A Letter From A Louisiana Resident - Frank H Kean III

Richard A Whitenight rum.runner at JUNO.COM
Fri Sep 16 12:15:23 MDT 2005

"A Letter from a Louisiana resident, someone on the "West Bank" of New

Those of us in La. know who screwed up this disaster. Our Governor, the
levee board, the Corps of Engineers and the New Orleans Mayor are
primarily to blame with the incompetence of FEMA being secondary.

By the way, things have improved significantly. We give credit to our
armed forces who have taken the pressure off of local law enforcement
allowing them to regain control of our cities. I've often wondered why
New Orleans police have
a reputation for being tough, no nonsense guys -- I now understand.

The looting here has been bad. You won't see it on TV, since we're not
even close to being newsworthy considering all the deprivation, death and
suffering being reported.

Our parish took in the first 600 evacuees, and put them up in one of our
brand new high schools located next to I-10. In l0 hours they had trashed
the school, torn out urinals, ripped the bleachers out of the gym and
trashed the classrooms
and computers.

We moved them, plus 600 more to a place across the Interstate at an expo
center.  By Tuesday night, there were 3 car jackings and 3 armed
robberies. So we had to call in our deputies, police and Nat'l Guard
troops to guard the
evacuees. Most of our law enforcement had been down in NO working the
rescue mission. 

The same stories apply to Baton Rouge, only multiply the numbers 10 fold.
My godson/nephew is the chief of the K-9 Department in Shreveport, 250
miles north of Baton Rouge. He had been in NO working on the rescue till
now, except
he has been called back to Shreveport tonight to protect against the
looting there. 

Mandy works for a doctor in a clinic next to our  small hospital in
Gonzales. It's situated across the Interstate from the evacuee center. At
11 AM yesterday (Thursday), the police locked down the hospital and the
clinic to protect them
from looters. The clinic closed down at 2 PM and the medical staff got
escorts out of the vicinity.

The national news seems to carry a constant theme of Louisiana
politicians crying "shame, shame America". "Where's the government?" It's
the mantra de jour. Our governor had the power to declare martial law and
commandeer school buses to evacuate the New Orlean folks.

She did not.

Her news conferences are unscheduled, unformatted ramblings, punctuated
with tears and calls for help and prayers......but not much information
or  direction.  She has been noticeably absent from sight today since the

Maybe I can't see the forest for the trees here, but I don't want any of
you "Americans out there" to accept any blame for the lack of immediate
response when it was clearly the responsibility of local and state
government officials.

Frank H. Kean, III
[address/phone number omitted for privacy reasons]
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