Skip to comments.Benicia paramedic pitched in (First person account from MS -- bodies in trees and on beach)
Posted on 09/03/2005 10:07:13 AM PDT by SauronOfMordor
Paramedic Patrick Keathley of Benicia happened to be in New Orleans with seven colleagues for an industry convention as a small storm called Katrina, off the coast of Florida, changed course and picked up steam.
"We didn't realize the storm was going to be as big as it was, or that it would turn and hit Louisiana," Keathley said.
"By the time we did, we couldn't get a rental car, even though we had one reserved, because everyone was fleeing," he said by rapidly dying cell phone as he made his way back to California.
The eight paramedics were forced to ride out the storm in their hotel on the Louisiana coast.
"It was like hell," Keathley said. "Completely black. We heard structural-sounding noises, and we went out to take a look and we saw debris flying. Palm trees."
Keathley said the men barricaded themselves with about 40 others inside the hotel for 12 hours as the storm raged around them.
"We thought we were going to die. And that was before the water started rising. We got out before the flooding, just as the city started to flood," Keathley said. "We met this little old lady with a car who wanted to go to Lafayette. So we piled into her VW and drove her there."
The men rented a car in Lafayette and drove to their firm's location in Baton Rouge where they volunteered to stay and help.
"We wanted to assist. It was Ground Zero in a place called Hancock, Mississippi. Half the town was wiped out. They had a 50-foot wave destroy the hospital. Cars were piled on top of each other. There were bodies in the trees. There were bodies littering the beach.
"This is catastrophic," he added. "We were just as much in shock as anyone. We set up like a M.A.S.H. station. People came in carrying dead people. They came in with broken bones, and we didn't have the equipment to help them. We could only give them something for the pain.
"People were fighting for food. It was just a mess. There are still 1,000 people missing from there."
Keathley told of a young boy, about 13, arriving at the makeshift hospital asking for a tetanus shot.
"We told him he needed parental consent, but he told us he didn't have parents. They floated off, he said. I worked in Oakland after the Loma Prieta quake, and that was terrible, but it was nothing like this. This is such a huge scale. It's just hard to explain," Keathley said.
Keathley and his colleagues have had little water, food or sleep for several days, and now that he's home, Keathley said he plans to rest.
"First, I'll see my wife. Then I'll take a nap and some time off," he said. "I can't go back there right now. It's just too much."
The media focuses on the thugs rapes and murders in N.O.
but the rest of the disaster area is in every bit as much
in need ...and they aint killing their neighbors...and stealing their supplies...
Which makes them far more worthy of our help
Whole 'small towns' were wiped out...
MFH had this three days ago, much to the consternation of many people.
This will defintely be the biggest natural disaster to ever hit the U.S. I wouldn't be surprised to see the total casualty count, including those who've died in hospitals,etc. in the week after the hurricane, approach 15-20,000.
When you compare it to other bad hurricanes in the recent past that killed double digits at the most, it puts the emergency response in perspective. Everyone's saying things weren't done fast enough but this disaster was on a magnitude hundreds of times greater than any other U.S. hurricane in modern times. You can't expect everything to be under control within 2 days. That fast a response wasn't even accomplished with hurricanes whose effects were infinitesimal compared to this one.
Here is the link. Once again, FR scoops the world. The pajamahadeen beats the MSM every time.
You know...there are going to be alot of children in need of adoptive homes. :(
ping and prayers for the 13 yo boy seeking the tetanus shot who saw his parents float away...
From a Navy guy:
Haven't read much about this in the news .... but a Navy info source that I receive sent this out this morning.
Thanks to the Navy's new readiness model 28 ships were ready to get underway within 24 hours.
Bataan (a helicopter carrier) and HSV (High Speed Vessel) 2 Swift, out of Naval Station Ingleside, Texas, are off the affected coastline providing support. Four MH-53s (huge helos capable of moving 40-50 troops) and two HH-60s (capable of moving about 20 troops) off the Bataan are flying medevac and search and rescue (SAR) missions in Louisiana, and supporting the Coast Guard's 8th District. Bataan's hospital and staff has been augmented by an additional contingent from the Navy's Bureau of Medicine (BUMED), consisting of 85 personnel, including 12 physicians and 4 surgeons.
