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Katrina Fells New Orleans Gay Party


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Katrina Fells New Orleans Gay Party

by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff

Posted: August 30, 2005 7:00 pm ET

(New Orleans, Louisiana) The South's biggest annual gay party has fallen victim to hurricane Katrina. Organizers for Southern Decadence announced Tuesday night that the Labor Day Weekend event has been cancelled.

"It is inconceivable that any events will take place," the organizers said on a posting on their website.

Even though the mostly gay French Quarter escaped much of Katrina's wrath (story) the area is under several feet of water and structures will need to made safe before businesses are allowed to reopen.

Sewage is flowing through the streets, and some of the few people remaining in the area have been seen looting businesses. One man was seen leaving a Bourbon Street bar carrying a box containing liquor bottles.

Most of the looting was in food stores. Martial law was declared Tuesday evening in an effort to quell the looting. As night fell gunfire could be heard in the French Quarter and other areas of the city.

Some areas of New Orleans are under as much as 20 of water and the National Guard was desperately trying to rescue people clinging to rooftops. To add to the problems breaches in three sections of the levees have allowed the water levels in the city to continue to rise.

Tuesday night officials began plans to evacuate nearly 30 thousand people from the Superdome and other shelters.

The city's infrastructure is in ruins. Roads are covered in debris or have washed away altogether. The airport remains closed to commercial flights until further notice.

Hotels are unoccupiable. The Hyatt had every window blow out.

The death toll from the storm so far is estimated at 70 - mostly in Mississippi - but officials say it is likely to go much higher.

Officials say it could take months before New Orleans returns to normal. There is no indication when people will be allowed back into the city. One emergency workers said it could be weeks before it is safe to re-enter the area.

Southern Decadence attracts thousands of people to New Orleans every Labor Day weekend. Last year more than 110, 000 attended the event.

This would have been the festival's 33rd year.

The partying has had its detractors in a city known for hard partying. Two years ago the state legislature passed a new indecency law that bans public nudity. The festival also has been the target of evangelical preacher Rev Grant E. Storms who leads a small group of demonstrators through the throngs on Bourbon Street.

Tuesday night organizers said that there will be a full refund on weekend passes for The Bourbon Pub, as well as advance tickets to the Shirley Q. Liquor shows at The Bourbon Pub. The refunds will be issued to the credit cards used for their purchases.

"This refund process will begin as soon as citizens are allowed to return to the City and business can return to some semblance of normalcy. This process will be automatic and no action is required by purchasers. All that is asked for is patience," the organizers said in a statement.

©365Gay.com 2005


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