Skip to comments.Commander: Southeast La. Still in Crisis
Posted on 10/02/2005 6:30:51 AM PDT by Jackknife
Commander: Southeast La. Still in Crisis
PORT SULPHUR, La. - The commander of the military's hurricane-relief effort saw firsthand Saturday the double punishment dealt by Katrina and then Rita to the land running southeast of New Orleans down the Mississippi River into the Gulf of Mexico.
"To these people, the crisis is still going on," said Army Lt. Gen. Russel Honore, touring Plaquemines Parish by truck and helicopter. "They haven't gotten to the recovery part yet."
Parish President Benny Rousselle said about 16,000 of 28,000 residents remained displaced. The parish, a major seafood producer and home for oil refineries, took a direct hit Aug. 29 from Katrina, then suffered more flooding a week ago from Rita. About 30 to 40 percent remains flooded.
"This is critical terrain," Honore said. "It's critical to the nation."
Army and Coast Guard helicopters dropped sandbags as large as three tons to patch eight levee breaks in the southern half of the 80-mile-long parish. Honore said another six heavy-lift helicopters were on the way from Texas, after completing Rita-related missions there. Barges and airboats are also being used in the effort. The Corps of Engineers hopes to have the floodwaters out next week.
Col. Duane Gapinski of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said most floodwater had been pumped out before Rita, but now, "We're playing catch-up."
Three residents are confirmed dead, two more deaths have been reported and two have been missing for more than a month, Rousselle said.
Honore slowly shook his head as he saw miles of communities with houses and businesses crumpled or torn from foundations, flipped-over boats, citrus trees ruined by Gulf seawater, and flooded cattle pastures. A Shell Oil pipeline was ruptured by Katrina, adding to the mess.
But resident Dutch Asevedo, 78, said the parish is resilient. The parish rebounded from heavy blows from Hurricane Betsy in 1965 and Camille in 1969.
"We brought it back," he said. "They're going to build back, no problem."
Army Lt. Gen. Russel Honore looks over the extensive flood damage by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in the town of Empire in Plaquemines Parish, La., as he tours the area, Saturday, Oct. 1, 2005. Just over a month after Hurricane Katrina and a week after Rita much of the area remains flooded. (AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian)
Lt. General Honore is the stand-out leader in this Katrina disaster, much like Rudy was after 9-11. I am continually impressed with his character. I wish we had more men in leadership positions like him.
I truly admire Honore and Rumsfeld, plain spoken men who never suffer fools and they are surrounded by them.
Rudy would not make a good pimple on Honore's rearend.
As a leader in the wake of a disaster, Rudy did a great job. Of course, he in not in the same league of Gen. Honore.
A welcome contrast to the female governor and bozo mayor. Lt. Gen. Russel Honore can-do written all over him
That parish looks half underwater without any hurricanes.
You've got that right, on both of your statements!
Be sure and bring a glass of that beaujolais drinkin' wine - I garontee! ... Justin Wilson
MMMMMMMMMMMMM , mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.............
Hell, from the look of things, it probably goes underwater at high tide.
We do - we just don't see them. There are many just like General Honore in the military. Unfortunately for our children, the "men" we usually see in public are politicians, actors, athletes, and such. In other words, "popular" figures. The media do not let our children see actual heroic men because of their disdain for the service. They would rather that our children adhere to the hollywood/homosexual gelding images that seem to dominate today. Sad.
I think all of that "land" south and east of Venice no longer exists - Katrina's right eyewall went over it at CAT 4 strength.
Venice Loisiana... how aptly named.
I realize we have them in the military, it's just a shame that more of them don't turn up in gov't leadership positions.