Archive for the ‘New Orleans and Katrina’ Category

For a presidency defined by tragedy, this time there is no external enemy to blame

September 6, 2005 Leave a comment

by Edward Alden, Guy Dinmore and Christopher Swann

Published: September 6 2005

A week ago, President George W. Bush was standing against a backdrop of US warships in San Diego, praising the bravery of his soldiers in the war on terror and insisting that “we will not rest until victory is America’s and our freedom is secure”. He mentioned only briefly the hurricane that had hit New Orleans overnight.

Within hours it became clear, though, that the country faced a ­disaster that will almost certainly surpass September 11 2001 in lives lost, families and businesses ruined and the national economy shaken. As with September 11, a long introspection is likely on why the most powerful government in the world was unable to protect its citizens.

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City of rape, rumour and recrimination

September 5, 2005 Leave a comment

by Guy Dinmore in New Orleans
Published on FT: September 5 2005

By the time most of the last stragglers were evacuated from New Orleans over the weekend, only the dead bore witness to a hugely controversial rescue effort that has exposed the racial divisions and poverty of America’s Deep South.

Six days after Hurricane Katrina tore into the Gulf coast, the dead were still lying or floating about the streets of this sunken city.

“We have no orders to collect bodies, but to weigh them down if they are floating and mark the spot,” one New Orleans police officer said, noting: “We have nowhere to put them.”

Corpses swelled in the sun, abandoned along elevated highways that criss-cross the city of 1.5m people, now mostly ending in water ramps. Bodies floated spread-eagled in the dark waters below. With rescue efforts for the living in full swing, the dead lay neglected as convoys of soldiers, police, paramedics, and boat rescue teams whizzed by. Read more…

Enduring the wait to be rescued as tales emerge of city’s darkest hours

September 3, 2005 Leave a comment

By Guy Dinmore in New Orleans

Published: September 3 2005

For Janet Chapman and her family of four it began as a jaunt to New Orleans to support their football team from Baltimore. A week later they are sheltering with several thousand other refugees ankle deep in mud and excrement under a Route 10 overpass desperately wondering when they will ever get home.

Helicopters yesterday were still plucking families from roof tops of the submerged centre of the city, gathering them at a collection point on the western outskirts where, occasionally, buses from neighbouring states pulled up to take the lucky ones away.

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