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  1. #221
    Sr. Information Officer NJFFSA16's Avatar
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    By BRETT ZONGKER
    Associated Press Writer
    WASHINGTON (AP) - Rescue teams from the national capital area
    were hopeful of finding more survivors in homes along Mississippi's
    Gulf coast, after they saved two people from houses that were
    nearly destroyed.
    Many of the homes were reduced to layers of rubble in the
    Gulfport, Miss., area, making it difficult to keep count of how
    many homes they had searched, said Montgomery County, Md.,
    Assistant Fire Chief Michael McCarty. But the search continued, and
    rescuers still hadn't reached some coastal properties Thursday.
    "Our team is doing very well," McCarty told The Associated
    Press by satellite phone. "It's extremely hot, but obviously we're
    doing a lot better than the community down here."
    McCarty is leading 34 members of Montgomery County's Urban
    Search and Rescue Team on a 10-day deployment that could be
    extended by the Federal Emergency Management Agency if needed. The
    unit was assigned to move from building to building each day, first
    checking to see whether the structure was sturdy enough to enter
    safely, McCarty said. Search dogs were sent in to hunt for
    survivors when buildings weren't safe for humans.
    Residents remaining in the Gulfport area were setting up tent
    homes in parking lots at stores like Kmart, McCarty said. His team
    set up camp under the canopy of a Sonic drive-in restaurant,
    building their own bathroom and shower facilities. The unit took
    its own water and ready-made meals for the mission.
    "We have sleeping bags and tarps and lay out on the ground,"
    McCarty said. "Basically we have to take care of ourselves and
    that's what we're doing," he said.
    "Some of these people I'm looking at across the street get up
    in the morning at 6:00 to stand in line to get ice and water so
    they can try to survive," he said. "When you look around, we
    struggle with the heat and being tired, but we certainly appreciate
    what everybody else is going through here - it's pretty
    devastating."
    The Montgomery County crew was one of several teams - including
    one from Fairfax County, Va. - deployed by FEMA to the hurricane
    ravaged region.
    A group of 22 Loudoun County, Va., sheriff's deputies left
    Thursday for Jefferson Parish, La., to help with rescue efforts and
    to maintain law and order, said sheriff's spokesman Kraig Troxell.
    Groups were scheduled for seven-day stints and would be rotated
    over three weeks, he said. They were to be sworn in as deputies in
    Louisiana with full police powers.
    Also on Thursday, a half dozen units of the District of Columbia
    National Guard were mobilized. The first group was expected to
    leave for Louisiana Thursday night if air transportation could be
    arranged.
    "Our percentage of deployed personnel may not be as high as
    some other states, but, of course, we're a small organization, so a
    good percentage of our people may be going down south," said Maj.
    Sheldon S. Smith, a D.C. National Guard spokesman.
    He said as many as 800 of their approximately 2,300 members
    could be on hurricane duty. Between 30 and 50 others remain in
    Baghdad and other hotspots in the war on terror.
    ---
    On the Net:
    Montgomery County, Md.: http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/
    Loudoun County Sheriff's Office: http://www.loudoun.gov/sheriff/
    D.C. National Guard: http://dcng.ngb.army.mil/


