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  1. #1
    Hang 'Em High Hurricane Halen's Avatar
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    12.09.17 @ 07:27 AM
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    Default Day 2 and meeting Katrina headon. Part 1.

    On monday morning, some of us awoke to howling winds and a shitload of rain coming down in Baton Rouge. This was around 4am or so. Me, Brooke, Phillip and David went outside under this catwalk that connected alot of the O.E.P. buildings at the LA. State Police academy. We were sheltered from the wind and rain, but just to sit outside and watch the power of this storm was nothing less than incredible. We hung out, smoking cig's and trying to fathom what was happening down in N.O. City. Keep in mind, Baton Rouge is about 70 miles or so north of New Orleans. Plus, this eye of this storm was still around 50-100 miles off of the coast of LA. After sitting outside for about 20 minutes, we head back in, and go into the command office, to see about any reports coming out of New Orleans. Inside the command center, it's a real busy place. 6 large Plasma TV's hang from the walls, computers everywhere you look, and people making phone calls in and out of the center. Only weather report we saw for N.O. was that it had 70-80 winds, sustained, with gust up to 105mph. Not to bad yet.........but the real ass-kicking part of the storm wasn't on top of N.O. yet. We left the Command center, because we felt we were just getting in the way.

    Around 5am or so, most of our team was starting to get up. Outside in the main lobby of our building, were rows of coffee pots, boxes of fruits, drinks, cereal........you name it, it was prolly there for us to eat. Some of us jumped in and ate breakfest, before the place got overrun by other rescue workers coming into the center. Outside, the storm had let up a little. Weird thing about hurricane's, they'll kick ass for a while, then settle down, than start kicking ass again. Guess it all depends if a feeder band comes over your area or not, but the wind never got below 40mph.

    5:45am Chief Bobby tells us all to meet in the conference room for a quick debrief. Most of the team scramble to finish breakfest, brush teeth, and finish getting gear, personal belongings in place. We arrive into the conference room...LATE, as usual. Firefighters never do what their told.. .. The Chief and the Director of the LA State Police, plus a rep from F.E.M.A begin their debrief. No news from N.O. as of yet. It's still early, plus the hight of the storm has yet to move in. We were told that we could expect severe damage in and around N.O. Possible building/home collaspe, flooding from the rain etc. NO MENTION OF POSSIBLE LEVEE BREACH. Our goal, once in N.O. was prolly going to be a house to house search to rescue people who we're left behind, or chose not to evacuate from the city. It was decided that we would be in and around the downtown area of N.O. Cool........we could do this....EASY!!! The F.E.M.A. rep stated that we could expect 3-4 feet of water in the streets of N.O. just from the rain pouring out of Katrina........again, 3-4 feet of water would not be a problem for us. Then, we were told something that we didn't expect. "YOU GUYS ARE THE ONLY FIRE DEPARTMENT U.S.A.R. TEAM FOR NEW ORLEANS, RIGHT NOW!!!" Wow, we're it???? This whole time, we were thinking that other teams where in Baton Rouge, waiting to rush into N.O. with us, but this wasn't the case. We were told that we can expect NO help from the New Orleans Fire Dept, because for obvious reasons, they were gonna have their hands full themselves. So it's us (SFD USAR) Caddo Fire District 3 and 5, and a handfull of private ambulance companies that came down from North Louisiana. Wow, this is gonna be fucked up for sure. Last thing we were told before our debrief was over, was that the N.O. Superdome was home to about 25,000 people, seeking shelter from Katrina. Ok, no biggie. Chief Bobby, informed us that he wanted us as close to New Orleans as possible, so once the storm made landfall, we'd be ready to move in. He wanted us out of Baton Rouge by 7:30am, enroute to New Orleans. It was then, we all realized we're gonna be driving into the worst part of this monster called Katrina. This didn't sit well with a few people, but the State Police had place's for us to stop, if we felt the need to seek shelter, once Katrina made landfall.

    We got our assignments. 2 teams. Alpha and Bravo. Chris Shamburger and I were gonna be called, "Bravo Team 2". All of us quickly left the conference room, got our radio's, fresh batteries for our "Radio Talkies", change of clothes, food, drinks, (smokes ) and anything else we thought we would need. We were also told to expect to be in N.O. for at least 36-48 hours, before we would come back to Baton Rouge for a break. Shit!!!!!!! We were gonna be busting ass for sure. We got to our truck, (Medic 10) checked our equipment and loaded up. Medic 10 was gonna lead the convoy down I-10 into N.O. The F.E.M.A rep rode with us, that why we were chosen to lead the convoy. So, our crew consisted of, Me, Chris Shamburger, Wynn Hutto, Capt Darrell Braniff, John Gimmnich, and Jason Johnson, along with this F.E.M.A rep. Chief Bobby had us do a "Radio Par Check" which is everyone checking in to make sure all teams were loaded and ready to go. Everyone was where the needed to be. The order was given to pull out.

