NORTH CAROLINA TURNS INTO '18,000-SQUARE MILE CESSPOOL'


FROM THE DRUDGE REPORT

The viscous soup of floodwater, sewage, hog waste, animal and human carcasses, chemicals, gasoline, fertilizer, pesticides and other pollutants churns in Roseboro, N.C -- more than a week after Hurricane Floyd passed through.

"Floyd has created a public health threat unprecedented in the region," reports Sunday's PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, "and any day now, on the surface of this 18,000-square-mile cesspool, billions of mosquitoes will begin to hatch."

The paper's Richard Lezin Jones reports: "At week's end, epidemiologists, health and environmental officials were expressing concern about the possibility of an outbreak of gastrointestinal and other diseases, such as pathogenic e. coli, caused by contaminated drinking water."

A letter to the DRUDGE REPORT says too much about the disaster:

Dear Mr. Drudge,

The enormity of the calamity that has stricken eastern North Carolina is not comprehended by the national media, federal government officials or American citizens in general.

My town of New Bern, NC, was one of the few east of I-95 spared by most of the mind-boggling levels of flooding in the aftermath of Hurricanes Dennis and Floyd. But from my vantage point, I see a level of destruction and suffering throughout the Coastal Plain region of the state that is indescribable.

The flood has been categorized by government officials and by meteorologists and other scientists as a 500-year or 1,000-year flood. Ironically, most of the areas swamped by the deluge are not even in so-called "flood plains."

The flood is evolving into a catastrophe of Biblical proportions. As the waters slowly subside over the eastern section of the state, corpses are being discovered in buildings, automobiles, trees, etc. You can expect the official death toll to climb in coming days and weeks as thousands of square miles of submerged towns and rural areas emerge from the slowly waning flood.

In addition, millions of drowned farm animals and hundreds of millions of gallons of animal manure spilled from the waste pits of giant hog and poultry factories combined with unprecedented spills of petroleum products, chemicals and assorted toxic substances may well result in an unimaginable environmental disaster.

The destruction suffered by industry, agriculture and other enterprises; the loss of wages as a result of flooded factories and businesses; and the damage to highways, bridges, water plants, utility plants and other infrastructure may well be in the tens of billions of dollars.

Tens of thousands of the people who survived, including those in shelters as well as those in residences isolated by surrounding flood waters, are living like third-world refugees and peasants. When the waters recede, their existence will continue to be pitiful because much of eastern North Carolina will be like a war-ravaged wasteland for months or even years.

Billions of dollars and untold military manpower and assets have been committed by the United States to remote countries all over the world in recent years for political, economic and security reasons. I fail to comprehend why a massive effort on a similar scale isn't under way at this moment to help relieve the misery, bring about stability, safety and sanitation, and assist with the recovery and reconstruction of a region of the American South that is undergoing human suffering on a scale not seen since the Civil War.

The purpose of this message is to bring this desperate situation to your attention. In my opinion, the response of federal agencies to this enormous and ongoing tragedy has been too slow and too meager. I suspect this is because the responsible authorities, though well-meaning, have yet to grasp the apocalyptic scale of the flood and the incredible consequences that are only now becoming apparent.

If you decide to research the situation, as I hope you will, please get your information from the local broadcast and print media in eastern North Carolina, not from the national media. The national media has attempted to frankly report the flooding but they tend to focus on the dire straits of a single town or area without imparting to the public the overwhelming reality that the disaster afflicting the locality they are reporting from is duplicated in towns, villages and farmlands that cover a third of the entire state.

Eastern North Carolina needs help much more rapidly, on a scale far more massive and with a sense of urgency far more acute than what seems to be coming forth so far. Please help get the word out, Drudge.

Respectfully,

New Bern, NC

"It is difficult for those to see whose paycheck depends on them not seeing."
(Upton Sinclair)

 


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