Oct 18, 2005

Prisoners, Some Charged with Drunkenness, Abandoned to Flood Waters while Locked up during Katrina

August 27. Arrested for public drunkenness and disorderly conduct. Detained in Templeton III building of New Orleans city jail, along with 600 other inmates. Served last meal.

August 28. Katrina blows into town. Flooding begins.

August 29. No food. No water. Generator fails. Lights go out, water seeps into cells. No correctional officers on site. No one to help. We try to escape. We try waving burning clothes out of windows to attract rescuers. My God, there’s no air either.

August 30. No food. No water. Flood waters rise. My neighbor alternately screams and cries. The water is up to our chests if we are lucky, to our chins if not.

August 31. No food. No water. Some of us manage to escape our cells, only to be still locked in the jail building, Where are our rescuers? Sewers backed up—the stench is horrible. The screams of fellow prisoners add to the hell.

September 1. Finally rescued today. Did anyone drown? 500 of the 600 of us are still missing.

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