Katrina’s Refugees: “There’s Nowhere to Go and No Way to Get There”

For those of us who are watching the horrors unfold there is disbelief, anger and frustration. We are appalled, we are stunned and so many of us have uttered that we never thought we would see this happen here in our beloved America. “Where are our leaders?” Where is the help for these people?” These questions have rung out loudly on the blogosphere and the even in MSM today.

Dateline NBC is reporting tonight…

MOBILE, Ala. – Hundreds of thousands of people from Lousiana, Mississippi and Alabama are on the road or in crowded refugee centers. It’s the kind of mass migration we don’t expect to see in America. Some now estimate that three-quarters of a million Americans are on the move tonight.

Those lucky enough to have escaped Katrina are now finding that hotels are booked from Texas to Florida. Pick almost any hotel and you will find refugees inside, stuck between their ruined homes and their very uncertain futures.

Scott Brady lost a million dollar beachfront home and business in Long Beach, Mississippi. He is now living in the Econolodge for $44 a night.

And to make matters worse gasoline now is increasingly scarce— many stations are already empty.

In Mobile, Ala., gas station employee Sheretta Rowland had the tough job of breaking the bad news to customers already running on fumes. “There’s no more gas,” she said. “Tomorrow for sure,” she promises.

Police now guard many area gas stations, and police themselves have private resources but they too, are concerned about running out of gas.

On Interstate-10 in Mississippi today, motorists have simply pulled over to wait in a gas line almost two miles long. Many have run out of gas and they will push their cars almost a mile to the station. Derrick Purit is trying to get to his son who is with relatives— he has been on the gas queue for six hours. “The only thing that bothers me is my little boy. I have to pick him up and take him to another school,” he says.

Stores within a hundred miles of the disaster area are running short or out of supplies. Since Katrina, almost everything has run out. Power outages have forced stores to throw away perishable meat, eggs, and milk.

While there is nothing to go back to for thousands, they are too unsettled to leave completely. There are still family or freinds unaccounted for. And while most are truly grateful to have escaped with their lives, they now realize their lives will look like nothing they remember. They cannot go back.

So they will go forward. But many, like Cheryl Griffith, have no idea where that might be. “We’ve done our crying, and we know we can’t live like this for the next 3 to 6 months. That’s impossible,” she says.

My sister in Bradenton, FL emailed that the gas stations were all closed on her way home from work tonight. This will only get worse before it gets better. Please, reach out and help in any way that you can…

The Democratic Daily has an extensive list Hurricane Katrina Relief Resources. The Liberal Blogosphere is raising 1 million, the ad and link is in the right hand column of the blog pages.

Appeals for donations have come from the DNC and John Kerry. You’ll find a statement from Senator Ted Kennedy here, and list of links for donations suggested by Ted & Vicki Kennedy here.

I was in a restaurant having dinner tonight and heard Sara McLachlan’s “Angel” on the radio there. I’m leaving you all tonight with the lyrics and asking the heavens to send New Orleans, the Gulf Coast and all of Katrina’s victims, ANGELS…


Spend all your time waiting
for that second chance
for a break that would make it okay
there’s always one reason
to feel not good enough
and it’s hard at the end of the day
I need some distraction
oh beautiful release
memory seeps from my veins
let me be empty
and weightless and maybe
I’ll find some peace tonight

in the arms of an angel
fly away from here
from this dark cold hotel room
and the endlessness that you fear
you are pulled from the wreckage
of your silent reverie
you’re in the arms of the angel
may you find some comfort there

so tired of the straight line
and everywhere you turn
there’s vultures and thieves at your back
and the storm keeps on twisting
you keep on building the lie
that you make up for all that you lack
it don’t make no difference
escaping one last time
it’s easier to believe in this sweet madness oh
this glorious sadness that brings me to my knees

in the arms of an angel
fly away from here
from this dark cold hotel room
and the endlessness that you fear
you are pulled from the wreckage
of your silent reverie
you’re in the arms of the angel
may you find some comfort there
you’re in the arms of the angel
may you find some comfort here

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About Pamela Leavey

Pamela Leavey is the Editor in Chief, Owner/Publisher of The Democratic Daily as well as a freelance writer and photographer. Pamela holds a certificate in Contemporary Communications from UMass Lowell, a Journalism Certificate from UMass Amherst and a B.A. in Creative Writing and Digital Age Communications from UMass Amherst UWW.
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22 Responses to Katrina’s Refugees: “There’s Nowhere to Go and No Way to Get There”

  1. Ginny in CO says:

    We were talking at work tonight about how much poverty there is in the areas hit.

