty. Having celebrated our individuality to a fault for half a century, we now should pay greater attention to the common weal.”
ESSAY: The City Tourists Never Knew (p. 116) “The real New Orleans hasn’t possessed much beauty or charm for nearly 30 years,” argues TIME’s senior correspondent Sonja Steptoe who grew up in a town 40 miles upriver from New Orleans. “I saw overwhelming evidence that the more accurate image is that of a city that care forgot. Now the rest of the world is getting a shockingly graphic and unsettlingly intense introduction to the forces that created the New Orleans I know. I keep hearing people say on TV and in print that they don’t recognize ‘this New Orleans.’ Perhaps they closed their eyes or didn’t pay close attention when they were there.”
FOUR LEADERS SHARE THEIR EXPERIENCES (p. 85) Leaders whose communities were devastated by natural disasters share their experiences and counsel with their counterparts on the Gulf Coast.
“It’s very important that local authorities be given every opportunity to provide input and that local authorities be regarded as the local experts,” says Kate Hale, director of emergency management of Dade County during Hurricane Andrew.
“I have to admit that I was one of the first people to break into grocery stores the day after the tsunami,” Mawardi Nurdin, mayor of Banda Aceh, Indonesia, tells TIME. “I did it because help had not arrived and people were hungry. I guess it was natural that people started looting to look for food. But if looting gets out of hand, then it’s time to call the army for help…One major difference between Hurricane Katrina and the tsunami is that we in Banda Aceh were totally caught off guard. We didn’t even know that water could rise that high.”
“Citizens are looking for leadership that will bring immediate solutions: they need potable water, they need shelter, they need food, in many cases they need medical attention,” says Pete Wilson, California governor during the Northridge earthquake. “They don’t necessarily know what level of government provides these things—and they don’t care. They want the response.”
“In a time of disaster, you’re the citizens’ leader, more so than any other time. You’re their counselor, their coach, their cheerleader, their security giver—you’re all those things,” says Joseph Riley, Charleston, S.C. mayor during Hurricane Hugo. “There’s a grieving process after a disaster, and you have to get the spirit up and keep it up. You’re helping people get to the rebuilding stage.”
NOTEBOOK: Who Will Be the Next Rehnquist? (p. 17) The chances for a quick replacement to Chief Justice William Rehnquist do not favor the President, TIME’s Washington bureau chief Michael Duffy reports. Under fire for his Administration’s sluggish performance on Hurricane Katrina and beset by poor poll ratings on Iraq and energy policy, Bush will surely recalibrate any decisions he might have made before sending another name to the Senate. http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1101272,00.html
Morning After at the FDA (p. 19) In a 12-page internal memo obtained by TIME, Dr. Steven Galson, acting director of the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, urged that Barr Laboratories, which makes the morning-after pill, be allowed to sell the pill over the counter, albeit with age restrictions. In the memo, written on Aug. 26, Galson argued that Plan B had been proved “safe and effective without the supervision of a practitioner licensed by law for women aged 17 and older.” Advocates of making the drug more easily available were infuriated when U.S. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Lester Crawford announced on Aug. 26 that he was delaying a decision on the pill yet again to allow time for additional study and public comment. "There wasn’t any back and forth” leading up to Crawford’s announcement, an FDA official says. “The career staff simply wasn’t involved in the decision. It was a political decision.” Susan Wood, who heads the FDA’s office of women’s health, last week resigned in protest.
Kojo’s New Car (p. 19) In late 1998, U.N. sources say, Kojo, son of U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, got a $3,000 loan from a friend for a down payment on a sporty green Mercedes ML 320 in Geneva, Switzerland. The friend was Michael Wilson, a vice president of Cotecna, the firm that not only employed Kojo but also won millions of dollars in U.N. contracts, including one, signed within two months after the down payment was made, to monitor the oil-for-food program in Iraq, TIME’S Adam Zagorin reports. http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1101280,00.html
10 QUESTIONS FOR JOHN BOGLE (p. 8) “The age of the robber barons was very much like today,” says John Bogle, founder of the Vanguard Group who invented the index fund. On the eve of the publication of his new book, The Battle for the Soul of Capitalism, he tells TIME’s Barbara Kiviat what’s wrong with capitalism today: “You focus on the short term and exercise your options and leave the public holding the bag. We have a parallel thing going on in the investment world. We’ve turned this from an own-a-stock industry into a rent-a-stock industry. You’re in and out, and you don’t give a damn about all the ownership things that are going wrong.” Bogle, a lifelong Republican, says, “I’m starting to think about deserting. This is not the party I grew up with.”
MUSIC: Do We Still Need Him? (p. 116) “When I write, there are times-not always-when I hear John (Lennon) in my head,” Paul McCartney tells TIME’s music critic Josh Tyrangiel in an exclusive interview on the eve of the release his 20th solo album, Chaos and Creation in the Backyard. “I’ll think, O.K., what would we have done here?, and I can hear him gripe or approve.” See separate release.
FASHION: TIME STYLE & DESIGN: Jean-Paul Agon (CEO, L’Oreal), Alber Elbaz (Head Designer, Lanvin), Neil Fiske (CEO, Bath & Body Works), Frida Giannini (Creative Director of Women’s Wear, Gucci), Mike Jeffries (CEO, Abercrombie & Fitch), Matteo Marzotto (COO, Valentino S.P.A), Margarita Missoni (Missoni Muse), and Vera Wang (Designer and CEO, Vera Wang) are among 22 chosen by TIME Style & Design magazine to represent “The New Generation of Power Brokers in Fashion & Beauty.” The new Issue of TIME Style & Design will be published on Monday, Sept. 5th. “It’s hard to talk about fashion power brokers without mentioning industry titans like Ralph Lauren, Giorgio Armani and Christian Dior. All three have had a hand in shaping the business into what it is today,” writes TIME Style & Design editor Kate Betts in a letter to readers. “In fashion, power often comes from the courage to think outside the box. Mavericks like Armani, Lauren and Dior presented the consumer with a new vision, a new way of doing business. Those who take the less traveled route to the top often leave the more indelible impression. Today’s underdogs are tomorrow’s power brokers, and this special supplement to TIME is dedicated to such talents.”
Broadcasters: For interviews with editor Kate Betts on the issue or New York Fashion Week, contact Debra Richman @ 212-522-6856