On my local radio station (ABC Sydney 702), there was an interview yesterday afternoon with a director of a nursing home located in the French Quarter. The nursing home was not underwater and had bottle water, food and a generator that could run lights and power but not A/C. Inside the home are 50 residents aged 88 and above, including three people over 100. The director had organised yesterday for 6 buses to evacuate his residents from the home to a hotel in Houston. All the arrangements had been made and the road from the home to the freeway was clear and open. They are still sitting there now with no chance of getting out. Why, you might ask. Well, 2 buses had been commendered by FEMA for the Astrodome evacuation (fair enough), the other 4 buses were told not to pick them up due to armed snippers and looters. Today their generator runs out and they also run out of bottle water. Three residents have died since the hurricane due to heat exposure already. The rest of them will literally start dying from last night onwards til there is no one left.
Just listening to this broken man tell his tale was heartbreaking. He is doing all that he possibly can to protect his elderly charges and his staff. He retold how surreal it was to patrol his nursing home carrying a pistol. Something he had never done before. He said surviving the hurricane was a piece of cake to the hell he is going through now.
I can understand the difficulties of getting to people trapped on the roof of their homes by floodwater. I can understand the logistical nightmare of moving over 20,000 people. What I can’t understand is how it is impossible to move 50 -60 people who have organised their own transport and have somewhere to go. This is fucking ridiculous.
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