Monday, September 12, 2005

On the Bridge: A first hand account.

The first evacuee is a gray-haired, one-legged black woman, eyes barely blinking, wrapped in a piss-soaked comforter. Her family drags her to the helicopter on a sled made of tied-together water cartons. The sled goes back for another load--an unconscious older man. Others come forward in shopping carts, wheelchairs, anything that will roll--like Annette, who has been off dialysis for a week and has to be rolled to the helicopter in an office chair.
With no EMTs, aid workers, or rescue personnel on site, the loading of private citizens is done by other private citizens and a handful of military. The law enforcement officers on site do not lift a hand to help anyone.

. . . .

They cannot believe it has taken so long to find the 50 busses needed to take them all to safety. Empty ambulances and supply trucks continue to roll by, and truckloads of police cruise through like big-game hunters on safari with rifles and cameras--in air-conditioned comofort. A mile-long convoy of rescue and emergency vehicles has passed through the crowd earlier. The road to the bridge is clear all the way to Baton Rouge. Why is it easier to find helicopters than busses?

From an article by Burk Foster, appearing in this Wednesday's (Lafayette) Independent.

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