    (Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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  2. #222
    Sr. Information Officer NJFFSA16's Avatar
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    By TIM KORTE
    Associated Press Writer
    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - Dozens of New Mexico National Guard
    members will be heading to New Orleans on Friday as part of a task
    force focusing on security and force protection in the aftermath of
    Hurricane Katrina, Gov. Bill Richardson announced late Thursday.
    About 80 troops from the 720th Transporation Company will leave
    from Las Cruces on Friday to support another 291 infantry troops to
    be known as Task Force 515. Those guardsmen will leave on C-130s
    from an airfield in El Paso, Texas.
    The troops will take with them a water tanker, generators, three
    fuel tankers, two ambulances and other equipment.
    "Hundreds of thousands of people in Louisiana, Mississippi,
    Alabama and Florida are without food, water and electricity. Most
    have lost their homes and their jobs. It could literally be months
    before basic services are restored," Richardson said. "The
    desperation on the faces of the victims has deeply touched us
    all."
    The governor asked all New Mexicans to pray for the victims and
    for the troops who are trying to help them.
    Albuquerque Mayor Martin Chavez said the state's largest city
    also stands ready to help victims of Hurricane Katrina.
    And judging from outreach efforts around New Mexico, so does
    every other community.
    Chavez announced the city will send a two-person firefighting
    team to join 20 other Albuquerque firefighters already conducting
    search and rescue operations in stricken areas.
    "They're working very hard," Chavez said.
    The firefighters are expected to be in the New Orleans area for
    up to 30 days but that deployment could be extended.
    Elsewhere, New Mexicans did their part by driving into grocery
    store parking lots to drop off donations of cash and food targeted
    for hurricane victims.
    In other developments:
    -At Holloman Air Force Base near Alamogordo, the 49th Material
    Maintenance Group prepared water purification equipment and tents
    where displaced residents can be temporarily housed.
    -New Mexico's 35-member Disaster Medical Assistance Team moved
    Thursday from New Orleans to Baton Rouge, La., to treat seriously
    injured victims who were evacuated from coastal areas.
    -Alfredo Sanistevan, Albuquerque's medical health director, also
    said the Duke City could be asked to receive up to 40 patients from
    the disaster zone. It wasn't known if the city will do so.
    -Hans Stuart, a U.S. Bureau of Land Management spokesman in
    Santa Fe, said 124 federal employees from Arizona, New Mexico and
    west Texas have traveled to the affected region.
    Vince Galterio, the chief of personnel at the BLM's state office
    in Santa Fe, has spent two days working at an emergency
    distribution center in Alexandria, La. He called it a "huge truck
    stop," where up to 150 tractor-trailers pass through daily to drop
    off emergency supplies and then deliver food, water, cots, blankets
    and other items to communities in need.
    Kyle Sahd, a BLM fire engine crew chief in Taos, is working with
    18 other New Mexico BLM employees from Taos and Farmington on an
    interagency cleanup crew in Meridian, Miss.
    They'll use chain saws and other equipment - normally their
    tools for fighting fires - to clear roadways for emergency vehicles
    and make it easier for utility crews to restore power.
    "There will be a lot of physical effort involved - wood cutting
    and clearing," Stuart said.
    University of New Mexico Hospital was prepared if asked to take
    patients from Gulf Coast states, though no immediate requests had
    come in.
    "As long as we have any beds available," said Sam Giammo, a
    spokesman for the UNM Health Sciences Center.
    The state Department of Health is seeking health professionals
    who want to help hurricane victims. Volunteers are asked to
    register with the agency and await assignment.
    "Right now, Louisiana and Mississippi are still trying to
    gather their resources and understand where outside communities can
    best serve them," state Health Secretary Michelle Lujan Grisham
    said.
    Finally, Albuquerque Police Chief Ray Schultz cautioned about
    the danger of financial scams related to the hurricane and relief
    efforts. He said the best way to help victims is by donating to
    well-known, established charities such as the American Red Cross or
    Salvation Army.
    Bettye Pressley, chief executive officer for the Mid-Rio Grande
    Chapter of the Red Cross, said 18 New Mexicans with the
    organization have been dispatched to areas hit by the hurricane and
    more are likely to go as officials determine where help is needed
    the most.
    She said the priorities are sheltering and feeding the victims
    so the organization is accepting financial donations to help with
    that effort. The organization is also taking welfare inquires from
    New Mexicans who have family members along the Gulf Coast but have
    not heard from them.
    Pressley, who has served as the chapter's CEO for nearly eight
    years, said she has never seen such devastation.
    "We deal in a lot of disasters, large scale disasters, but this
    is just whole towns being wiped out," she said.

    (Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
    Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
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  3. #223
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    Exclamation Explosions and fire in New Orleans

    NEW ORLEANS - Adding to the city's chaos, at about 4:35 a.m. Friday, a series of massive explosions rocked the riverfront a few miles south of the French Quarter. The cause of the blasts or the extent of any possible damage was not immediately known.

