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tv   Washington This Week  CSPAN  August 29, 2015 12:00pm-1:01pm EDT

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it is disgusting when you drive through new orleans today, you still have dilapidated buildings. we have not done anything to fix of the flooding problems, and we need to get some intelligentwhe. he talked today, ice still hear the words you are doing a wonderful job, because people were dying in the city. of the united states, is still part of the united states. they keep selling -- selling the cabinet is there to reject all of the american citizens. they have forgotten it. i think people need to a liked intelligent people instead of these idiots that we have in washington. host: the head of the fema at the time, michael brown, posted
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an op ed giving his perspective on hurricane katrina. you can see it online. he says that fema ordered the evacuation of new orleans. if it had invoked the act that congress amended in 2006 or deployment of troops for spots in disasters, that was action that was contemplated after air force one. i advocated for it. new orleans the mayor ray nagin on air force one and outline the plan. we immediately started drafting a federation document for the president's signature, but the mayor asked time to think it over. whether governor considered options, the city became more dysfunctional. the president's plan was linda pushedjected aside. you can read more on politico. stop blaming any for hurricane katrina, that is for michael brown, the head of fema at the time. for taking myyou
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call. the section that you just read brings me to the point of the governor. there was an opportunity for the governor to relinquish autonomy for the state of louisiana to allow the federal government in there to take over. she refused to do so. in the interim, that made it all the more the worse. the second incident was that this brown character did not have any experience whatsoever in coordinating such a horrendous disaster. as a matter of fact, his breath experience had nothing to do with the government prior to be appointed . bush administration.
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host: thank you for taking my call. we are looking at the 10 year anniversary of hurricane katrina. your call.just particularly if you live in regions affected by louisiana, new orleans, mississippi, if you were displaced. the numbers were on the screen. we want to hear from you in our last hour to go. hold on the line. a want to take you back to 2005 when congress held a hearing looking at the response of hurricane katrina. they invited residents of new orleans to give testimony at the hearing. during the time, resident doreen heeler testified before congress on her experience with
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the recovery. we will hear from her and talk to her on the phone about what she thinks 10 years later. this is from 2005. of new orleans have endured hurricanes forever. it is difficult to convince senior citizens, especially native new orleans residents to leave. it would've been easier to move seniors out of the area and many lives would have been saved. it took me 24 hours to get my in-laws as to leave. others tell the same story. the severity was not expressed by officials. had officials told citizens of the great potential destruction of katrina i would have done more to secure my belongings. remoted known the possibility of water rising above 2 feet i would have the second floor of my home and taken pictures and moment does with me. instead the unplugged electrical equipment was placed on shelves and tables as i always had done. that did not save them from a
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10.2 feet of water. there was no continuity of services or information in the organization. the red cross went from state to state. i relied for information from friends on the services i could get. i would to the red cross several times in several locations seeking assistance. this took days and i only received assistance and usually information from florida. when i was out of new orleans, the only resources i had to rely on for information was the internet and national media. the national media broadcast doors and pictures of home alledgein water, violence, and politicians visiting shelters. there was no services or what was going on in specific areas. access to local media through the internet was the only way to obtain information on local queries. no government was prepared for this disaster. they started with complete confusion and migrated to
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pointing fingers at each other when the citizens of new orleans were scattered across the nation. the mayor is saying that all of new orleans will be rebuilt, while others are saying that may not be possible in all areas. the governor is saying help is coming to the area, but also the federal government is not releasing ones. fema is saying they will put trailers on affected properties, but thousands, myself included, are still waiting. ist: joining us on the phone that new orleans resident the you just heard from. she is giving her testimony back in 2005. thank you for joining us. would you think about the events and the recovery effort? would you think has happened in 10 years, particularly from the point where you testified in front of congress? caller: many of the problems that i testified in front of congress are still present. out.e 10 years there's still a lot of abandoned property. a lot o -- everyone's property value has gone down, mainly because maybe the neighbor may have rebuilt, but the third
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house from the corner might still be abandoned and boarded out. there are some progress. .ome people have come back one of my main concerns when i testified was the lack of information given to people, especially with native new orleans residents who had injured storm's for years and had no idea of the severity. it was difficult to get the elderly out, and i saw absolutely no effort to help the elderly who were affected by katrina and 2005 to make it -- to make them able to move back into the city. that means the city of lost out on a lot because we no longer have those people with us. host: as far as the information you were getting, or the lack of information, did you see that on all levels, federal, state, and local? caller: i blamed everybody. i think everybody had a responsibility for the entire disaster.
