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'The Situation with Tucker Carlson' for September 5

Read the transcript to Monday's show

Guest: Aaron Broussard, T.D. Jakes, Adele Bertucci, Sidney Smith, Todd Gambino, Charlie Melancon

JOE SCARBOROUGH, HOST, “SCARBOROUGH COUNTY”:  And now I turn you over to a man who will take care of you for the next hour.  He is Tucker Carlson.  Tucker, what you got?
TUCKER CARLSON, HOST:  Thanks a lot, Joe. 
We continue MSNBC‘s live coverage of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina here on THE SITUATION tonight.  We‘re joined by the very emotional president of Jefferson Parish right outside New Orleans, Aaron Broussard.  You may have seen him on “Meet the Press” yesterday. 
We‘ll also talk to the Bishop T.D. Jakes, who toured the devastation with President Bush today.  And we‘ll meet a survivor from New Orleans with an absolutely unbelievable story of escape.
But first, tonight‘s developments.  The evacuation of New Orleans continues at this hour.  Hundreds of thousands of storm victims have found refuge in Texas, thousands more in New Mexico.  And among the other states offering shelter tonight, Arkansas, Arizona, West Virginia, Utah, Oklahoma, Michigan, Iowa, New York, and Pennsylvania, and probably more.  We‘ll tell you more when we find out. 
Also today, President Bush returned to the affected areas to inspect the recovery effort.  Included on his itinerary was a somewhat awkward visit with Louisiana governor, Kathleen Blanco, who was not originally invited to see the president, but she showed up to great him anyway. 
The two wound up touring various sites together, but not talking much. 
Among the things Mr. Bush had to say publicly, was this.
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  The first mission, of course, is to save lives, and so long as any life is in danger, we got work to do.  And we‘re going to continue to save lives, whether it be in New Orleans or the surrounding parishes or up and down the coast of Mississippi.
CARLSON:  Well, for all the latest news coming from the Gulf Coast, let‘s turn now to MSNBC‘s Rita Cosby, who‘s on the scene in New Orleans, and also Joe Scarborough, who is live in Biloxi, Mississippi. 
Rita, we were in New Orleans Saturday night.  And the situation had calmed way down from the chaos of late last week.  There was heavy police and military presence.  What‘s the situation there tonight?  Is it better?
RITA COSBY, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT:  Tucker, I just arrived here in New Orleans just a few hours ago, and it truly looks like a ghost town. 
First, getting here was a massive task.  We drove in from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, here basically it normally takes about an hour, maybe a little over an hour to drive here.  It took us four to five times that amount. 
First of all, we ran into so many military check points along the way.  Checking us to make sure that we were reporters, that we had a reason to come into the city. 
Also, we also came into different roads and bridges that were washed out, so we had to back-track and find a new way to get back into the heart of the city. 
Along the way, we also ran into so much traffic.  There were so many individuals and cars heading towards Jefferson Parish, which is one of the counties that basically surrounds the city of New Orleans.  That‘s because for the first time today, residents were allowed back into their neighborhoods, and were able to get a glimpse of how their home looked. 
All those residents who were stuck in traffic with us were coming back not necessarily knowing what they were coming back and heading into.
Now, when we finally arrived back here into New Orleans, I was so surprised to see how deserted it truly was.  Even on the outskirts, all you could see tonight are patrolling soldiers, military Humvees, and a few very determined reporters.  It is truly a lonely place and a far cry from the lively bustling city of New Orleans that we all know all so well, and the devastation that I‘ve seen so far is so vast. 
Trees are down everywhere.  Many homes are without a roof or they have no walls left at all.  Many homes and businesses are boarded up.  Their windows—have smashed up windows.  It is truly an ominous sight, and it‘s also a dangerous place. 
Some deviants are clearly walking around in certain pockets of the city, looking for trouble, looking to wreak havoc.  But separate from that, there are also lots of glimmers of hope, particularly the military men and women that I‘ve run into. 
They are incredible.  They are determined to keep this city safe, to keep it clean, to get the looters out, to get these—everyone out.  And they believe that they are making a difference, and seeing that is truly inspiring. 
I‘m looking forward to covering this for the next few days, and of course, I‘ll keep you posted on what I see.  So far, lots of troubles, lots of devastation, but also some good news to report.  Tucker, back to you. 
CARLSON:  Thanks, Rita.  Rita Cosby right on Canal Street, New Orleans, Louisiana. 
Well, Joe Scarborough in Mississippi.  What‘s going on right now in Biloxi?
SCARBOROUGH:  Well, I‘ll tell you, it‘s calm in Biloxi.  The people haven‘t been shooting at each other over the past week.  They‘ve been just trying to get food, water, basic medical attention.  It‘s been sketchy at best. 
I‘ll tell you, Tucker, what we‘ve been disappointed in, as we‘ve been going around the city, again.  Once Hurricane Katrina left is when I got here, along with other people.  And what we‘ve been finding is that supplies are not moving in and out of the area smoothly. 
You‘ll go to like, for instance, Biloxi High School, which is about 15 minutes away from the area hardest hit.  And they will have—they will have supplies, a lot of water, a lot of food, a lot of clothing, a lot of medical supplies, but unfortunately, there are too many areas. 