    An initial explosion sent flames of red and orange shooting into the pre-dawn sky. A series of smaller blasts followed and then acrid, black smoke that could be seen even in the dark. The vibrations were felt all the way downtown.

    "We're trying to get a hazmat team out there right now," a New Orleans police official told CNN. He said several railroad cars had blown up and "the main concern right now is what it is."

    The New Orleans Police Department told the NBC team in the city that the fires burning in an industrial area known as "Chemical Alley" are toxic, and that they must evacuate.

    The explosions appeared to originate close to the east bank of the Mississippi River, near a residential area and rail tracks. At least two police boats were at the scene.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9156612/
    FTM-PTB-DTRT

  4. #224
    Forum Member MIKEYLIKESIT's Avatar
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    Harry Connick Jr. was able to drive downtown on about an hours time delivering water. Why in the hell cant they truck in some water and food? I am starting to believe that FEMA has screwed this up big time.
    IAFF-IACOJ PROUD

  5. #225
    55 Years & Still Rolling hwoods's Avatar
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    Angry Yeah......................

    Quote Originally Posted by LeuitEFDems
    Thaddie,
    ...IMHO, FEMA, DHS, et al Has dropped the ball bigtime. I know some of you will probably bash me bigtime for that statement...but I standby it 100%
    Well, it's been 18 posts back that you said this, but NOBODY has bashed you yet. Do you think that is because you are RIGHT? This inept bumbling on the part of FEMA is getting worse by the hour.
    Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
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    Chief Earle W. Woods, 1912 - 1997
    Asst. Chief John R. Woods Sr. 1937 - 2006

    IACOJ Budget Analyst

    I Refuse to be a Spectator. If I come to the Game, I'm Playing.

    www.gdvfd18.com

  6. #226
    MembersZone Subscriber jaybird210's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MIKEYLIKESIT
    Harry Connick Jr. was able to drive downtown on about an hours time delivering water. Why in the hell cant they truck in some water and food? I am starting to believe that FEMA has screwed this up big time.
    I'm with you, MIKEY. For how many years have we heard them talking about New Orleans and what could happen with a devastating hit, but that "officials" were making plans? What plans? Herd everybody to the Superdome and the Convention Center and then just let 'em sit? The paper this morning quoted a New Orleans official saying the national government's response to this crisis is a "naitonal disgrace." I think he's right.

    Two more thoughts for everyone:


    1. As a chief who has had some disaster training, I have always been told to expect no help from the state governement for up to 24 hours. And expect no help from the feds for 48 hours. It takes that much time to mobilize. I can understand that. It's been four days now. How do you reconcile that timeframe against MIKEY's comment?

    2. The federal government has put out a call through FEMA asking for 1,000 2-person firefighter teams to respond to help. This completely undermines and goes against everything FEMA and the federal government has been preaching since September 11. The state of Illinois has worked very had to organize and coordinate all the emergency resources in the State to be prepared to respond to a call-up of this magnitude. But everything they have done to ensure accountability, safety, work comp coverage, and even ensuring that those responding are bona-fide emergency services members, has been completely by-passed. We received this letter from the President of the Mutual Aid Box Alarm System, the agency that coordinates mutual aid for much of Illinois and several surrounding states:

    September 1, 2005

    TO: All MABAS Divisions
    Primary
    Secondary
    Haz-Mat
    TRT
    IFCA Board

    FR: James P. Reardon, Fire Chief
    President MABAS

    CC: Mike Chamness
    Carl Hawkinson
    Jim Watts
    Garry Briese
    Jerry Page
    Terry Lipinski
    Ralph Blust

    RE: FEMA / DHS / IAFC Member Alert – Hurricane Katrina 2-Person Response Teams


    Accept this correspondence in response to the numerous Fire Chief’s who have e-mailed and telephoned me regarding the referenced DHS/FEMA program between local fire agencies and the Federal Government. I am upset and frustrated with this federal action.