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i think that nobody was prepared for it. i, myself, always knew there was a possibility of this type of storm coming through. frankly, i never thought it would happen during my lifetime. it caused the federal -- cut the federal, local, and the state government by surprise. they should've had a plan in place for such a disaster. if i had to point the finger at one place in particular, it would definitely be the federal government, though. host: we have been talking a lot about the recovery in new orleans in the 10 years that have passed. what do you see happening as far as the recovery? how much is the federal government involved in the recovery effort? are they making progress? have they fixed what has been damaged in the last 10 years? caller: is still confusing. we came back and you slowly learned which funds you are able to access to rebuild your home, area, and neighborhood. that differed from day to day,
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what was available one week was not available the next. i cannot believe how so much money could actually be wasted. what i mean by that is some money was given out without any way of tracking who got what. some people got some, some people were denied, some people who did not live in affected areas were receiving funding, while those that were in affected areas had to jump through hoops in order to get anything to help rebuild their home. the city is coming back slowly. it is not the way that it used to be. i often wonder if it ever will be. i think part of the problem that we have is that everyone has the katrina mentality. we talk about pre-katrina and post-katrina. that is how we live our lives. what happened before and what is not happening now. our changes, it is rebuilding, i think that it will take a couple of generations for us to get back to where we were before.
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host: let's go with that. it is not the way that it used to be. give us examples of they are in new orleans. caller: new orleans has always been a city of neighborhoods. whenever you talk to someone you ask them where they came from. they would tell you what neighborhood that they were from. those neighborhoods are gone. the boundaries are skewered, the lines are blurred, and these same people who had lived there for generations are not there anymore. we are no longer -- you know your neighbor. i know how it is -- i don't know how it is another cities, but new orleans has always been a neighborhood city. you identified and where identified with the area you came from. that is gone. i see no effort to try to solidify the neighborhoods again. once again, there are several houses all over the city, in many of the areas, that have not been rebuilt.
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you will have many cases like absentee landlords, where i bought this house, i live in another state, and i do not care if it gets rebuilt. it is falling apart because i have no responsibility for it. i will not be held accountable because im out-of-state. neighborhood concept has changed, and that is sad. host: we have seen pictures of the ninth ward and what is going on in some of the rebuilding processes. is that what you're talking about? or are there other neighborhoods that were torn apart that are slowly rebuilding, but it is changing the nature of the neighborhood? caller: all of the neighborhoods in the city. even those that did not get much water and were not that gravely affected by the storm itself is being affected by the rebuilding of the city. all of the neighborhoods have changed. the lower ninth ward is the worst, they have been neglected more than any other neighborhood in the city. they barely have services.
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i do not take my car down there because you could literally fall off of the street. bad. just that we also have to remember that before hurricane katrina, there was not many services available to people in the lower ninth ward. .t is just worse now host: as far as your personal story, what was rebuilding like for you? caller: it was rough. come back toto my home, because i had to see if my neighbors were coming back. the whole city was completely dark. there were no streetlights. the only time you had light was during the daytime, even if you could fight to get a trailer on your property, it was so deserted. it took a while to come back. when i did come back, some of my neighbors came back and some did
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not. we had problems with abandoned housing. a lot of the housing that was behind me was rental property, and it was rental property by people who did not live in louisiana. the houses that -- directly behind me they had a sign on it that said for sale had ever been touched since katrina. the sign was there for so long that the sun had completely bleached the contact information . i forgot what storm came afterwards a few years later they took out the entire bottom half of the house. i had a pile of wood behind me. that went on for years. you had to fight things like mice and rodents and things from abandoned properties. about six years after katrina, they finally leveled the place. that is what many neighborhoods are still dealing with. abandoned houses, bringing property values down, having
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either derelicts, rodents, or something living in it and that is ruining the entire neighborhood. host: at the same time, you're talking to us. we have heard from others that say that rent is a problem, mortgages are a problem, and some of the housing is priced out of the range of people that lived there 10 years earlier. caller: many of the people that live there 10 years earlier could not come back because their homes were either destroyed or they cannot afford to rebuild. definitely, properties -- i mean, many people who lived in gentrification. many people who lived in the areas could not upkeep the house, they could not come back, there are others that are coming in and taking over. they cannot afford to go back to the homes that they lived in. doreen keeler-tollerson a resident of new orleans, joining us on the phone.