    I wonder if W can immagine what it would be like to be dependent on your own two feet and public transportation to get to a job that doesn’t pay enough money to make it to the next paycheck. To be told you have to evacuate the area when you have no means to do so.

    Maybe the whole picture of how fragile our society is once things start falling apart will get through where words have failed.

    We had heard from the health care grapevine that one hospital had been running out of gas to run the emergency generators. They aren’t generally meant to go for days.
    The nurses and other employees had been siphoning gas out of their cars to keep them going, All the chopppers are diverted to rescue efforts,

    I think when the people who die in hospitals without power are added to the toll, the
    cold fury will set in.

  2. Teresa says:

    This is absolutely horrible. Like something out of a despairing German philosopher’s mind in one of his worst moments. Or some dead end Russian novel of total pessimism. The reality of where our country is has just hit me. At least there will be joy ahead for the survivors. And lots of stories to tell the grandchildren about the Great Hurricane Katrina of 2005.

    But now, I am so very sad.

  3. Ginny in CO says:

    Maybe some of these things happening in America will also wake people up to what we ignore of the daily existance of too many around the world.


    In ” Speaking My Mind ” Tony Compola writes:

    “That we believe Scripture requires us to embrace a personal economic lifestyle of simplicity so that others in our world might simply live.”

    ‘Spose Condi will wear her new shoes to church?

  4. Ginny in CO says:


    I’m afraid the survivors are going to be dealing with PTSD and survivor guilt. The story I linked to above quoted a chopper pilot who couldn’t get to a hospital because of gunfire.
    We had been wondering about this. Turns out it is from stranded people trying to get attention to get rescued,

    I can’t get a mental image of new parents with a premie who would probably make it except for the electricity going out on her respirator. After Columbine (I lived very near it and my son had been there for wrestling and band meets, I felt like the kids who had felt the bullets whistling by) I wrote in my Journal/bible “I will hate no more forever”
    W has been leading me into tempation. Every time I think it will be possible to forgive,
    he f___s up something else and more people die.

    I think he listened to Joplin too much. When the cops start turning in their badges
    because they’ve lost all they owned,

    “Freedom’s just another word for nothin’ left to lose”

  5. kj says:

    Chaos. Anarchy. Fire.
    The mayor of New Orleans, Ray Nagin, is furious. “This is crazy.”

  6. kj says:

    Going to be late for work. Who cares, I’ve already given notice. I can’t work for those rural red Bush supporting people any more. Their money is tainted and the energy I’ve absorbed from their spirits over the last two years has made me ill. I can no longer filter out the poison.

    I don’t know anything, but I can’t help but wonder… if time is speeding up, are we witnessing (and some experiencing directly) evolution? Are the people in this country who have and STILL blindly support Bush are the branch of humans we need to leave behind? It is obvious to me there is a consciousness missing in these people.

    Okay, I’m not nuts. Just sayin’. {{{Liberals and Independents}}}

  7. Teresa says:

    Gals, this is unreal. And you are so good.
    Kj? Really? quitting? You’re so brave and so right. This is what the universe wants. For all of us to be truthful and do the right thing.

    Ginny, we’ve got to not hate no matter what. It’s all happening for a reason and it will be revealed. We will all be wiser after this. We are experiencing a moment that is going down in history, this hurricane and all, and it’s truly intense.

    I want nothing more than to be the best person I can. And for these souls to be led to safety.

