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WritingAfterDark

Blogs of Writer, Artist, Photographer, & Caregiver Joanne D. Kiggins

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Joanne has published more than 2,500 articles and was award recipient of the 1990 Woman of the Year for Beaver County, Pennsylvania, for her accomplishments and excellence in journalism and to the community. Her co-authored book, “Unforgettable Journey,” won fifth place in the Grand Beginnings romance contest. An excerpt from her WIP, “Unearthed,” placed her fifth in the Absolute Write Idol contest. Most recently, her essay, “Perseverance,” is published in the Stories of Strength anthology in which 100% of the profits are donated to disaster relief charities. Her most recent articles were published in ByLine Magazine, Writer's Digest, AbsoluteWrite.com, and Moondance.org. She has a monthly freelance writing column at Absolutewrite.com. Currently, she is the sole caregiver for her 85-year-old mother.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

And the mayhem continues.

“One of the Worst Abandonments of Americans on American Soil Ever”
Watch video here.

Aaron Broussard, President of Jefferson Parish in New Orleans, broke down during a plea for help on NBC’s Meet the Press. By the end of his interview, he was sobbing.
RUSSERT: You just heard the director of homeland security’s explanation of what has happened this last week. What is your reaction?
BROUSSARD: We have been abandoned by our own country. Hurricane Katrina will go down in history as one of the worst storms ever to hit an American coast. But the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina will go down as one of the worst abandonments of Americans on American soil ever in U.S. history. He requested a Congressional hearings to find out who needs to be fired. And believe me, they need to be fired right away … Whoever is at the top of this totem pole, that totem pole needs to be chain sawed off and we’ve got to start with some new leadership. It’s not just Katrina that caused all these deaths in New Orleans here. Bureaucracy has committed murder here in the greater New Orleans area and bureaucracy has to stand trial before Congress now. FEMA needs to be able to act immediately with bureaucracy. We need strong leadership at the top now.
RUSSERT: Shouldn’t the Mayor and Governor of New Orleans bear some responsibility?
BROUSSARD: Sir, they were told, everyday, like me, every single day, the Calvary’s coming, on a Federal level…the Calvary’s coming. I’m just beginning to hear the hoofs of the Calvary and the Calvary is still not here yet…and we’re almost a week out.
Broussard then discussed the difficulties local authorities had with FEMA, including one case where they actually posted armed guards to keep FEMA from cutting their communications lines.
Three quick examples. We had Wal-Mart deliver three trucks of water. FEMA turned them back. They said we didn’t need them. This was a week ago. FEMA, we had 1,000 gallons of diesel fuel on a Coast Guard vessel docked in my parish. Coast Guard told us come get the fuel. When we got there with our trucks, FEMA says don’t give you the fuel. Yesterday — yesterday — FEMA comes in and cuts all of our emergency communication lines. They cut them without notice. Our sheriff, Harry Lee, goes back in, he reconnects the line. He posts armed guards and said no one is getting near these lines…
Broussard thanked the Governor of Louisiana for all she’s done and all her leadership.
Finally, Broussard broke down while telling this personal story:
I want to give you one last story and I’ll shut up and let you tell me whatever you want to tell me. The guy who runs this building I’m in, Emergency Management, he’s responsible for everything. His mother was trapped in St. Bernard nursing home and every day she called him and said, “Are you coming, son? Is somebody coming?” and he said, “Yeah, Mama, somebody’s coming to get you.” Somebody’s coming to get you on Tuesday. Somebody’s coming to get you on Wednesday. Somebody’s coming to get you on Thursday. Somebody’s coming to get you on Friday… and she drowned Friday night. She drowned Friday night! [Broussard sobbed] Nobody’s coming to get us. Nobody’s coming to get us. For God’s sake, shut up and send us somebody.

(This was one of the most emotional and touching videos I've seen in the past week.)

More violence...Gunmen open fire on contractors hired to work on the Danziger Bridge.

In the same area, according to MSNBC news this evening, a privately owned helicopter with two men hired to help with the bridge repair, crashed. Both men were reported unharmed.

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