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Katrina stories anyone??

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dcg729

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I would like to read some Katrina related stories as to how hams helped, I would also like to know if anyone here was involved, I know that all communications we usually depend on were down for weeks and all that could have been left was ham, thanks in advance.
 

E-Man

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I was part of a Emergency Response Team for Electrical Restoration, we were staged in Mississippi pre Katrina, after Katrina hit we headed to LA in a Convoy, there was plenty of Diesel fuel for the Equipment but no gas, Fema bought up what little gas there was. I was driving a company pickup truck that was not diesel along with 4 other Supervisors. We stoped before we ran out of gas at a Gas Station around Jackson, the convoy kept rolling.

It was like a bad movie seeing so many cars ran out of gas, and people stranded in their cars. The station was closed and no fuel, but they had a armed guard, its started to get dark and the place started to come alive, the guard said he was going to shoot somebody tonite, we realized this was not a good place to spend the night, our cell phones did not work, and phone service and power was down everywhere, we were pretty much close to empty, I walked over to the pay phone and dialed 911 it worked, and told the dispatcher our situation, she said sorry there is no gas anywhere, I asked her if there was a Power Company staging area nearby and she said there was and gave directions, we headed there for the night and slept in our trucks, the next morning they were handing out food, I explained our sitiuation, and we hadnt eaten since the day before, asked if we could have some food and was told sorry we only have enough for our workers, luckily one in our group blended in with the minority tree trimmers, got in line and got box lunches for us. A Gulf Power Rep. told us a fuel truck was comming and we could get fuel, it was supposed to arrive that day, but didnt make it until the next day, the next day came and another Gulf Power Rep, said sorry we only have enough fuel for our trucks, so when the fuel truck finally came we got in the fuel line filled up and hauled ass. We made it to the Lake Ponchatrain Center area.

Entergy put us in Evacuated Apt. Bldg's that were right next to one of the Levy's and were nearly blown down from Katrina, the roofs were all blown off and some of the rooms leaked, there was a large piece of an oil rig that came to rest next to the levy, we holed up at the Apt's for Rita, and durring the whole time wondered if the place was going to come down, luckily it didnt and the Apt. Bldgs turned out to be some of the best lodging we had.

From there we moved to the Expo Center around LaPlace, the Expo Center was were all the LEO's stayed, it was like a small city, everyday we would drive to New Orleans and work. Entergy had their own Security and they would go in and make a triangle, then we would go in and work getting the Pump Stations for the Levys back up and Hospitals. The company that I worked for hired a security company and we thought we were going to be their long term, but Entergy filed for Bankrupcy in New Orleans, citing they no longer had the customer base, and shut everything down.

We stayed in LA working, it was hot, muggy and the skeeters were really bad, I remember talking to one customer that told me he has been with out power for 14 days and started to eat all the animals around his house. We ended up working all around LA, I slept on a army cot for months, staying at School Gyms, Churches, and many Tents.
 

Dubbin

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The only story that I have is my neighbor just went down there this weekend to lay carpet. I talked to him today and he said it is like a war zone down there and very hot and muggy. He sent me some pics on my phone but they are really crappy pics to make out.
 

E-Man

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Decon site set up for FD's, we were given Tetnus & Depthria shots prior to entering New Orleans, hand sanitzer and disinfectant spray for boots.
 

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nexus

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Lots of stories there just like cellblock mentioned... Here's an excerpt from one such story on there about my area here in Mississippi.

"As Hurricane Rita had approached, there were gale force winds and new flooding, and many hams previously volunteering in the area had been evacuated. Richard and only a few other hams had stayed to provide essential communications in the face of this second deadly hurricane. Richard told about a fellow ham at a shelter finding a teacher in much distress. Her school had been destroyed and many of her students had drowned. The ham called in to the EOC and had an ambulance dispatched, taking her to a local medical center. Later, the ER physician called the ham and thanked him, saying that the teacher was imminently suicidal and would likely have killed herself out of grief if the ham had not intervened. This is the way ham radio works when it has to."

That was part of the story by K4RLC -- Dec 4, 2005 @
http://www.arrl.org/FandES/field/PublicServiceStories/index.html?evt_id=1&ofst=10
 
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