So said a woman rescued from her rooftop in the Ninth Ward yesterday. The New Orleans Times-Picayune gives a heart-rendingly immediate portrait of the sadness because it is replete with specific losses and problems, and includes individual pleas. Someone is looking for Miss Rita and Aunt Eula, someone else for Robin and Ken and their four English sheepdogs. The following plea shows the plight of this city with every one of its capital letters.
PLEASE HELP US TO LOCATE OUR MISSING FAMILY. THEY ARE A YOUNG MARRRIED COUPLE, AGES 23 AND 24. THEIR NAMES ARE ANTHONY CURTIS JOHNSON AND SHELENA JOHNSON, OF NEW ORLEANS. THEY HAVE 3 SMALL CHILDRENS UNDER THE AGE OF 6. THE TWO YOUNGEST CHILDREN SUFFER GREATLY WITH ASTHMA AND DO NOT HAVE THEIR MEDICATION. THE WIFE AND MOTHER SHELENA, HAS BEEN DIAGNOSED AS BIPOLAR, AND DOES NOT HAVE HER MEDICATION. WE LAST HERD FROM THEM AT 4 AM THURSDAY MORNING. SHE WAS CALLING FROM A PAY PHONE AT THE NEW ORLEANS CONVENTION CENTER. THEY CAUGHT A RIDE THERE. BUT WAS LEFT WITH NO FURTHER RESCUE EFFORTS. SHE CALLED IN THE MIDST OF OTHER FIGHTING AND GUN SHOTS. THERE IS NO OFFICIAL LEADERSHIP OR ORDER. THE CHILDREN ARE ARE VERY HUNGER AND FRIGHTENED. MY NEPHEW ANTHONY IS TERRIBLY EXHAUSTED FROM DAYS OF LACK OF SLEEP. PLEASE SEND HELP TO THE CONVENTION CENTER, WHERE PEOPLE HAVE BEEN OVERLOOKED, FORGOTTEN, OR IGNORED. THEY HAVE FAMILY HERE IN HOUSTON WAITING TO RECEIVE THEM. PLEASE, PLEASE HELP!!!
And from a reader of the Times-Picayune in the Virgin Islands: "It is hard to believe that the wealthiest, and self-proclaimed STRONGEST nation in the world is so incapable of taking better care of its citizens in this DISASTER. It is embarrassing! Those attempting to render aid must be just as exhausted and frustrated as those dying to receive that AID. Amazing, simply amazing."