    I could write pages, but I feel it is more important to give you the latest facts associated with this action as of Thursday, September 1, 2005.

    > For those of you who have asked if the federal action conflicts and violates the disciplined and structured Statewide Mutual Aid process through IEMA, which we have all worked hard to institutionalize since 2000 – you’re right!
    > I have discussed this action with IEMA State Officials and we both agree it does subvert our structured system. The DHS/FEMA action is an agreement between a local fire agency and FEMA/DHS. If your agency wishes to participate please do, however, MABAS, IEMA, and EMAC are neither involved nor responsible for any part of the action.
    > I have personally voiced my concerns, disappointment and frustration regarding this federal action with IAFC Executive Director Garry Briese. I summarized that I believe much of what we have worked towards and accomplished has been severely damaged, and personally my belief in what many federal agencies and federal bureaucrats have said about Fire Service professionalism and “doctrine” now lacks credibility and believability.
    > The federal action creates a potential dilemma where local special operations team capabilities can be fractured without anyone being aware of the damage. The federal action ignored our in-place system to assure this wouldn’t occur, and that a sustained statewide capability is maintained. The federal action could have been coordinated through EMAC and the State’s removing this possibility. A number of other questions also remain such as employer/employee relationships, duty disability, pension disabilities and the like, which are all addressed through our official system with IEMA and MABAS.

    I will summarize as follows:

    1. If your fire department wants to participate in the Federal DHS/FEMA Action – please do so. Consider short and long term consequences, positive and negative.
    2. MABAS, IEMA, and EMAC remain our official process to accept official taskings and missions in response to any response, relief or recovery effort. Our Statewide Response Plan is the best in the nation and designed to accommodate mutual aid from state-to-state. It will sustain regardless of federal actions. We will accept any mutual aid task we are officially given!
    3. I guarantee all of you the IAFC, DHS, FEMA or whatever federal bureaucrat who wants to hear my opinion as President of MABAS will get it! Perhaps some federal agencies and bureaucrats have lost touch with what local fire agencies and organizations like MABAS have been doing to achieve federal expectations. It is my opinion we now have an added task – managing the federal machine, as well as disasters.
    4. As the Federal Government has said and published – local disasters are managed and under the control of local authorities. Unfortunately, the statement now lacks credibility as their current action ignores state and local systems designed to effectively, professionally and in a disciplined mission capable manner deliver the product and successfully accomplish the mission. I thought that was what the Federal Government expected of us?
    5. The federal action seems to ignore the tone and intent of the federal system’s recently published documents and expectations of local and state agencies – NIMS, National Preparedness Goal and other design systems, and expect the systems to support incidents of national consequence. We are expected to comply, yet apparently federal agencies are exempt to do what they please. MABAS and IEMA have worked hard to design a system, the official system, to work flawlessly and meet every intent, scope and expectation federal agencies and their documents have stated. Nonetheless, the federal system felt it was appropriate to ignore their own doctrine, violate their condoned system, and ignore the official and recognized method in Illinois to professionally and effectively manage resources in response to a relief/recovery effort.

    Our job is now more difficult than ever before!


    End of Message
    We need to send help, and quickly. But we can't just go rushing in willy-nilly.
    Omnis Cedo Domus

    www.hinckleyfd.org

  7. #227
    55 Years & Still Rolling hwoods's Avatar
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    Angry Get Things MOVING.............

    Quote Originally Posted by LeuitEFDems

    The agency has more than 1,700 truckloads of water, meals, tents, generators and other supplies ready to go in, Chertoff said. Federal health officials have started setting up at least 40 medical shelters. The Coast Guard reports rescuing more than 1,200 people.

