Guest: Jason Newton, Doug Whitlow, Pam Kohn, Joe Becker, Marc Siegel, Bobby Jindal, David Vitter
JOE SCARBOROUGH, HOST: And we are here in Biloxi, at ground zero of where killer Katrina hit. It has ripped open the heart of America‘s Gulf Coast, leaving hundreds, maybe thousands, dead in its wake, a major U.S. city destroyed. And along a 100-mile stretch of the Gulf Coast, there are scenes here that simply recall nothing short of Hiroshima, and, here in Biloxi, unspeakable losses, where some people may have died simply because they couldn‘t afford a tank of gas at the end of a month.
Welcome to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY, no passport required, only common sense allowed.
ANNOUNCER: From Biloxi, Mississippi, here‘s Joe Scarborough.
SCARBOROUGH: Friends, tonight, live from Biloxi, Mississippi, here we are again. We are in the neighborhood that just a week ago was vibrant, filled with children running along these sidewalks. Today, nothing but cinder blocks. Records. I see records. I see refrigerators, stove top ovens, computers, life possessions that people—I mean, it‘s unbelievable.
You look through these possessions. People have been collecting these things their entire life. You see photo albums, wedding pictures, pictures of young babies just thrown indiscriminately. We are going to be showing you later on a tour that I took of this city. It‘s just absolute, total devastation in this neighborhood. You wonder where people start to rebuild.
You know, friends, we are going to show you a lot of shots to try to put some perspective on it, overhead shots of Biloxi, of the Gulf Coast, the scenes that the president of the United States saw today when he flew over, and, also, of course, of New Orleans. But it‘s when you get up and close, up close and personal with these people, you see a young child crying, crying because there‘s nobody there to help. Or you see an old couple, tearing up, as they start looking through the remains of what their dream home was, all their—again, all possessions, not only their childhood, but of their children and their grandchildren, just destroyed in an instant.
And if you go to New Orleans tonight, 85 miles southwest of us, I am telling you, a lot of people are talking about how that is a city out of control. I have got a quote from the Associated Press that says, “Authorities in New Orleans have all been surrendered the streets of that city to floodwaters, looting and lawlessness.”
Martin Savidge of NBC has that story.
MARTIN SAVIDGE, NBC CORRESPONDENT: The city of New Orleans has a lot of problems it needs to tackle today, number one, continue the massive rescue effort, number two, try to make sure that the flow of water that has been coming into this city stops, and then, number three, try to bring about a sense of control when it comes to the looting that has been happening. In other words, it‘s going to be another difficult day.
The flooding in this city is leveling off, but 80 percent of New Orleans is still underwater. And while the mayor wants everyone to get out of the city, people are still trying to figure out how to leave. Already, thousands of people roam the streets in a mass migration, looking for food, water, help or just a wait out.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They told us, go to the Superdome. If you want to be rescued, go to the Superdome. All of sudden, now they‘re telling us, go to the bridge. We have very few resources. What are we supposed to do?
SAVIDGE: Among those in the confused crowd are thousands of tourists far from home, far from help.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I feel like they forgot the 100 people that were staying in the (INAUDIBLE) in Orleans. And we have nowhere to go. We haven‘t seen any cops. We haven‘t seen any National Guard. We haven‘t heard anything.
SAVIDGE: The Superdome, which was the shelter of last resort, has become the last place anyone wants to be.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Get us out of here! We want to get out of here!
SAVIDGE: The air has gone bad. The toilets are overflowing. Tensions are rising among rival gang members inside. Things are so bad, state officials are now evacuating the evacuees.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Glad to see this buses?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Am I? This is heaven-sent, definitely. This is a blessing right here.
SAVIDGE: Four hundred seventy-five buses loading up to take these people with so little left to another way station, the Houston Astrodome, 350 miles away.
Looting continued throughout the downtown area today. It isn‘t a game. For many of these people, it‘s a matter of survival.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know, you‘re not supposed to do that.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, we don‘t, but if we‘re barefoot and we are walking in the water, our feet is going to get cut.
SAVIDGE: But it‘s still dangerous. As police search this office supply store, elsewhere, residents plunder at will. The filthy water shifts constantly, creating a hot zone for diseases.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are gravely concerned about the potential for cholera, typhoid, and dehydrating diseases that could come as a result of the stagnant water and the conditions.
SAVIDGE: And cutting off access, leaving residents to hold up desperate messages for whoever might be watching from above. One of those flying overhead is President Bush, surveying the scene from Air Force One.
