"but slowly. painfully. we woke up wednesday and they were there dying. we watched all day wednesday. dying. we stayed up all night wednesday. dying. and thursday. still dying. no water. no food. no sanitation. no nothing. reporters reporting. we saw it. but we saw more than most saw. we all looked and pointed, that’s—and we would name a place, a building, an intersection, a friend’’s house, a sub-division, a neighborhood, a community—drowned. dead. dying. and ignored. we couldn’t ignore. the reporters didn’t ignore. but where was the government? thursday night we closed our eyes but we were not sleeping. not resting. not rejuvenating our bodies, wherever it was we were."
"The nightmare of the past seven days is simply unimaginable. We very narrowly escaped drowning in our own house. Pursued by an 8-foot high toxic flood water (15 feet in the street outside our door), we were forced up a stuffy, airless attic, where we were holed up for 26 hours, with no food, no water, no prospect of any rescue. We were only saved by the fortuitous intervention of a neighbour who heard our shout for help when he came round with his rescue boat to pick up something from his own house. With life vests provided by him, we managed to swim out of our house, leaving everything we had behind. Right now, all our clothes, books, academic and professional credentials, trave documents, computers,, manuscripts, etc. etc. are submerged in the dirty waters of the New Orleans flood. Hell has no other name..."
"Today, my father is trapped in the waters of Katrina, like my grandmother lost her life to Betsy. My father is 87 years old, I have not heard from him since the flood started. I am a pastor and social activist today. I go out and feed the homeless, visit prisons, do sick-an-shut-in work, and minister to the youth. I have turned my life around, but my peers in New Orleans are all dead. Our whole life experience has been one of tragedy. Americans don't know the real story of New Orleans, the projects, the hoods, the violence, the prison cells, the rapes, the murders, the Aid's cases, the rock cocaine, the heroin needles, the welfare checks that made it illegal for the father to be home, the real bodies floating in my mind every since I was born. America, I charge you with genocide."
"Denise said she thought she was in hell. They were there for 2 days, with no water, no food. no shelter. Denise, her mother (63 years old), her niece (21 years old), and 2-year-old grandniece. When they arrived, there were already thousands of people there. They were told that buses were coming. Police drove by, windows rolled up, thumbs up signs. National Guard trucks rolled by, completely empty, soldiers with guns cocked and aimed at them. Nobody stopped to drop off water. A helicopter dropped a load of water, but all the bottles exploded on impact due to the height of the helicopter."
"I still can't understand why we didn't pause to notice what we were doing long enough to see that we should have also packed up the jeep with clothes and other items. We left the Jeep behind. All our clothes – and my clothes and luggage for Turkey – we left behind. Somewhere in our psyches, we thought, as New Orleanians always think during hurricane season, "We'll be back in a day or two. Surely, this one will veer east or west or downgrade to a Category One hurricane and all we'll get is a lot of wind and a few wind-felled trees." Katrina did veer east, but it didn't matter. The eye of this Category Five hurricane was 30 miles wide and its wind gusts were 150 miles an hour. And it traveled slowly, very slowly, taking its time chewing up our worlds."
For more stories from Hurricane Katrina survivors, visit http://www.nathanielturner.com/katrinasurvivorstoriestable.htm
For more photos of "Before and Afters," visit http://www.pbase.com/nomofilm1/hurricane_katrina_before_and_after
Click the links below to learn more about Hurricane Galveston and Hurricane Katrina, as well as how they connect and how the government effected each of them.
The Governments Involvement in the Hurricanes
The Comparing and Contrasting of Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Galveston