    But residents, especially in Biloxi, Miss., said they were not seeing the promised help, and reporters along the Gulf Coast said they saw little visible federal relief efforts, other than search-and-rescue teams. Some help started arriving yesterday by the truckloads, but not everywhere.
    READY TO GO IN?? What in the hell are they waiting for?
    Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
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    Asst. Chief John R. Woods Sr. 1937 - 2006

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  8. #228
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    I cant help but get the impression that the heads of FEMA are going through the "handbook" step by step --- trouble is when they reach say step 5 --- it doesnt fit the situation at hand , but they just blindly go to step 6 etc.
    Overcome and adapt is the name of the game. Cant help but wonder how the "under educated " James Lee Witt would have fared.

  9. #229
    MembersZone Subscriber Thaddie's Avatar
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    all I know is that once this thing ends, there will be some peoples ba||s hung over this. However by that time it will be too late to save the countless starving and endangered people whom are being neglected by FEMA's major plan.. What major plan? What I see is nothing short of trying to push molassas up a cold hill in January, it just doesn't fly. people are being forced to stand to in regards to the relief effort because of these arses who don't have a clue as to any form of management.


    Getting to the other side of this, the hoodlums, or should I dare now say rapists, murderers and other evils are pretty much in controll of N.O. Untill the national guard and Law enforcement agencies can take controll of this rampant crap, we're just putting our first responders at serious risk by trying to save anyone in the inner parts of the city.

    I feel that we are missing the big picture, in the fact that its not just a city but a HUGE area of devistation, what is being done for those who are stranded in Mississippi, and parts of Alabama, surely this bull **** FEMA is pulling is happening everywhere, why isn't the media covering the big picture?

    EDIT: sorry for the "half post" I pressed the wrong button while trying to preview what I had to say
    Last edited by Thaddie; 09-02-2005 at 09:25 AM.

  10. #230
    Forum Member EastKyFF's Avatar
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    Chief Reardon is right. I have a feeling no one at FEMA knows a damn thing about what's already been set up in states like Illinois (which apparently has a dream-come-true of a system). This whole thing is going to be a train wreck.

    This is what you get when you hire bureaucrats instead of people with some frigging experience.

    From CNN.com:
    "The results are not acceptable," President Bush says of Hurricane Katrina disaster relief efforts.

    Well, you're the boss, buddy boy. It's your mess.


    From right here on Firehouse.com:

    The slow response to Katrina and poor federal leadership is a replay of 1992's mishandling of Hurricane Andrew, said former FEMA chief of staff Jane Bullock, a 22-year veteran of the agency.

    Bullock blamed inexperienced federal leadership. She noted that neither Chertoff nor FEMA director Michael Brown had disaster experience before they were appointed to their jobs.
    "Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.”
    --General James Mattis, USMC


  11. #231
    MembersZone Subscriber rualfire's Avatar
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    Anyone seeing that building fire on CNN?

    That exposure building on side B is going to get involved.

    Really hard to watch all of this..
    SRFD905 - Serving since 1998

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    FEMA is not entirely to blame!

    The entire states of LA and MS have not been decimated. FEMA is not supposed to kick in until the resources of the State OEM's have been exhausted. While I have watched, along with all of you, a FEMA response that has taken too long to ramp up, I watched a completely non-existent reponse by LA State OEM. That, my friends, is inexcusable.

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    BTW, did you notice the massive response by the UN to this disaster?



    Yeah. I know. Neither did I.

  14. #234
    MembersZone Subscriber rualfire's Avatar
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    On the news last night, Canada's Priminister offered whatever is needed. G.W. Bush said NO international help was required
    .
    SRFD905 - Serving since 1998

    *~-|EGH|FTM|-~*

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    I am talking about what we usually provide:

    $$$

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    "Gov. Kathleen Blanco called the looters "hoodlums" and issued a warning to lawbreakers: Hundreds of National Guardsmen hardened on the battlefield in Iraq have landed in New Orleans.

    "They have M-16s and they're locked and loaded," she said. "These troops know how to shoot and kill, and they are more than willing to do so, and I expect they will."

    this was on the USA today website. I found it interesting. how many Nat'l Guardsman are going to shoot to kill there own countrymen?
    Any commander who fails to exceed his authority is not of much use to his subordinates. - Arleigh Burke

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    Quote Originally Posted by Firedan38
    "Gov. Kathleen Blanco called the looters "hoodlums" and issued a warning to lawbreakers: Hundreds of National Guardsmen hardened on the battlefield in Iraq have landed in New Orleans.

