Thursday, September 01, 2005

News of a sort from Plaquemines

Finally, some news on Plaquemines, another parish ravaged by the storm. Ironically, I had to have a friend from San Franciso (another veteran of the old Guide newspaper group) find it in a newspaper in a town not four hour's drive from Fargo, ND, where I sit writing this.

A mother writes of a call from her daughter, a teacher at Buras High.

Tanya went on to say what she worried about most -- her students at Buras High, where she taught eighth grade English and literature. As an educator, she knew that many of the families had no mode of transportation. And she feared the worse today -- casualties.
"Mom ... many of my students have never ever even been to New Orleans. They walk everywhere. They are poor, so poor," she sobbed. "I hope and pray the children of Buras are fine, that we have a school and our churches, but I don't know ... I just don't know ..." she said as the phone line went still.
Tuesday afternoon, Tanya called by cell phone and said she was told Buras is under water with mass devastation. A community 20 miles north is reportedly 15-20 feet under water. She said people are committing suicide, shelters are at capacity, many people have no place to go, and they are separated from family members.
The weather is hot, and the pain is magnified because not one state is hit hard, but three. She said the report is that the small bridge -- with the Mississippi River on the left, the Gulf on the right ... the front portion leading to her residence of Buras, is believed to be gone.
"Mom, many people are telling us ... there's nothing left and ... if you have been fortunate enough to evacuate as I have ... they say just ... keep going ..."

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"And when we speak we are afraid our words will not be heard nor welcome, but when we are silent we are still afraid. So it is better to speak remembering we were never meant to survive." -- Audie Lorde

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