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you saw her updating us on her experience. ms. doreen keeler-tollerson thank you for your time, and thank you for talking to us on c-span. back to louisiana. hello. caller: i was listening to c-span, which i'm looking at now on television. sorry about the lower ninth ward area. they have just opened a wall back there in new orleans. it needs ninth ward supermarkets because the close to the grocery stores, and they sold a lot of drugs since they sold down the projects -- toward on the projects. they turned it into a residential area. maybe that is one of the reasons they have not opened supermarkets, because the people in the know a -- in the lower ninth ward -- that money from that is going to
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another path as far as money being brought to new orleans. is, i cannot understand why they do not put supermarkets out there in the lower ninth ward like they had years ago. , whichd one on claiborne covered the lower ninth ward, where they bought their groceries. so -- what? host: we will leave it there. you're breaking up a little bit. wasington, d.c., lee involved. i think you're involved in another type of rescue? caller: yes. for six weeks i volunteered with a small grassroots group doing morning,scue work, evening, and during the day helped folks at st. bernard's parish take destroyed items out of their home. one day, this young woman came with a dog tucked under her
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jacket. she was looking for a veterinarian. she had all kinds of stories about the night before the storm hit. she worked at a bar. she described how the people -- they knew the storm was coming, that it would be horrific. they were stunned. paralyzed. the day the storm hit, she someone at the radio station that was going up in a helicopter. flying around in his helicopter, they would see the waters gushing in. cars, families in cars, just swept up in this onrush of water. helped evacuate
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elderly people on a gurney. she described how she would wheel this gurney across a bridge. at the end of the bridge, the people there would turn them back because they did not want to these people entering that area. she, herself, was white. i gather the people she was assisting were black. i never heard that discussed. i gather it is a very painful chapter. many people know about it, but -- i do not know why i ever heard about that. if someone knows, i would love to hear. let's hear from mike in indiana. hello. you are on. caller: i am calling about louisiana. mentioned it.r fromdefinitely got help
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miriam, indiana. the police department went down. side-by-side. fema came in later. and then the current mayor of louisiana, then the police we don't need you. people in other parts of the country have come in and helped new orleans the way that marion, indiana helped louisiana. if louisiana need something, miriam will be there to help them out. thank you, very much. host: from north carolina, this is leslie. caller: hello? host: you are on. caller: i am sorry.
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i think that is better. i wanted to make 2 quick points. full of notesook from this time because i was very interested in what was going on. all of the different problems that were arising. when the caller before the lady that you just interviewed said that he was complaining about brownie, the president's fema director, saying that he had no experience, blah, blah, blah. the year before, florida got hit by 5 hurricanes back to back. he was the famous director then. florida did not know to hell, if you want to put it that way. cooperated with the federal government, because we had the governor bush, who i'm not voting for, but at any rate -- they had more coordination and the local mayors and things did things better.
