Sunday, December 18, 2005

How They Died

Blksista's dKos diary discusses a NYT article that looks at how 260 people who died during or shortly after Katrina actually died. From the article:

More than 100 of them drowned. Sixteen died trapped in attics. More than 40 died of heart failure or respiratory problems, including running out of oxygen. At least 65 died because help - shelter, water or a simple dose of insulin - came too late.
As Blksista writes, "What is worse is that most of them survived the hurricane itself. They died, however, from the flooding and the sometimes bloody anarchy that seized New Orleans and its citizenry in the aftermath."

There's more at the link. And even more at the NYT link, including a map of where people died and profiles of some of the victims. Here is the story of Ethel Freedman's final days:

Ethel Freeman was 91, long retired from her job as a university custodian. She used a wheelchair, a feeding tube and diapers. But her mind was still alert. When she and her son, Herbert Freeman Jr., reached the convention center on the Wednesday after the storm, she asked repeatedly for a doctor or a nurse. Her son told her a bus was coming to take them to safety. It did not come in time.

"When she asked me something, I could do it, I could dleiver, and this was one time I couldn't," said Mr. Freeman, who has made his new home in Alabama.

That morning Mr. Freeman had started early, loading his mother, her chair, water and food intoa small canoe. Ferrying it to shallow water, he helped Mrs. Freeman out and pushed her to the convention center. "She was getting sick then, and I told her, just hold on until we get there," Mr. Freeman said.

They waited all day and into the night. Her son told her they both should pray. Mrs. Freeman died. Mr. Freeman stayed with her until Sunday, when he was ordered to board a bus. The next time he saw his mother, it was in a photgraph, dead in her wheelchair outside, an image widely publishe das an illustration of the darkest hours of New Orleans.


Post a Comment

<< Home