"This is one of the biggest fiascos I've ever seen"

Discussion in '2005 Archive' started by KenH, Sep 8, 2005.

  1. KenH

    KenH
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    "Miller said he answered a call from the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals on Friday to bring his boat and join the search-and-rescue efforts in New Orleans.

    "I called everybody I knew and so did a lot of other people," Miller said.

    They were all told to bring their boats and meet at Jimmy Swaggart Ministries in Baton Rouge late Friday afternoon.

    "We ended up with two miles worth of boats," said Leon Tarnto, one of the Baton Rouge area volunteers. "We had 92 boats and more than 200 men who volunteered."

    And that's where the good news ended.

    "This is one of the biggest fiascos I've ever seen," Tarnto said. "There were no leaders, nobody knew what to do or where to go. We ended up sitting on the sides of roads for hours."

    Every day since they joined the effort, the men have met at one of Swaggart Ministries' buildings at 2 a.m.

    "I thought we were going to get an early start," Tarnto said. "Instead we sit there for hours doing nothing, and then we sit on the side of the road in New Orleans doing nothing. These people have no idea what they're doing and that includes FEMA and DHH."

    Each day, the number of Baton Rouge area boats and volunteers has dwindled until there were only 22 boats Tuesday.

    "Why should they waste their time," Miller said. "We want to help, but these government people just don't get it. It's so frustrating."

    Each day, the volunteers said they were turned away from the rescue effort for one reason or another.

    "We went over to Chalmette one day where they desperately needed help, and we were turned away because some inmates escaped," Ramey said. "Who cares? Why should that stop us from going in there? That parish (St. Bernard) estimated there were 7,500 stranded in their homes. Nobody's been able to talk to them, and we get turned away."

    Miller said that one day he became so angry he broke away from the FEMA sanctioned volunteers and, along with his brother, Mike Miller, searched Orleans Street.

    "We hooked up with the military," Steve Miller said. "They're the only people that know what they're doing. We rescued about 25 people that day."

    And Tuesday, the volunteers were angry because they were sent into an area that already had been searched.

    "This has been the greatest waste of human resources I've ever seen," Ramey said.

    "We've basically committed a mutiny," Tarnto said. "We've left DHH and we're working with the military."

    With soldiers and paramedics in the boats, the Baton Rouge area volunteers continued scouring the flooded streets of northeast New Orleans."

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  2. Bunyon

    Bunyon
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    I'm sure the last thing the people in NO needed was a bunch of bass fisherman driving their boats all over NO, with broken power lines, gas lines, and who-knows-what in the water. This was not a lake, this was a flooded urban environment. Old, Sean Penn, tried it and sunk his boat! It would have been highly irresponsible to turn them loose in there. I am glad they found some use while being supervised by the military.
     
  3. Brother Ian

    Brother Ian
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    You can always count on the men and women in uniform.
     
  4. Daisy

    Daisy
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    Yet he did rescue some people. It's satisfying to make fun of him, but at least he was doing something real to help.
     
  5. Bunyon

    Bunyon
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    Yea, He showed up in Bagdad once too. I'm am glad in this case he seemed to help more than he hurt.
     
  6. El_Guero

    El_Guero
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    He didn't stay long in Bagdad if I remember right
     

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