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to everyone to get on recognize that the entire system was messed up from the beginning. i blame and the governor more than the president. she was a new governor and his was over her head. just so everyone knows, it was a failure of engineering that caused that city to flood. people know this, now, but the city remembers the entire situation with the levee board, and how the levee board, for years and years, up to katrina, actually pull for the money. the levees they were supposed to be building stronger. that is why the city -- it was a poor site. i pray for louisiana to this day. thank you. from katrina in arkansas
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who was displaced by hurricane katrina. good morning. caller: good morning. i'm a little nervous. ok.: it is tells about your story. after the storm where did you had to? caller: i was in the city during the storm. i was sent to the convention center. the group of people that i was these were the first ones there. the very first people at the convention center. when we got there at about 10:00 the morning after the storm, the new orleans police department, a bunch of them were in there, and they marched out with guns and .ent towards harris casino we were able to enter into the convention center. hallwaya bench in the
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and set their, fell asleep, and i can say maybe an hour later i woke up and it sounded like mardi gras around me. there were so many people. so many people that had came there. first of all, my name is katrina, i was born and raised in new orleans. a lot of people during the time of the storm never did evacuate or left, because i might have a power outage and maybe some water that rose up from heavy rain and everything that passed by. you would just sit on your front porch and talk to your neighbors. i do miss new orleans. ask youtrina, i want to a question. you live in arkansas. why did you not go back to new orleans? caller: that is what i was about to say. a lot of things started happening.
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people that were affected by the storms started getting sick and passing away. dealing with so much stress and everything. i raised 5 children. my main concern was decline. all of a sudden, new orleans gets ridiculous with the crime. along with all of the memories, deteriorate city to to look like a bomb dropped when i went back, i took it hard. it was hard. toanted to close the door that chapter. a lot of memories and everything. i miss it a lot. i feel like i cannot move back there. .ost: gotcha katrina sharing her story. we appreciate that. dorothy in mobile, alabama is another that was displaced by katrina.
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i was living in an apartment. water was about a block off the highway 90, which is about five to six miles from the beach in pascagoula. the water came up over my mother's hospital bed. she was a hospice patient. louis in a st. nursing home. i did not go back after that, but i had heard some of the people tell me that it got flattened. the nursing home where i worked. i was to go with the nursing home, me and my mother when they evacuated the nursing home. to get out
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i drove back to pascagoula to pick up my mama. we were going to go to a shelter. went toed our mind and mother's sister. in a week, that is when we got back to pascagoula. that is when i saw the water over my mother's hospital bed. just what i could get off of the walls is what i took. a few pictures. a clock. i would not even let my mama see what it looked like. we do not have any pictures of the family. we had to close that we had taken and the clothing on our backs. weave very grateful that
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went to stay with my sister in mississippi, which is between malls point and lose dale. we found a small double wide and took it. we slept on air mattresses until i could get a bed, a hospital bed. my mother's hospice group was washed away. three months before she could get another hospital bed. i got a job there. we build back a little bit. my mother died in 2009, after
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the hurricane, i came to work in mobile at a nursing home. now, i am in the nursing home because i had a stroke. that wehe main things both did not tell each other how much shock it was by seeing a few pictures about two years later. depressed.ame very that was our family. we were in shock. was privy to my mother's death. then, song jobs after much. i was trying to tell you
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what i've learned, what we both learned -- that you really do but food,othing clothing, and shelter. .e are both christians we have both been through other hurricanes before, bad ones, like betsy. camille. frederick. we know what bad hurricanes are like. led us through. god displaced us so that we could recover. we will never forget the memories there. the experience. it made me appreciate everything that i have. i do not ask for a whole lot because i think back that we we gotcky as long as