But the people on the ground are more interested in the Coast Guard helicopters who come to give them a chance to live. This man finally arrives at a safe location, one more survivor in a city where so many are still waiting for a helping hand.
(on camera): It is said that about 3,500 National Guard troops, in addition to those that are already here, are coming to help, as well as more state police. Authorities will say they need all the help they can get—back to you.
SCARBOROUGH: NBC‘s Martin Savidge in New Orleans, where we have just gotten some amazing new video.
And, friends, we have been talking about this for the past several
nights. I have seen it firsthand. Sure, these type of situations bring
out the worst in some people, but, in most people, in most Americans, it
brings out the very best. We are showing you amazing new video that‘s just
now coming in. It‘s a rescue from our helicopters that are going down and,
literally, as you have seen over the past, past couple nights, the Coast
Guard actually doing all they can do to rescue these people from the tops
of their homes, again, remarkable video, remarkable service, people putting
· people putting their lives on the line.
Look how high up they are. Can you imagine being in your home, escaping floodwaters, and then being taken, saved from the roofs and taken up as high as 5,000, 10,000 feet to simply stay alive? Again, this is the latest video. This video continues to stream in.
Right now, though, I want to go back to New Orleans. Darkness has descended on the city.
Let‘s go to Michelle Hofland.
Michelle, we have heard from a lot of people in New Orleans. Sure, there are some great things happening, but others are reporting tonight that it is a city on the brink. Bring us up to date with the very latest.
MICHELLE HOFLAND, NBC CORRESPONDENT: That‘s exactly it.
Actually, as darkness falls, this is the third night without lights, without fresh water, without any communication, the third night that families tonight are trying to find some place to sleep. They don‘t have any homes. The Superdome is filled. They are moving many people out tonight, but they are just—it is very frustrating around here.
Now, the mayor of the city has just ordered its 1,500 police officers off of the search-and-rescue efforts and onto the streets to try to prevent the massive looting and the late-night violence that we have been hearing. We have heard reports of carjackings and shootings. Last night, somebody opened up—opened fire onto a police substation right down the street from here.
So, what they are trying to do is bring the police officers down here to help. However, since we have been down here, well, this is one police car. Since they have ordered them off, we have actually seen fewer police cars down here on Canal Street in downtown New Orleans.
Now, we have had—seen some very sad things here tonight. Right behind me, we saw somebody who was rescued from the floods. He was an elderly paralyzed man. His family pushed him on a raft, brought him over here, and then dropped him off, and they had nowhere to take him. The man could barely walk. They walked over to a police officer who was here, said, what do we do with him? How can we get him someplace? He needs to get out of this area.
And, Joe, they said, he has got to get down to the civic center. He‘s got to get down to the convention center. It was just a horribly sad thing. So, actually, we were watching it. We got our pickup truck, loaded the whole family up in it and took them down to the Greyhound station. And, hopefully, someone there will be able to get them out of town.
It‘s just—the whole thing is very, very heartbreaking. And we are seeing some other family members here. You know, people are just walking and pushing their family members in wheelchairs. They don‘t know where to go. There‘s no communication. They can‘t even call out on their cell phones, if they have cell phones, because the cell phones don‘t work.
It‘s—I just can‘t emphasize enough that it‘s just a very desperate situation that is getting more desperate. And it almost feels like it‘s a Third World country down here tonight. None of us who are down here have ever seen anything like this before.
SCARBOROUGH: I want to—I want to ask you this, Michelle, because you have been touching on the fact that you are actually seeing fewer police tonight than before.
I think most Americans that are tuning in, following this story, think, as soon as the hurricane hits, that FEMA and the National Guard and all these law enforcement officers immediately stream in. Yesterday, when we drove into Biloxi, we were told we couldn‘t get past the Mississippi border because the National Guard would be here.
We were here for 14 hours before we saw the first law enforcement officer in downtown Biloxi, at ground zero. Perhaps they were here, but we didn‘t see them. We just saw a lot of people wandering around scared and desperate. It sounds like that‘s the same thing you are having to endure tonight in New Orleans, a town that, let‘s face it, it has to be much more frightening than Biloxi and surrounding areas in Mississippi.
HOFLAND: We are hearing some really frightening stories tonight down at the convention center, where everyone has been told, go down there. You can get some medical treatment. We will be able to get you out of town. So, we have seen people walking for miles, carrying their suitcases, carrying everything that they have left, desperate to get someplace, and also to try to let their family members know across the country that they are still alive.
Well, we are told that down there, at that convention center, it is absolute chaos. We haven‘t been down there, Joe, because we are told that it‘s just not a safe place to be. So, you have families with children and everything down at that convention center. Cars are being carjacked. And there‘s no one there, we are told, to take care of the thousands of people who are there.
