Friday, January 06, 2006

Another Katrina Mystery Solved

If you drove up and down Claiborne Ave near Central City in the weeks after Katrina, you may have seen flooded hearses on neutral grounds or in other odd areas, as Schroeder shows in this series of pics. I saw too many of them for it to have been a random thing.

Well, I was talking to a funeral home director a couple of days ago and he told me that he had to buy new hearses because a depot that housed his old ones near Jackson Ave was looted and the hearses were stolen. That explains that.

Except for the “stolen” part. This might have been a Kanye West moment where “stealing” to some might mean “surviving” for others:
Some of the first vehicles to arrive on dry land at Algiers Point loaded with New Orleans evacuees were not operated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) or any other government authority. They were two hearse and limousine drivers equipped with a ravenous determination to save lives at any cost.

“We were known as the renegade squad.” Williams said she and Jackson ‘borrowed’ the vehicles, although in what has become Katrina lingo, they ‘commandeered’ them to rescue themselves and others stranded by the floodwaters.
Apparently, it takes specialized knowledge that I don’t have to commandeer limos and hearses:
“Panicked residents were screaming, the car alarms were blaring. There was chaos everywhere. We used screwdrivers to bypass the alarms and hotwire the ignitions.”

1 comment:

Sophmom said...

Wow. What a story. Thanks for that link.