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Mayor's anger boils over in New Orleans
by wwl (reposted)
Friday Sep 2nd, 2005 7:35 AM
"They don't have a clue what's going on down there," Mayor Ray Nagin told WWL-AM Thursday night. "They flew down here one time two days after the doggone event was over with TV cameras, AP reporters, all kind of goddamn - excuse my French everybody in America, but I am pissed."
...
At least seven bodies were scattered outside the convention center, a 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.

A military helicopter tried to land at the convention center several times to drop off food and water. But the rushing crowd forced the choppers to back off. Troopers then tossed the supplies to the crowd from 10 feet off the ground and flew away.

"There's a lot of very sick people - elderly ones, infirm ones - who can't stand this heat, and there's a lot of children who don't have water and basic necessities to survive on," said Daniel Edwards, 47, outside the center. "We need to eat, or drink water at the very least."

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," Edwards said as he pointed at the woman in the wheelchair. "You can do everything for other countries, but you can't do nothing for your own people."

Michael Brown, director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, said FEMA just learned about the situation at the convention center Thursday and quickly scrambled to provide food, water and medical care and remove the corpses.

The mayor lashed out at the government, saying: "I have no idea what they're doing, but I will tell you this: God is looking down on all this and if they're not doing everything in their power to save people, they are going to pay the price because every day that we delay, people are dying and they're dying by the hundreds."

Across the city, law and order broke down, and the rescuers themselves were being shot at.

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.'"

FEMA officials said some operations had to be suspended in areas where gunfire had broken out.

Outside a looted Rite-Aid drugstore, some people were anxious to show they needed what they were taking. A gray-haired man who would not give his name pulled up his T-shirt to show a surgery scar and explained that he needs pads for incontinence.

"I'm a Christian," he said. "I feel bad going in there."

Hospitals struggled to evacuate critically ill patients who were dying for lack of oxygen, insulin or intravenous fluids. But when some hospitals try to airlift patients, Coast Guard Lt. Cmdr. Cheri Ben-Iesan said, "there are people just taking potshots at police and at helicopters, telling them, `You better come get my family.'"

To make matters worse, the chief of the Louisiana State Police said he heard of numerous instances of New Orleans police officers - many of whom from flooded areas - turning in their badges.

http://www.wwltv.com/sharedcontent/nationworld/katrina/stories/090205cckatrinaexplosions.51009504.html

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