Katrina/Rita: Hemmer Says New Orleans Is “Down On Its Knees Again”

By Brian 

Bill Hemmer‘s report from New Orleans was pretty moving:
“The City of Houston is starting to come back to life, here in New Orleans this is a city that is nearly dead. Look at this street down here, Martha [MacCallum]. There is no one here. We are almost four weeks removed from when Katrina first struck here. You’ll get an occasional police car coming by here, an occasional energy truck, an occasional National Guard troop.

We started our day here like we have the past ten days. We get up at daybreak and we drive to where we think the story is but there are no people here and we rely on the locals and on the police every block or two to give us help or give us direction but there is no one out here and today when we were driving around it became increasingly more difficult to get around the city of New Orleans. You have got that standing water and also the levee’s that are still an issue and it was frankly very difficult for us to get around anywhere today.

And you really get a feeling here in New Orleans that this is a defeated people. They see that water coming water coming back into their neighborhoods and they look at you and they think, when is this going to end? We were at St. Bernard’s Parish a few hours ago you cannot get back into that parish, which is the same scene we saw in St. Bernard’s three weeks ago. I talked to a few people over there and they just throw their hands up in the air. They think ‘how much longer do we have to tolerate this?’ Every time they think they are getting to the point where they think they can turn the corner and start getting this city uprighted again another blow comes in here…This is a town that is down on its knees again after Rita.