    "They have M-16s and they're locked and loaded," she said. "These troops know how to shoot and kill, and they are more than willing to do so, and I expect they will."

    this was on the USA today website. I found it interesting. how many Nat'l Guardsman are going to shoot to kill there own countrymen?
    Why shouldn't they shoot to kill? The anarchists are shooting to kill THEM!

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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeWendtCFI
    Why shouldn't they shoot to kill? The anarchists are shooting to kill THEM!

    Exactly right George...I can't understand why this current situation is any different than any other day when some A-hole is running around pointing a gun at civilains and officers...I would see no reason they shouldn't be shot on sight. Too many polticians just don't have the balls today to be real leaders...I'm actually surprised that this Gov actually said that. However I think they should have done it days ago. I imagine the rampant lawlessness and crime couldn't be ignored or explained as "isolated" anymore...so they had to address it.

    FTM-PTB

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    I want all of you to read, really read, this story. Pay particular attention to the last several paragraphs.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...102305_pf.html

    'To Me, It Just Seems Like Black People Are Marked'

    By Wil Haygood
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Friday, September 2, 2005; A01



    BATON ROUGE, La., Sept. 1 -- It seemed a desperate echo of a bygone era, a mass of desperate-looking black folk on the run in the Deep South. Some without shoes.

    It was high noon Thursday at a rest stop on the edge of Baton Rouge when several buses pulled in, fresh from the calamity of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans.

    Hundreds piled out, dragging themselves as if floating through some kind of thick liquid. They were exhausted, some crying.

    "It was like going to hell and back," said Bernadette Washington, 38, a black homemaker from Orleans Parish who had slept under a bridge the night before with her five children and her husband. She sighed the familiar refrain, stinging as an old-time blues note: "All I have is the clothes on my back. And I been sleeping in them for three days."

    While hundreds of thousands of people have been dislocated by Hurricane Katrina, the images that have filled the television screens have been mainly of black Americans -- grieving, suffering, in some cases looting and desperately trying to leave New Orleans. Along with the intimate tales of family drama and survival being played out Thursday, there was no escaping that race had become a subtext to the unfolding drama of the hurricane's aftermath.

    "To me," said Bernadette Washington, "it just seems like black people are marked. We have so many troubles and problems."

    "After this," her husband, Brian Thomas, said, "I want to move my family to California."

    He was holding his 2-year-old, Qadriyyah, in his left arm. On Thomas's right hand was a crude bandage. He had pushed the hand through a bedroom window on the night of the hurricane to get to one of his children.

    "He had meat hanging off his hand," his wife said. They live -- lived -- on Bunker Hill Road in Orleans Parish, a mostly black section of New Orleans.

    When the hurricane hit, Thomas, a truck driver, said he came home from work, looked at every one of the people he loves, and stood in the middle of the living room. Thinking. He's the Socrates in the family -- but time was running out.

    "I only got a five-passenger car," he said.

    "Chevy Cavalier," said his wife.

    "And," Thomas continued, "I stood there, thinking. I said, 'Okay, it's 50-50 if the water will get through.' "

    Within hours the water rose, and it kept rising.

    "But then I said, 'If we do take the car, some of us would be sitting on one another's laps.' And the state troopers were talking about making arrests."

    Instead, he pushed the kids out a window. They scooted to the roof, some pulling themselves up with an extension cord.

    "The rain was pouring down so hard," Washington said. "And we had a 3-month-old and a 2-year-old."

    The 3-month-old, Nadirah, was sleeping in her mother's arms. "All I had was water to give her," said Washington, her voice breaking, her other children sitting on the concrete putting talcum power inside their soaked sneakers. "She's premature," she went on, about the 3-month-old. "She came May 22. Was supposed to be here July 11. I had her early because I have high blood pressure. Had to have her by C-section."