A middle school that we went to all last week, a high school that we‘ve been going to this week, where there are evacuees.  And what you‘ll have is in both situations, one police officer, 300 to 400 people, no medical supplies, no running water.  And no way for these people to actually change into new clothes. 
A lot of these people that we‘ve been running into at these make-shift shelters are wearing the same clothes that they were wearing the night that they may have evacuated out of their window or been saved from a roof.  So it‘s a fairly dire situation. 
A middle school that we visited all last week had to be evacuated on Sunday.  Twenty people got dysentery.  Some are in serious medical shape right now. 
Again, though, if you go up and down the I-10 corridor, you see just truckloads of supplies coming in, but no doubt about it there‘s still a problem with distribution. 
However, again, things have been peaceful in Biloxi from the very beginning.  No shooting.  Very little looting.  The people of Mississippi have been very well behaved.  I think, though, if—from what I‘ve caught, Tucker, bottom line they are just frustrated.  They want to see all the supplies that Americans are trying to get to them, they want to see them in their shelters. 
CARLSON:  Well, Joe, that‘s an interesting point.  They are frustrated.  I can imagine they are.  I can see why they are.  Who are they blaming?  The president, George W. Bush, and the governor of Mississippi, Haley Barbour, pretty popular in that state.  Who are fingers being pointed at?  Do you know?
Well, a lot of blame being directed at the president.  A lot of it at Haley Barbour.  FEMA, certainly, is coming under withering attack, even the Red Cross. 
You hear an awful lot about the Red Cross coming under fierce criticism because, again, let‘s face it, Tucker, when you help as many people as the Red Cross helps, you over time turn into a huge bureaucracy. 
Bottom line is, these massive bureaucracies have just not been agile in this crisis.  Some people have suffered because of it, have gone without water, have gone without basic necessities. 
And Tucker, I think as we move forward, what I found over the past week here, and what I‘m sure you have had suspected all along is that small faith-based organizations, small relief groups, volunteers coming in have been able to make more of a difference over the past seven weeks—seven days than some of the most powerful institutions in America. 
So on the ground, these people are blaming just about everybody. 
CARLSON:  I absolutely believe that.  We were wandering around New Orleans the other day on Saturday, not a soul on the street.  And of course, no cops whatsoever, no soldiers, nobody.  No aid workers. 
Came across a van, two guys in it.  Some Christians from Texas, decided to drive over and do it themselves.  I absolutely agree with you. 
Quickly, Joe, can you tell me, I know you‘ve been standing in Biloxi for a long time, and you deserve to get rest.  Thanks for joining us, by the way.  Who do you blame?  If you could name the single person or organization who failed the most, who would it be?
SCARBOROUGH:  You know what you have to do, unfortunately, you‘ve got to break it up.  And I saw it in all the hurricanes.  Whether is a Congressman that was involved in the relief efforts, or is a resident. 
What you‘ve do is you‘ve got to break it up and see who‘s responsible.  FEMA obviously responsible for organization on the ground.  If you look at what happened at the convention center, you‘ve got to blame FEMA.  You‘ve got to blame the president of the United States. 
I‘ve started getting hate mail from Republicans, again, from Arizona, from Washington state, like they really know how a hurricane relief effort is supposed to go.  I‘ve seen them under Lawton Chiles and under Jeb Bush.  They ran them efficiently.
But if you look at the situation at the convention center, those troops should have been ordered in much earlier. 
But the bottom line, the first response, always the local governments, always the governors, and unfortunately, those are the people you have to blame much.  There was such ineptness on the state level.  That caused the initial problems. 
Unfortunately, though, the White House and the administration, FEMA, responded very slowly to, let‘s face it, to screw-ups on the local and state levels. 
CARLSON:  I couldn‘t agree with you more.  Joe Scarborough, live tonight in Biloxi.  Thanks a lot for joining us.  See you tomorrow. 
SCARBOROUGH:  Hey, thanks a lot, Tucker.  All right.
AARON BROUSSARD, PRESIDENT, JEFFERSON PARISH, LOUISIANA:  Nobody is coming to get us.  The secretary has promised.  Everybody has promised.  They‘ve had press conferences.  I‘m sick of the press conferences.  For God‘s sakes, shut up and send us somebody. 
CARLSON:  Thousands of people begin to return to Jefferson Parish outside New Orleans.  Its president, Aaron Broussard, the man you just saw, will join me live to discuss what he thinks about the government‘s relief efforts. 
Plus, if the delay in hurricane relief wasn‘t the federal government‘s fault, who exactly is to blame for the post-Katrina mess?  We‘ll ask Bishop T.D. Jakes, who just got done touring rescue centers along the Gulf Coast with President Bush. 
THE SITUATION comes back.
CARLSON:  Still to come, the largest newspaper in New Orleans wants every official at the Federal Emergency Management Agency fired.  Is FEMA to blame for the delayed relief, or should fingers be pointing elsewhere?  The answer when THE SITUATION returns.
BROUSSARD:  Nobody is coming to get us.  The secretary has promised.  Everybody has promised.  They‘ve had press conferences.  I‘m sick of the press conferences.  For God‘s sakes, shut up and send us somebody. 
