A disturbing excerpt from the latest AP story out of New Orleans this morning. The scene is unspeakable:
Outside the Convention Center, the sidewalks were packed with people without food, water or medical care, and with no sign of law enforcement. Thousands of storm refugees had been assembling outside for days, waiting for buses that did not come.
At least seven bodies were scattered outside, and hungry, desperate people who were tired of waiting broke through the steel doors to a food service entrance and began pushing out pallets of water and juice and whatever else they could find.
An old man in a chaise lounge lay dead in a grassy median as hungry babies wailed around him. Around the corner, an elderly woman lay dead in her wheelchair, covered up by a blanket, and another body lay beside her wrapped in a sheet.
Read all about it: Unrest intensifies at Superdome Shelter
WHY was that food service entrance locked, when there was water and juice inside? WHY was that not immediately made available?
I fear the situation with the dead will continue to worsen. My heart aches; I cry about this hellish situation, especially at night.
Will it be any better when they move these people to the Astrodome? I don't know, but I pray so.
We must find ways to get water, food, basic sanitation to these people, and get them OUT of these devastated areas. Horrible as it is, they must abandon any sense that New Orleans or these other affected areas are still "home." They are not. Not now. Not for a long time.
It's time to accept that they will have to wander in the wilderness, at least until we can absorb them elsewhere and restore their humanity and dignity. And we MUST. We must save them.
God help them. Please, dear Lord, help them. Help us to help them. Use our hands and feet and make us swift in bringing compassion and aid to these brothers and sisters. We may not be able to save the city, but we can save the people who have "survived."