Stories from NOLA

One of our readers asked if we could post some stories from the local Louisiana press. He posted one story that he felt was of significance here.

Donnie From Houma, LA has posted his thoughts and feelings about Katrina and the aftermath in the comments of this thread: American’s Want Answers to the Failures to Respond to Disaster in New Orleans. They are significant, in my opinion, because Donnie tells me in our conversation in the thread that he is a registered Republican. At a time when we need to all reach across partisan lines and so many are feeling that the world is spinning out of control, I thank Donnie From Houma, LA, for joining in the conversation at The Democratic Daily.

In searching through, for some local stories, oer Donnie’s request, I ran across this story from New Orleans Picayune Staff Writer, Leslie Williams: A week in the ruins of Mississippi.

Bay St. Louis. Ms. – I had planned to ride out Hurricane Katrina in a schoolhouse-turned shelter about seven miles north of Pass Christian. When, on the day before landfall, police advised that the building – DeLisle Elementary – was no longer on the list of approved shelters, I cast about for an alternative base of operations.

Not unlike the little pigs of fairy-tale fame fleeing the I’ll-blow-your-house-down wolf, I join family members – including my mother, retreating from her home in Bay St. Louis, and a sister with her three children from Diamondhead – at the house built by my brother, Thyrone, with invaluable help from an uncle. The house, barley north of Interstate 10, is a solid, spacious, one-story structure, and my brother, like our late father, is a man of action during and after natural disasters.

The lens opens here on the personal, week-long journey of a Times-Picayune reporter struggling with other coastal Mississippi residents in Katrina’s whirlpool of misery.

Monday, August 29

At 10 a.m., the hurricane is advancing at about 16 miles per hour through an area roughly 35 miles northeast of New Orleans between Slidell and Bay St. Louis. Its category-three, 125-mile-per-hour sustained winds reach 125 miles outward from the eye.

At my brother’s home, pine trees bow to the ferocious winds until the trees snap like twigs in a child’s hand. One breaks several feet from its base, then another, then dozens, like popcorn beginning to pop on a kitchen stove. Some of us watch from a glass door in my brother’s bedroom and find ourselves trying to predict which colossal tree will topple next
We wait for the tree that will smash the house — and us.

During the most forceful winds, my brother orders everyone into the hallway.

In the end, the house is spared a direct hit.


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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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13 Responses to Stories from NOLA

  1. Donnie From Houma, LA says:

    Alright, just as I said before, Micheal Brown should be held accountable for the lack of rapid response to Hurricane Katrina. Now we have a good start, according to this report in the Houma Daily Courier. Mr. Brown is first in line, now lets see who can go and keep this monster company.

  2. Donnie

    It’s great news! They all need to go!

  3. Donnie From Houma, LA says:

    It’s just simply the same song, second verse. This is New Orleans Mayor, Ray Nagin, speaking in Dallas. And the beat goes on!!!

  4. Donnie From Houma, LA says:

    As promised, here are the local news blogs I said I would have ready.

    Appeals for troops unheeded for days
    Blanco, Bush disagreed on authority over forces

    By Jan Moller and Robert Travis Scott
    Capital Bureau

    BATON ROUGE – As it became clear last week that the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina required far more help than state and local authorities could provide, Gov. Kathleen Blanco and other state officials began pleading for more help from the federal government.

    But substantial active-duty Army deployments didn’t arrive until a week after the storm, a fact that might turn out to be one of the enduring controversies about the state and federal response to what likely will be one of the deadliest and most costly events in American history.

    Link here
    Facing his own personal storm, Bush reassures evacuees
    Congress OKs another $51.8 billion in aid

    By Bill Walsh
    Washington bureau

    WASHINGTON — Under fire for his response to Hurricane Katrina, President Bush took to the airwaves Thursday to assure the tens of thousands of Gulf Coast evacuees that his administration was moving quickly to help them in the aftermath.

    In an unusual midday address, a somber Bush also declared Sept. 16 a national day of prayer and remembrance for the dead and those who have been displaced by the storm.

    “The people who have been hurt by this storm need to know that the government is going to be with you for the long haul,” Bush said in a seven-minute address from the Old Executive Office Building next to the White House. He took no questions.

    Link Here
    OUR OPINIONS: An open letter to the President
    Dear Mr. President:

    We heard you loud and clear Friday when you visited our devastated city and the Gulf Coast and said, “What is not working, we’re going to make it right.”

    Please forgive us if we wait to see proof of your promise before believing you. But we have good reason for our skepticism.

    Bienville built New Orleans where he built it for one main reason: It’s accessible. The city between the Mississippi River and Lake Pontchartrain was easy to reach in 1718.

    How much easier it is to access in 2005 now that there are interstates and bridges, airports and helipads, cruise ships, barges, buses and diesel-powered trucks.

    Link Here

  5. Donnie

    I edited the links to direct links to the posts. For some reason, some long links throw stuff off the page.

    What is the word on the street? What are your friends and family saying about all of this? It seems as though the evidence is pretty clear that all in all the feds screwed up.

    Did you happen to watch Nightline last night. I read the transcript and have it posted here –

    I was impressed with Nagin taking responsibility for whatever went wrong on his part. It takes a big man.

  6. Donnie From Houma, LA says:

    Pamela, I am planning a post that I might have ready for either tonight or tomorrow evening at the latest. I can also send it via email to you, if you choose to forward it to Senator John Kerry. Let your fellow bloggers on this sight, know that I am about make this post that they might want to watch out for it, on this thread. It might turn into a big post, so let them know to have patience. You asked about the word on the street and what are my friends and family are saying about all this. You are gonna get more than you expected. Call it a gift if you will. To give you a lil taste of what you will get from this, let me Quote my 80yr. old Cajun Grandmother, when I asked her what she thought about Pres. Bush and everything that is going on over here. “He’s a F—–g A–hole, F–k him!!!!”. Now do you understand the scope of how things really are down here? Talk about culture shock.

  7. Donnie

    Tell your darling 80 yr. old Cajun Grandmother I said “You Go Girl”. I’ll be waiting for post or email and will gladly send it along to Senator Kerry.

  8. Donnie From Houma, LA says:

    OMG!!!! Harry Lee, strikes again with his own style justice!!! I just couldn’t hold this one back for the post I am working on. I knew you guys would eat this one up.

    Jefferson Parish Sheriff Harry Lee commandeers Sam’s Wal-Mart stores
    Sunday, 10:30 a.m.

    Jefferson Parish Sheriff Harry Lee said he has “commandered” the Sam’s and Wal-Mart stores in the parish and ordered them to open as soon as possible.

    Lee said he took the action after he learned that a Wal-Mart store wanted to open recently but was told by FEMA officials that it could not.

    “I am upset with FEMA and some of their regulations,” Lee said.

  9. kj says:

    “I am upset with FEMA and some of their regulations,” Lee said.

    LOL Can’t wait to read your post, Donnie.

  10. Donnie

    Great story. Harry Lee is quite a guy. I just posted this.

  11. Donnie From Houma, LA says:

    Harry Lee is somewhat controversial as you can tell

  12. Donnie From Houma, LA says:

    And will put them in jail–hahaha

  13. Donnie

    He’s a kick. I like his style.