Back from New Orleans  

rm_Quartz16k 34M
8 posts
9/21/2005 11:37 pm

Last Read:
3/5/2006 9:27 pm

Back from New Orleans

The news had only one thing right - That city was completely devastated. Everything was blown out of proportion except for that. Where to start telling you all about this I'm not really sure. I can tell you I'm a bit changed after it. As strange as it sounds, never have I been happier to hear running water or drink a cold beer. Two weeks in port-o-jons will really make you appreciate how well we all have it day to day. But enough preaching about that, on to a story or two...

My group of about 150 guardsmen ended up staying at the Convention Center in hall G. We finally settled there after about 5 days in town. Very soon after arriving we began recieving taskings, anything from search and rescue to guard duty for high value contractors. My first mission was the latter, a 2 AM 8 hour guard shift at a stockyard for a company called Boh Brothers. These guys were apparently in charge of the levy reconstruction effort, and we were requested to quell any random violence or looting of equipment. The convention center was right downtown, just next to the Mississippi River, about five minutes from the dome. It was about a 40 minute ride to the northeast corner of town to the company stockyard. We were advised that we would be riding on a big army 2.5 ton truck through three spots with about knee-deep water. So we all hop on the truck and head out at about 1 AM. The eeriest part of my entire time in New Orleans was that truck ride. We saw first hand, in the middle of night, a city that normally resides over 1 million people, absolutely -dead-. No power, no car lights, no people, nothing but abandonment and snapped trees. At one point the highway ride gave us a view of the skyline. It's very shaking that the only lights we could see were on only half of the skyline. EVERYTHING else was completely blacked out. We arrived at the stockyard and completed our shift, and left right around 11 AM. This was now my first real trip through the city during the day. The cleanup at Belle Chase Naval Air Station, the convention center, and various other limited places had given me a fairly positive feeling about the condition of the city. That feeling was completely crushed on the way back that morning. Whole neighborhoods were completely submerged up to their roofs. The tops of a few cars were barely breaking the surface. Oh and that water. Oh man. We drove through the three standing water areas, where water was so black you lost sight of the ground under it at any more than five inches deep. It was completely BLACK, and on driving through it released a smell that can only be described as somewhere between rotten eggs and sulphur. Looking back up, you couldn't look at any residential part of the city without seeing at least one helicopter. At one point I counted 15 in sight in the sky, all looking for rooftop refugees or fighting fires with those big buckets hanging under them. What a day, and it was only my first day of work... More stories to come.

xx_44DD_xx 51F

9/22/2005 4:57 am

OMG, no one should have gone through any of that....... what a living nightmare.

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