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Louisiana (1983: Doomsday)

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State of Louisiana
Timeline: 1983: Doomsday

OTL equivalent: Louisiana
LA-Nukes
Location of Louisiana

Motto
Union, Justice and Confidence
Nickname(s):Bayou State; Child of the Mississippi; Creole State; Pelican State (official); Sportsman's Paradise; Sugar State
(English, French)

Capital Lafayette
Largest city Lafayette
Other cities Monroe, Lake Arthur, Winnsboro, Fernday, Opelousas, Jennings, Jonesville
Language English, French
Religion Protestant, Roman Catholic Christianity
Governor Joey Durel
Population 433,100 (est. 2010)
Independence July 4, 1985
Currency Natchez dollar

Louisiana was one of the states of the United States of America, located in the mid-south adjacent to Texas, Arkansas, Mississippi, and the Gulf of Mexico. It was the 18th state admitted to the Union in 1812. Its capital up to Doomsday was Baton Rouge. The state was reconstituted on March 15, 1987, with the new state capital in Lafayette.

Despite its status as a state, Louisiana is in fact an independent country.

The state is divided into three parishes - Lafayette, Monroe and Lake Arthur - and the state government is headquartered in Lafayette.

Lafayette, with a population of 80,000, not only hosts the state government but also the seat of the Lafayette Parish government, responsible for governing central Louisiana. An estimated 221,000 people in total live in the parish.

Monroe, a community of 56,000, is the capital of Monroe Parish, which encompasses northern Louisiana and has an estimated population of 197,000. Monroe also has a close political relationship with Natchez, Mississippi, the other dominant town in the region.

Lake Arthur, a community of 2,400 located a short distance from the Gulf of Mexico, is the hub for a string of survivor communities and camps stretching from the old Texas border to the famous bayous in the east, with an estimated total population of 15,000.

History

Louismap

The cities of New Orleans, Shreveport, Lake Charles and Alexandria were destroyed on Doomsday, along with the Fort Polk military base outside of the town of Leesville.

Another blast exploded in the eastern suburbs of the state capital, Baton Rouge, which damaged downtown Baton Rouge and Louisiana State University, Southern University-Baton Rouge and Baton Rouge International Airport. Surviving Louisiana National Guard and State Police members have told of "harrowing" sights and experiences in Baton Rouge after that bomb hit: one story involves panicked civilians trampling one another while running away from the city on Interstate 10 across the Mississippi River. Another involved National Guardsmen and State Policemen finding the remains of Governor David Treen, and others, in his limousine on September 30, in the abandoned nearby town of Lejeune.

That cemented their decision to abandon what was rapidly becoming a lawless situation around the remains of the state capital and head for safer regions. With the knowledge that Governor Treen had passed away, and that the state government had vanished, provisional regional governments were formed in Monroe and Lafayette in 1984. National Guardsmen from both cities met midway while examining the outskirts of the ruins of Alexandria. By late 1985, both cities were sending emissaries back and forth, and also to a group of towns across the Mississippi River from the southwestern Mississippi city of Natchez.

In 1987, a deal was struck between the two cities, allowing for both to govern their respective regions of the state. The state capitol would reside in Lafayette, but Monroe would effectively govern northern Louisiana. Lafayette would do the same with southern Louisiana. A state militia (in lieu of a formal Army) was formed, as state leaders were hopeful of eventually making contact with the federal U.S. government and/or U.S. military and submitting to their authority.

Survivors from the Lake Arthur region were discovered in 1987, and after a series of meetings between Lafayette civic and Louisiana state leaders with their counterparts from Lake Arthur, Lake Arthur parish - covering the bayou region, its seat in Lake Arthur - was formally created.

Other survivor communities in nearby Arkansas and Mississippi were discovered in the late 1980s and early 1990s and relations were established with all of them, particularly the states of Natchez and Hattiesburg. Law enforcement and the Louisiana Militia were faced with the challenge from 1985 on of defending the state against the Southern Mafia, a group believed to consist of malcontents and other criminals who fashioned themselves as the successors to criminal elements from pre-Doomsday Louisiana.

In 1985, the group made its first attempt to destroy the Lafayette government, invading the temporary state capital building while the Legislature was in session; 17 senators and represenatives, along with 57 others, lost their lives in the subsequent fighting between the Mafia and police forces. The Mafia thought the invasion would destablize the government and frighten the people into submission; it had the opposite effect. Public opinion towards the Mafia reflected a deep anger amongst the people, especially in light of the destruction of the rest of the U.S. on Doomsday.

