Saturday, September 10, 2005

Headlines from My Local Paper. The Lafayette Advertiser

FEMA arrives empty-handed

Nothing to give but advice.

Happy to be home

The National Guard is home from Iraq.

Dome director: Residents were failed

Davis has his own stories of disbelief to add, such as when when he saw that the first guests - as he refers to the evacuees - received into the Cajundome-turned-Red Cross shelter were sleeping on the concrete floor without cots, inflatable mattresses or even blankets and pillows.

"That was unacceptable," he said.

The Cajundome appealed and the community responded, providing sleeping gear to make Lafayette's evacuees more comfortable.

"Then we found a tractor trailer truck on our property that was parked behind the Convention Center two or more days that belonged to the Red Cross. We investigated and found they had 5,000 cots," Davis said. "We were able to secure those cots and aggressively distributed them to our guests."

Bruce Bouldin, a volunteer Red Cross public information officer from Orange County, Calif., said Wednesday that he has "no knowledge about that at all. ... That's the first I've heard of it."

The Cajundome staff also purchased $200,000 worth of food "because we thought that evacuees who had spent three, four, five days on the top of a roof required more than a donut or a honey bun for breakfast, lunch meat on a stale bread for lunch, and chili out of a can for dinner," Davis said.

Bouldin again said he was unaware of that situation.

"I have never seen doughnuts or danishes on the line," he said. "I've seen eggs, I've seen biscuits."

Asked who paid for the eggs and biscuits, the public information officer said he did not know for certain. "From my understanding, we've gone out and arranged for the financing for it," he said.

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