Broussard, Jefferson Parish President: “I’m Sick of the Press Conferences”

Broussard on Meet the PressI know Rick already posted this as an update, but this deserved its own entry for obvious reasons.

This is simply another stunning interview (video link) that trailed right after an interview with Michael Chertoff, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, on Sunday’s Meet The Press. Aaron F. Broussard, President of Jefferson Parish had scathing words for FEMA and had more disturbing news:

We have been abandoned by our own country. Hurricane Katrina will go down in history as one of the worst storms ever to hit an American coast, but the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina will go down as one of the worst abandonments of Americans on American soil ever in U.S. history.

[…]Let me give you just three quick examples. We had Wal-Mart deliver three trucks of water, trailer trucks of water. FEMA turned them back. They said we didn´t need them. This was a week ago. FEMA–we had 1,000 gallons of diesel fuel on a Coast Guard vessel docked in my parish. The Coast Guard said, “Come get the fuel right away.” When we got there with our trucks, they got a word. “FEMA says d on´t give you the fuel.” Yesterday–yesterday–FEMA comes in and cuts all of our emergency communication lines. They cut them without notice. Our sheriff, Harry Lee, goes back in, he reconnects the line. He posts armed guards on our line and says, “No one is getting near these lines.” Sheriff Harry Lee said that if America–American government would have responded like Wal-Mart has responded, we wouldn´t be in this crisis.

[…]I just repaired a breach on my side of the 17th Street canal that the secretary didn´t foresee, a 300-foot breach. I just completed it yesterday with convoys of National Guard and local parish workers and levee board people. It took us two and a half days working 24/7. I just closed it.

[…]Nobody´s coming to get us. Nobody´s coming to get us. The secretary has promised. Everybody´s promised. They´ve had press conferences. I´m sick of the press conferences. For God sakes, shut up and send us somebody.

For some reason though, he wants to give FEMA more power and more money, which is just ludicrous. We’ve been throwing power and money at FEMA for years (and the DHS when they swallowed FEMA after 9/11) and they finally showed that they are just a giant paper tiger that causes amazing amounts of harm by being in the way and not letting the help in. And we should give them more power and money? Give me a break.

Reader Lenny Zimmerman, resident of Jefferson Parish, gave this email account:

I’m currently in Abita Springs, which is part of the Covington/Mandeville area on the north shore of Lake Ponchartrain. I live in Metairie in Jefferson Parish, which is a suburb of New Orleans, directly to the West. I live maybe 5 miles from the 17th Street Canal (but on the unbreached side.)

Being in Metairie will pretty much mean being incognito for a while, so there’s little I can do. As for refugees… well I guess you can say that I AM one of those, so the comments I’ve been posting on your site and Liberty For Sale are not at all uncommon of the feelings of many of us. Although I am an evacuee, not one of those who got stuck in the city. At any rate, I’m not certain how I want to handle things right now.

I’m extremely unhappy about how things are being handled in Jefferson Parish. We will be let in starting at 6 am (and ending at 6pm, since that is when “curfew” starts) tomorrow. We will be let in Tuesday and Wednesday as well, but they are asking us to leave no later than Thursday morning. I have work commitments that I can follow (so I can finally be sure I still have my job) but I am sorely tempted to stay to report on what “martial law” is like for a law abiding citizen who must live under those conditions. I’d be without any kind of electricity, though, and certainly no way to charge my laptop and likely no phone (since I had cox digital phone, which I have heard is mostly all down). That only leaves a cell phone (well, PDA phone) with the barest of very slow web capabilities and an iffy car charger.

3 Comments
  1. The frustration is huge. Political finger pointing is the game, reality is hard to find.

    The South is the last area to resist federal devouring of states rights.

    I hope there is no connection.

    Allan

  2. These levee boards are thelowest of life. Blood suckers that owe thier cushy positions to graft and corruption. This bunch is responsible for the disaster and deaths. Though their ineptitude thousands are homeless and destitute. New Orleans is the Calcutta of America with the politics of Nigeria. It was funny when it only cost tax money, but this is the final tab for “Let the good times roll. I hope Brousard joins Edwin Edwards in Oakdale. How many Alarios does it take to screw up a state? One has been enough up till now.

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