CARLSON:  If you saw “Meet the Press” this Sunday, then you know that was Aaron Broussard.  He‘s the president of Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, which borders New Orleans, Jefferson Parish, hit very hard by Hurricane Katrina, received only a sliver of the publicity New Orleans has.  Mr.  Broussard joins us on the phone. 
Mr. Broussard, are you there?
BROUSSARD:  Yes, sir.  I‘m barely here, but I‘m here. 
CARLSON:  I sure appreciate your joining us.  We read a piece today in “The Chicago Tribune.”  I know you‘re so cut off from the rest of the world.  You may not have seen it. 
BROUSSARD:  I can assure you I didn‘t see that. 
CARLSON:  It‘s a very troubling piece, and it‘s about the USS Batana (ph), a Navy ship right off the coast not far from where you are.  It has 1,200 sailors.  It has six operating rooms, beds for 600 patients. 
BROUSSARD:  When is it coming?
CARLSON:  It hasn‘t come.  It‘s just waiting there, and I wonder, are you surprised by this?
BROUSSARD:  Sir, I‘m surprised by nothing anymore.  I have so many questions that I want to have answered when this is finished.  I‘m still trying to save lives in my community.  I know New Orleans is facing the same thing.  So is St. Bernard and Plaquemines. 
We have various degrees of challenges.  My challenges now is people are calling now and saying they‘re starving, that they‘re out of food.  They‘re used to having a two- or three-day recovery for electricity.  But the electricity is off.  It‘s going to stay off for maybe a month.  And there‘s no water, and there‘s no sewage, and they‘re starting to starve.  So I now have to launch massive steps to get out in the neighborhoods with bull horns and volunteer firemen. 
I could go on and on, but you know, in the midst of all of this, this is not the time that I personally can go explore things the way that I normally would.  I‘m going to have to depend on my Congressional delegation, who I trust explicitly, to carry this forward, to find out what‘s going on up there.  But, boy, do I have questions, and I have more disappointments than I have questions.  I just—I just don‘t understand it. 
CARLSON:  Well, you‘ve become nationally famous.  You‘re probably not even aware of this.
CARLSON:  But you have since your appearance on NBC Sunday morning. 
BROUSSARD:  No, sir, I‘m not aware of it. 
CARLSON:  Well, you have, and I wonder, I mean, everybody now knows the suffering in Jefferson Parish.  Did aid increase once you went on “Meet the Press”?  Have things changed since then?
BROUSSARD:  FEMA representatives met with me today, and they are partnering with me as we speak.  What I told them was, “Look,” I said, “I know politics well enough that it‘s not about yesterday.  It‘s about tomorrow.  And I need so much help tomorrow and the day after and the day after.” 
I said, “Look, you guys.  Let‘s talk later about what happened.  Let‘s talk now about the people who are starving in my community.  Can you help me save them?  Can we have some victories here?  Can we partner the way that it‘s supposed to be, and leave with some positive notes of this trauma that we are experiencing?”
And they said, “Yes.”
And I said, “I will take that cooperation.  Let‘s begin.”  And we have. 
Red Cross came in today, shook my hand, and said, “Look, we‘ve got these distribution centers.  And we‘re going to do this.  And we‘ll offer that.” 
And yes, these are the things I expected.  These are the things that I need to see.  And I don‘t have time to ask them even questions about last week or this day or that day.  I‘ve got two much to do...
BROUSSARD:  ... for the next number of days.  So it‘s not for me to put them on trial.  It‘s the Congress to begin inquiries.  I just beg my Congressional delegation to please start the questions now. 
There are people that are in positions, obviously, that are over their heads.  This is the Peter Principle squared.  Somebody‘s the poster boy for incompetence out there, and they‘ve got to find them.  You know, they‘ve got idiots...
CARLSON:  I can assure you, he will be found, whoever that person is. 
BROUSSARD:  Yes.  Or persons, or collective, or bureaucracy.  I‘d label it as bureaucracy that has committed murder here.  I haven‘t necessarily said what levels and who and what and why.  But it‘s bureaucracy obviously that has caused deaths, and the ripple effects of all of this still goes on as we speak. 
CARLSON:  Yes.  Well, we‘re just in Jefferson Parish, only a little over 24 hours ago.  And I can tell our viewers it‘s, in some ways, every bit as hard hit as New Orleans. 
But you haven‘t had the problems with looting and lawlessness that New Orleans has had.  Why is that?
BROUSSARD:  Well, sir, I want to tell you, the largest shopping center in the south in my parish was burned by looters about four days ago.  We‘ve had our problems out here, we sure have. 
But listen, in the national spotlight, New Orleans is the elephant, and we‘re the mouse.  Comparing my parish to the parish next door, I‘m the elephant and they‘re the mouse.  Everything is relative. 
But nobody has ever heard of Jefferson Parish.  Everybody has heard in the world about New Orleans.  So there‘s a lot of attention.  You only have so many minutes in a broadcast.  You only have so much time on television to do a sound bite.  New Orleans gets the focus. 
And, look, they‘ve got a lot more problems than me.  I hope they get, you know, a lot of aid.  They‘re really going to need it.  Those are my—those are my brothers in arms over there. 
BROUSSARD:  And my heart goes out to them.  We haven‘t even had the opportunity to speak because communications are down.  Normally, we cooperate with everything.  We can‘t even reach the people in our parishes, much less our neighbors. 
