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Helping In N Orleans – Firsthand Account

S&L reader Retire05 has posted an account of his experiences helping Katrina victims in New Orleans. I thought we would all be interested in hearing his firsthand report.

Helping In New Orleans

By Retire05

In January of this year, I came to the gulf coast to help those whom I felt needed help after Katrina. I closed down my home, put my business in “slow mode”, hooked up the old 5h wheel (RV trailer) and came here. Americans helping Americans, at least that was my idea. I get no pay for what I do and bear all my own living expenses.

That said, here is what I have seen:

New Orleans is a pit; before the hurricane and after. I did not know what to expect because of the MSM news reports. What I found was a hellofa lot different that what was reported. NO citizens had no way out? Bullshit. You should see the cars that are sitting in all areas of New Orleans (which basically was one big ghetto) that have been under water.

Did those cars not run? Did the people not have gas money? It is estimated that 250,000 cars flooded in New Orleans. Is someone going to tell me that a quarter of million cars did not run. The bottom line? The people did not leave because THEY WOULD NOT LEAVE.

Did you hear any reports on the MSM about the church buses that were organized to take the people out the day before Katrina? Nope, but I will tell you about them.

Church buses, driven by volunteers, went into the 9th ward the day before Katrina. They went with police escort. The residents came out of their house, went to the ends of the streets, locked arms (peace protester style) and refused to allow the buses in. They shot rounds off at the police and the church buses. They refused to go.

The day after Katrina, when the water was rising, volunteers with air-boats (you know the ones with the airplane type propellers on the back that can travel in 6 inches of water) went back to the 9th ward. These were volunteers from all over east Texas, upper Louisiana and western Mississippi. The poor stranded “victims” shot holes in the boats still refusing to leave. But now, because of their personal choice to stay, they think the government (you and me) are responsible for them.

New modular homes has been moved into the 9th ward compliments of you and I. They remind me much of the old share-cropper homes of the south with being white clap board style, one-two rooms wide with a porch all across the front. And what do you see at these homes? You see the flooded out cars, with people sitting on the front porch drinking beer, not out finding jobs. I guess now they can complain they are truly living in a plantation style home.

All they can do is complain about how the government is not taking care of them. How it was the governments place to take them out of a city that was below sea level when a Cat V hurricane was three miles from shore.

I didn’t stay in New Orleans long. I could not take it. No one is grateful for what the government (you and I and our tax dollars) are doing. I left and came to southern Mississippi. For one thing, I think Mississippi has been pretty well ignored because of the pandering from Jesse Jackson, Al not-so-Sharpton and Al-Cin-Deh for the New Orleans “victims”.

Mississippi is better, but not great. The area I am in is pretty well equally divided, racially. But there is a tremendous amount of corruption going on here. People are driving NEW (not newer) cars while still living in FEMA provided housing.

Here is the story of one man who lives 85 miles inland: he told me that the winds tore the roof from his house. He owned a travel trailer (a nice one about 38′ long) but a tree had fallen on one end of the RV. So he cut the tree out of it, covered it with tarps to keep the elements out and moved into the good end so he could work on his roof. FEMA came by and told him they were going to give him a FEMA trailer. He said “no, I don’t need it. I am doing OK.” But FEMA INSISTED HE TAKE THE TRAILER. He is not unusual.

There are people here who have gotten FEMA trailers but are still living in their houses. What are they doing with the trailers? THEY ARE RENTING THEM OUT TO THE TUNE OF $500.00 A MONTH TO CONSTRUCTION WORKERS. Shouldn’t the government be giving us all an additional $500.00 a month?

The mayor of New Orleans complained that the illegals were taking the jobs away from ‘his’ people. Well, guess what? The people were offered jobs and FEMA trailers but refused to leave the hotels. Duh? So the contractors brought in illegals who were willing to do the jobs the New Orleans residents were not willing to do.

That is not the case in Mississippi. You can’t steal a hotel room in Hattiesburg. It is full of contractors that Haley Barbour has brought in to do reconstruction work. Hattiesburg is booming. Things here are getting done.

I know this has been long so I will leave you with one thought; there have been more claims for FEMA help than the whole population of Mississippi. Do you see a problem with that? The Shreveport paper had an article showing where “victims” got over $2,000 each for alternate housing. When they were told that they would have to move from FEMA hotels, they raised hell because they did not have any money. They spent (on God only knows what) the money they had been given.

We should not be responsible for people who refuse to be responsible for themselves. We should have just given each one of them $10,000, let them piss it away on booze or what ever and told them “that’s it. No more money, no more housing, no more food stamps, no more clothing vouchers. Nada, nil, nix.”

We could have saved billions.

Excellent report, Retire. It certainly is far different from what has been reported. You touched on a number of things I don’t believe any of us have been told before.

And thank you for volunteering to help in the first place. You are a good citizen. Seemingly, a dying breed.

This article was posted by Steve on Friday, February 17th, 2006. Comments are currently closed.

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