    We make our way to I-10 and head south. It's around 8am or so. We make our way, but our pace is slow because Katrina is kicking up her heals again, rocking our truck pretty severe, along with everyone else. Chris is driving medic 10, and we advise him that if he feels uncomfortable in the conditions we were in, to pull over at any of the shelters that was mapped out for us by the state police. Chris told us that he was ok. We starting hearing radio reports from the State Police that are down in N.O. that windows are now coming out of high rise buildings, and some flooding is taking place in downtown. Keep in mind tho.......NO LEVEE BREAKS. We make it as far down as La Place La, which is a town just north of N.O. on the north side of Lake Ponchatrain. By now, the winds are, I'm guessing 130 mph. We duck off of the interstate and find shelter behind what was a Wal-Mart type building. Trees, steet signs, stop lights are flying everywhere. We're in total awe of what's happening and what we're seeing. Most of us are thinking of why are we in the middle of this shit???? From where we were parked, we were sheltered very good from the winds, thanks to the rugged building we're behind, but if you looked around you, you just saw roofs, trees getting tossed around like toys. FUCKING INCREDIBLE.

    We hung out in La-Place for about 2 hours or so. We know now that the major part of the storm is ashore, and it should be quickly moving out. The noise or radio chatter coming from N.O. is silence. Nothing or nobody is talking from the city. NOT GOOD!!!!!!!!! The order was given to make our way back to I-10 and get into the city. We SLOWLY make our way, around shit that is all over the roads, down trees, powerlines and poles, but we make it out of La-Place. The town of La-Place is (FUBAR'D) for sure, but we weren't there for those people sadly, our goal was N.O.

    We make our way into Jefferson Parish, which is basically the north side of the city. The damage seen from here is stunning. Shit is everywhere, and with the occasional gust of winds still coming from the backside of Katrina, more damage occured. FINALLY, we make it to I-10 and Causeway Blvd, where we had to stop. I-10 was underwater about 1 mile or so ahead of us. We stop and get out, to see where we would go from here. Wind is still gusty, but the rain had stopped. A State Police offical met us where we were at. He advised us that pretty much every path into N.O. was blocked by water, trash, trees, parts of homes and buildings. We were told that we would prolly be stuck at this location until a path could be found into N.O. The State Police was waiting for the winds to die down a little more before they launched a Helicopter Air Op, to find us a way in. So, here we sat on I-10 and Causeway, for what looked like a undetermined amount of time. We were frustrated because we couldn't get in, so we made the best of a bad situation. We ate, goofed off, and in the end, ended up treating a few patients that walked their way up to us, from around the surrounding areas. We had some people wanting us to come into their neighboorhoods to help out, but we couldn't. We had our orders. I can't tell you how bad it sucks for someone to come up to you, wanting help, and you can't do anything for them. We had to keep our team together and not become scattered out around Jefferson Parish. Finally, Air Op's for the State Police had begun. The winds were low enough for them to start flying helicopters, and to map out a pathway for us to get to New Orleans. So we continue to wait. We treat more walking wounded, just doing what we can, while we're there. Something I noticed, (Which I got a pic of) were the large number of dead birds all over the interstate. So, in some of our down time, we would get TRIAGE tags and tag these dead birds. Yes, sometimes we find humor in doing stuff like this. But for us, doing something silly as placing TRIAGE Tags on dead birds, is how we "COPE" with what we do, or find. For us, doing something like this is comic relief.

    Word came that the State Police found us a route in N.O. We get the directions, we all get copies of maps, and the order was given to "Head out". We had to travel about 20 miles out of the way to get to N.O., but it didn't matter, we were moving. Looking out the window, driving down the back roads of Jefferson Parish into Orleans Parish, the destruction was mind blowing. If it was this bad out here, what would N.O. look like??? How many people are dead or hurt?? We would find out shortly!!!!!!!!

    MONDAY Part 2 tomorrow. Also, keep in mind that none of the Levee's around N.O. are broken......yet!