BROUSSARD:  But I can tell you, we‘ve had our share.  And if you remember, I think it was about three days ago, I simply announced that, “Look, we‘ve taken our parish back.”  I looked at the clock, it‘s 5:45.  I met with the National Guard.  I met with our law enforcement officers. 
The time for tolerance of any inappropriate action is over.  We took the control of our parish at the time, and we‘ve never given it up. 
CARLSON:  Good for you. 
BROUSSARD:  And we‘ve not given it up.  And now the troops have come in, the Cavalry.  I heard the hoofs, and then I saw the Cavalry.  The horns have been sounded. 
Look, the troops they‘re sending me now—at the beginning, I had, you know, Boy Scouts with toy guns and no ammo.  Man, they‘re sending me the real guys here.  Man, they‘re sending me Rambos.  I mean, somebody is going to get their butt kicked.  I feel sorry for the people that try to break this curfew.  They ain‘t going to be around too long. 
CARLSON:  Aaron Broussard, your parish sounds like it‘s in able hands with you at the helm.  Thanks a lot for joining us tonight. 
BROUSSARD:  Thanks a million.  Look, keep telling the world about our plight.  We still need lots of help.  And I‘m hearing, I haven‘t seen anything.  Because I don‘t see my own local TV.  But I want to thank—from what I‘m hearing—there‘s Americans all over that are hearing about our plight, and their kids are selling Kool-Aid.  And I‘m starting to get things being handed, too, that says somebody wants to send clothes and stuff. 
Listen, I‘m just overwhelmed with gratitude that there are the Americans that I know that are out there that are willing to put aside some time to pray for us and to aid us at a time that we needed it most in our history. 
BROUSSARD:  And this is the greatest country in the world to be in when there is a tragedy, because the most compassionate people in the world are Americans.  And Americans will always help Americans, and I can count on that. 
If we can just get some of the higher levels to kick into that gear, wow, we‘re going to be much better off the next tragedy.
CARLSON:  When you get back to being connected to the rest of civilization, I think you‘re going to find out how America feels about you, and I think you‘re going to be touched and moved by it. 
BROUSSARD:  Well, sir, I am very complimented by what you say, and I‘m going to get on and keep fighting my fight tonight. 
CARLSON:  Mr. Broussard, thanks a lot for joining us. 
BROUSSARD:  Thank you so much for that. 
CARLSON:  Coming up, President Bush toured devastated areas again today, and he was accompanied by one of the country‘s most influential clergyman.  His name is Bishop T.D. Jakes.  He joins us next to tell us what he saw, what the two talked about.  Stay tuned.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Most of them have lost just about everything.  One of our co-workers lost three family members.  We‘re down here to be together, and try and pull it together. 
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  You don‘t have time to think about crying or sitting and feeling sorry for yourself.  You just get in and you do. 
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  We are all very, very, very grateful that these children have all survived.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  It‘s just sad, just sad, especially the smallest communities.  They didn‘t have nothing to begin with.
BUSH:  So long as any life is in danger, we got work to do. 
CARLSON:  Understandable fury at the government‘s slow response to Hurricane Katrina is nationwide, but it‘s particularly acute in Louisiana.  In and open letter to the president, the “New Orleans Times Picayune,” the newspaper of New Orleans, wrote on Sunday, quote, “Every official at the Federal Emergency Management Agency should be fired, Director Michael Brown especially.” 
Meanwhile, Lieutenant General Russell Honore, who is in charge of the overall relief efforts, did not like hearing that a Congressman had questioned who was in charge on the ground. 
Listen to this. 
UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  You‘re saying that people are not—pilots want to go in there and rescue people but can‘t get authority because everybody keeps passing the buck?
LT. GEN. RUSSELL HONORE, U.S. ARMY:  Yes.  I will take that on behalf of every first responder down there.  It‘s B.S.  I will not defuse where the Congress may have come from, or if you had a personal incident.  But I can tell you that‘s B.S.
CARLSON:  Well, the inevitable process of laying blame continues.  A new ABC News/”Washington Post” poll reveals that a majority of Americans do not hold President Bush chiefly responsible for the disastrous disaster response. 
An overwhelming majority do think the federal and state governments were ill prepared.  Only 44 percent believe the president failed the people. 
Let‘s bring in someone who was with the president today as he toured relief centers along the Gulf Coast.  Bishop T.D. Jakes joins us.
Thanks, Bishop Jakes, for being here. 
So what did the president say, and how was he?  What was his mood?
BISHOP T.D. JAKES, MINISTER:  Well, you know, it was a very powerful situation to get an opportunity to travel with the president this morning in Baton Rouge and to get an opportunity to see what Pastor Larry Stockdale (ph) had done in Baton Rouge to provide help for people who just needed someplace to stay and something to eat.  The church had done an incredible job, and I was glad to be there. 
CARLSON:  There has been, as you know, some criticism directed at President Bush.  People like Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, Kanye West came out last Friday night and said point blank, President Bush doesn‘t care about black people.  I think that‘s a verbatim quote.  It‘s certainly close, anyway. 
What do you think of that?
JAKES:  Well, I think people are very, very frustrated, and to some degree, very, very angry, and they‘re looking for answers. 
