Nearly two years ago I had the pleasure of joining the Westbank Gamers for a night of gaming while on a business trip to New Orleans. Greg Schloesser was kind enough to extend the invitation to me - I found Greg and his group to be incredibly warm and gracious. Today Greg posted a note from fellow Westbank Gamer (Greg isn't technically a Westbank Gamer any more as he moved to Tennessee, but clearly his heart still belongs in New Orleans) giving a personal account of what's happening in New Orleans right now.
Dear Lord, help us for others have not. What is going on? Where are you? I'm at a loss for words. Please help us! Louisiana is one of the most generous states per capital income in the United States. After the World Trade Center bombing in New York, members of New Orleans went to New York and cooked for the workers and we also donated fire equipment to New York. Most people in New Orleans would give the shirt off their back if you just asked them.
There are now people dying of dehydration in and around the city of New Orleans. The News Media has found it entertaining to show people stealing TV and stereo equipment and other valuables (which are actually very few). The News Media seems to enjoy watching people beg for help as they fly by. News Media if you're not part of the solution then your part of the problem. The actual truth is people are breaking into homes and stealing to get food and water for their children and not for valuables. People are dying of dehydration and are starving right here in America It is true about people trying to rush to your vehicle and take it, but when you're left with no option you too would do what it took to save you family.
We are being told that no one is in charge. The Jefferson Parish Officials are stuck on the West Bank of New Orleans at West Jefferson Medical Center with minimal resources for the only functioning emergency room in the New Orleans area. The officials are begging and pleading for the military or Red Cross to come and help but no one is listening to them. You ask how I know this. My sister-in-law is stuck there also (she is an RN) and she has been communicating with us. You would not believe the horror stories she is telling us. One poor woman went into labor in 4 ½ feet of water with numerous dead bodies floating around her. Someone miraculously got her to West Jefferson Medical Center where she had to have an emergency C-section. Yesterday, Sept 1, 2005, I snuck back in to the Westbank of New Orleans to check on my property and my tenants. Knowing my tenants and their finances, my greatest fears were realized when I pulled up to my partially roofless fourplex and saw Miss Martha standing at the top of the steps. The first words out of her mouth were "Mr. Moore I don't have your rent money right now, but I will get it to you as soon as I can. Obviously I do not rent to wealthy people, but I do rent to good people. I almost started to cry seeing how she was living. My tenants downstairs were in a much worse position. Their apartment had received two feet of water during the hurricane. Even though the second floor was missing part of the roof, they asked me if it would be alright to break into the upstairs apartment to get food and water and a some what dry place to stay. I now ask you how you would answer that question. I must ask where is the Red Cross; the Westbank of New Orleans is now dry. (Please help us). If I could get there, so could they. I was able to give her and the others all of the water I had.
You may have seen our largest mall on the Westbank burned to the ground. Why was it burned? People were misinformed - they were told to gather at the mall to receive food and water. After two days of waiting, a riot escalated to the burning of the mall.
Why can't the simple necessities be brought to these people. People who have evacuated would love to return to bring in water and food, but they are not letting anyone in.
My brother-in-law is now taking my hurricane-damaged truck back to the city to see if he can pick up his brother-in-law in St. Bernard Parish. He has been working the last four days in a makeshift morgue stacking bodies. He asked us if we could please come get him since they too are low on water and food. I don't believe they will get there, but it is at least worth the try. My personal home was also flooded with about 1 to 2 feet of water in Algiers (the West Bank of New Orleans). My father's home in Harvey was flooded and severely damaged. I was unsuccessful at getting to my Help-U-Sell office on Clearview Parkway, so I'm unsure of its condition. I do not know what the future holds for my family, but I'm sure with God's help we will survive. I do feel blessed because numerous have lost their lives and everyone in my family is safe.
The latest thing we are hearing is that some national politicians are saying that the country should not rebuild the city of New Orleans. I realize that the country got a bad view of the city with all of the looting and unrest after the storm. That was only a handful of people. Most of our people are good, hardworking, and honest and what was seen on the tv is not representative of the majority. The people of our good state will survive and rise. New Orleans is made up of people of Cajun and Creole descent who have been faced with adversity in the past. New Orleans will be rebuilt regardless of what the national politicians wish.