Friday, December 30, 2005


Exactly 14 days ago/CNN's Aaron Brown + Crawl
by Chamonix
Mon Sep 12, 2005 at 08:18:34 PM PDT

Aug. 29th CNN's Aaron Brown's Show- I transcribed the highlights off my Tivo. This is some of the first reporting coming in from the ground in New Orleans

I happened to have saved Aaron Brown's show "NewsNight" from Monday, Aug. 29th. The reason I did was Jeanne Meserve's report that I will remember for the rest of my life. I have transcribed several parts of it to share with you. I also included Mark Biello's interview who was the CNN photographer with Jeanne Meserve. Also included Ray Bias Local EMS who called in from the Super Dome. I am also including parts of the crawl. Remember this show aired MONDAY NIGHT, AUG. 29th, at 11pm est, 8 pst.

Jump now.

* Chamonix's diary :: ::


White House says President Bush approved Major Disaster declarations for Louisiana & Mississippi. Move paves way for use of federal funds to help response to hurricane Katrina

FEMA Director Michael Brown urged people to make cash donations to groups including the Red Cross & Salvation Army.

"Lower 9th Ward of New Orleans now under 5-8 feet of rising water after 3 pumps failed" Mayor Ray Nagin said

"Water is pouring through the man hole covers" CNN's John Zarrella said "It can't take it. This is like Hell on Earth"

President Bush strongly endorsed proposed constitution Sunday despite failure of US efforts to win backing of the charter by minority Sunni Muslims AP

Nation Under Terror Alert-Yellow elevated

Aaron Brown- "The worst of the storm is over now, but what is left behind is virtually indescribable. We can't get you the wide picture of what the scenes are like. (in New Orleans) Jeanne Meserve on the ground in New Orleans."

Jeanne Meserve-(in a faint whisper) "It's been horrible. As I left darkness had fallen and you could hear people yelling for help. You could hear the dogs yelping, all of them stranded, hoping someone would come. But for tonight they had to suspend the rescue efforts. It's too hazardous to be out in the boats. There are electrical lines down that are still alive. There are gas lines spewing gas. Cars are submerged and other large objects...the boats can't operate. So they had to leave those people. These people desperately need help. We watched some people come off was horrible, they were in horrible shape. One woman who's leg had been severed. Mark Biello, one of our camera men, went out, he was out for hours, he told horrific tales, he saw bodies, he saw other unfathomable things. Dogs wrapped in electrical lines that were still alive, they were being electrocuted. The police are having radio problems. They put out an appeal to anyone who had personal boats to bring them to the scene, but nobody who had boats could get to the boats to get them to the scene to rescue the people. The water is rising. The area where I was, I don't know what the other neighborhoods are like, but this is a poor neighborhood, these were very humble homes. People have axes and are chopping holes from inside their roof to get out. Most homes appear to be one story high with some small attic space above them. These people are people with not much means, some of them I would guess do not have cars and wouldn't have the option of driving away from here. Some of them I would guess would not have the money that would have bought them a hotel room, getting out of their homes would not have been easy for these people"

(ARE YOU LISTENING GEORGE BUSH, CHERTOFF, MICHAEL BROWN, THIS IS ON MONDAY NIGHT>CNN is on the Ground and in the Water saving people and reporting, where the fuck are you?)

Aaron Brown-"Are the authorities able to communicate with these people who are stranded and scared and hungry and cold and desperate?"

Jeanne Meserve-"They aren't tonight. This happened before with Hurricane Betsy. There are many people who have axes in their attics in preparation for this. So some people were able to use those axes and made holes in their roofs and they would put their hand out or body out or climb out and others clearly didn't have that, so a rescuer was carrying an axe and he was trying to cut them out to provide access to haul them out. There was one coast guard helicopter dropping flares on roofs to signal the boat to get them."

