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What began as a trickle is turning into a full-blown flood (pardon the pun) as victims from Hurricane Katrina are taking refuge in Albuquerque.  A few began arriving early in the week, but now Governor Richardson and Mayor Chavez have authorized at least six flights per day to shelter as much of the overflow as the city can bear.  Most are being housed at the convention center downtown (as many as six thousand) and families here are being asked to provide spare rooms.

I'm certain many other cities are taking refugees as well, but you certainly wouldn't know it from watching the media coverage here.  They interviewed several families last night who were actually moved from the Superdome in New Orleans to the Astrodome in Houston before deciding to come here because of friendlier people and better organization.

I donated a bag of groceries at Smith's food drive a few days ago.  It seems like so little to do, particularly as I continue to watch the news coverage of the anarchy in the hardest hit areas.  It seems that the situation becomes worse with each and every passing day.  It's really frustrating that the relief effort has been plagued by slowed or delayed response and poor organization in the field.  Although the December 26 tsunami was a much larger disaster, Katrina has definitely overshadowed it from my perspective.  I almost feel ashamed to be American (not the first time I've felt that way) — let's hope that the governments and organizations involved in rescue & recovery will do much in the coming weeks and months to turn around the negativity that has plagued the operation thus far.