    Bernadette Washington was suddenly worried about her blood pressure medicine. She reached inside her purse. "Look," she said. "All the pills are stuck together."

    Both parents had been thinking about the hurricane, the aftermath, the looting, the politicians who might come to Louisiana and who might not. And their own holding-on lives, now jangly like bedsprings suddenly snapped.

    "It says there'll come a time you can't hide. I'm talking about people. From each other," Bernadette Washington said.

    Thomas, the philosopher, waved his bandaged hand. He had a theory: "God's angry with New Orleans. It's an evil city. The worst school system anywhere. Rampant crime. Corrupt politicians. Here, baby, have a potato chip for daddy."

    The 2-year-old, Qadriyyah, took a chip from her daddy and gobbled it up. Her face was covered with mosquito bites. But she smiled just to be in daddy's arms.

    Thomas continued: "A predominantly black city -- and they're killing each other. God had to get their attention with a calamity. New Orleans ain't seen an earthquake yet. You can get away from a hurricane but not an earthquake. Next time, nobody may get out."

    In the middle of the storm, little Ernest Washington, 9, had grown into a hero.

    Washington and Thomas consider Ernest, Bernadette's nephew, their own now. They adopted him after his mother, Donna Marie Washington, died not long ago of AIDS.

    "She was a runaway," said Washington, able to sound sorrowful for the child even in her current straits. "She had run away when she was 14. We don't know how she got the AIDS."

    While Thomas was figuring his family's fate that first night, little Ernest bolted to the rooftop.

    He had fashioned a white flag on a piece of stick, and began waving. "That is one courageous boy," Thomas said.

    A helicopter passed them by. A National Guard unit passed them by.

    "Black National Guard unit, too," piped in Warren Carter, Washington's brother-in-law.

    In the South, the issue of race -- black, white -- always seems as ready to come rolling off the tongue as a summer whistle. A black Guard unit, passing them by. Something Carter won't soon forget.

    Before long the whole family, watching the water rise, made it to the roof. Three men in a boat -- "two black guys and an Arab," Washington said -- rode by and left some food on the roof of a van parked nearby. Ernest went and retrieved the food.

    "A little hustler he is," Thomas said.

    "Child [is] something else," Washington said.

    It took two days for a helicopter to fetch them. They were delivered not to some kind of shelter, but to a patch of land beneath a freeway.

    "I thought we were going to die out there," Bernadette Washington said. "We had to sleep on the ground. Use the bathroom in front of each other. Laying on that ground, I just couldn't take it. I felt like Job."

    Then, somehow, a bus, and then Baton Rouge. At that moment, a lady -- white -- came by the rest stop and handed her some baby items.

    "Bless you," Washington said.

    That exchange forced something from Warren Carter: "White man came up to me little while ago and offered me some money. I said thank you, but no thanks. I got money to hold us over. But it does go to show you that racism ain't everywhere."

    Under the hot sun, Brian Thomas was staring into an expanse of open air. They expected another relative to arrive soon and assist them in continuing their exodus.

    © 2005 The Washington Post Company


    This isn't about race. This is about good vs. evil.

  20. #240
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    "Gov. Kathleen Blanco called the looters "hoodlums" and issued a warning to lawbreakers: Hundreds of National Guardsmen hardened on the battlefield in Iraq have landed in New Orleans.

    "They have M-16s and they're locked and loaded," she said. "These troops know how to shoot and kill, and they are more than willing to do so, and I expect they will."

    this was on the USA today website. I found it interesting. how many Nat'l Guardsman are going to shoot to kill there own countrymen?
    Those aren't my countrymen...they are lawless animals who are taking advantage of persons weaker and more civilized than them...you point your gun (that you just looted from a gun dealer) at me or anyone else and I am a Nat Gaurdsman sent to restore law and order under Martial law....You are going to get shot...period...end of story...no questions asked and I would be shooting to kill! As an American citizen I fully support anyone who shoots these A-holes on site.

    FTM-PTB

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