I—you know, it‘s just—it‘s something I have never seen before in my life in this country. And we were driving around the streets. Last night, we did see a number of police officers, but, boy, down here tonight, looking down Canal Street that way, I don‘t see anyone. I don‘t see any down this way.
I saw one officer earlier walking around with an M-4, carrying that around, asking people to leave, one officer dropping by.
Oh, and one more thing, Joe. There are three buses here. Some women I was just talking to desperate to leave, they were staying in a hotel, they couldn‘t leave. They stayed in the hotel. Now the hotel has been evacuated, like all the other ones around here. They went up to the bus and said, please, can we buy tickets to get on?
And they were told that the bus driver—the bus driver told them that these buses are for the police officers‘ family and for some officers to get out of town. I don‘t know. I haven‘t talked to him. I have been standing here, but it just—that is just what we see right now.
SCARBOROUGH: Michelle, it certainly sounds like a tenuous situation at best. Thank you so much for that report.
And I hope to God that these law enforcement officers that are supposed to be coming into the city of New Orleans will get in there quickly, because I don‘t know that the residents can stand another night with this situation getting worse by the moment.
Thanks again, NBC‘s Michelle Hofland.
Right now, I understand we have Senator David Vitter on the line.
David, thank you so much for being with us.
SEN. DAVID VITTER ®, LOUISIANA: Sure, Joe. Thank you.
SCARBOROUGH: You know, usually, there is a cycle. There is a cycle that takes part in these hurricanes. You have got the buildup, where everybody is siting on pins and needles. Then the worst hits. The hurricane comes. And then it recedes, and over the next couple of days, things return to normal.
It appears, in New Orleans, things are getting worse by the day. What can the federal government do to come in and help the residents and help the tourists that are trapped in that city?
VITTER: Well, Joe, you are right. This is a whole different cycle, and we are still dealing with a real crisis, including public safety, including water issues, more water coming into the city. That at least I think stabilized today.
And you don‘t have rising water levels into the city as of this morning. But public safety is a key priority, one of the things, the thing, really, everyone was working on today, including getting M.P.s, police, into the city.
SCARBOROUGH: Well, this morning, I understand the governor of Louisiana had said basically there was very little that can be done to stop the looting. The Associated Press followed up with this quote:
“Authorities have all but surrendered the streets of New Orleans to floodwaters, looting and other lawlessness.”
Is that a fair charge?
VITTER: I didn‘t hear that, the governor‘s statement that you quoted, but, certainly, right now, there are enormous efforts being made to push military M.P.s, National Guard folks, other police into the city and take control.
SCARBOROUGH: Senator, if you could, stay with us. We are going to be right back in one minute. We greatly appreciate it.
When we come back, more on the remarkable situation in New Orleans. Again, friends, this is a major U.S. city, all but destroyed by the floodwaters of Katrina. We are also going to be taking a tour through the part of Biloxi that got hit the hardest. You are not going to believe this video.
All that and much more when SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY returns.
SCARBOROUGH: Coming up, my tour through an area called Biloxi Point, area that was probably hardest hit. I will tell you what, friends. It looks like scenes out of Hiroshima.
We‘ll be right back.
SCARBOROUGH: We will be back with more remarkable images of New Orleans. Also, you are looking right now at some shots over Biloxi, Mississippi. We are going to be back with Senator Vitter in a second.
Just look at these images, though, friends. Again, you know, the first day Haley Barbour came down here, he talked about scenes reminiscent of Hiroshima. Some people were concerned he may have been engaging in hyperbole. You know, I don‘t know what you call it when you walk through entire neighborhoods and there‘s not a single building left standing. But that‘s what I saw today when I came to Biloxi. Take a look.
SCARBOROUGH: When hurricanes usually hit, Americans are able to escape. All along the coastline, they can get into their cars. They can call relatives. They can make arrangements. In my family, if a hurricane is coming, I either drive my family out of town or I put them on a plane and fly them out of the danger zone.
Unfortunately, we are in a neighborhood right here in Biloxi where the people didn‘t have the money to get out. They knew the storm was coming, and they knew that their property was going to be demolished. And, yet, the bottom line is, they didn‘t have the money to leave. We are hearing reports all through this neighborhood. And, if you look around, there‘s utter, complete desolation.
And for people who are comfortable, that have money, that have a job, it‘s very easy to ask the question, well, why didn‘t they leave? These people didn‘t leave because they couldn‘t afford to leave. There‘s been one story after another, horror stories, of people running up to others on the street, begging for $20, saying, I just need enough money to get gas to get out of town.