CARLSON:  Do you think it‘s fair criticism?
JAKES:  I‘m sorry?
CARLSON:  Do you think it‘s fair criticism?  Do you think it‘s accurate?
JAKES:  No, I don‘t think it‘s that simplistic.  I think it‘s a comprehensive problem that we really have to thoroughly look at, and really look at where we lost it and who got off the track and where. 
And I think that it‘s important that we don‘t get in division in a time like this, that we bind together, that we unite together.  After we have fed everybody that‘s hungry and clothed the naked and got people back to normalcy, then we can really investigate, rather than surmise and suppose who was at fault and who should have done this. 
No one knows the president‘s heart but God, and I think the important thing right now is for us to take care of the people who need help the most.  And so I was glad to be with the president, because the government has the resources that we need in order to complete the task before us, and we must work together for the benefit of the victims. 
CARLSON:  Well, I guess the reason I asked you, Bishop Jakes, is because the criticism has been, really, of the president‘s attitude toward the disaster.  He doesn‘t care enough.  And since you were with him today, did you get the sense that he was moved by the suffering of the people and that he, on some personal, level was touched by it?
JAKES:  Definitely, definitely I got the sense that he was moved and compassionate and spent time on and off camera with people, trying to give them a sense that there was somebody there who cared for them, and that there was somebody there who was concerned.  And I was excited about that. 
I had an opportunity to be with him in Baton Rouge and then an opportunity to go with Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee to Houston, to the Astrodome, to see what was going on there. 
And I have to tell you, across racial lines, across all barriers, I saw whites, I saw blacks, I saw Hispanics banning together, wanting to put people in their homes.  There was a great spirit of unity. 
I think people are hurt and they are angry and upset about how long it took to get help.  But moving beyond that, there is a great spirit of unity in this country, because nobody wants to see the kind of suffering that we have seen in the past week. 
CARLSON:  Well, you‘re going to be seeing—you‘re from Texas.  I believe you‘re from Dallas.  You‘ve got an enormous church there. 
JAKES:  Yes. 
CARLSON:  An influential church.  People that don‘t live there may not know that a lot of the city of New Orleans is now in Texas. 
JAKES:  Yes. 
CARLSON:  And so people in Texas will be doing the feeding and the clothing and the comforting.  Is the state prepared for that?
JAKES:  I don‘t know whether the state is prepared for it or not.  I think it‘s overwhelming. 
I was amazed at how effective Houston has done.  The Astrodome there was very impressive, and particularly the Reliant was very impressive in how organized.  They had X-ray machines.  They had so many things to take care of the needs of the people. 
I toured Dallas as well.  They‘re working hard to get Dallas up and going. 
As a church, we have been inundated with people from all over the country who are not staying in any dome or any government facility.  They‘re staying in homes.  They‘re coming to the church for help.
And we‘ve been on the front lines with our trucks and 18-wheelers, trying to make provisions available for them.  At the early stages, we sent food down into Bay St. Louis and to Picayune.  We really wanted to get into New Orleans, but we were turned away with over $250,000 worth of food and ice and water at the early stages of this crisis. 
So the church has been deeply involved in the process.  I got on the phone to some of my friends that are mega church pastors.  And I was amazed as I talked to Bishop Eddie Long and Pastor Paula White and Pastor John Jenkins and a host of others, Pastor Bronner (ph) there in Atlanta, each pledging $100,000 or more.  In no time, we‘d raised a million dollars.  There‘s a lot of hard work going on in the trenches. 
CARLSON:  Pastor T.D. Jakes of Potter‘s House in Dallas, a church with about 30,000 members.  That‘s a big church.  Thanks a lot for joining us, Bishop Jakes.  Appreciate it. 
JAKES:  Thank you for having me.  Have a great evening. 
CARLSON:  Thanks. 
Still to come on THE SITUATION, we‘ll talk to a man who was pulled out of flooded New Orleans and to the private citizen who pulled him out, and hundreds of others.  An incredible story of survival, escape and heroism is next.  Stay tuned.
JAKES: ...on the phone to some of my friends that are mega church pastors and I was amazed.  And I talked to Bishop Eddie Long (ph) and Pastor Paula White (ph) and Pastor John Jenkins and a host of others, Pastor Bronner (ph).  They‘re in Atlanta each pledging $100,000 or more.  In no time we had raised $1 million.  There‘s a lot of hard work going on in the trenches.
CARLSON:  Pastor T.D. Jakes of Potter‘s House in Dallas, a church with about 30,000 members.  That‘s a big church.  Thanks a lot for joining us Bishop Jakes we appreciate it.
JAKES:  Thank you for having me.  Have a great evening.
CARLSON:  Thanks. 
Still to come on THE SITUATION, we‘ll talk to a man who was pulled out of flooded New Orleans and to the private citizen who pulled him out and hundreds of others, an incredible story of survival, escape and heroism is next.
Stay tuned.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Hi, I‘m Janet Mars (ph).  I‘m looking for my daughter, Rachel Shelby Martin (ph).  If you all, you know, see us, you all got a number they can contact me at which is 870-946-1844.  You all get in touch with us.  They got people who‘s willing to come and get you and bring you up here with us.
