Sunday, September 4

[Memphis saviors]

CA reporter Aimee Edmondson has a compelling report out of New Orleans about a Tennessee-based rescue team charged with plucking survivors out of flooded homes and nursing homes. I'm proud of these Volunteers (capital 'V' intentional). Their job is so enormous I can't fathom it. I'm also proud of the work the CA reporters and photographers are doing down there.

Some snippets:

• "They'd found 60 nursing home patients alive on the second floor of a building off Chef Menteur in East New Orleans, just three streets over. ... Fifteen were already dead. Their bodies were placed in plastic mattress covers by a nun and another nurse, who'd been waiting for help for five days. ... Holley had to choose those most likely to survive, getting them ready for the helicopter evacuation that had been called to the section of I-10 nearest the nursing home. "It's so hard to say, 'Don't take him. He'll be dead shortly,'" Holley said of one patient. "But his skin was already breaking down."

• "The 34-year-old had been drinking tap water that he had stored in his bathtub before the storm, but came out looking for help when he ran out of food. He had what looked like second-degree chemical burns on his arms from being in the polluted water. The wounds were infected, and one hand was swelling like a blown-up plastic glove."

• "The Tennessee team is working in one of the most impoverished sections of the city. As they moved through the projects Wednesday, they said they faced hostile stares as if their presence was too little, too late."

• "Again and again, the Task Force members told the holdouts: Nobody will be back through this section for weeks. If you stay, you will die."

Read the full story here.


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