CNN’s John Zarrella talking to Kyra Phillips…
Well, Kyra, actually, we are part of a convoy of CNN personnel who are — who left the city. We evacuated
the hotel this morning. And as part of the evacuation, we helped
evacuate people from the hotel, brought them over to — through the high
water, which was, you know, almost waist deep in place, knee deep,
certainly. We drove on the sidewalks, to stay high enough out of the
water so the cars would not bog down, until we made it over to Canal
Canal Street was dry in the middle. We stopped where the police
were and I asked one of the officers, I said, “We have these evacuees
from the hotel. We were told to drop them here with you.”
He said, “Well, we’re not going anywhere. We’re only here because
we can’t get back to our station. Everything is flooded and under
water.” So they’re sitting in the middle of Canal Street.
So we took the evacuees another couple of blocks to an area by
another hotel, where they were bringing these evacuees into and dropped
them off there.
We wound our way through the city this morning, through back streets
and side streets, downed power lines, around downed trees, driving on
the wrong side of the road periodically, up along the Mississippi bank,
along the levee and finally made it over the Huey T. Long Bridge on
Highway 90, and are making our way up to Baton Rouge now. We’ve just
now left the city. And Highway 90 is, Kyra, a steady stream of traffic.
But everything you pointed out in the opening is exactly what’s
taking place in the city. There’s no system of water. There’s no
sanitation any longer. The knee deep water in the hotel lobby, it just
reeks with stench. It is a miserable, deteriorating situation in the
city that’s growing worse by the hour, and the water is rising.
One final point, Kyra, on the radio just a little while ago, the
emergency manager from Jefferson Parish literally was pleading, Walter
Mainstreet (ph) was pleading with the folks from FEMA to get in and
bring them more help, as they just are overwhelmed, and the water is
rising there as well — Kyra.