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food, clothing, and shelter. that is all god. god will provide. provide what you need. that is dorothy from mobile alabama sharing her story about being displaced due to hurricane katrina. connie from norfolk, virginia helped her family recover. tell us about this recovery. of a son who lived in new orleans at the time, and i had a sister in mississippi. i found that my son was going to evacuate. my sister was not. vacation in arkansas when the storm hit. i knew that i could not reach her and i had to get down there to see her. i had gone through memphis. by the time we got to memphis, stores are being cleaned out of ice, toilet paper, and stable
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things that you would like to take to someone in an emergency. we gathered what we could and got as far south as jackson. at that time, there were reports of roads being closed. i was not sure i would be able to make it to see her. we got to jackson and had to stop for the night. i remember the lobbies of the hotels were full of people sleeping. letting them sleep anywhere. we had to get up at 4:00 in the morning to get in the gas line, because there were very few stations that were open or had gas. i remember how weird it was lineng through the gas asking, any word from lumberton? i thought, this does not happen in our country. there was no word or do we drove down to lumberton to my sister's house. she and her entire family were sleeping on mattresses on their front porch because it was so
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hot in august in mississippi. ie cried, she did not know was coming. it was so sad to see this happening and our country. and no help. pickup trucks were flying past us full of generators to get them to poor, desperate people that needed to get some help. i thought, if i that people can go down there with trucks full of generators, what is wrong with our country? the saddest thing that struck my heart was my sister's daughter in law. we could not take her very much stuff. been emptied out. she just cried when she saw the ice in the cooler. we had a couple hundred dollars that we were able to give them. the atms did not work. it was sad. what angered me so much was turning on the radio on the way down and hearing george w. bush with his news conference
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praising brownie and talking his crew wasderful doing. he did not realize that he was responsible for the deaths of thousands of people. it was despicable then, it is despicable now, how he could show his face in that city yesterday's a mystery to me. i will never forget what a horrible president he was. i will say this, the people that stayed, and the people that went back, they wanted to, they had to, they loved it. it is a wonderful city. andrdless of the corruption the misuse of funds, the people that need to get back there better get back there. it is the new orleans residents that are going to make it good again. we are thankful for that wonderful city and the recovery that there has been. host: that was connie. the current fema administrator craig fugate was asked about the
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recovery efforts of hurricane katrina. and what is being done by current obama administration. this was done earlier by the atlantic. here are some of the thoughts. [video clip] >> what went so wrong? >> a lot of people are focused on the individual. i've been in this for a while. we have seen this pattern over and over. the nation preparing for what we think will happen, when something worse happens, we are not prepared. he goes back to hurricane andrew, hurricane hugo. it is a tendency that we plan for what we are capable of doing, not what can happen. then we scale up. there's no mystery of what can happen in new orleans. we had a national hurricane conference here that year in april talking about many of these risks. fema had participated in exercises that simulated these things that we talked about. the challenge was, if you cannot execute, you cannot plan on what
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will happen -- beforehad a discussion katrina hit? in april of that year, that basically simulated out what might happen? >> we actually looked at a worse things. hurricane coming up the river channel and overflowing the mainline levee system and what that would look like. it was not that we did not know that new orleans was one of the most vulnerable areas, if you look at a lot of the plans, they would plan for what had happened in the past, what people thought it was reasonable to plan for. mother nature is not reasonable. what you had was everybody thought, if it is worse than that we will just scale up, and it didn't. very disjointed response in that you have what i call, each level of government was like dominoes having to fail before the next level would kick in. there was too much delay. host: you can see that whole event. go to our website at to see that.
