The stories about Hurricane Katrina keep getting worse.
Jean Meserve talks about the worst natural disaster to hit the United States ever .
People are carrying their children, trying to get them to safety. A woman coming down to the police, close to hysterics, saying, “My elderly mother is in a building over there, she needs dialysis. She can’t get it. She is dying. Can you help me?”
And the police had to say, “There is absolutely nothing we can do. We don’t have a precinct house. We don’t have communication. There is absolutely nothing we can do for you.”
That was amazing to me.
The other thing that struck me was the looting. The police were standing in the middle of the street and right in front of them stores were being ransacked. And they didn’t even make an effort to stop it. I don’t think they could, under the circumstances.
They were totally outnumbered. They couldn’t call for any reinforcements. And frankly, the priority now isn’t property. The priority has to be people and people’s lives. The police are there protectively, I think, in case things escalate even further. But they are powerless. They’re powerless in this situation.
We did see tree removal trucks, electric trucks. So help is beginning to come in. We even saw, and this was a very strong image, Air Force One, or what we believed was Air Force One.
That was a powerful image to us because we’ve been out of communication, unaware really of what’s happening in the outside world. This was a sign that you’ve heard, that you’ve heard and listened.
This story has multiple reporters giving their account of this incredible tragedy. I urge you to read the whole thing.