More stories from New Orleans

1) About a week ago (?) I saw a Dutch couple, Henk and Yvonne Berg-something, talk about how they got out after the hurricane. I tried to jot down what they said, mainly because it resonated with a memory I had of a similar story I read on the web–the exception being that that similar story was mostly critical of authorities and had a stick-it-to-the-man touch to it.

As the earlier story, this couple reported that they had been in their hotel when the storm came, and tried to find a bus out of NOLA the day or days after. Busses were ordered, but were apparently confiscated by the police or the national guard. They were told to go to the Convention Center, but were turned away there by the police who told them that if they stayed, “you will be robbed, raped or murdered before nightfall”.

Trying to get back to the hotel, they were turned away by the hotel personel (this may have been before the Convention Center–I forget), which is when their descent into hell started (their words). They found a police post, where they spent the night sleeping in the street, feeling “protected for the night”.

While I was writing this down, they told the interviewer how they got out of NOLA, which I consequently missed. They added that they received the sort of “survival kit” that soldiers in the army receive (i.e. chocolate, powder soup, toilet paper, et cetera).

The show was something called Pulse and was broadcast on RTL4.

The thing that stuck out from their story, and that I remember best even without having it written down, is how matter-of-factly they reported that the hotel turned them out. There was this feeling of understanding what people (authorities, hotel personel) did under these circumstances.

(P.S. A racist blog that I am not going to link, mentions their name as Berkouwer.)

2) In case you missed it, … rats! There was a truly awesome photo gallery by a hotel worker who only left NOLA when things were getting too bad, but it’s been taken off-line. I should have made screen shots. Most impressive was the feel how things kept deteriorating once the storm had passed; giving credence to the supposition that if local and federal governments had moved faster (not to mention had worked to prevent certain things), the toll in lives and property would have been much less.

Through BoingBoing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.