Emergency Officals confirm at least 50 hurricane related deaths in Mississippi, Harrison County-AP

New Orleans spared a direct hit, but still buffeted by devastating winds and serious flooding

Jeanne-"The exit ramps & enterance ramps for the highways are now going to be used as boat ramps to get into the water to rescue people. The Eastern part of the city is submerged in water..up to the eaves of houses after water topped a levee. I am 5 miles from Downtown and I am not seeing the worst of it. I am at the end of ward 9."

LA. Emergency officals say at least 50 people have been rescued from their rooftops

LA. Governor Kathleen Blanco said initial reports indicate Katrina "DEVASTED" parts of at least 6 parishes in SE. LA

Jeanne-"Most of the storm had passed and what apparently was the storm surge came, the water is rising and not going down. I'm only in a 10 block area. I don't know how big the whole ares is. I haven't been able to see footage from the air but it looks like it goes on forever. It is hard for me to comprehend how many people might be out there, how many peoples lives may be in jeopardy or how many might be dead"

Latest damage estimates project total insured damage from Hurricane Katrina could be between 9-16 billion dollars.

High ranking Army Corps. of engineers offical who publicly criticized Pentagon's decision to award Halliburton Co. a No-Bid contract for work in Iraq has been demoted, officals said Monday-AP

Jeanne- "One thing we saw...I couldn't imagine being in this situation, one boat picked up a fairly large group of people and it brought them in and the only land above ground was some railroad tracks and they put them there and then they had to sit there for what seemed to me to be a couple of hours for another boat could pick them up and bring them onto the highway, then there was no truck to bring them into the city... and they set off on foot into the city Arron." (she is crying now) "Our camera man Mark Biello who has a broken foot, has been working since 9 this morning trying to get this story to you, he ended up in that water trying to get the rescue boat out over the submerged railroad tracks. It was a heroic piece of work by CNN employees."

Aaron-(To Jeanne) "You don't need to hear this from me....People think we're a bunch of wacky thrill seekers doing this work sometimes, and no one who has listened to the words you've spoken or the tone of your voice could possibly think that now.

Jeanne-(Whispering/voice shaking) "When you stand in the dark and you hear people yelling, crying for help and no one can get to them, it's a totally different experience."

Aaron-"Thank you Jeanne.....I've known Jeanne for almost 15 years. I think she's a very... tough, ...capable, ...strong reporter and.... she met her match in a story tonight."

Walmart has announced that it has donated 1 million dollars to the Salvation Army for Hurricane Katrina

Lowes announced it will match customers donations up to 1 Million dollars

Aaron Brown-"The worst of Katrina is over.... I'm not sure, in fact, that we can say that, but we can say the worst of the weather is, but what remains we are just beginning to understand and that may be far worse than our imaginations to this point. Eastern suburbs of NO were clearly hammered and have been hit harder than we have characterized up to this point"

Arron- "Report coming in from Acadian ambulance service man Ray Bias who is in the Super Dome."

Ray Bias- "We have 2 sections here. One is the 15 thousand original people who came before the hurricane and the other came after, very warm, chaotic, feeding them MRE's, bottled water, bathrooms don't flush, Hopefully we won't stay very long in the dome. There's holes in the top of the Dome. Folks have had to be moved up to higher levels. Very needy people, diabetics, heartattacks and other injuries. Special needs patients in the Dome from hospitals in the area that are flooded. It's getting worst hour by hour."

Water going over the levees in New Orleans

Aaron-"How much longer do you think this can go on in there before people go nuts?"

Ray-"We're close- the special needs patients cannot stay in here very much longer and that's why we're working now to get them out of this Dome. There is also no light. We do have some National Guards here. But it is really chaotic."

LA. Governor Kathleen Blanco ordered State Police to block re-entry into routes to all but emergency workers. "We would really encourage people not to come back to New Orleans for at least 1 week" said an expert.

Aaron Brown now interviews a CNN photographer (Mark Biello) that worked with Jeanne Meserve and was in a boat. He had broken his foot earlier in the day and still went out on the one private boat to help rescue people and shot the story for CNN.

