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Contact: greyhawk at mudvillegazette dot com
Via email (a previous email is here.), a note from someone who was there - last week:
Drop the OPSD Swat teams off at the interstate. Most of our boats head south on Canal BLVD to the railroad tracks to shuttle refugees. Me and my boatman head to the Orleans Canal Pumping station at 610. The sound proofing walls keep us from accessing the neighborhoods and pumping station.
Return to Canal BLVD and go down to the tracks. Get in line to pick up refugees. Plenty of boats here. Even party barges. Back to 610. If we can get a boat trailer we can cross the Orleans Canal. Boatman drops me off and I head up the ramp. Three abandoned trucks on top. Doors locked. Talk to Texas Search and rescue. Using trucks a good idea. I should talk to Mike Brown. WTF. No local chain of command.
Cross ramp. Still blocked by sound proofing and railroad. This area pretty well searched. A few hold outs. Have food and water for three more days. I'm here now but won't be back in three days.
Back to Canal BLVD, through neighborhood to pumping station. We can push boat over low levee here. Measure gate. 4 inches clearance. Still blocked by railroad. Need a crane or backhoe. Talk to state trooper. Refers us to Mike Brown. WTF. I am starting to feel sorry for that overworked SOB.
430PM State troopers coming out. 200 to 400 women and young children at Morris Jeff Elem. Some group put them there on Tuesday and didn't come back for them today. Will try to get them on Thursday. If not then, then Friday in body bags. State troopers don't appreciate my comments. FEMA and Texas Search and Rescue have to be back at launch site by 5PM.
8 men per boat to carry across tracks. My boatman falls and is hit by the boat. He is so tired. He started rescuing people at 6PM on Monday and kept on for 24 hours. He came out for fuel and I went back in with him. We head back to launch site. We can not launch tomorrow without a federal contract. Need a company to sign contract. No individuals. I see several environmental companies that I know. Several try to talk their boss in to signing our boat on. New owners won't take the responsibility.
5PM. Automatic weapons fire from the city. Gun fire sporadic all day but now is coming closer. All boats out by 6. I try to finesse a contract. My boatman disappears.
545PM boatman shows up with two nurses. Two more left in their hospital. Two patients on lifesupport. No power just waiting for them to die. Both have family members there. Hospital on high ground. No water in building. Neighbors drop off pets before leaving. When the patients pass on the last two nurses will take the family members out with them. Until then protect the premises and put all the animals to sleep.
6PM. We take the boat out. Boatman asks if I will be back tomorrow. I'm with you. Whatever you need me to do I will. In reality there is nothing that I want to do less. Not just the fear but the hopelessness and futility.
We head to Baton Rouge. Pass people walking with their pets on a string. Everyone we took out had pets. No pets on buses. Pass young boys with backpacks on bikes. Only 70 odd miles to Baton Rouge.