And yet, so many of those people remained in this neighborhood, because they couldn‘t get the cash they needed to escape the oncoming storm. And because they couldn‘t escape, too many residents were trapped, trapped to endure the worst storm in the history of the United States.
And, unfortunately, officials right now are telling us they have absolutely no idea at all how many people may have died, may have perished in this storm. As you can see, you have got so much debris piled up here. It really does look like a nuclear blast came in and leveled not only this neighborhood, but entire swatches of the Mississippi Gulf Coast.
You know, Joseph Stalin said that, when a million people die, well, it‘s just a number, but when one person dies, people consider that a tragedy. As you look around here, it‘s hard to put into perspective the amount of pain, the amount of hardship that people had to endure, and how much they have lost. But you find a picture, as I just found here in the mud, of a couple. And we don‘t know who they are. We don‘t know what became of them.
But we just know that chances are good, if they were here, then everything they worked for their entire life, everything they saved for, all of their possessions were wiped out in a matter of minutes.
You know, it‘s a beautiful sunset here in Biloxi tonight. It usually is beautiful a few nights after the storm passes. Mississippi has long been one of the poorest states in America, and yet Haley Barbour and other governors that ran this state, they placed a bet. They placed a bet on casinos, on gambling and on the tourist trade.
Behind me, one of the biggest gambles they took, and that was on luring Hard Rock Cafe as a casino, who would bring in gamblers from across the Southeast and the country, as well as some of rock music‘s hottest acts. But, in the flash of an eye, Katrina turned this boomtown into a ghost town.
SCARBOROUGH: I am here now with MSNBC‘s David Shuster.
David, you have been here from the very beginning. This has become a ghost town. Let‘s talk, though, about the personal tragic stories that you have heard about how a lot of people may have died because it was the end of the month. Explain that.
DAVID SHUSTER, NBC CORRESPONDENT: Yes, one of the saddest stories we have heard. And that is this particular neighborhood we are in, it‘s called Biloxi Point, the most impoverished part of Biloxi. A lot of people live on government checks. And it‘s check to check, as far as their budget.
This morning, we spoke with somebody who essentially rents furniture to these people, who said he had dozens of people come to him before the storm and say, can you loan us $20 or $30? We are out of money. We want to follow the instructions to get out. We want to heed the warnings. We want to leave, but we just don‘t have the money. Can you loan us $20, so we can fill up the gas tank?
The furniture owner was in the same situation as everybody else. He says, I can‘t do it. Well, so, a lot of people decided to stay and just use that $20 or $30 that they might have had on batteries or whatever. And those are the people that are buried somewhere under this debris. Everyone who has done business in this neighborhood is absolutely convinced a lot of the dead people are people who died because they couldn‘t afford—at the end of the month, they didn‘t have any money left. They couldn‘t afford a gas tank.
Maybe, if the hurricane had come after the 1st, when they got their checks, the businessman that we talked to this morning said a lot of these people might be alive.
SCARBOROUGH: You know, I remember, a couple days ago, Haley Barbour talking about Hiroshima, Nagasaki. Some people said it‘s just hyperbole, because politicians always exaggerate. But, as we look around here, I mean, everything—there‘s—nothing is standing.
SCARBOROUGH: Nothing is standing here. You can go to Gulfport. You can go—obviously, New Orleans is in terrible, terrible condition also.
We talked about Bosnia last night. But, my gosh, have you ever seen anything on this scale before? Is there any way to describe this to people that have not been in this type of killing zone?
SHUSTER: Well, a lot of people, for example, in the South and the Midwest and the mid-South have gone through—have gone through tornadoes. And a tornado will take out five or six houses here, and then leave another one standing.
Well, imagine 200 tornadoes going through an entire part of a state, I mean, every home. There‘s no miracle house. You—we—we drove today for two miles down this one road leading into Biloxi Point. There‘s nothing but debris. I mean, there are some roofs. But, when you get up close, you realize there‘s nothing under the roofs, and the roofs didn‘t belong on the land where they were.
I mean, it‘s just debris block after block after block for miles on end. There‘s just...
SCARBOROUGH: You know, you talk about no miracle house. That reminds me of 9/11, how we stood in front of TV sets waiting for day after day for some good news, maybe to find somebody in that rubble alive.
But there are no happy endings for people that were trapped here on the night Katrina came—came on shore. What shocked you the most about what you saw that night and moving forward these days?
