Bush: 'Results are not acceptable'
CNN | September 2, 2005
As President Bush toured the Gulf Coast on Friday to survey damage from Hurricane Katrina, residents of New Orleans, including the mayor, said conditions were horrible and getting worse.
New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin lashed out at state and federal authorities saying they were "thinking small" in the face of the massive crisis.
Nagin said he needs military troops to provide security and 500 buses to take people stranded by Hurricane Katrina out of the city. (See video of the demand for national leaders to 'get off their asses' -- 12:09)
"I keep hearing that it's coming. This is coming. That is coming. My answer to that is B.S. Where is the beef?" (Full story)
Thousands of people have been stranded at the Ernest Morial Convention Center with little help and surrounded by corpses, trash and human waste.
"We've got small children and sick and elderly people dying every day, small children being raped and killed, people running around with guns -- I'm scared for my life, my wife and my 5-year-old daughter's life," said evacuee Alan Gould. We don't even want to live here anymore." (See video of the desperate conditions -- 1:56)
A National Guard helicopter began to drop food and water to the refugees Thursday afternoon.
Federal Emergency Management Director Michael Brown told CNN that federal officials were unaware of the crowds at the convention center until Thursday, despite the fact that city officials had been telling people for days to gather there. (Full story)
"When we found out about the convention center yesterday, we started diverting supplies to get them fed, too. And now we're finding literally as we do evacuation, that more and more people are beginning to manifest, show themselves in areas we didn't they were there so we're doing everything we can to get there," he said in an interview with CNN Friday.
An effort to evacuate patients and staff from downtown's Charity Hospital had to be suspended after a sniper opened fire on rescuers. The hospital was caring for about 200 patients with no power or water, and the only food left was a couple of cans of vegetables and some graham crackers. (Full story)
"Any patients who are critically ill at this point, have either died -- and there have been a few that have literally died in the parking deck waiting to be taken out by choppers -- or they are still having their bags -- air pumped into their lungs by handbag as doctors and hospital officials sat there pushing air into their lungs," said CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta, who got into the hospital Thursday night.
Bush: Results 'not acceptable'
President Bush arrived in Mobile, Alabama, on Friday to inspect the storm damage. He sad the federal government would "restore order in the city of New Orleans," where violence has hampered rescue efforts.
Before leaving Washington, Bush told reporters that millions of tons of food and water were on the way to -- but the results of the relief effort "are not acceptable." (Full story) (Watch Bush news briefing -- 2:32)
Bush will take an aerial tour of Mobile and nearby Biloxi, Mississippi. He then plans to view Louisiana hurricane damage from the air, flying over the city of New Orleans.
He is scheduled to make a statement at the Louis Armstrong International Airport in New Orleans before returning to Washington Friday night.
Police outnumbered and outgunned
Overnight, police snipers were stationed on the roof of their precinct, trying to protect it from gunmen roaming through the city, CNN's Chris Lawrence reported.
One New Orleans police sergeant compared the situation to Somalia and said officers were outnumbered and outgunned by gangs in trucks.
"It's a war zone, and they're not treating it like one," he said, referring to the federal government.
The officer hitched a ride to Baton Rouge Friday morning, after working 60 hours straight in the flooded city. He has not decided whether he will return.
He broke down in tears when he described the deaths of his fellow officers, saying many had drowned doing their jobs. Other officers have turned in their badges as the situation continues to deteriorate.
In one incident, the sergeant said gunmen fired rifles and AK-47s at the helicopters flying overhead.
He said he saw bodies riddled with bullet holes, and the top of one man's head completely shot off.
Lt. Gen Steven Blum of the National Guard said that as many as 2,600 National Guard troops were expected to arrive in Louisiana Friday to join the nearly 2,000 who went in Thursday.
* The Houston Astrodome in Texas, where thousands of refugees had been bused over the past couple of days, stopped accepting refugees late Thursday. However, authorities later decided to process evacuees at the Astrodome and house them in the nearby Reliant Arena, said Patrick Trahan, city spokesman. Other New Orleans refugees are being taken to Huntsville, Texas, along with San Antonio and Dallas, he said.
* Offers of support have poured in from all over the world in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Many countries have offered their condolences and made donations to the Red Cross, including Britain, Japan, Australia and Sri Lanka, which is still recovering from last year's tsunami. (Full story)
* At Louis Armstrong airport, a field hospital set up by FEMA was overwhelmed with patients. Equipment normally used to move luggage was instead ferrying patients to a treatment center and to planes and buses for evacuation. "I do not have the words in my vocabulary to describe what is happening here," said Ozro Henderson, a medical team commander with FEMA. "Catastrophe and disaster don't explain it."
* In Washington, the Senate approved a $10.5 billion disaster relief request from the Bush administration. The House is expected to do the same when it takes up the matter Friday. (Full story)