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A City in Ruins

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OK, we're getting really pissed off watching all the news channels reporting on the thousands of people still stuck in New Orleans -- in the Superdome, the Convention Center, on the interstates, in the hotels and hospitals. And who knows how many are stuck in their own homes.

LAist has been monitoring reports of fights, rapes, gunfire, food and water, and the Hurricane Katrina refugees struggling to survive surrounded by feces, dead bodies and dealing with the sweltering heat. We just saw a few elderly and infirmed folks being pushed around in shopping carts on NBC. Another news camera captured a man in a wheelchair who died clutching a note written to his family. It's anarchy. And it is heartbreaking. We hear the despair in the voices of those trapped. And new reports are saying that Houston's Astrodome has stopped accepting refugees because the stadium is filled to capacity. Has September 11th not prepared us enough to respond to national tragedy?

What if something of this magnitude were to happen in LA? Would our city be up to the challenges? Well, seeing as how LAist tried to call 9-1-1 to report a brushfire along the I-5 on Saturday afternoon and were put on hold for five minutes before we could talk to anyone -- we seriously doubt it.