Thursday, September 01, 2005

Turf Wars Coming in Houston and San Antonio

Don't expect the Superdome violence to end with transfers to Houston and San Antonio. Let's be realistic: You scoop up 50,000 residents of the New Orleans ghetto, many now desperate for a fix, concentrate them in a new city and they become prime customers. Nor should we be surprised by gunshots and deaths in the Superdome. Most of these folks have probably lived with nightly gunshots and neighborhood murders their entire lives. It’s just that now the whole world is watching.

After reading Jason DeParle's Three Women, Ten Kids, and a Nation's Drive to End Welfare and Theodore Dalrymple's Life at the Bottom back to back a few months ago, I'd say this might--might--be the best chance the younger ones get to escape the ghetto for good. Relocation away from the old neighborhoods, either independently, by joining the military, or moving in with distant relatives seems to be the common characteristic of those who escaped their old lives. It all depends on where these kids end up.

UPDATE: An eyewitness account of just how bad things are at the Superdome.

UPDATE: Some more sad personal stories and pleas for help:

There are still approximately over 300 Vietnamese people stranded in sewage water up to the necks in many areas gathered at the Church. We've contacted USCG, Red Cross, news media but no help has come out to their way yet. As you all know, Versailles is so far on the eastern edge of New Orleans that by the time any helicopters come that way, they're already filled with people and have to turn back towards the Superdome to drop people off.


My coworker's brother is one of seven doctors who have been left behind at Charity Hospital. His name is Vinroot, I'm sorry, I don't know the first name. He is in a panic--the doctors have barricaded themselves on the seventh floor because armed gunmen are outside threatening them and demanding access to the roof so they can be rescued first. He is desperate. Someone needs to help these people NOW!


There are 7 people trapped in the Gallary Row apartments at 448 Julia Street (corner of Julia and Magazine). They were attacked by armed gang who hijacked their truck and drove it through a locked gate in the parking garage. They are unable to leave the building due to the heavy presence of large, well-organized armed looters. They expect the building to be attacked at any moment. The trapped people are lightly armed (one shotgun and one pistol) but there are numerous entry points into the apartments. Currently the trapped people are holed up on the roof. Please send help ASAP.


University hospital has apparently slipped through the system and has yet to receive assistance as rescue efforts have been directed elsewhere. The hospital is absolutely non-functional and patients are dying at an alarming rate. My father in law (Dr. Oscar Ballester a treating physician at this hospital who is in need of food, water, and insulin) is stable, but we are unaware how long this will hold, possibly less than 48 hours.

1 comment:

ForNow said...

Reply 18 - Posted by: ForNow, 9/1/2005 2:10:02 PM

I just spoke with my neighbor (here in NYC) by phone. He says he was talking by phone with a woman who spoke with family in or around New Orleans. The woman said that her mother, a nurse at an area hospital, said that they were trying to evacuate babies from the hospital roof. Machine gun(s) were fired at the helicopter trying to land on the roof, and so the helicopter pilot refused to land. Armed looters were trying to take electric generators from the hospital. My neighbor didn't know which hospital.