September 03, 2005

Dispatches from the Crisis: Day 6

Originally posted by Tim Shey from The Huffington Post | Full Blog Feed, reBlogged by ts

Another round-up of some of the memorable statements of the past two days. Each one of these comes from a story worth reading, though the crisis is much bigger than any of us can keep up with, and again, mobilizing help is the most important thing. Please contribute, if you can, to the many organizations providing relief.

“It’s like reliving 9/11 again, looking through the Pentagon for bodies. Now I’m looking for bodies again, but some of them are in trees.”
Former Bowie, Md. firefighter Christopher Findlay, of Long Beach, Mississippi, who has found four bodies since Monday.

“On the right is the Basin bar. I’d buy you a beer, but I don’t think it’s open.”
New Orleans police Officer David Hunter, looking for refugees by speedboat in his own neighborhood of Lakeview, New Orleans, currently submerged under 20 feet of water.

“If it wasn’t for them, we would have drowned in that house. They’re a wonderful family… They’re strangers, but it’s like they’re friends.”
New Orleans’ Vivian Rillieux, 81, whose neighbors saved her family’s life by floating them to safety in a kiddee pool. Both families were still awaiting rescue on I-10, far from shelter and safety.

These guys are tired; they’ve been working non-stop since we got here. They have mandatory rest breaks, but you don’t really rest during them; you’re too busy sharing stories and just looking around in disbelief. I can’t tell you how many of these guys just come over to me at any given time that they’re not in a boat or in the air, put their arms around me and cry.
An anonymous rescue worker in New Orleans, in his second e-mail published on BoingBoing.

“Please pardon our smell.”
USDA employee and New Orleans resident Adrienne Picou, 46, hitchhiking to escape the Superdome with only her 6-year-old grandson, $7, and three bottles of water.

Each life is precious, and there isn’t a second chance to save a single one of them. No more talk of what’s going to happen. We only want to hear what is being done.
Times-Picayune Editorial

“Don’t you guys watch television?”
Ted Koppel, questioning FEMA head Michael Brown on “Nightline”, after Brown told interviewers Thursday night they had just learned of the refugees at the convention center that day.

Along the way I met lots of people two girls from Texas had drove in and offered me some snacks at a checkpoint and command center in Laplace. They just had to help out. No place to stay, they just loaded up their SUV with water and snacks and headed to New Orleans.
Photographer Michael Siu, in his account of a rescue mission to an uptown New Orleans hospital he undertook with four state troopers.

“We’ll be okay. But I really wish I was in New Orleans.”
Blues legend Antoine “Fats” Domino, reported missing for three days, after being found safe in the Baton Rouge home of LSU QB JaMarcus Russell.

“Hang in there.”
President George Bush, comforting two sisters he encountered in Biloxi, who had lost everything.

“George Bush doesn’t care about black people.”
Hip-hop artist Kanye West, going seriously off-script during NBC’s live benefit telecast. West’s final remark was cut from later time zones’ broadcasts.