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today 2 main leeves broke down and now 80% of the city is under water. some up to 20-25feet.
Even a cop joins in the looting
Mike Perlstein and Brian Thevenot
Law enforcement efforts to contain the emergency left by Katrina slipped into chaos in parts of New Orleans Tuesday with some police officers and firefighters joining looters in picking stores clean.
At the Wal-Mart on Tchoupitoulas Street, an initial effort to hand out provisions to stranded citizens quickly disintegrated into mass looting. Authorities at the scene said bedlam erupted after the giveaway was announced over the radio.
While many people carried out food and essential supplies, others cleared out jewelry racks and carted out computers, TVs and appliances on handtrucks.
Some officers joined in taking whatever they could, including one New Orleans cop who loaded a shopping cart with a compact computer and a 27-inch flat screen television.
Officers claimed there was nothing they could do to contain the anarchy, saying their radio communications have broken down and they had no direction from commanders.
“We don’t have enough cops to stop it,” an officer said. “A mass riot would break out if you tried.”
Inside the store, the scene alternated between celebration and frightening bedlam. A shirtless man straddled a broken jewelry case, yelling, “Free samples, free samples over here.”
Another man rolled a mechanized pallet, stacked six feet high with cases of vodka and whiskey. Perched atop the stack was a bewildered toddler.
Throughout the store and parking lot, looters pushed carts and loaded trucks and vans alongside officers. One man said police directed him to Wal-Mart from Robert’s Grocery, where a similar scene was taking place. A crowd in the electronics section said one officer broke the glass DVD case so people wouldn’t cut themselves.
“The police got all the best stuff. They’re crookeder than us,” one man said.
Most officers, though, simply stood by powerless against the tide of law breakers.
One veteran officer said, “It’s like this everywhere in the city. This tiny number of cops can’t do anything about this. It’s wide open.”
At least one officer tried futilely to control a looter through shame.
“When they say take what you need, that doesn’t mean an f-ing TV,” the officer shouted to a looter. “This is a hurricane, not a free-for-all.”
Sandra Smith of Baton Rouge walked through the parking lot with a 12-pack of Bud Light under each arm. “I came down here to get my daughters,” she said, “but I can’t find them.”
The scene turned so chaotic at times that entrances were blocked by the press of people and shopping carts and traffic jams sprouted on surrounding streets.
Some groups organized themselves into assembly lines to more efficiently cart off goods.
Toni Williams, 25, packed her trunk with essential supplies, such as food and water, but said mass looting disgusted and frightened her.
“I didn’t feel safe. Some people are going overboard,” she said.
Inside the store, one woman was stocking up on make-up. She said she took comfort in watching police load up their own carts.
“It must be legal,” she said. “The police are here taking stuff, too.”
Gas is $2.30 in St.Louis, but should go up .20 by FridaySol Apollo said:I hope they get fired.
Although what's really sickening is that there have been gas stations (ones that are still open anyway) that have been price gouging people all across the areas that have been hit by the hurricane.
I'm :fiery: at the scenes on the news of the looting. It's disgraceful.We escaped Sunday morning about 9:30am... we made it to MS pretty quickly using US90, but once we got on I-10, we hit the parking lot at Gulfport,. We went up through rural Alabama and then made our way over to Tallahassee where we stayed for two nights. We are in Orlando with Jill's sister, brother-in-law, nephew and son. We want to go back ASAP on one hand, but are resigned to stay away for several weeks or a month(s???). We are not thrilled about the prospect of being in NOLA without electricity, food or services, and are a bit concerned about looters. Thanks to all who have offered a place to stay, we may take you up on it because we can't expect anyone to keep us for very long....
As you can see from the news, our town is basically [email protected]#$%cked.
Geographically, it is a bowl, and levees were breached downtown (doesn't affect our house) and out by the lake near Bucktown but on the New Orleans side of the 17th st canal. (one the map that is the one dividing NOLA from Jeff Parish). We live near the river, which is on top/'side' of the bowl, fortunately above sea-level. We hope that saves our home from flooding, as the scenario seems to be that the water should stop coming in once it levels out at sea-level, if they can't repair the levee before that.
We are obviously a million times better off than 80% of the town which experienced flooding, some massive, and in many parts of town, very poor and crime-ridden. Please keep all of us in your prayers.
Just a quick update on the Irish Channel, at least the 2300 block of Constance (between Philip & Constance). Our tenant Saul stayed in town, attempting to ride it out in a hi-rise near us at St Charles & Jackson. He eventually was evacuated to the Hilton, and is fine. He walked by today, no signs of flooding, minor wind damage, no signs of major damage to or looting of any of the homes.
its much more then that. there is so many that got stuck in there attics and could of not gotten out of the proof. when its all cleared up in about 3-4 months..that # will be around 5000Sol Apollo said:As may as 1,000 people may have died now. :sad:
Socket said:And you know what? A year from now, the city will be back in business. They'll pump the water out, clean the place up, re-string the phone and electric wires, and residents and businesses will come right back. It looks like a horrible mess now (and it is), but it won't stay that way for too long. And tourism will be better than ever, once the city is back up and operating.