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lets you from sally in new york. good morning. in the midst of all of this sadness i have a happy story to tell. my daughter went to mississippi in october 10 years ago to do katrina relief from a jewish center outside jackson that was calling churches all along the mississippi coast, asking what they needed. diapers, water, ice. she met a handsome young man on a forklift that was running the camp, and that is my son-in-law. my daughter and son-in-law about their marriage, they say that our family is the result of a hurricane. host: that is sally from new york. experience ofher her daughter. cheryl from shreveport, louisiana. caller: hello. there was a lady that called a short time back that was asking about the people that were
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locked on the bridge. that was on one of the major news channels. i do not know if it was cnn, i believe. there was actually a lady and her husband that were both emts that had been in one of the hotels. they ended up going up on the bridge, and there were a bunch of people up there with her. i think she said at the time there were probably 100 people up there with them. ofe of them had bottles water, and they were trying to get across the greater new orleans bridge, which runs past the superdome and over to the west bank at out years. they were blocked by the algiers police from going over that bridge. she said that one of the people, to of the sheriffs, rode up the people, took their water bottles, some of them from them, and took them and put them in the trunk of his car and drove off. later on, the attorney general
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of louisiana brought charges against him. unfortunately, everything was eventually dismissed. no repercussions. that bridge was open on the other side of the river. that ridge is elevated to about 15 feet above the ground. there was absolutely no water over there. people could have been taken that way. i saw something the other day that was terrible, charity hospital, a 300 euros hospital, the oldest charity hospital in the country. those people were in that building in all of that heat with no electricity. it took one week for the last patient to be lifted out of that hospital. host: emily from mississippi. good morning. thank you for calling in. caller: good morning. the focus is on new orleans, that is about 90
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miles from where i live. i live 60 or 75 miles from the gulf coast. atfather was the director medical, and they had to be down there for the storm. and wanted to share stories from is 75 miles which from the gulf coast. we have a hospital here, a large hospital. water, therepower, wereno -- there nurses trying to get these patient hydrated and out of the hospital. a lot of people don't hear about this because new orleans took over, but even here in hattiesburg, we had dialysis patients that did not have water. we could not die allies than peer to get huge tank to dialyzed them. stole our water. you cannot do dialysis without water. people were coming in from new
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orleans, dialysis patients, because we have a patient clinic. they were saying that they were going to die there. we did not have water even here. that is where fema ruined it for us too. even in mississippi, we did not see any relief up until three days. governor barbour had actually told them, if you do not send medical supplies, water, and ice to these people, you might as well send body bags. that really was the truth, even here. i remember, we had a forest county sheriff's department, and we have a base here. camp shelby. he actually went and stole 218 wheelers of ice and water to deliver to the people of hattiesburg. -- stole 2 18 wheelers of ice and water to deliver to the people of hattiesburg. it was filled with ice and water and they were just sitting there. they were not giving it. he went to that base and he
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stole those 18 wheelers. i remember getting ice from those 18 wheelers. i just wanted to give you some stories were places that you probably have not even heard that we were majorly affected, too. i really think the governor barbour stepped up and he told them. it is ice or body bags. please help my people. we were. thank goodness. in st. louis, and it is one of the places that was very, very hard hit. my dad were out the storm there. it was like a fish bowl in a hospital. you could see fish go by because they had so much water. they had four to ceiling that place has really come back. it is because of the loan that people have for mississippi, st. louis, hattiesburg. i wanted to share my story on that. so the people that watching the not will know that it is only new orleans. we were also hit hard in mississippi. i wanted to give it a voice. host: thank you. that is emily from mississippi giving her perspective and the perspective of her state. the lines for their main of our
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time, 20 minutes or so, louisiana, mississippi, if you were displaced by katrina, and all others. they will be up as we go along in the remaining part of the show. quinn from alabama in new orleans during katrina. tell us about your experience. good morning. i had the experience of the bus that we were getting out early. peopleas a gentleman and with pets. they were getting on the bus as before trying to get out everything really went haywire. they're trying to take their pets with them. they were saying, you cannot take the pets on the bus. one man told his dog, go home, go home. the dog just stood there. after they got the water level down, he went back to his old home. guess who was there? the dog was there.
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sitting around. ,e called his dog, duke, duke duke. he came running to his master and jumped in his arms. told you i was going to come back and get you. say to get on the bus and leave new orleans, and come back to his new home. i think that his new home was in tuscaloosa, alabama. some of it was on the news. a lot of pets were so dedicated that they went back to their old home. they do not know how they survived, but they did, and they were able to find some of their pets and bring them home. that was such a heartbreaking story. new orleans, america should be like new orleans. gumbo. big if they could dysfunctional family. we all have to come together, blend all of our talents to pull
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our nation up. we are talking about no child left behind. we cannot afford to leave anybody behind. no talents behind. we are competing with the world, and we need all of our talented children in music, science, and everything else. bowl that we are living in. new orleans showed america that we can come together, work together, and make this nation great. thank you. carolyn from new orleans. we hear from her next. carolyn from new orleans? caller: good morning. wanted to talk about my experience with katrina. mead a 90-year-old lady with that i worked for. she had nowhere to go. i had five kids of my own. we had to evacuate before katrina. long to get to
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where we were going, which was nowhere. we did not know where to go. i was the only one that could -- to take care of everyone in the car. i just drove and drove. we went to alexandria. i could not get a hold of a hotel there, but the lady that i was with was caucasian. they would not give it to me because of my race. she went in and they gave it to her. withrought all of us in her. we stayed there overnight. we drove through faraday. we found a place by my cousins in lafayette. we had to leave lafayette. from there, we had to go to arkansas. home ind we came back october. nothing was wrong with our house.