In fact, it is said that there was strong debate amongst the Mafia itself regarding the attack on the legislature; many members lost friends and family on Doomsday and were involved in the mafia for financial and personal gain, not to destroy the remnants of the U.S. More radical elements won the argument, leading to the attacks.

At risk to their lives, several Mafia members overcame their fear of the organization and renounced it. A few were attacked, and killed in various public places, sparking what is known as the Mafia War of 1986, a series of terrorist attacks on former mafia members and the general public in and around Lafayette. The leaders of the Mafia attacks thought the people would flee and beg for their lives; they did not count on a population enraged at the Mafia's actions and ready to take action itself against the group.

All over southern Louisiana, armed citizens took the offensive against known and believed Mafia members, putting the group on the defensive. In Lake Arthur, Lafayette and other cities, the authorities joined up with citizens to track down the Mafia. The few that surrendered were taken alive into police custody; the many that didn't fought for their lives against a force of Louisiana police/National Guardsmen and citizens determined to end the threat to their lives and families, one way or another.

In several gun battles that lasted over seven nights in May, an estimated 700 Mafia members died along with 257 policemen, 92 guardsmen and 277 citizens. After the last battle outside Lafayette on May 19th, it was believed that the threat of the Southern Mafia had finally ended.

As the legislature and governor formalized agreements on a state military arm to defend the state from threats inside and outside, the few dozen Mafia members who had gone underground regrouped.

Mafia members, under the guise of ordinary citizens, took over the underground drug and moonshine trade in the early 1990s. They announced their existence to the state with a series of bombings throughout the state capital in 1992, and continued sporadic terrorist attacks over the next five years.

In 1997, Mafia members, having built up their ranks to over 1,000, went on the offensive, launching terrorist attacks all over the capital. The Louisiana Militia responded, and fighting finally got so intense that Governor Comeaux called for a mass evacuation to Natchez, Monroe and Lake Arthur. State powers were temporarily handed over to Monroe and Lake Arthur. The state capital officially resettled in Monroe, but government officials in Lake Arthur (led by the Lieutenant Governor and the Speaker of the House) claimed it was the rightful capital.

This time, with the same initiative citizens showed against the mafia in 1985, they managed to put down attempted attacks in Monroe and Lake Arthur. With help from Natchez forces, the Louisiana Militia and citizen militias advanced on Lafayette to "finish the job" (as one Colonel put it). Some 400 mafia fighters were taken alive; the rest killed. When the last shot was fired, 1,487 men and women on both sides had been killed.

Lafayette was reopened for business a month later, in August.

In 1999, formal relations were established with West Texas, eastern Texas, and the Rio Grande Valley.

The Lafayette government sought to strengthen its authority throughout Louisiana in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Debate over decentralizing the government into three regions (with capitals in Monroe, Lafayette and Lake Arthur) finally led to a vote on the issue in the Legislature in 2004. Thanks to lobbying efforts by pro-centralization advocates (including the Louisiana Railroad Company, which thought a single government would be more profitable than three), centralization passed by a 3 to 1 margin in both houses. Laws were passed subsequently giving some local authority involving state issues to authorities in the Lake Arthur and Monroe regions.

In 2003, the Louisiana Army took down two cells of a gang that had tried to establish themselves near the dead zone surrounding former Baton Rouge. The gang, led by survivalists who had escaped from a prison outside Monroe, called itself the Southern Mafia (to play off potential fears of the former group), but was more influenced by the teachings of Charles Manson. Group leaders were tried and sentenced to life in solitary confinement.

In 2005, two powerful hurricanes swept through the region. The second in particular caused massive flooding in Lake Arthur; the decision was made to temporarily evacuate residents to Monroe, Natchez and Lafayette. By the start of 2006, 2,000 residents had moved back to continue the cleaning-up process, and other residents moved back over the next several months. Lake Arthur has so far fought efforts to move its residents to safer territory.

Joey Durel won the gubernatorial elections in late 2006.

In 2009, Lafayette learned of the existence of the League of Nations through its contacts in Hattiesburg; debate erupted amongst political leaders as to whether LoN membership was good or not good for Louisiana. Through Hattiesburg, Lafayette learned of the fate of the rest of the world, and the LoN learned about Louisiana and eastern Texas.

