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Tuesday, September 13, 2005

A personal perspective on the devastation....

The devastation of Hurricane Katrina came a little closer to the faculty and staff at my institution today. We had a student in our MPA program from the affected region, and he came by a week ago to temporarily withdraw so he could help his family. At the time he was especially concerned about two younger cousins who had not been heard from. His email to a staff member here provides some insight into what is still a difficult situation....

"Dear....

I wanted to let you know that my family received word from the two cousins. They had signed up to take a bus to Dallas but ended up taking a bus to Atlanta. I have an Uncle who resides outside of Atlanta, so the boys decided to head towards the nearest family member. My mother and Aunt are driving to pick them up and get out of this chaos for awhile. After driving around shelters in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, my Uncle and I headed back to the Mississippi coast and are now working with the Red Cross and National Guard. It seems that there are a[m]ple supplies flying every day, but no way to get them out the the remaining coastal residents. We have loaded a large flat bed and are delivering supplies to families in less populated areas.
There is so much destruction and lack of communication. Volunteers are only staying a few days before they give up and go home. Yesterday my Uncle found two young girls who sought refuge in a large freezer, but had not survived. The smell is the worst deterring factor, it is nauseating.
We are signed up to deliver supplies as long as they need us. I have met so many people battered and frustrated that no one came to help after the storm. Some residents who lived outside major cities are furious that help has still not arrived. We are doing [our] best.
Thank-you for all your help.
Sincerely,
....



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