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we went through a lot, and i could not take it to see the people they were. every time i think about her i get so full. and the people did not understand what we were going through. it hurts so bad. thank you so much, sir. from here is willie austin, texas. you say that your cousin was involved in this somehow? go ahead. caller: my cousin bobby was down there in the superdome. water,d not have any food, anything, it was a mess. they wound up all the men and we giving them shots. they were saying that they got a shot in the arm. they were vitamin shots. my cousin did not understand. he wanted a woman to take the shots, take care of the women. there are only giving it to the men.
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they said it was a men shot. he took the shot. it was all ok. three days later, he noticed something changed and hi -- in him. he did not understand, but he said the shot turned him gay. ev from flint, michigan. go ahead. caller: how are you doing today? i want to say god bless the people of katrina. i wanted to mention something thing.he air the minority. that they were taxing the property. that is false. i am caucasian, and they do it in michigan to us, too. i think it is a nationwide thing. this is not a black and white thing. a poverty thing.
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they're trying to do a poverty control, because they are doing it in flint, michigan, wiping out whole neighborhoods. there taxing the water like crazy. that is a bigger thing then that deal. as i wanted to say. thanks. of new orleans holds a public commemoration service tonight in new orleans. at hurricane katrina on its 10th anniversary. you can see that live on c-span, and listen live on c-span radio. new orleans, louisiana is where wayne is. joining us on the phone to give us his experience 10 years later. gentilly.lived in we had a lot of water from the london avenue canal. we left late that sunday. we thought that we could wait it out. my daughter got panicky. we thought that we had to leave. we went up to baton rouge.
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it was the most unbelievable ride i've ever had. my brother-in-law lived in baton rouge and we stayed there. we came in from lafayette. we had boats to help people that were drowning. it was unbelievable. it really was. is also in new orleans. barry, thank you for joining us on the phone. caller: good morning, pedro. thank you very much recovering the real deal on hurricane katrina. i would like to share this story with all the american people. thank god for the churches and volunteers -- [indiscernible] all of the infrastructure in the city of new orleans, why didn't
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the mayor talk about that? why didn't they talk about giving poor people jobs? when you lose everything, everything you own? a witness to this, pedro. the local people did not have jobs. they fired 7500 schoolteachers for no reason talking about holding a new school system. you go 75 miles north of new orleans, the majority parish, and this goals are being operated by the state of louisiana. we should never ever forget that. host: john from new hampshire. you were in new orleans during the storm? caller: we were part of a first response team. fema has a team of volunteer , anything, doctors that you can think of --
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construction, engineers. i am a paramedic. we went down to louisiana a pair at a time. dispatched when it was agreed to diagnose and the flood began. people actually blocked in the city to render aid. they were not allowed to get near the area. it was frustrating for my partner, because he had family down there. i don't know, it was a sad, sad to story. , we weren'twn allowed to enter the city to give aid, water, anything they needed.
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that is my story, and i want to thank everybody. --: gerber from our alexandria, louisiana. did you not return? caller: i am in alexandria and did not return. because of having to rebuild and everything. pedro, first, i would like to of the american citizens that actually came down and helped. hispanics,dents, documented and undocumented, american citizens as far away as michigan, california, and oregon. all of these people came down and actually helped. our own government did not come down until six days later to help us. that wasn a community
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predominately black and middle class. all single, private homes. we flooded. feet plus got eight of water. my brother and i were there with my mother and father. my mother was confined to a wheelchair, so we were waiting for a van to pick her up. they never came. we had to ride it out. i was on top of the rooftop trying to flag helicopters. finally, my brother had to swim out, get on a levy, and walk. he found some of our friends that we grew up with. buoyhad the foresight to off of boats and tie up gasoline. they were taking people off of the roofs in our neighborhood. we whirl assembling -- we were assembling all the people in a funeral home we managed to get into.