On February 6, 2010, Durel welcomed League of Nations official Brant McAllister to Lafayette. On February 26, the LoN signed an agreement with Lafayette to help re-establish electricity and telephone lines throughout the state, beginning in Monroe and Lafayette, and continuing in Lake Arthur later in the summer.

Louisiana is also in the process of establishing relations with other neighboring states, with Durel even going so far as to discuss a 'north-south' highway linking it and the Arkansas survivor state of Hot Springs, and an 'east-west' superhighway linking Lafayette and Monroe with eastern Texas and West Texas. The North/South highway became a reality, when ground was broken for it in May 2010 in Monroe; the East/West highway was put on hold until the fall of 2010, pending what one Louisiana senator called political "changes in the status quo in Texas"

Durel visited both eastern and West Texas in September 2010, and began a tour of the East American Alliance (specifically Kentucky and Virginia) in April 2011.

New Mississippi River

Since Doomsday the Mississippi River has flooded several times, with the lack of maintainance many flood embankments have collapsed, flooding many areas downstream of the ruins of Baton Rouge, with the radioactive remains of New Orleans returning to its natural state as a swampland.

In 1992 a major Hurricane hit Louisiana, named Andrew by the locals it caused extensive flooding due to rainfall and storm surge as well as causing damage due to the 145mph winds. During the flooding two gates of the Old River Control Structure near Fort Adams, Louisiana failed and send vast amounts of flood waters down the Atchafalaya River into the Gulf of Mexico.

There was another large flood in 1993 mainly caused by snow melt, between April and October the Mississippi flooded to its highest level since 1927, the already damaged Old River Control Structure failed further with three more of the gates failed. Along with the Old River Control Structure the Morganza spillway also suffered major damage

By 1994 roughly 50% of the Mississippi River flow was being transfered down the Atchafalaya River. In that year another Hurricane Opal hit eastern Louisiana with the increased rainfall the Atchafalaya River increased in size again, with 60% of the flow of Mississippi River flowing into its basin, This caused flooding of the few towns and cities along its course, with Morgan City being the hardest hit, much of the riverside buildings were damaged during the 1993 flooding and had not been rebuilt before the 1994 floods and were effectivly abandoned to the enlarging river as the river eroded bank into its banks and deepened itself.

Atchafalaya River

New Mississippi Delta

At the same time it was noted that an extensive new delta had begun to form south of Morgan City.

Smaller hurricanes hit in 1996 and 1997, stopping much maintainance on the Old River Control Structure, however in 1998 two hurricanes hit the area and all work that had been made on the Old River Control Structure failed, along with several more flood gates, including the two low sill control gates, this allowed the Mississippi River free flow, at this point more than half the structure was damaged beyond repair.

In 1999 the local government decided that it would be best to stop all repairs to the structure as it was no longer economical, with the damage and river bed erosion it caused the majority of the Mississippi River flow to switch and flow down the Atchafalaya River basin with roughly only 15% of the flow continuing down past the flooded ruins of New Orleans.

From 2004 the Government of Louisiana agreed to start construction of a major new port facility south of Morgan City on Bateman Island and renamed the Atchafalaya River, the New Mississippi River with the former course through the ruins of New Orleans named the old Mississippi River.

In 2005 two major Hurricances hit the area, causing exstensive flooding the new Mississippi eroded more into its base and expanded its banks back by nearly 20 feet in places.

In 2011 the worse flood since 1993 hit the Mississippi River causing the remaining sections of the Old River Control Structure to collapse.

Government

Louisiana is a republic with an executive branch headed by a governor, who is elected every four years and can serve up to two terms; a bicameral legislative branch, made up of a House of Representatives and a Senate; and a judicial branch, headed by a Supreme Court.

The state is currently divided up into three parishes, with capitals in Monroe, Lake Arthur and Lafayette.

Louisiana's Constitution mainly reflects that of the pre-Doomsday state of Louisiana's, with adjustments reflective of post-Doomsday realities (most notably amendments allowing for the creation of a state army and a state treasury).

Law enforcement and military

The Louisiana State Army is entrusted with the defense of the state from threats inside and out, as well as in providing assistance during natural disasters.

After Doomsday, the Louisiana National Guard combined its resources with those of the Louisiana State Police and local police authorities to help keep order throughout the state. In 198x, the state government passed an amendment to the constitution establishing an Army, to replace the National Guard.