SHUSTER: The night that the storm came forward, I had expected—this was my first hurricane. I thought, oh, when the eye comes through, it will finally calm down and it will seem like sort of a nice, pretty day.
The storm went on for like nine hours. It felt like there were 100-mile-an-hour winds. We had somebody with a wind gauge, 100-mile-an-hour winds for literally eight or nine hours. That was shocking. And that‘s when we knew that the devastation was going to be unbelievable.
I think what shocked me the most, though, was coming to this very neighborhood where you are tonight, where it just got hit so hard, and hear the stories about—this is where the poor people lived. This is where the people didn‘t have a choice about whether they could jump in the car and go to their hotel or whatnot, because they don‘t have that kind of money, and when you hear that those are the people who died because they couldn‘t afford a tank of gas.
SCARBOROUGH: A tank of gas. It‘s so tragic.
David, thank you so much, again, for your reporting. I appreciate it.
And I will tell you what, friends. There‘s also a lesson to be learned here. You can drive up and down the Gulf Coast, and you can see the difference between homes that are built up to a new code and homes that were built sometime back on the cheap. In a lot of cases, it‘s the difference between life and death. Hopefully, that‘s a lesson politicians will learn moving forward.
We will be right back in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY with more shocking images from New Orleans and across Mississippi‘s Gulf Coast.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The folks on the Gulf Coast are going to need the help of this country for a long time. This is going to be a difficult road. The challenges that we face on the ground are unprecedented. But there‘s no doubt in my mind we‘re going to succeed.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCARBOROUGH: More incredible video just coming into SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY. This new video coming in, the rescue from these helicopters flying over the Crescent City, trying to save everybody they can who were close to drowning.
That in a minute, but, first, here‘s the latest news you and your family need to know.
ANNOUNCER: From Biloxi, Mississippi, once again, Joe Scarborough.
And we are here once again back in Biloxi, a city that, again, there‘s no anarchy going on here, but there certainly aren‘t a lot of—a lot of show—a lot of law enforcement officers moving into this area yet. So many people are tied down, just trying to recover bodies, trying to restore law and order. That‘s going to be coming in the next few weeks.
Last night, as I was driving back to Pensacola, which is two hours east of here, the highway, Interstate 10, literally lined for miles and miles with police officers and rescue crews, all streaming towards Biloxi and points west. It is a dire situation, a dire situation in Pascagoula, in Gulfport, in Biloxi, and, yes, friends, 85 miles southwest of here, in New Orleans, where Carl Quintanilla tells us that the Crescent City continues to endure unspeakable hardships—Carl.
CARL QUINTANILLA, NBC CORRESPONDENT: Good evening, Joe.
We wanted to look at hospitals in this city tonight and see how they are faring with no electricity and no running water. We did end up finding one earlier today, but getting there took us in a very different direction.
(voice-over): This is the scene on Napoleon Avenue, a neighborhood of stately homes flooded to the front door. Choppers above us, our crew drives until we have to walk.
(on camera): The water is getting too deep, and it‘s getting deeper. We‘re told there‘s a hospital about six blocks away, and we‘re going to try to make it there.
(voice-over): Each encounter gets more and more profound.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We got people in three-story houses that are still trying to survive out in the houses.
QUINTANILLA: An airboat offers to take us to the hospital, but it sinks in the maze of tight corners. We dig the boat out, and Stanley Beaudelon (ph), a volunteer who has brought four of his airboats to New Orleans, offers us a ride.
But just as we reach the front door, we meet Terrence (ph) and Victoria Tunsen (ph) swimming up to their chins, a young married couple who say they need to find their father stranded at home.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My daddy‘s trapped in the house.
QUINTANILLA: Slowly, we reach their street, and it‘s suddenly clear this neighborhood is packed with people who never left. We finally see Victoria‘s father. He‘s built a raft out of the back door and uses it to get to our boat. So does the dog, Scoops (ph).
As we head back, we learn the hospital has no patients. They‘ve all been airlifted. But there are 1,000 employees and family members inside waving down at us.
Across Orleans Parish, 2,500 patients have been evacuated from hospitals. Finally, on dry ground, Victoria and her father are lucky. They‘ll try to get to family in Houston. But the hard part is all to clear. Missions like this are going to have to happen again, and again, and again.
(on camera): Once those residents are brought to high ground, Joe, they often realize that they have forgotten to take anything with them. They have no food. They have no bottled water. They are survivors, but they are survivors with just the clothes on their back—Joe.
SCARBOROUGH: All right. Thanks so much, Carl. Greatly appreciate it. What a tragic report. What a tragic situation. Again, these scenes do look like they are coming from a Third World country.