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six days later, we probably had over 100 people in those funeral homes that we were caring for. from infants all the way to 90-year-old people. thes a shame what government -- how the government failed us in this situation. we lost everything. we were going into the stores just to survive, not to loot, but to survive. we had to get medicines for the people. we had to get food. theyd to get dance that could sleep on. couches. whatever we could do, we did. that group of people that did that for their neighbors, those are the true heroes. those are the people that have earned their way into heaven. if we had more people like that in this country who cared for a job there, regardless of their color, regardless of their
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economic status, we would be a fantastic country. that was a poor situation. i hope that no one in america allows that to happen again. host: hello, good morning. caller: good morning. itanted to relate that passed over us and we did get a lot of wind damage. my brother-in-law's home was wiped out, but he was able to get out. my heart broke because i had a short band radio. during the storm i could hear calls of people from new orleans calling in for help. mothers with children. they had not been a vacuum waited because the buses had not gotten that -- they had not been , vacuum waited -- evacuated because the buses had not gotten there. i went to help, but i knew there was nothing i could do.
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later, i heard that the levees had broken, and i knew some of those people did not make it. i wanted to express my condolences to all of those who lost their homes and families, especially, and praise god that all people, black and white, can get along and make this a better world. portland'sle in never forget this happens. they need a good plan to get the poor people out of there as soon as possible, because their lives are worth just as much as everyone else's. thank you, and god bless everyone who survived. host: angela from washington state. caller: hello, good morning. i was calling. i evacuated, of course, over 10 years now. i am listening to everyone sharing their stories. it is wonderful to hear about their stories, not my thing is,
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ok, enough with the stories. what is going on now? how are we? how is the structure now to continue the process? when i left and went down to visit, i have family members there now that have rebuilt their homes in the lower ninth ward, but it is hard because you do not have that support. right now, i do not know who the governor is, i think it is bobby jindal. what is their plan for the lower ninth ward? there, the fancy levy of that is great, but now, what about it -- when i went down there to visit the roads are horrible. you could not even get to some of the neighborhoods. there are potholes, no transportation, the pipelines, schools need medical. no supermarkets, or whatever. what is the infrastructure like. who is responsible for putting those things back for people to
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come back? host: gotcha. alan from mississippi. go ahead. , i worked at the navy base. we had all kinds of trucks and stuff in there. we had a local system set up there in the hangar. i think that they done pretty good work. aknow that they had considerable traffic jam. all of the ice trucks and stuff. it stayed and never left. a we had went to work on saturday, and we released on a thursday, i believe, it loses me. i went home and my house was tore out. i had four inches of water in it. apologies for that. the steak one more call. this is phenix city, alabama. more one this is phenix city, alabama.
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caller: i was there for katrina. we left on friday. we were the first to get out, everyone leave, this is serious. .e went to my sister's house five people and the house. there were 11 of us. we has to get air mattresses and whatever we could get to sleep on. greatery, thank god, fellowship christian church, red cross, the people in arkansas, they helped us tremendously. we went back to new orleans after two or three months, and when i got back, everything was lost. we didn't have nothing left. we went back a second time, everything was gutted. it was horrible. i don't have people stayed there. smellhere and entered the -- and went through the smell
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that they had there. i feel bad for the people that were left behind because the buses were supposed trying to get back to new orleans. never made it. now i am in alabama, just living, but i don't think i can return back until they fix some things. i have been back to visit many times and there are still houses boarded up, businesses boarded up. places gone. i have some family that did return. i am not ready to return until they fix a lot of things. as far as the crime down there, they have all these cameras everywhere. they need to have somebody manning these cameras and they can see what is going on in that city. give people jobs to help look at the cameras on a daily basis and see what is going on in that city and curb some of this


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