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View Diary: URGENT FROM BOGALUSA...PEOPLE ARE F**KING DYING (254 comments)

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  •  40 miles is spitting distance (4.00)
    for a huricane that was hundreds of miles wide. Hell, the eye itself was about 20 miles wide. The inland areas were only spared the surge, not the winds.

    A vast area of the south was devastated and all we see through the tunnel vision of the MSM is New Orleans.

    For every complex problem there is a simple solution that is completely wrong.

    by MarkInSanFran on Sat Sep 17, 2005 at 10:59:00 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Damage (4.00)
      400 miles wide apparently I was told.  You have the swath of the hurricane that tore trees and poles OUT of the ground, then the tornados SNAPPED trees and power lines, etc.
      •  UPDATE Just got off the phone with Barbara (4.00)
        She was driving the Slidel while were were talking.  There is so much but here are some topline points she made:

        1. Her Grandparents were from New Orleans.  She used to spend her childhood there and used to camp in Slidel.
        2. She is very qualified to speak to issues of government response.  She has long experience in victims rights.
        3. She has been in Bogalusa as you know, but also Baton Rouge and today Slidel.
        4. Essentially she is going from place to place to see if people who need help are getting connected with help that is on the ground.
        5. She is finding that FEMA officials are essentially ineffective and basically not administering help outside the confines of Red Cross shelters.
        6. The above means that like the 80 year-old Sisters she describes there a lot of elderly people who don't drive and have no resources who are essentially being left in their homes with no assistance.
        7. She is trying to coordinate services to anyone who seems to have been left out of the loop, but is encountering push-back from all Federal officials.  She is no wall-flower.  I can only imagine what it must be like to be a victim of this storm and to have to fight for help in the wake of it.
        8. Barbara has been travelling with two photojournalists who will be posting images including pictures of the sisters.  She is also getting her 35mm film developed and hopes to have those pictures up within the next three days.
        9. She arrived in Slidel at the end of our hour-long conversation and while we were still on the phone she met a group of people who said they still had not seen any official assistance.  In Slidel!!!!

        ACTION ITEMS:

        I have passed along the WWL radio phone number to her. I have no contacts there, but she is going to try to get on that station.  I will be working on a couple of other media contacts I do have today.

        Anyone who has media contacts please pass them along to her or me if you can't get her.  

        She has been to numerous areas and has a lot of information and anecdotal stories from the people she has met.  

        The recurring theme of her first-hand experience on the journey seems to be that the Federal assistance is very limited or simply non-existent.  Again the weak and the poor are being ignored and left behind.

        There is a troll who called her and left a threatening message just so everyone knows.  Disgusting in light of her heroism really.  Really disgusting.

        Also call your Congress critters tomorrow and ask that they work to protect the most vulnerable in our society.  They are still getting left behind!

        She is a Cali constituent so Cali people have an angle with your Senators and Reps here.

        Finally, I have to say that she is one hell of a human being and I was incredibly impressed with her courage and dedication in trying to help the victims of this storm.  Let's help her to make even more of a difference.

        Thanks to all.

        •  Anything WE can do in TEXAS? (4.00)
          if you let us know specific steps, being in Houston me & the local Texas KOS guys may be able to do something for them here.

          not speaking in terms of media but perhaps local housing, directions, shelter info, etc...

          thanks for all your work...

          •  She mentioned an elderly couple in her Diary (4.00)
            who want to get to their family.  Any ideas or rides or whatever for that probably would be good.  They want to get to somewhere near Houston!  You may just be able to help out :)

            Barbara says she'll be back at the church later this afternoon.  Call her.

            Also your local media in TEXAS could be very helpful in starting the ball rolling for the overall issue of the many people who are being left behind.  AGAIN!!!

            FYI a lot of the people in LA who have seen no media are under the impression that it is the state and locals that are to blame.  They don't understand what they were supposed to have gotten.  Houston media would be helpful in clarifying the responsibilities of the Feds and exposing the utter failings.

            Thanks.

            •  MONDAY UPDATE (none)
              The land lines have gone down again in Bogalusa and cell service has gotten worse.

              Barbara will call everyone back just as soon as she can get to a place where she can call.

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