Thursday, September 08, 2005

Blanco Prevented Red Cross From Bringing Food and Water To Superdome

It appears that Nagin's hysterical rant should have been directed at his own governor.

The Red Cross is confirming to Major Garrett of Fox News that it had prepositioned water, food, blankets and hygiene products for delivery to the Superdome and the Convention Center in the immediate aftermath of the hurricane, but were blocked from delivering those supplies by orders of the Louisiana state government, which did not want to attract people to the Superdome and/or Convention Center.

Garrett has no paper trail yet, but will follow up on his verbal confirmation from sources at the highest levels of the Red Cross.

Hugh Hewitt interviewed Garrett after he broke the story. Transcript here

The Red Cross backs up Garrett's story on their website here

Update: Video confirmation from a senior Salvation Army official in Washington, D.C. that the Salvation Army was also blocked repeatedly from providing relief and supplies to the beleaugered people sufferingin the Superdome and Convention Center.

HH: And what did the Salvation Army tell you?

MG: The Salvation Army basically said look. We...first of all, both agencies also want to let people know that they've served the needs of thousands of people who got out, and who got out just a little bit to high ground, north of New Orleans. But they couldn't get in to meet those needs. They asked to get in. They were prepared with their...the Salvation Army has these ever-familiar portable kitchen canteens, is what they call them. They can actually make food, produce food on spot, and distribute it there. People line up. We've seen that at hurricanes and other natural disasters. They were ready. Not allowed in. At first, it was this idea that we don't want to create a magnet at the evacuation site. Secondarily, it became an issue of well, there's lots of water, and we can't assure your safety, so on and so forth. Here's another key point, Hugh. I was very specific with the American Red Cross, president and CEO Marty Evans, and said wait. Tell me clearly. Were you prepared to go in before the levees broke? Before water became an issue of any kind? She said absolutely. Were you denied access before the levees broke? She said we were denied access from minute one.

Captains Quarters has the relevant portions of transcript here

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