  8. Ginny in CO says:


    I agree this is a big page in history. My problem is it is happening for a reason:
    OUR PRESIDENT. And because so many have been duped into voting for him.
    Even though I understand more now about why they are misled, I have a hard time with W especially and the Bushes generally.
    I think it comes down to responsibility, especially when you take on a job, and people die because you don’t do your job. Or go thru hell trying to survive and live.
    And of course, it’s the abuse, misuse and then NOT using, power.

  9. Nick says:


    Don’t mean to get off topic, but I did the number crunching you asked me to do in “McCaskill declares her candidacy.” Hope you enjoy it.
    As for those that blindly support Bush, just remember: even presidential candidates as weak as McGovern in 1972 or as nutty as GoldWater in 1964 still won close to 40% of the vote. In 1932, even with unemployment at a whopping 25% Herbert Hoover somehow convinced 40% of Americans to vote for him.
    If you walked down a random street in 1933 or 1965, 4 out of 10 people you met would’ve voted for Hoover or Goldwater.
    Bottom line: simply by being a nominee of one of the two major parties all but guarantees you at least 40% of the popular vote. Don’t let those folks who still blindly follow Bush get you down, even if the 2004 election were held today Bush would almost certainly get 40% of the vote, but nobody would notice because Bush would lose to Kerry if the election were held today, or even if it had been held in March or possibly February 2005

  10. Nick says:


    You said “I agree this is a big page in history. My problem is it is happening for a reason:
    OUR PRESIDENT. And because so many have been duped into voting for him.”
    I can’t blame you for the prescence of Bush getting you down. Still, lets not forget that before evil can rise, good must demonstrate weakness. This weakness was demonstrated in the 1990s by weak-kneed Democrats including a certain couple from Arkansas (or is it NY)? As Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W. Va.) pointed out when asked what Clinton’s legacy was, he responded “Republican control of the House, Republican control of the Senate, Republican control of governorships, and Republican control of the presidency.” Yes W cheated in Florida, but would the election of 2000 been close enough to cheat if Bill had kept it in his pants and there had been no “Clinton fatigue?” I don’t think so.
    Moreover, its one thing to not want to be a leftist radical, and some democrats will be less liberal than others—but they’ll still be liberal (or populist) enough that their is a clear difference between them and their GOP opponenets (e.g. Jimmy Carter vs. Ronald Reagan). Clinton spent 8 years kissing the ass of Wall St. and big money and Democrats ended up as the minority party on ALL levels of government, not just the presidency- I don’t think that’s a coincidence.
    For all the comparisons of Clinton and Nixon, Clinton is more reminiscent of the weak, hapless GOP presidents of the 20s who never saw the crises of the 30s coming (a Harding and Coolidge for our time). Similarly, the weakness of the Dems in challenging conservative orthodoxy in the 1920s brought us the horrors of Herbert Hoover.
    Is there another FDR out there? Sure FDR was richer than Croeseus, but he could understand and empathize with the plight of the middle class as well as the poor. Ya think there mught be others like that today (or a Trumanesque populist)? I think so.

  11. florida dem says:

    Hi all. I have been so caught up in the storm aftermath coverage at nite I haven’t been posting.

    This Katrina deal is horrible! The delayed response of the feds is inexcusable. You know it’s bad if MSM reporters are wondering aloud if this is because most of the victims in NO are black. And the mismanagement of all of this by ShrubCo is just plain embarrassing. One guardsman was even quoted as saying that he’d rather be in Iraq because THAT was better managed. And that’s saying something because we all know how much of a mismanaged mess Iraq is.

    And these BushCo fly overs to view the damage are weak at best. If Harry Connick Jr. can walk around and get a first-hand glimpse, so can Shrub and his Secret Service. I also found Shrub’s statement yesterday highly detached and insincere. I thought he was the guy who really related to regular folk and vice versa. I guess he doesn’t even try to fake it anymore since he’s been reselected. Gee, I seem to remember last year we couldn’t kick Shrub out of Florida. He was here handing out bags of ice within a day or two smiling for the cameras. I wonder if he will be doing this in New Orleans sometime soon? Of course not silly. It’s an election year.

