Walking out of New Orleans
September 5, 2005 5:21 PM   Subscribe

Michael Homan rode out Katrina in New Orleans and later "escaped" one of the freeway-based collection points. His is the first of what will surely be many firsthand accounts appearing on blogs. Why not collect your link finds here?
posted by mwhybark (29 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
First, I had intended to say, that I have seen. So sorry.
posted by mwhybark at 5:22 PM on September 5, 2005

Not a link, but my cousin who lives in South Alabama has lots of stories we're starting to get. Her town of 7500 is now host to an influx of 2500 evacuees. She's hosting a family from Mississippi whose whole material life is gone, and she's been volunteering medical care for others. She writes:
There are just SO many stories to tell. There was a family who came to get hepatitis shots the other day who managed to escape from New Orleans in chest deep water, swam to higher ground and got in a vehicle with strangers and they all made it this far. The other family moved on north to Tennessee where they had children. But these guys are still here. Young couple in their early 20's. She said when they were on one of the bridges in New Orleans trying to steal a car to get away, these boys came to them with six guitars they stole from the Hard Rock Cafe. She couldn't remember whose they were because she's a country music fan :-), but one was Hendrix, another one was from the Blues Brothers, but that was all she could remember. They engraved description was with them, but the guys said they couldn't carry the glass cases, so to prove it was what they said it was, they got the engraved dated inscriptions from each guitar. They also had hundreds of clean, dry Hard Rock Cafe t-shirts they were selling for $10 dollars, and they ended up buying some of them.
posted by Miko at 6:04 PM on September 5, 2005

This is the most amazing one I've seen, a six-year-old named Deamonte Love leading five younger children to safety. I was tempted to make it a front-page post, but it fits nicely here.
posted by BackwardsCity at 6:10 PM on September 5, 2005

BackwardsCity, that was an incredible story.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 6:19 PM on September 5, 2005

Not New Orleans, but Mississippi; I apologize for not completely adhering to your topic, but I haven't seen much elsewhere about the terrible destruction wrought on their coasts as well. The linked blog is a collection of stories and photos by a couple of reporters who work for the Biloxi Sun-Herald.

Thanks very much for the links posted so far.
posted by melissa may at 6:29 PM on September 5, 2005

Oh, no apologies needed, melissa may. We've been glued to N.O., obviously, but the stories will appear from all over the Gulf Coast. Thanks!
posted by mwhybark at 6:36 PM on September 5, 2005

Crap, when I first read this blurb (quickly) I thought it was about me. Of course, I haven't been anywhere near Katrina.
posted by grouse at 6:38 PM on September 5, 2005

BackwardsCity, thanks for that link. I have a 6-year-old. I cannot imagine.
posted by youarejustalittleant at 6:40 PM on September 5, 2005

What kind of rescue person lets 7 little children go off wandering? God, the chaos must have been incredible for that to happen.
posted by mediareport at 7:03 PM on September 5, 2005

Today, I very briefly met the author of this story, but I haven't had a chance to read it myself. His co-workers didn't know he'd survived until this morning!
posted by kimota at 7:06 PM on September 5, 2005

What kind of rescue person lets 7 little children go off wandering?

It sounds like this happened all the time. Lots of peopel were just ferried to a dry spot and left.

Anyway, can we add Deamante to the MeFi scholarship list, if that ever happens?
posted by Miko at 7:11 PM on September 5, 2005

That little boy is going to be one fine leader some day.

posted by ilsa at 7:11 PM on September 5, 2005

I've started thinking that if the Federal Government had totally ignored Katrina, and left it to the locals and outside civilian aid, thousands of people would be alive.

The only reason this man got out was because he:
  • Broke out of a guarded, fenced in section of highway run by the feds
  • Evaded Federal checkpoints on his way out
  • Had friends who could break through checkpoints to get in.
It's like the Feds want to turn this into 'Escape From New Orleans' by thwarting anyone attempting to stay alive or help others stay alive.

There are probably pockets of people hiding from the rescuers who still have food and water plus information about what awaits them if they surrender because they know that they're more likely to stay alive that way.

Who would want to be taken from anywhere that's dry and has nourishment to any of these stretches of highway surrounded by troops with the guns pointed inwards?
posted by blasdelf at 7:24 PM on September 5, 2005

Hope shines in the children:
posted by ericb at 7:26 PM on September 5, 2005

1000 Words and Millions More
posted by blasdelf at 7:33 PM on September 5, 2005

kimota, i got that story in my email just after posting here. blasdelf, as I read Homan's story, I thought of the stories I've read recently about the guarded refugee camps that occured after the 1927 flood; in kimota's link, the author makes the same connection.

But I would LOVE to read first-hand BLOG accounts, folks, blogs. The pro and political coverage is great and very interesting; but honestly, Homan is writing for his friends and family and not for a national audience, and that makes the tale that much more compelling.
posted by mwhybark at 7:39 PM on September 5, 2005

mwhybark, thank you so much for sharing that link.
posted by Serena at 8:00 PM on September 5, 2005

cried when I heard my mayor Ray Nagin's interview with Garland Robinette on Thursday, August 33. You can read the transcript here

The august that never ended.
posted by delmoi at 8:14 PM on September 5, 2005

Thanks, mwhybark. Nice post.
posted by shoepal at 8:16 PM on September 5, 2005

Cool New Orleans teacher Abram Himelstein is now blogging in exile for the Houston Chronicle.
posted by mediareport at 8:32 PM on September 5, 2005

good one, delmoi.
posted by mwhybark at 8:50 PM on September 5, 2005

The Himelstein stuff is gold, mediareport. One of my people-that-fled is a teacher down there too; wonder if they know each other.
posted by mwhybark at 8:59 PM on September 5, 2005

Samantha Perez's Hurricane Diary - a high school senior's account of her family's evacuation. via WWLtv's Katrina Forums
posted by roboto at 11:13 PM on September 5, 2005

I will not let my Government imprison me.
posted by sourwookie at 11:55 PM on September 5, 2005

I fear that when New Orleans is rebuilt, it will be rebuilt with no place for the people who were trapped in the city when the hurricane hit.

It will be one giant French Quarter themed suburban development, as gaudy, expensive and unlivable as possible. There will be no affordable housing. The poor will never be allowed to return, if not by force, they will be held back by $$$.

The 'reformed' bankruptcy laws will not allow them to declare bankruptcy. They will be poorer than ever before. Hopefully they will be given real assistance, but I doubt they will get it from the government. It's likely that only the private charites will step up to help.
posted by blasdelf at 12:10 AM on September 6, 2005

Liz was a nurse at a hospital there. No running water or power, etc. The IR finally stopped manually bagging (the air bag/mask thingies) folks who'd been on ventilators; couldn't keep it going. Several apparently died. Amazing reading, and some great photos as well.
posted by ehintz at 12:10 AM on September 6, 2005

Who is voting for the next rep. 'Bush Administration'? Whoever that may be....
posted by Meccabilly at 3:23 AM on September 6, 2005

The 'reformed' bankruptcy laws will not allow them to declare bankruptcy. They will be poorer than ever before.

They've still got 6 months from the date of execution (mid-October) to file and still be eligible under the old laws.

FYI. Take advantage.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 5:15 AM on September 6, 2005

Good. Let's hope they find out before it's too late.
posted by blasdelf at 10:42 PM on September 6, 2005

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