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Devastation, heartbreak and pleas for help

A look at some memorable quotes by government officials and Gulf Coast residents on Hurricane Katrina's impact and  devastating effect on the region.
/ Source: The Associated Press

Below are quotes by government officials and Gulf Coast residents on Hurricane Katrina's impact and devastating effect on the region.

“The situation is untenable. It’s just heartbreaking.”
— Gov. Kathleen Blanco of Louisiana

“We’re not even dealing with dead bodies. They’re just pushing them on the side.”
— New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin, regarding rescue crews trying to locate and save hundreds, if not thousands, of people who may still be stuck on roofs and in attics

“We grabbed a lady and pulled her out the window and then we swam with the current. It was terrifying. You should have seen the cars floating around us. We had to push them away when we were trying to swim.”
— survivor Joy Schovest, 55, in Biloxi, Miss.

“It’s like being in a Third World country. We’re trying to work without power. Everyone knows we’re all in this together. We’re just trying to stay alive.”
— Mitch Handrich, a registered nurse manager at Charity Hospital in New Orleans

“Nobody named one Katrina yet.”
— Ochsner Clinic spokeswoman Katherine Voss, regarding babies birthed by several Jefferson Parish, La., women who have given birth during the hurricane flooding

"I can only imagine that this is what Hiroshima looked like 60 years ago."
—Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour after touring the destruction by air Tuesday

“Mr. President, the people of Mississippi are flat on their backs. They’re going to need your help. I urge you to come to Mississippi.”
— Mississippi Sen. Trent Lott, calling upon President Bush to visit the damaged region

“These are trying times for the people of these communities. We know that many are anxious to return to their homes. It’s not possible at this moment. Right now our priority is on saving lives, and we are still in the midst of search and rescue operations.”
— President Bush, speaking Tuesday in Coronado, Calif.

“People are just casually walking in and filling up garbage bags and walking off like they’re Santa Claus.”
— Marty Desei, owner of a Super 8 motel, regarding wanton looting of consumer goods from businesses in Biloxi, Miss.

“They were barking this morning. There are dogs throughout our lobby kind of hanging out with their owners. It’s a zoo here.”
— Anna Drake, spokeswoman for Hilton Americas hotel in Houston, who estimated more than 100 animals, including birds, hamsters and rabbits, were now guests at the hotel. Hotels are relaxing their policies, allowing Hurricane Katrina evacuees to keep their pets with them.