Monday, September 05, 2005

A Poker Player Describes New Orleans --
From The 2 2 Forums

The situation is grim. I took 50 cases of water to the suburb of Algiers, on the westbank from New Orleans, yesterday afternoon. Its only enough water for 1 bottle apiece for 1,200 people. Tens of thousands are still without water/food.

The load I took saturday was donated by citizens and store owners from Lafayette. After seeing the devestation, I've decided to buy more water myself and bring it on sunday.

New Orleans is an armed camp. I dropped the water off at the command post for the Algiers area, a toll booth building, and everyone was armed, including myself. Guns, shotguns, and M-16's were everywhere. Not a single person was unarmed, it looked like Beruit in the 80's.

The efforts of the resuce workers is nothing short of heroic. Some have not slept more than a few hours at a time in 5 days. Nerves are frayed and tempers are short, and yet they continue to rescue people from certain death.

The federal presence is minimal. While we did see some Guard units moving in, but the majority (90%) were local law enforcement or police from other jurisdictions doing the work. I met a boat captain and his 1st mate who had been ferrrying people from New Orleans to Algiers, across the MIssissippi river, non-stop frm sun up to sun down for 5 days straight. At a checkpoint, I met a local cop who had been maning her post almost non-stop for 5 days. He face was burned red from being outside, exposed to the sun all that time.

I know of one State Senator who has been driving into the city with his boat every morning at 5am, rescuing people, and not returning home til midnight. Tomorrow will be day 6 that he's been doing these rescues.

2 men who live in the 9th ward single handidly rescued 400 people trapped in their attics. No one else has appeared in the 9th ward to help. These 2 men have been living on a roof for 5 days, rescuing people from sunrise to sunset. The Coast Guard dropped them a package of MRE's and water, otherwise they would have had to abandoned their efforts.

If you live anywhere near New Orleans, your help is desperatly needed. Please call Congressman Charles Melancon's office in Washington D.C. His people are directing volunteers to sites where desperate help is needed.

If you live anywhere else in the United States, please call your United States Senators and Congressmen. Tell them that the federal response is unacceptable and more needs to be done immediatly. Call the White House, tell them that more help needs to be sent now, not 2 or 3 days from now when the "paperwork" is correct, but right now.

Please donate anything you can.
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