I want to bring in right now Congressman Bobby Jindal. Bobby represents part of New Orleans‘ suburbs.
Congressman, thank you so much for being with us.
We are hearing reports out of New Orleans tonight that the city is not on the verge of collapse, but certainly parts have already surrendered to anarchy. Can you bring us up to date with the very latest that you have heard from city officials?
REP. BOBBY JINDAL ®, LOUISIANA: Absolutely.
I actually did a helicopter tour just a few hours ago. I have been talking to local leaders there. No, you‘re exactly right. The storm has brought out the best and worst in people. We have seen tremendous acts of generosity. But we have also seen a small number of people take advantage of the situation.
My understanding is, (INAUDIBLE) bringing something like 250 National Guard and military police to supplement the thousands of regular National Guard officers. We have got the secretary of corrections, the general of the National Guard, are both in New Orleans. The governor is making comments about what needs to happen.
Quite frankly, they need to establish a zero-tolerance regime for
this. They simply cannot allow the looting. They cannot allow the people
· we have talked to state troopers, where they said they have had helicopters being shot at. We had to organize an armed escort for a convoy of physicians going that was going in to relieve physicians and nurses at hospitals.
So, it‘s gotten to the point where the first-responders are getting frustrated that they are having to spend valuable time and resources on security, instead of rescuing people out of the water.
SCARBOROUGH: Congressman, I am so glad I heard you say that, because, this morning, a lot of people were surprised. New Orleans officials, state officials basically threw their arms up in the air, said there was nothing they could do about looters. I don‘t think Rudy Giuliani would have ever taken that position. You have the Associated Press saying that city officials basically admitted that they had turned their city streets over to looters and lawlessness.
Do you think that situation may have caused some of the looting, the fact that there wasn‘t a zero policy—zero-tolerance policy, from the very beginning?
JINDAL: You know, I was talking to Aaron Broussard, the parish president of Jefferson Parish. He was talking about setting up military-style prisons to put these looters. I know it was tough when there wasn‘t much room or place to put them.
But I think it‘s absolutely important. We are a nation of laws. We need to keep order. Otherwise, it‘s chaos. You will have more risk to life. It‘s not just risk to property. We are not just talking about people stealing some jewelry or stealing a VCR. We have talking about, state troopers have reported that people have been shooting at their helicopters. They have even had people putting on uniforms and then turning around and shooting.
We had—yesterday, a New Orleans police officer was shot in the head by a looter. So, this isn‘t just about protecting property. It is also about protecting human life. We cannot go in there with boats, helicopters, we cannot go in there with civilian rescuers while we have chaos. It‘s simply unacceptable.
And so, I am just—we cannot allow this to happen. We cannot allow this kind of chaos to reign on the streets. And I don‘t want people to get the wrong impression. The majority of the people in the city have done a tremendous job of opening their doors, opening their hearts. People outside the area, churches in Baton Rouge, across the state, are taking in strangers, are opening their churches, opening their homes.
I just talked to a group of people that were literally strangers, are putting extra bedrooms in their homes to take in strangers to get them off the street. So, the majority of people are doing the right thing.
SCARBOROUGH: Well, Congressman—and, Congressman—and, certainly, Congressman, that‘s the point that we have been making, that there is a lot more good than bad going on. But, unfortunately, when you have city officials, when you have state officials that appear to turn a blind eye to lawlessness, they only encourage more anarchy on the streets of New Orleans.
Let me ask you a final question. The mayor has said that maybe as—hundreds, possibly thousands, could be dead in New Orleans. Do you think it‘s possible that casualties may be in the thousands tonight?
JINDAL: You know, I certainly defer to the mayor. It‘s certainly possible, based on the rising water.
I don‘t want to speculate, because I don‘t know. But based on how quickly the water was rising, 10, 12 feet in some areas, based on the fact that, in lower Plaquemine, in particular, Saint Bernard, they were rescuing people off their roofs very quickly. There‘s a great fear about how many people were not able to get away from those rising waters.
We honestly don‘t know. They are rightfully focusing on rescuing the
living. That‘s what they need to be doing. The mayor is a good man. He -
· certainly, he is in a position to know better than any of us. We are hoping and we are certainly praying for a better outcome, but I guess we need to prepare ourselves for the worst as well.
SCARBOROUGH: I‘m afraid we have to.
Congressman, thank you so much for being with us. We greatly, greatly appreciate your insight.
I want to go right now...
JINDAL: Thank you.