The Army's headquarters are located in Lafayette at Fort Lafayette, which was created in 1992 after the government nationalized the Lafayette Regional Airport.

The Coast Guard division of the LSA is headquartered in Port Arthur; the Coast Guard patrols the Gulf of Mexico adjacent to Louisiana and Louisiana's bayous. It has done preliminary exploratory work in the New Orleans/Lake Pontchartrain region.

Economy

The U.S. dollar was established as the main currency by the Natchez Accords. Louisiana, Natchez and Hattiesburg sought a unified currency amongst themselves, with debate splitting amongst using the U.S. dollar or establishing a new currency. Proposals for the "Dixie dollar", "Louisiana dollar" and "Mississippi dollar" gave way to the U.S. dollar for the practical reasons that American currency was already available to some degree.

In 1998, the three nations agreed to mint new dollars, as well as shorter bills representing pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters. The currency would remain American in name, but simplified to best serve the limited capabilities of printing presses converted for the task by Louisiana's Department of Finance.

Efforts were begun in early 2010 to formally tie the "Natchez dollar", as the region's currency is currently nicknamed, to the Mexican peso. This would allow for trade with other nations in the region and the world.

Culture

Two of Louisiana's pre-Doomsday cultural groups - the Creoles and Cajuns - survived and are a vital part of state cultural life.

Creole culture is a cultural amalgamation that takes a little from each of the French, Spanish, African, and Native American cultures. Creoles were associated with former New Orleans, and survivors have settled throughout the bayous and in the capital of Lafayette.

Cajuns' ancestors came from west central France to the provinces of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, Canada, known as Acadia. They were evicted from the region by the British in the 16th century, or placed in interment camps in England and in New England. Once those in the internment camps were freed, some found their way to southern Louisiana, settling around Lafayette. Cajun culture, food, music, and lifestyle gained international acclaim in the 1970s.

Roman Catholicism and the Southern Baptist Convention maintain a stronghold on religious life in the state, even as the number of agnostics and "non-practicing Christians" has risen in the past two decades.

Louisiana also has a rich musical heritage.

Creole music (i.e. zydeco), swamp blues, swamp pop and Cajun music are popular throughout south and central Louisiana.

In the north, traditional country and country rock popular throughout the entire southern U.S. pre-Doomsday has had the greatest influence on the local scene.

Jazz, thought to have been decimated by the destruction of New Orleans, quickly made a comeback in the late 1980s in Lafayette, and has spread to Monroe and Natchez.

Sports

Sports, particularly American football, continues to be a highly prized and popular part of Louisiana cultural life.

High school football is the most popular single sport in the state, as Louisianians combine their love for the sport with a sense of community pride in supporting their local schools. A semi-pro American football league based out of Lafayette and Monroe, with games played on Saturdays, also is popular, as are high school and amateur baseball and basketball.

Louisiana State University and the University of Louisiana compete in numerous sports against schools from the Gulf and Texas regions and Mexico.

Education

With help from universities in Monterrey and Mexico City, Mexico, as well as the University of West Texas in Midland, West Texas, the Louisiana university system was revived in 1997. The former University of Southwestern Louisiana in Lafayette was renamed Louisiana State University, after its predecessor in the abandoned capital of Baton Rouge; it is the state's largest educational institution, with over 5,000 students as of the spring 2011 semester. Northeast Louisiana University in Monroe was renamed the University of Louisiana in 1997, and has an enrollment of nearly 2,000. Both have extension campuses in Lake Arthur and Natchez.

Media

17 radio stations operate throughout the state, all of which are based either in Lafayette, Monroe or Lake Arthur.

The most popular station is WWL, operating at 25,000 watts on 870 AM out of Lafayette. It is the successor to WWL-AM that operated from New Orleans before Doomsday, and like its predecessor the post-DD WWL carries news, sports (primarily Louisiana State University football, basketball and baseball), talk shows, music and religious programming.

Louisiana Public Television (LPT) went on the air in 2010 and broadcasts six days a week on Channel 5 in Lafayette, Channel 11 in Monroe and Channel 6 in Lake Arthur. Most viewers can also pick up signals from Nacogdoches in eastern Texas and from Hattiesburg and Natchez in southern former Mississippi.

The Lafayette Advertiser publishes daily and is the paper of record for Louisiana. The Monroe News-Star publishes four days a week, and the Lake Arthur Sun-Times once a week.

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