FEMA Kicked out Local Staff

FEMA Kicked out Local Staff\r\n9-8-05\r\njessica\r\n\r\nWithin twenty-four hours of being whisked away in a helicopter, Eric Barrow was looking at satellite images of his flooded city, rather than sifting through the waters saving lives and dealing with dead bodies.\r\n\r\nBarrow, an investigator with the Orleans Parish Coroner\'s Office, said that FEMA told the local staff to leave saying that \"they\'d take care of it.\" Barrow, after spending nine days doing hurricane relief, is now at the Red Cross Shelter in Tucson, Arizona. He says he\'s leaving as soon as possible so he can get back to the city and resume working.\r\n\r\n\"For the first three days, there was only the local emergency response staff,\" Barrow said. \"FEMA didn\'t show up until day five,\" he said.\r\n\r\n\"They told us to focus on getting the living people out, and to worry about the dead later,\" Barrow said. \"But, leaving the dead causes diseases.\"\r\n\r\nBarrow said that they were tying dead bodies to trees to keep them from floating away.\r\n\r\nOther evacuees in Tucson recalled the stench in the city. One woman said, \"I never want to smell that again.\"\r\n\r\nBarrow spent part of the day in the Tucson shelter looking up flights and contacting some of his co-workers, who are currently at a shelter in New Mexico. \"We are going to get together and try to get back and work.\"\r\n\r\nBarrow said that he knew of one New Orleans police officer that committed suicide after he returned to his house and found it flooded and his wife and two children drowned.\r\n\r\nHe said that as of Sept. 7, only three pumps were currently working in the effort to drain the city. The day after the hurricane hit, three sections of the levies broke. In some areas, flood waters one foot every half-hour.\r\n\r\nHe said that the Orleans Parish had just received new police cars and fire trucks, which are all now underwater.\r\n\r\nTucson Convention Center is currently the home for 80 Katrina evacuees.\r\n\r\n<a href=\"http://neworleans.indymedia.org/news/2005/09/4858.php\">read the article on New Orleans Indymedia</a>\r\n

Keywords:

,

Citation

Leo Gorman, “FEMA Kicked out Local Staff,” Hurricane Digital Memory Bank, accessed September 23, 2019, http://hurricanearchive.org/items/show/33642.