Where is the aid New Orleans so badly requires?
Apologies for the online silence of this morning, but the last few hours were spent trying to calm down enough to find the words to express HOW ABSOLUTELY ENRAGED AND DISAPPOINTED WE ARE as evacuees that not one sorry act of federal coordination or concern has crystallized to alleviate conditions in our city. So far all we have are rumors of supplies, guards and relief entering New Orleans. Thank you, American leadership! This is not the time to spray vitriol at FEMA leadership, Rep. Hastert, troop support (or lack thereof) and others, but rest assured that this New Orleanian has words and votes reserved for a later date. Mayor Nagin and Gov. Blanco, my hats off to you at this time: you may not have been prepared, but we are with you in your plea to the nation.
A few states kindly offer shelter, guards and other help, but this is not enough. America needs to understand the sheer gravity of this horrible situation. We have frantic and desparate people who are shackled to New Orleans without food, water and safety. They have no way to get out thanks to rampant crime and limited access to evacuation facilities. We need to get these people out with security escorts before we can talk about repair and restoration. To borrow the words of Rep. Carolyn Kilpatrick (MI), these are tax-paying American citizens, your fellow people, not refugees.
Willing Evacuees (from nola.com)
Where are the troops? The lack of quick response to this devastation from our government is unbelievably saddening. As our mayor, Ray Nagin, just said, “Get off your asses.” We can’t “round up” mere schoolbuses and get people out of there – every single Greyhound or tour bus in this nation should be heading down there to evacuate the stranded. Call your local bottled water company and ask them what they are doing to send shipments down to Louisiana and Mississippi.
A friend tried to pacify me, no, lend perspective with “There is no evil intent, just the usual human failings including political posturing, self aggrandizement, waffling, etc.” Well, this is not the time for it, alright? If people continue to die as the government quibbles over a $10.5 billion relief bill, the deaths of our people will be on their hands.
60% of the New Orleans police force (NOPD) is leaving due to exhaustion and not being allowed to respond in kind to shooters for fear of hitting civilians. We need relief for our overworked, hungry and shaken police force. 600 NOPD officers (and dwindling) and 250 NG troops cannot contain the derangement that is now the city of New Orleans. WHERE IS THE HELP?
If any of you personally know troops or emergency personnel heading to New Orleans, the still-dry parts of the city ought to be forcibly evacuated with security escorts. This includes people still stuck in the Garden District and Uptown portions, who are willing to leave as long as troops arrive to protect their exit path.
From D, “For me, Machelle’s continued presence in New Orleans is the biggest concern. The rest is just stuff. Stuff we can fix, stuff can be replaced. Machelle cannot. If we have to get her, I think our best plan would be to beg, borrow, steal a boat and come down the river. At this point I won’t go back to New Orleans unarmed. I’m willing to take an armed crew downriver to extract those people if we have to.”
America, if you are reading this and have an iota of conscience, drop whatever it is you are doing and call whomever you know in power to help get troops and resources down there. I’m not asking, I’m begging. We need your help.
Troops: 12:10PM CDT – I see footage of troop convoys entering the Convention Center area and armed National Guardsmen walking single-file towards the thronging masses
1:03PM CDT – Footage of troop convoys making their way down Poydras St. to Superdome and towards the river
The Fires: A building on the northwest corner of Poydras and Tchoupitoulas (lakeside/downriver – almost next door to Mother’s – across Tchops from W Hotel) is being eaten by a fire. Another fire emanates from a Westbank chemical depot right across the river from the Quarter. See nola.com article for more.
Nagin Radio Address Paraphrased: “Don’t tell me there are 40,000 troops coming when I don’t see them. Now, get off your asses and do something about the worst disaster to hit this nation.”