One of the few solid reports I have found on conditions in Plaquemines Parish is ironically in a LTTE in the Duluth News-Tribune:
Imagine that your world is in a laundry basket today.
My daughter's is...
She was calling me on a static phone line from a Motel 6, a hundred miles from her home in Buras, La., a bayou community that was the first site Katrina made landfall with estimated 150 mph winds.
Her entire parish of Plaquemines, she is told, is under water, most likely all gone--complete devastation. A parish is what they call a county in Louisiana.
She was calling to let us know she was safe and scared.
Seven months pregnant with her first child, a son, already named ironically after the biblical Noah, she couldn't hold back the tears...
Tanya went on to tell us about the evacuation, the streams of cars along the one-lane road out of her community.
"Cars were stalled everywhere, it was so hot and frightening. Gas stations were out of gas, pumping 1,500 gallons an hour. Stores were out of water and canned goods. People were throwing up and going to the bathroom on the sides of the interstate. It was sheer panic. It took seven hours to go a hundred miles," she said.
Tanya went on to say what she worried about most--her students at Buras High, where she taught eighth grade English and literature.
As an educator, she knew that many of the families had no mode of transportation. And she feared the worse today--casualties.
"Mom ... many of my students have never ever even been to New Orleans. They walk everywhere. They are poor, so poor," she sobbed.
After all, hurricane evacuations were not usual, she said.
But, this time it was different.
Tanya says she must wait--to see what helicopters and emergency teams reveal.
"I hope and pray the children of Buras are fine, that we have a school and our churches, but I don't know ... I just don't know ..." she said as the phone line went still.
The entire Parish under water after being hit with 150 mile an hour winds. Hundreds of families with no means of transportation at all.
Update [2005-8-31 22:15:47 by Dancing Larry]: musing85 provides a link to the St Bernard/Plaquemines forum at nola.com.
Update [2005-9-1 2:58:4 by Dancing Larry]: thanks to jaysea for the link to the Plaquemines Parish Government site, where the Parish President has posted some telling pictures.
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