CARLSON:  It‘s remarkable how many people have been displaced by this storm.  If you‘re looking for someone or looking to be found by someone log onto and we possibly can help.
Well, if you saw the show last week you remember Sidney Smith.  He is a tour guide, Haunted History Tours of New Orleans.  He talked to us while he was still in his house before and after the hurricane.  He got out.  So, did Adele Bertucci.  They are joining us now to tell us their stories.
Tell us first, Adele, you first how did you get out?  Tell me quickly your story after the hurricane.
ADELE BERTUCCI:  Well, they kind of put things together where I can get up on the roof and took supplies up every day, water and whatever we had and flagged boats down and got supplies from the boats and just tried to flag all the helicopters down but...
CARLSON; We‘re putting pictures of you on our screen.
BERTUCCI: ...we didn‘t get help until like Friday morning and when I did get help I made sure that the boys knew that I was very grateful and wrote them a note on the roof.  It was incredible what I saw up on the roof was incredible.
CARLSON:  Did no one see you?  I‘m sorry to interrupt.  Did nobody see you, I mean for four days nobody saw you?
BERTUCCI:  They saw me.  They saw me and they acknowledged me but obviously they didn‘t have the go ahead to do it.
CARLSON:  Huh, who are they, just helicopters flying over?
BERTUCCI:  That‘s my take on it.  I‘m sorry?
CARLSON:  Were they military helicopters overhead that saw you?
BERTUCCI:  There were military helicopters.  There were Air Force.  There were TV helicopters, you name it, it was going over us including the roaches.
CARLSON:  Now, Sidney Smith, we were talking about you last week in New Orleans.  We said we talked to you twice and then we lost touch with you and wondered what happened.  What happened since we last spoke?
SIDNEY SMITH:  Well, it was a pretty amazing story.  On Sunday night we spoke and, as you know, I decided to ride out the storm in my house and basically I did it because well first of all I took in several evacuees who all evacuated to my house.  I took in two of my Haunted History tour guides and their kids.  I took in Adele and her mother.  I took in dogs and cats.
And, I really truly was in denial.  I did not believe that we would sustain the devastation that we did.  I‘ve been through many, many hurricanes, including Hurricane Betsy in 1965.  I was an 11-year-old kid at the time and they said that was the big one.
And, for years and years and years we‘ve been warned about the big one and the worst case scenario and, you know, I guess I‘m just really in denial.  And people who live in New Orleans love their city.  They love their homes.  Obviously they love their property and I just could not believe in my wildest dreams that we would sustain the damage that we sustained and, quite honestly...
CARLSON:  So, when did you realize you needed to get out?  I knew that you, you know, you were one of those people who was brave enough to stay and determined to stay.  It must have taken a lot for you to think you had to leave.  At what point did you realize I‘m out of here?
SMITH:  Well, I wouldn‘t call myself brave.  I would call myself kind of stupid at this point in time.
CARLSON:  Well they‘re closely related.
SMITH:  I made a colossal mistake but by Tuesday—by Monday night the storm was over, as we all know by now, and there was no flooding and there were power lines down, trees down, houses were damaged.  In fact, I walked around my neighborhood and took photographs.
I went to sleep on Monday night, as did everybody else who was in my house, woke up on Tuesday morning and I woke up to a river and a lake in front of my house and there were fires burning all around the city.
We moved upstairs and we stayed upstairs for the next several days.  On Wednesday I evacuated the young couple that I had taken in and their kids, sent them off in a canoe that came by.  That left myself, Adele and her mother, her elderly mother in my home.
CARLSON:  So, how did you finally get out at the end?
SMITH:  Well, on it was Friday...
BERTUCCI:  Friday.
SMITH:  On Friday, Adele had spent several days on the roof signaling helicopters.
SMITH:  Boats.
BERTUCCI:  People.
SMITH:  People.  That‘s how we got the first people out on a boat.  I had to unfortunately break into my neighbor‘s house to get food and water.  The biggest problem was we were surrounded by a toxic sludge, a toxic soup that had everything in it from feces, dead animals, pesticides, bacteria, garbage, urine.  It was horrible and I really had to wade through this to get to the neighbor‘s house to get food and water.
On Thursday, the military finally came and dropped food and water on us and I had to once again wade through the toxic soup to get the food and water.  Then, on Friday Adele was finally airlifted off of my roof.  I currently am a tour operator but in my past life I was a professional photographer and so I kept my camera with me at all times and I‘ve been shooting pictures.
CARLSON:  We‘ve been putting photographs on the screen.  I don‘t know if you can see them but as you‘ve been telling us, we‘ve had pictures up.  So, what happened at the very end?  I‘m on the edge of my seat.  How did you get out of your house?
SMITH:  OK.  On Friday, Adele was airlifted off the house.  I could not go with her because I was basically a caretaker at this time for her 80-year-old mother.  And, on Saturday, at this point in time fires were burning in the neighborhood, looting, rioting, pillaging of the city.  It was becoming an extremely unsafe place to be.
And, Adele‘s mother and I were in my son‘s bedroom listening to the radio, the only station that we had left in New Orleans, and I heard this whistling going on in my house and Adele‘s mother thought it was—well she said it was whistle and I said it‘s from the radio.  It can‘t be in the house.
