"I have some good news to tell you all and that is my sister is ALIVE and ok. She is in Slidell still without the essentials and fairly good health. My nephew drove to Slidell from North La. and rescued the rest of her family (her daughter, son in law, and grandson) and they will be going to my sister who is safe. Cindy chose to stay with the house and she has no running water or power but supplies of food and water and help. Thank God. I found out the good news on her birthday (which I also mentioned was the anniversary of my mother's death) Really surreal.
This morning I finally got in touch with my police dept. and I am en-route back there. The conditions are really bad and grim. Many police have been without the essentials as well and the radio contact is almost nil from what I was told. I am mentally fit and ready to go and do what I need to do to help my brother and sisters and the citizens who are left. Rescue is hampered with the water and the criminals who prevent any type of rescue. Some reports I have heard are so bad that I am unable to put it on the internet. I will have to blog "my family" and let you know what REALLY is happening.
I went and bought a few essentials for the next few weeks because I am unable to get anything there. People have been selling ice for $10 a bag. My money is running low and I will be depending on the government to help me.
I am waiting on my contact to find out where they wish to deploy me. I have no clue what to expect except what I have seen on FOX news and CNN. Freddie, my hubby, will stay in Texas and pick up Justin, our 19yr. old, and keep the pups.
I can't describe the words to put down to relate all this to you guys and I wish Annie Mole was here so she could write it more clearly. Geoff should be here to help with the PR work because the police sure needs it.
Please let the people of the UK know that we need their help and prayers and will get through this.
On a lighter note - Whenever I start to feel down or defeated, I am remembering you all and my other home there. I also think about - Using the men's loo at the 1st stop (Tami was over in the UK for Tube Relief a mass tube challenge in aid of the victims of London's 7/7 bomb attacks), having Paul, Jonny, and Patrick hold open the door of the train so I can catch up and hop on, watching all of you and your wonderful spirit as we excitedly waited for the 1st train and waved at the driver, and those HORRIBLE photos of me that ended up on the BBC! UGH.
I will be out of touch for a bit but will try to get to a internet..
Love to all T"
She is a truly extraordinary woman, how she can maintain a sense of humour at time like this is anyone's guess, but we love her for it. I'm so, so pleased that her sister has been found. (Wish she hadn't said the bit about Geoff though, that will sooo go to his head!!)
"I made it to Tampa Florida. My son is alive and in North Mississippi in a shelter.
BBC Radio 4 TODAY called on my cell phone which I can only retrieve message . ANDREA at XXXXX. Can someone call her and tell her that I am at XXXXXXXXX for a while. Thanks.
My sister's birthday and anniversary of my mother's death is today and I am praying that we find her. My nephew has started back to the area where she stayed to look for her.
The city is in complete chaos from what I am hearing. I am hearing that police are just leaving their posts. Thugs are shooting at rescuers and police now. It is anarchy. I am still trying to find a way to get home. Fred is going to Texas at his sisters with his mom. Joshua will stay here in Tampa with Fred's ex-in-laws and go to school.
I am going to try to get to New Orleans to start helping and looking for my officers. I posted on local forums for assistance and haven't received any replies. I simply don't know where they are.
I miss you all desperately and wish some nice rich helpful person will just say - here's a home, here's a job for you and Fred, here's a life. I was waiting 3 yrs. to retire to come there, but now it seems to be all gone. I am more miserable here than when I was there with you all. I know my hubby, pups, and sons are alright but it is surreal.
Now on a lighter note: Jen was a great hostess puting me up in Brighton. She could always be a B&B owner if she chooses to change professions.
The airline was great. They upgraded me to business class and I only needed 1 valium. The best I will eat for months I am sure. GMTV picked Jen and I up in a car that was more expensive than my house. Or the house I had.
I got back to the States with 4 pounds in my pocket, $50 dollars in my purse and a heavy heart. I will treasure my experience with y'all every day amd will keep in touch. Please encourage people to help us. I don't know how I will get any money from the govt. to help my family. I just hope it goes to all of us in need. I told a few of ya'll. I am always in control and my job is to protect and serve as my motto is but I feel helpless and displaced. My encouraging thoughts are thinking that you are are there and my new family!
Will write when I get to GROUND ZERO! Geoff let them all know Robin at Virgin, Lucy at GMTV, BBC etc. I made it here. Now I have to go buy some ammo."
God bless Tami, we are all STILL thinking of you.
UPDATE - 9.30am GMT - Sunday 4th September
I have just finished listening to an mp3 of Ray Nagin, the Mayor of New Orleans giving one of THE most frank, emotional and disturbing radio interviews I have EVER heard from a politician. He is clearly dismayed and outraged by the slow reaction of the President and the US Government to the dreadful situation in New Orleans. No clever, polished, calm speeches here. He says it like it is. He says of the various press conferences and scenes of Bush flying over in Air Force One to survey everything. "It's politics man and they're playing games, they're out there spinning."....."Excuse my French everybody in America, but I am pissed!" "They are feeding the public a line of bull. It's spinning and people are dying......"
"I'm probably going to get into a whole bunch of trouble about this .... We authorised 8 billion dollars to go to Iraq licketty quick.....Now, you mean to tell me that a place where most of your oil is coming through, a place that is so unique when you mention New Orleans anywhere around the world, everybody's eyes light up -- you mean to tell me that a place where you probably have thousands of people that have died and thousands more that are dying every day, that we can't figure out a way to authorize the resources that we need,"....."I'm at the point now where it don't matter. People are dying. They don't have homes. They don't have jobs. The City of New Orleans will never be the same". At the end of the interview he actually breaks down in tears.
Update - Monday 5th September Plus in the UK we're all now waking up to hearing another sobbing American dignitary. Just heard a recording on my local radio station, of the president of a local Louisiana parish, Aaron Broussard, crying and saying: "Nobody's coming to get us. The secretary has promised. Everybody's promised. They've had press conferences. I'm sick of the press conferences. For God's sake, shut up and send us somebody."