9.02.2005

This is an email from a friend of mine that lives close to New Orleans. Sounds pretty scary...

for the last day or two everything about the situation in N.O. as being portrayed in the media has become stale and regurgitate B.S.. This is taken from a freind in Lafayette LA:

..........I'm actually afraid. There is usually NO crime in Lafayette. Lots of times I don't even lock my doors. Now there is looting, the Albertsons was robbed at gunpoint today, people are getting carjacked, and there have been lots of robberies in my neighborhood. I'm evacuating Lafayette to go to my parents house because this ordinarily safe place is now unsafe. Civilization is falling apart at the seams.

I know aid workers and the national guard are being fired upon making rescue unsafe. I know people personally who went to New Orleans with their boats to help with rescue efforts that had to turn back because there was too much gunfire.

I just spoke to someone whos brother is a fireman in New Orleans right now. There are gangs of armed thugs looting, killing and raping througout the city. Today a band of 30 men tried to break into the UNO girls dorm to rape them. A police officer guarding them killed one of them before the mob killed him. Then a police boat that was summoned by the officer before he died showed up and sprayed the crowd with bullets killing them. Then later in the day, a helicopter was trying to rescue about 40 people on a rooftop when shots were fired on it. The helicopter then sprayed the roof with bullets killing eveyone on it. It is truely a warzone. This isn't some word of mouth urban legend bullshit. This is a direct source. Needless to say, this guy is abandoning his job and evacuating tonight.

My best friend and his neighbor are staying with me right now. He grabbed his computer, his financial records, and 5 pairs of clothes. That's all he's got. Everything else is gone. Shana only has a few pairs of clothes and about 300 dollars to her name. She has no family in the area. Another friend managed to jump in her car and take off just in time. She's stranded indefinitely with a pair of flip flops, shorts, t-shirts, and 40 dollars to her name. She just spent most of her money on new furniture expecting to be paid Monday. All bets are off. Civilization is lost. It's fucking Mad Max and the Thunderdome there. It's absolutely lawless right now. Those that were stranded are looting everything. Some out of greed, some for survival. All of the gun stores were looted so those who are left are walking around with guns shooting each other, battling for the resources and high ground. Over 80% of the city is underwater. People are carjacking news vehicles in a desperate attempt at escaping from the city, but there is no way out. All of the interstates and bridges that lead out of the city are destroyed. The water is toxic from all of the petrol and household chemicals mixed in with it. There are snakes, fireants, alligators, and a potential Cholera outbreak on the horizon. Baghdad is a much safer place than New Orleans right now.

It's affected the surrounding cities too, including mine. I have a friend that lives in a gated community in Baton Rouge. She says that say desperate people are jumping the fence and breaking into vacant apartments for a place to stay. Lafayette is a typically very safe community. I frequently don't even lock my doors. Now the population has over doubled in ONE DAY. The roads are blocked with so many people. Crime is skyrocketing now. Many people got carjacked today. Someone was murdered today by thieves who broke into thier house. 2000 or so people were evacuated from the Superdome in New Orleans to the Cajundome a few blocks from my house. Now there are all these desperate, stranded people wandering the streets of my town. I don't feel safe here anymore.

This post hasn't even conveyed the full scope of the situation, but I'm tired of typing about it.

The ironic thing is that Monday I had plans of going to New Orleans to find a job. Now it doesn't exist. I don't think it will ever recover. The main industry is tourism and all of the historical sites are sitting under 6-20 feet of water. At best it will take years to recover, and I don't think it can ever return to it's former state.

I've heard stories of people being found with severed limbs. I've heard stories of people seeing animals (like dogs) being electrocuted in the powerlines. There are many people I know and love who are missing and haven't been heard of. I can only sit and wait.

I think I'm moving with my displaced friends to either L.A. or Portland. I can't stay here anymore.

ALSO some other first hand accounts(has a link to some pics)

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