And she was insisting that there is a whistle in the house, so I got up and I started wondering around my house and I come face to face with a man in my house three feet away from me and he looked me.  I looked at him.  I wasn‘t sure if he was there to shoot me or he wasn‘t there—I wasn‘t sure if I was going to shoot him.
And, he apparently had been sent by somebody on the Internet.  I mean our plight apparently had made it across from London to California.  People were talking about Sidney Smith, Haunted History Tours, and the people at my address on Fountainbleau Drive in New Orleans and he didn‘t even know who sent him.  It was a casting director that I know apparently.
CARLSON:  Sidney Smith, we actually believe it or not I believe have that man.  Now we are sadly almost out of time but I want to tell our viewers we have found the man who found you but more than anything I want you to know how happy we are that you‘re OK.  Literally, you were the topic of conversation at MSNBC for the past five days.  We were concerned something bad had happened to you and we‘re just all grateful that you‘re all right.
BERTUCCI:  Well, thank you.
CARLSON:  Thanks a lot for joining us and you too Adele.  We appreciate it.
SMITH:  Absolutely.
BERTUCCI:  Thank you.
CARLSON:  Thanks.
Well we have, as promised, the man who rescued Sidney Smith.  His name is Todd Gambino and along with Mr. Smith he rescued about 200 other people.  Mr. Gambino, are you there?
TODD GAMBINO (by telephone):  Yes, sir.
CARLSON:  So, how did you, I mean did you just become this one man rescue operation?  How did that—how did it—tell me how that evolved?
GAMBINO:  Well, first I‘d like to say hello to Carol Ford and also all inactive and active members of Eccon Corps (ph) and I want to tell them at the Holy Spirit is alive and well in New Orleans, a little wet but still alive and well.
CARLSON:  All right.  It sounds like it is.
GAMBINO:  And I‘d like to thank President Bush for his interest in the state, Governor Blanco, Attorney General Charles Foti.
GAMBINO:  The police chief (INAUDIBLE) and all the EMS services.  I‘d also like to thank (INAUDIBLE) water.
CARLSON:  I hate to interrupt you, Mr. Gambino.  There are many people to thank but our viewers at this point are very anxious to know how did you do it?  How did you rescue all these people?  What drove you to do it?  Where were you?  You were stuck in New Orleans and you decided to do it.  You came to New Orleans.  Tell me what happened.
GAMBINO:  Well, basically when the water came up, I was—I went upstairs with all my stuff and I said to myself, you know, what am I going to do just sit out here and just look at this water surrounding me and be bored or am I going to take an active part into this.
So, I asked the man upstairs to send me a boat and about 15 minutes later my landlord pulls up in a canoe and I said, well come help me find a boat and he took me down the street.  We found a duck boat with a 30-horsepower Nissan motor on it, electric start, full of gas capable of holding 12 people and their cargo and basically I went on from there.
And, how I found Mr. Sidney was through another man on a boat called Tommy and he was in pitch black darkness trying to get home after trying to rescue people and he had kind of like ran out of gas and I could hear him asking people for gas.
So, I said, “Come on over here.  I got some gas.”  And he gave me some water and then I let him use my phone and he tried to call his girlfriend.  So, she wasn‘t there but he left a message.  The next day she calls we.  We get to talking and she tells me while she‘s on the Internet she notices this site, 97 Fountainbleau, go check it out. 
The people are starving.  They‘re in the attic and nobody wants to help them.
And, it being midnight and stuff, I‘m saying to myself I mean it sounds pretty desperate but, you know, what good...
CARLSON:  Didn‘t you go at night to rescue them?
GAMBINO:  I wanted to go at night but I said well what use will I be if my boat gets confiscated by looters, you know, say I get hijacked or shot because I‘m going to have to have a light right?  So, I don‘t want to give up the boat, so I said to myself I‘m not going to be any good to anybody if I go out at night, so these people need to be saved.  They‘re just going to have to hang on one more night so I can go out in the daylight where at least I could see what‘s, you know, ahead of me.
Now, I‘m in uptown and there‘s no crime, OK.  Eventually the looters they hadn‘t crossed over Napoleon yet into uptown but had the flood not come they would have looted uptown.  They would have carted stuff away.  I mean they would have just ravished the neighborhood.  So, I want to thank...
CARLSON:  Mr. Gambino, the amazing thing is that with just that single boat capable of carrying only 12 people you rescued 200.  It‘s one of the many remarkable stories to come out of this catastrophe and we can‘t tell you how grateful we are that you joined us.  Thank you very much.  I‘m sorry we‘re just dead out of time.  I could listen to this for much longer but thanks a lot for joining us.  We really, really appreciate it.
GAMBINO:  Great.  Thank you.
CARLSON:  Well, New Orleans now a deadly mess seven days after the storm but other areas outside the city may be even worse and they‘re getting even less relief, in some cases almost none.
Up next a Congressman from an area suffering without notice, stick around.
CARLSON:  Welcome back.  New Orleans of course received the lion‘s share of the coverage but the areas beneath New Orleans, if you look at a Louisiana map you‘ll see New Orleans is not at all at the southern tip of the state, had been hit in some cases even harder and received much less aid.
