Thursday, September 08, 2005

"They Let Them Die on Their Roofs and They Let Them Die in the Water"

CNN has finally got camera crews into St. Bernard and Plaquemines Parishes, and the news and images are devastating.

Last night, Gary Tuchman reported that the lower two-thirds of Plaquemines is underwater. As of last night's report, the only rescue and relief workers the people there had seen were members of the New Mexico National Guard.

Now there's this account, from more of Katrina's forgotten in St. Bernard and Plaquemines:

Homes were chopped open, a Baptist church's steeple ripped off. Water gurgles and spurts in places from leaking natural gas.

"I can't even imagine trying to rebuild this," said Kevin Cobble, a U.S. Fish and Wildlife officer from Las Cruces, New Mexico, who has been looking for survivors.

As relief efforts sputtered in the days after the storm, Verlyn Davis Jr., an out-of-work electrician, took charge. He transformed his parents' bar and seafood restaurant, Lehrmann's, into a shelter where he dispatches people to clear roads, hook up generators and help in the disaster relief process.

About 20 people have been staying there these days. On a boarded-up window out front is a blue spray-painted sign: "ABOUT TIME BUSH!"

"The governor and the president let thousands of people die and they let them die on their roofs and they let them die in the water," said Davis, 45. "We got left. They didn't care."

Note how he manages to blame the state and the feds in the same breath -- though the sign focuses all the blame on the president.

I'm waiting for the press release denouncing this partisan finger-pointing for what it is.

Or maybe President Bush will want to fly down to Plaquemines and have another bullhorn moment:

"New Orleans took a beating," said Jason Stage, a 47-year-old maintenance worker staying at Lehrmann's. "But St. Bernard Parish and Plaquemines was ground zero."


Post a Comment

<< Home