Friday, September 02, 2005

NOLA Reports people dying at evacuation spots in hospitals from dehydration

U.S. Rep. Charlie Melancon, D-Napoleonville, said that 1,500 people had gathered on the Chalmette ferry landing awaiting evacuation, possibly by ferry, to Algiers. Making a plea for those refugees to receive food and water now, Melancon estimated that about 100 are dead, possibly from dehydration.

...

A doctor in University Hospital telephoned a Baton Rouge TV station, hoping to call attention to the desperate plight at his hospital. The hospital was running low on food and water, and had no power, the doctor said. “We have 160 patients in the hospital and they are actively dying,” he said.
Blanco demands apology

At least seven bodies were scattered outside the convention center, a makeshift staging area for those rescued from rooftops, attics and highways. The sidewalks were packed with people without food, water or medical care, and with no sign of law enforcement.

An old man in a chaise lounge lay dead in a grassy median as hungry babies wailed around him. Around the corner, an elderly woman lay dead in her wheelchair, covered up by a blanket, and another body lay beside her wrapped in a sheet.

"I don't treat my dog like that," 47-year-old Daniel Edwards said as he pointed at the woman in the wheelchair.

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At one point the crowd began to chant "We want help! We want help!"

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"We've got people dying out here — two babies have died, a woman died, a man died," said Helen Cheek. "We haven't had no food, we haven't had no water, we haven't had nothing. They just brought us here and dropped us."

Tourist Debbie Durso of Washington, Mich., said she asked a police officer for assistance and his response was, "'Go to hell — it's every man for himself.'"

"This is just insanity," she said. "We have no food, no water ... all these trucks and buses go by and they do nothing but wave."

At the hot and stinking Superdome, where 30,000 were being evacuated by bus to the Houston Astrodome, fistfights and fires erupted amid a seething sea of tense, suffering people who waited in a lines that stretched a half-mile to board yellow school buses.

After a traffic jam kept buses from arriving for nearly four hours, a near-riot broke out in the scramble to get on the buses that finally did show up, with a group of refugees breaking through a line of heavily armed National Guardsmen.
Note: The Astrodome has closed to further influx before the Superdome was fully evacuated. Possibly as little as 1/3 of the people in the Superdome were able to make it to the Astrodome before the facility shut it doors. Other refugees arrived by car and hitchhiking at the door to the new facility and taken in.

"If they're just taking us anywhere, just anywhere, I say praise God," said refugee John Phillip. "Nothing could be worse than what we've been through."

By Thursday evening, 11 hours after the military began evacuating the Superdome, the arena held 10,000 more people than it did at dawn. National Guard Capt. John Pollard said evacuees from around the city poured into the Superdome and swelled the crowd to about 30,000 because they believed the arena was the best place to get a ride out of town.

The president urged a crackdown on the lawlessness.

"I think there ought to be zero tolerance of people breaking the law during an emergency such as this — whether it be looting, or price gouging at the gasoline pump, or taking advantage of charitable giving or insurance fraud," Bush said. "And I've made that clear to our attorney general. The citizens ought to be working together."


So National Guard decided to crack down on crime, like feeding hungry people:
Donald Dudley, a 55-year-old New Orleans seafood merchant, complained that when he and other hungry refugees broke into the kitchen of the convention center and tried to prepare food, the National Guard chased them away.

"They pulled guns and told us we had to leave that kitchen or they would blow our damn brains out," he said. "We don't want their help. Give us some vehicles and we'll get ourselves out of here!"
New Orleans in Anarchy

Boy too bad they didn't have some of those M-16s there. That rabble rousing seafood merchant would really be scared, instead of furious.

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