SCARBOROUGH: ... and get some insight from Dr. Marc Siegel, get some insight into what these conditions, these horrific health conditions, could mean for the people of New Orleans.
Doctor, you have got so many bad things happening at the same time inside the Crescent City city limits, that there are a lot of dangers, a lot of health dangers out there. Talk about your biggest concerns tonight.
DR. MARC SIEGEL, NYU SCHOOL OF MEDICINE: Well, you know, Joe, the biggest concern we have is this issue of the chaos going on. If we get order there, where people are following a rational path, there‘s going to be a lot less injury and a lot less death going on.
Unfortunately, when people see their homes destroyed, it‘s natural that they are going to get very depressed about this, so we have to deal with that issue. The second biggest problem is drinking water. We have to make sure to get clean and pure drinking water in there, because, as you showed the water flowing through the streets, that water can easily get contaminated with sewage.
And if you even touch the water and then you touch your face with that, you can get, you know, sick from that. So we have a problem with trying to make sure the water is pure. The people down there, if they are not sure that they have pure drinking water, they have to boil it. Boiling drinking water will make it safe to drink.
SCARBOROUGH: All right, doctor, thank you so much. We have got to go to break, but you are exactly right, the health care situation in New Orleans tonight absolutely terrible.
There‘s a fear that there could be dead bodies, a lot of dead bodies, unfortunately, in that water, which could also obviously spread disease among the living.
We‘ll be right back in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY with much more. Stay with us.
SCARBOROUGH: Welcome back to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY and MSNBC‘s continuing live coverage of the terrible aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
Friends, you know, I was talking about last night, while we are here in Biloxi, what you could do to make a difference. You know, during the tsunami relief effort, Americans contributed $1.5 billion to help people on the other side of the globe to overcome the terrible, terrible effects of that tsunami.
Well, I am asking tonight to help people in your backyard. I am going to tell you what we are doing in Pensacola, Florida.
But I want to talk right now to a couple of people that also are going to play a big role in bringing aid and assistance to the people of the Gulf Coast.
We have got Joe Becker. He is with the American Red Cross. And we also have Pam Kohn. She‘s the spokeswoman for Wal-Mart.
Pam, thank you so much for being with us. Let‘s start with you.
What is Wal-Mart going to be doing to help people in the affected areas?
PAM KOHN, WAL-MART SPOKESWOMAN: Well, obviously, helping the communities is extremely important to Wal-Mart, because that‘s what we are. We are about our customers and our associates.
We have given $2 million to the relief effort already, and we have given many truckloads of food and water and ice to the impacted areas. We are trying to get our stores open as soon as we can, so we can be available to the customers. And we are also encouraging financial donations at Wal-Mart stores, Sam‘s Club, as well as online.
SCARBOROUGH: Joe Becker, the Red Cross has been through a lot of these things. I talked to somebody last night with the Red Cross who said he also worked over in the tsunami, and the images look the same, except they are here in the United States.
What can the Red Cross do immediately to bring aid and relief to the people of Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana?
JOE BECKER, AMERICAN RED CROSS: Joe, we are on the ground now. We have several thousand Red Crossers who have fanned out across the area.
But, Joe, what we are focused on right now is the basic life safety issues. We are focused on providing a shelter, a safe place for people to be. We are focused on feeding people in the shelters or wherever we can find them gathering. We are just trying to get food to people in a safe place. That‘s going to be our mission for a while, because this is so big.
SCARBOROUGH: Are contributions starting to pour in? We have got your number up right now. Are you starting to see a response from Middle America on this cause?
BECKER: Yes, we are. And Americans are so generous. When they see their neighbors in need like this, we turn to America to help us do the work that we do. And we can count on the fact that Americans are going to let us be there to do it.
SCARBOROUGH: Pam, what can Americans do to help you help the people along the Gulf Coast?
KOHN: I think, right now, what is needed is cash. That would be the best thing, to donate to the Red Cross, to the Salvation Army, or through Wal-Mart, through our Sam‘s Clubs or online, and give cash, so that the right agencies can dispense the money, as needed to the appropriate people.
And that would be the best way to help the situation right now.
SCARBOROUGH: All right, Pam, thank you so much.
Joe, thank you, as always. Greatly appreciate both of your organizations stepping forward and trying to help out.
Now, friends, I told you about being here last night, the day before. Obviously, I have been in a lot of these things. I have seen the devastation. I have also seen the people, the good people of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama come to my backyard in Northwest Florida when we needed help.