The Congressman who represents those areas, those parishes, Charlie Malancon joins us by phone now, Congressman, thanks a lot for joining us.  Give us an update on your district, which was hurt badly, how is it now?
REP. CHARLIE MELANCON, (D), LOUISIANA (by telephone):  Well, the portion of my district that was really impacted was St. Bernard and Plackman‘s, Lord Jefferson.  That really got direct impact in the first portion of the state that was hit and, of course, inundated with water in both parishes (INAUDIBLE) and St. Bernard Parish particularly hard hit just as Arlene‘s Parish was.
And, of course, the concerns then this past week has been the fact that all the attention was being paid to Arlene‘s.  St. Bernard was out there.  You couldn‘t get to it physically by vehicle.  The only way over there was either helicoptering in or by boat on the river.
Plackman‘s Parish was down below the Intercoastal Canal.  Getting to it was difficult also and they weren‘t receiving the attention.  Of course, I kept trying to visit with the FEMA people.
Ironically, I was in St. Bernard Parish in Lafitte on Saturday and about the time I was there the sheriff and I were talking about some of the difficulties and the problems and the fact they hadn‘t gotten any backup equipment or backup personnel or the food or whatever but they had been self sufficient and been able to keep things together keeping their people working, doing cleanup and the things that they needed to do.
And, about that time two guys pull up in a white car at the roadblock and the sheriff says “What can I do for you?”  And they say, “Well, we‘re from FEMA and we‘ve come to assess your needs.”  And I looked at the sheriff.  He looked at me.  I wasn‘t sure whether he was going to start swinging at them or run them out of his parish or greet them with arms open because there was just these mixed emotions about the feeling of being left out there and all the media attention was on New Orleans.
CARLSON:  Oh, that must be so frustrating.  Congressman Charlie Melancon thanks a lot for coming on.  I hope your part of the state of Louisiana gets all the help it needs and I wish you would have gotten it sooner.
MELANCON:  All right.  I appreciate it, thank you.
CARLSON:  We appreciate it.
Coming up on THE SITAUTION they have fixed the levee whose breach led to the crisis in New Orleans.  Why did it break?  How did they fix it?  And, how long before the city is dry?  The leader of the Army Corps of Engineers will let us know the answers to those questions next.
CARLSON:  It wasn‘t the storm so much as the levee it broke.  Of course, New Orleans was done in, flooded by the broken levee and received so much attention.  It has now been repaired.
Colonel Richard Wagenaar, the district commander for New Orleans for the Army Corps of Engineers joins us now.  He knows how it broke, how it was fixed and what happens next, Colonel Wagenaar thanks for joining us.  How was it fixed?
COL. RICHARD WAGENAAR, ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS (by telephone):  Well, through a lot of efforts of a lot of people, companies, parishes, governments, putting those sandbags and building that road for a temporary solution right now.  It took us seven days to get there but it was completed this morning, mid morning.
CARLSON:  Congratulations.  So what happens now?  How long before the city is dry and back to normal or at least dry?
WAGENAAR:  Right now we started pumping with an auxiliary pump, a smaller one.  We‘re working on getting that large pumping station at the end of the canal operational.  We hope to get one—one of the pumps operational tonight.  Estimates right now range anywhere from the low end of 36 days to a high end of three or four months.  I‘m hoping that it‘s much near the lower end.
CARLSON:  So, best case scenario is more than a month?
WAGENAAR:  Correct.
CARLSON:  Now, how dirty is the water you‘re pumping out and where is it going?
WAGENAAR:  Well, as anyone can imagine it‘s very dirty, lots of fuel, lots of hazardous materials, trash, rubbish.  Everything is in that water.  It‘s being pumped out into all of the water bodies that surround New Orleans that include Lake Pontchartrain, the Mississippi River, a lot of the channels and canals that cross the city area.
CARLSON:  Is there a concern that the pollution being added to Lake Pontchartrain and the Mississippi is going to have environmental consequences down the road?
WAGENAAR:  I don‘t know.  I‘m sure there are concerns and I think there are probably people looking at it right now but the number one concern right now is to get this water out of the city.
CARLSON:  Gosh, of course, and quickly how do you pump it up?  Are there hoses that are put into the street or does it go through the sewer system?
WAGENAAR:  They have pump stations all across the city and the metropolitan area, 22 major pumping stations that are permanent construction.  Some of these pumps are 14 feet high, some of the largest pumping systems in the world and they are operated by the local levee districts and sewer and water boards and they actually are turned on and pump water 24 hours a day even during non-hurricane events for rainfall because the city is below sea level and water always accumulates in the city.
CARLSON:  Boy, I wouldn‘t want to get sucked into one of those pumps.  Colonel Richard Wagenaar for the district command of New Orleans for the Army Corps of Engineers joining us live, thanks a lot, colonel, we appreciate it.
WAGENAAR:  You‘re welcome.  You‘re welcome.
CARLSON:  THE SITUATION continues in just a moment.
We‘ll be right back.
CARLSON:  This story is going to be going on for a long time.  To help out with the situation along the Gulf Coast contact the American Red Cross at 1-800-HELP-NOW.  Also, you can log onto, reconnect at if you‘re looking for loved ones lost in the chaos following Hurricane Katrina.
That‘s THE SITUATION for tonight.  Thanks a lot for watching.
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