Mark Biello-"Many disabled & elderly folks are trapped in their homes & roof tops. One double amputee has been clinging on a tree since 6 am this morning and many are still trapped there. But since nightfall the rescue operations are hampered because of the live electric lines that are in the water & the gas lines that are bubbling up. You can smell gas."

President Bush thanked governors of states affected by hurricane Katrina for mobilizing assets ahead of time & called on people who evacuated not to return until authorities asy it's time

Levees are over topped in the New Orleans area, extensive & life threatening storm surge flooding on the LA. coast.

"There is no potable water in New Orleans" Governor Blanco said, due to severed water main

Mark Biello-"Humans and animals are wrapped up in the power lines. Local law enforcement & rescue workers are overwhelmed. Wildlife management people are showing up with their flat bottom boats that can cross rail road tracks. They're saying 300-500 people are still trapped in these homes."

New Mexico Supreme Court asked to order a recount in the razor-close '04 Presidential election, even though it's to late for a new vote tabulation to change the outcome- AP (Can you fucking believe this???)

Governor Haley Barbour when asked what his worst fear is he replied "They're a lot of dead people down there." (asshole)

Mark Biello-"Very low income, large magnatude of homes..these are poor people that did not have the transportation or means to get to the shelters or able to evacuate."

France plans to put a tax on airline tickets next year to finance global struggle against proverty & AIDS" -President Chirac announced Monday. (Chamonix likes France..especially the alps!)

Mark-"The water level is rising and getting deeper and more difficult to operate in. It's a slow gradual rise, I'm worried about these people that are trapped over night up in the attic spaces. Literally the air, the air pockets..we saw people sticking their hands out of holes in the rafters. All we saw were hands waving little tin pans so a reflection would signal help."

Aaron-"If you've ever been stuck in a small an elevator, the big worry is you don't know how long you're going to be there. It could be 5 minutes or 5 days and that increases the anxiety."

A suicide bomber blew himself up outside an Israeli bus station.

A gunman killed 4 people near a small town church in N. Texas, then killed himself early Monday after a 9 hour standoff.

"Opium yield in Afganistan dropped just 2% this year despite a major clamping down on poppy farmers that sharply reduced the amount of land used to grow the narcotic." an anti-drug chief says

Mark-"We were the only boat out there making rescue attempts to get to these people. We had to stop, it was just to dangerous to get to these people. I'm afraid those people will be stuck over night on top of their roofs and the water is rising. They're in bad shape. There is nowhere else to go when you are on the top of your roof of your own home surrounded by water."

Aaron-" Were there dozens of these small boats out there, officals or good samaritans, several dozen or are we talking a handful?"

Mark-"Resources are strapped here. I don't know how this got by everybody. This was the only good samaritan boat we found...just a regular small fishing boat that we went out on to help these people and film the story."

China suspends a search Monday for 123 workers trapped after a flood swept through a coal mine. Declaring all of them dead.

Louisiana Attorney General says "He's already gotten calls from people who say they were overcharged for gasoline or a hotel room". He's promising to agressively prosecute price gouging.

Jordanian government on Monday announced plans to spend 85 million to upgrade security at the countries border with Iraq.

Aaron Brown-"It will certainly be 10-12 hours till daylight tomorrow before we have a fuller appreciation of how desperate the situation is in some of those areas. We have just a taste of that tonight and it's not a very comfortable taste at that.

I have been covering /chasing hurricanes in one part of the Southeast or another. I never remembered a situation quite like the one we have now where 12-18 hours after the center of the hurricane passed, we still don't have an especially clear picture of what devastating the damage is. I think it's gonna be well into tomorrow until we really understand the magnitude of the distruction and the magnitude of the loss of life and based on what we learned in the last little gut says...if nothing else that the numbers are going to be extraordinarily disquieting.

US Terror Alert-Yellow-Elevated


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