  12. florida dem says:

    Look for a big Shrub backlash. MSM’s sudden display of balls and actually reporting how piss poor the feds are handling the crisis along with the rising gas prices should help to drop his numbers even further.

    And another thing, Faux News’ over emphasis on the looting is sick. These people are not looting, they are desperate and are scavenging for food and clothing. Yeah, there are some knuckleheads running around stealing flast screen tvs but they clearly are not the majority. Most of the crowds are being as patient as humanly possible. And the pot shots at the military aircraft are signals for help. They are not trying to hold up rescue efforts, they are trying to be rescued. I can tell you this, listening to the radio this week, black America is NOT HAPPY with the feds right now, and confirms their overall disgust with ShrubCo.

  13. Florida Dem

    I agree on the looting. They are desperate, desperate people who are out of their minds with anguish, fear and frustration. Gov Blanco’s “shoot to kill” statement last night sent me over the edge.

  14. florida dem says:

    Yeah. What the hell was Blanco thinking when she said that? I blame Faux News and conservative talk radio for spreading that nonsense. I’ve been hearing all morning from folks how ‘shoot to kill’ has been promoted on con talk radio, which is being parroted by their drone-like listeners.

  15. kj says:

    Teresa, yes, I quit. It was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever made. I loved the job, loved it, it was a dream come true. Everything about it, from interviewing to research to writing to proofing to editing to photos to production are my natural bent and love. But, the place was killing my soul. I should say, the people were killing my soul and I can’t lose that… just can’t. I have to move on into the unknown. But, at least, I’ll be able to openly declare my alligiances and work on campaigns, and have already let the local judge (whose wife we want to run), know that I’m available to volunteer.

    Thank you for your kind words of understanding. It’s really been a difficult decision. Loss of a significant dream and all that.

    Nick, yes, I saw your great response and need to respond. I’m sorry, I got caught up in coverage yesterday.

  16. kj, another example of why you’re one of my favs 🙂 You go girl!

  17. kj says:

    Dave, thanks, I really needed that! {{{Dave}}}

  18. Teresa says:

    Kj, deeds like yours are going to make the difference. I’m so glad I found you and the people here at Democratic Daily. Every one like you, kj, who searches her soul and makes a hard decision like this will have a huge ripple effect.

    Nick… sooooo right about the 40%(ignore it), and the certain couple from Arkansas. He has the nerve to stand now in solidarity with the Bush family. Has this country learned?

  19. Teresa says:

    Also, kj. Letting go of something you treasure is the real thing. It will be replaced by something infinitely better, Guaranteed.

  20. Teresa

    I told KJ that I believe that too.

  21. You’re one of my heroes kj. One one of that small gorup of early diehard Kerry bloggers. You all kept fighting and never gave up and kept me from total despair during the bad dark days of fall 03 while I was still just a lurker.

    I’m sure everything will work out fine for you, kj. You’re a strong woman. Being able to retain your humanity and sanity so well for so long in that work environment is proof of what you’re made of. I wouldn’t have lasted a week without snapping. Tell your husband he’s a lucky guy. Though I’m sure he’s already well aware of that 🙂

  22. kj says:

    {{{Ya’all}}} *sniff*
    Wow. With the energy of support here, we really can change the world.

    Thanks so much for the kindness. I felt so silly to be feeling bad about something as small as leaving a job when the world was falling completely apart on the Gulf Coast.

    But what Dave said above is true. I was beginning to feel the humanity and sanity slipping away. For a long time, just being given the gift of being able to tell the stories of people kept me going, but after awhile, it wasn’t enough. And without our souls and spirits at work, in the front of our lives, our abilities to live, as some of us want to live, is hindered and then finally shaved to the bone. I’m probably not making sense! But, as someone once asked, “Do you want the ego or do you want the Source?” … the answer is, I want the Source.

    Souls are dispersering all over the country from the Gulf Coast. And we have to be ready to absorb them, and what they bring, into our lives.