The Iwo Jima (large helo carrier) Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) is sailing from Norfolk, Va. loaded with disaster-response equipment. The USNS Arctic (T-AOE 8 - an oiler, ammunition and stores (as in refrigerated stores)) is currently off the Gulf Coast. USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7) (large helo carrier), USS Shreveport (LPD 12) (large helo capable troop transport ship), and USS Tortuga (LSD 46) (large, helo capable troop transport ship) are expected soon. A medical staff augmentation for Iwo Jima is expected to be en route tomorrow.
The hospital ship, USNS Comfort (T-AH 20), is departing Baltimore by September 3 to bring some 270 medical staff, capable of supporting 250 hospital beds, to the Gulf region. Project Hope has offered to embark additional medical personnel, and the Air Force's Surgeon General has offered to provide still further staff if needed.
USS Harry S. Truman (aircraft carrier) (CVN 75) and USS Whidbey Island (LSD 41) (same as Tortuga above) are sailing today for areas off the Gulf Coast in support to FEMA relief operations. Truman will serve as a command center and an afloat staging base, and will carry additional helicopters from Naval Air Station Jacksonville to support search and rescue efforts. Whidbey Island will bring to the region the ability to employ a movable causeway.
USS Grapple (ARS 53) (salvage ship) is currently en route in order to assist with maritime and underwater survey and salvage operations.
Military Sealift Command has transferred control of five of its ships to the Navy's Second Fleet to provide further support to relief efforts. USNS Bellatrix, Altair, Pillilau, Bob Hope, and Argol are in the Gulf of Mexico already (all capable of carrying lots of food stuffs, and supplies). USNS Arctic is also at sea in the Gulf and acting as a FEMA support ship and providing logistics services support for the other ships at sea.
Navy helicopters from Jacksonville and Mayport, Fla., are supporting relief efforts, and Navy Seabees from Port Hueneme, Jacksonville, and Norfolk are on scene or making preparations to deploy to assist in relief operations.
USNS Pollux is operating onboard dialysis equipment for the patients of a local hospital, providing diesel fuel for area hospitals' generators, and providing meals and berthing to relief workers.
More info at www.navy.mil
Part of the problem is that assets that could've been used to deliver supplies were needed for people who were either unable to evac thanks to poor local planning or idiots who refused to leave. I don't think the feds ever figured the numbers of both would be so high. If they're to be faulted for anything, it's assuming the state and local pols knew what they were doing and that those who could get out would be smart enough to get out of the way.
I do the math over and over. In NO alone, with a population of 1.4 million, the report is that 400,000 left before the storm. They have maybe 200,000 in shelters or waiting on buses. Where are the remaining 800,000?
The 1.4 million figure is not for the City of New Orleans, it is for the whole New Orleans metropolitan area. The population of the City itself is a little more than 1/3 of that figure. There are a lot of folks left in Jefferson Parish and other places who don't need to leave because they aren't underwater.
That is more optimistic, thanks.
"This will defintely be the biggest natural disaster to ever hit the U.S. I wouldn't be surprised to see the total casualty count, including those who've died in hospitals,etc. in the week after the hurricane, approach 15-20,000"
I have a sinking feeling it will be 4 to five times higher!
I've been trying to find out exactly how many of the 1.3 or 1.4 million people in the metro New Orleans area are homeless and need to leave. I can certainly understand that the City (or most of it) has to be totally evacuated. However, I am hearing that there are areas in the suburbs that can be repaired and put back in working order. I think we'll hear more about this in a week or so.
Little of the national TV is showing the small MS towns wiped out by this.
As of Thursday, a friend of mine STILL hadn't heard from her family in south MS --- who lived at least 1 1/2 hours drive inland from the coast!
I think 80 MPH winds came through that section. No phone service, no electricity, etc.
It's a small rural area, so neighbors are most likely helping each other. But she was hoping to hear something soon!
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