Well, my wife came over the other night, and she was so moved by the scenes of loss, by the children, especially, that she saw. A 15-month-old girl especially touched her heart that was with her parents. They were homeless. They had no money. This girl didn‘t have any water. When we came up and offered them—offered them six, seven, eight bottles of water, they grabbed it, started drinking.
This young girl had absolutely nothing. We then just drove two hours away. That‘s the difference between life and death, unfortunately, in situations like this, where these people are trapped, two hours away, where we have electricity, running water, formula for our baby, diapers, have everything that she needs.
Well, we have decided in our community to help out. I am going to put up the name of a nonprofit organization that we are funneling, we are trying to get as much support as we can get, trying to get diapers and other things. It‘s—you can send a donation through Christian Ministries, P.O. Box 911, Pensacola, Florida, 32591. And we will take donations, also, though. If you are in that area, if you are in Northwest Florida, we will have drop points where you can bring diapers, where you can bring bottled water, because I got to tell you this. And I may offend some people right now that are involved in relief agencies.
But let me tell you something. If you live in the Southeast, you can help out by just packing up, putting water in the back of your truck, coming down here, dropping it, and then getting out of town. That‘s what people did in Pensacola, Florida, for as many as what, Rich, six, eight weeks afterwards. Six, eight weeks after Ivan, people were doing that in Pensacola, and it made all the difference in the world. You can make a difference, too.
We are going to be back with a lot more images of Hurricane Katrina when SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY returns.
SCARBOROUGH: Welcome back to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.
We have got new video coming in. Of course, this—this disaster is impacting so many young children. I talked about the young children we saw here. I saw a heartbreaking video earlier this evening of a young girl who was trapped by rising waters, begging people for help. But, unfortunately, too often, help is just not coming in time.
I want to bring in two people that have been impacted by this storm now.
Let‘s first talk to Jason Newton. He is in—he is Texas right now. He has got an incredible story about his fiancee. And also Doug Whitlow, who actually rolled video from near the Superdome. He survived the storm.
Jason, I want to start with you. You got text messages from your fiancee, who is still trapped in a hospital in New Orleans. And it just sounds like a hellish situation. Please tell us what your fiancee has been telling you.
JASON NEWTON, FIANCEE TRAPPED AT HOSPITAL: In fact, I think it‘s a ticking time bomb, really. And it‘s not just her. It‘s 1,300 other people; 1,300 people are trapped in this hospital right now.
They have been without power, without water, without food. And the most disturbing thing, no news. No one has communicated with them. And it‘s been this way since Monday morning. Early on, before things got too bad, they started delivering patients over from Charity Hospital. Now, she is at University Hospital, which is just right down the street from Charity, and less than a mile, I think, from the Superdome.
The water has risen. When the water rose, it flooded the basement, which is where the generators were, so all the power went out almost immediately very early on, on Monday morning. That‘s blocked all the exits except one. And even if they get out there, they are still surrounded by water. We have been text-messaging. For those out there that are trying to reach loved ones in New Orleans, I found that to be one of the better ways to communicate.
SCARBOROUGH: Through text messages. And your fiancee, from what I understand, was sending you text messages, talking about the gun shots she heard outside, the riots. It sounds like a terrible situation.
Doug, you rode out this storm, and you actually took amazing video in the middle of the storm. Tell us about it.
DOUG WHITLOW, HURRICANE KATRINA SURVIVOR: You know, I saw the devil knocking at the window, and I had to go see him.
And, you know, it was—you know, my parents and my family and friends, they all got pissed at me for going downstairs to get the video. But, you know, I had to. And, I mean, when I was down there and I was getting the video, it was—I shouldn‘t have been down there. It was incredible.
I am lucky to get out and—I don‘t know how I got out, but, luckily, my friend somehow got through on his phone. And he said, my car keys are in my house. If you need to get there and break into the house, get the car, get out, do what you got to do. And we did. And, luckily, we got out just in the, like, nick of time.
SCARBOROUGH: I will tell you what. In looking at these images, very frightening that night. Also, of course, though, this is the situation, as I said earlier to the congressman and the senator, it just keeps getting worse every day in New Orleans.
We will be right back with more SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY in a minute.
SCARBOROUGH: This is just a little bit of debris that we found in yet another yard. There‘s tons and tons of this. It‘s a Merle Haggard album, “The Fightin‘ Side of Me.” Well, it‘s time for Mississippi and New Orleans to fight back.
Now to Chris Jansing, who is sitting in for Tucker tonight.
What‘s the situation?
CHRIS JANSING, GUEST HOST, “THE SITUATION WITH TUCKER CARLSON”:
Thanks a lot, Joe.
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