    HH
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  2. #2
    Hang 'Em High RRMB's Avatar
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    05.21.17 @ 06:42 PM
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    Absolutely stunning read HH. You should write a book about this...I'd be the first in line to buy it.
    "Jesus, that fucker just crawled out of his hen house that was destroyed by the Alabama tornados. Fucking 280mph plus winds sucked the gleam off this bitch and passed it on to a bird in Rhoad Island." - Hurricane Halen 5/3/11 (about my birthday chicken from seenbad)

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  3. #3
    Baluchitherium KT's Avatar
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    08.08.17 @ 07:44 PM
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    Quote Originally Posted by Redrockinmonkeyboy
    Absolutely stunning read HH. You should write a book about this...I'd be the first in line to buy it.

    What HE said!
    Meet me in Cabo!

  4. #4
    Atomic Punk LLFHS's Avatar
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    07.30.17 @ 08:59 PM
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    Reads like a screenplay. Jesus.....
    LowLifeFlatHeadScum

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  5. #5
    Little Dreamer
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    unf***ingbelievef***ingable...

    oh.. but dont forget.. george bush doesnt care about black people

  6. #6
    Hang 'Em High janthraxx's Avatar
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    11.18.14 @ 07:57 PM
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    Wow. Keep 'em coming HH, and thanks for posting your story.

    HH, check your PM when you get a chance
    Last edited by janthraxx; 09.11.05 at 02:07 PM.
    "Suck a fat one, faggot."
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    -Derrick Jensen, "What We Leave Behind"

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  7. #7
    Atomic Punk stilleddiesangel's Avatar
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    08.25.17 @ 05:45 PM
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    Thank you HH, for taking the time to go into such detail with us. It cant be easy.
    ****Texas - Home Of My Heart****

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  8. #8
    Baluchitherium sisca's Avatar
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    06.12.16 @ 07:51 PM
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    Quote Originally Posted by Redrockinmonkeyboy
    Absolutely stunning read HH. You should write a book about this...I'd be the first in line to buy it.
    It was dark and stormy night.....
    """"\//-/""""


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    Originally posted by FORD
    History tells us that oppressive nations build walls to keep people IN, not out.
    (See "Berlin Wall" and "Likud Israel" for examples) FORD- when i told him i'd build a wall between the US and Mexico.

    then ill build it from the mexican side. -my reply.

  9. #9
    Atomic Punk fast98dodge's Avatar
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    08.07.17 @ 08:14 PM
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    Excellent reading. Can't wait for Monday's Part II.
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  10. #10
    Good Enough wip5150's Avatar
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    02.05.15 @ 12:19 PM
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    WOW..............


    I had to read it twice and I still don't think I have even a light grasp (let alone a firm one) on the devastation you saw.

    VERY well written my friend...
    "There is a fine line between stupid and clever" - Nigel Tufnel

  11. #11
    Damage your reputation seenbad's Avatar
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    11.30.17 @ 06:15 PM
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    HH- Thanks for this, really.

    If I were you, I'd print these off after each installment. Seriously. Keep them in a box for your Grandchildred to read kind of thing. I'm sure you will end up happy you did.
    sheepa latta peepah dabba looka foh a moopy

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  12. #12
    Atomic Punk smithjc's Avatar
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    08.04.17 @ 11:33 PM
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    Wow.

    I can't imagine goin into that kind of situation.

    I was just reading all the news magazines about this and just reading about the suffering was very traumatic. I can't imagine what those poor people went through.
    RIP - Classic Van Halen

    "A lot of people take Van Halen more seriously than we do." The Diamond One



  13. #13
    Sinner's Swing! Sunya's Avatar
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    02.10.10 @ 10:42 PM
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    seen's right, you should be keeping copies of this HH.
    "Suppose you were an idiot ... And suppose you were a member of Congress... But I repeat myself."
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  14. #14
    Hang 'Em High Hurricane Halen's Avatar
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    12.09.17 @ 07:27 AM
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    Quote Originally Posted by seenbad
    HH- Thanks for this, really.

    If I were you, I'd print these off after each installment. Seriously. Keep them in a box for your Grandchildred to read kind of thing. I'm sure you will end up happy you did.
    Yeah Seen, I've thought about doing just that. I mean, this is a big event in our nations history. Ya know, I got a shitload of Pic that I want all of you to see, and there is a DVD of still pics, along with a video that we shot, and it's got music set to it. IF you or anyone else can make copies of this DVD, I think getting them out to everyone would be cool. And if people wanted to buy them, we'll get the donations of the sale of this DVD and give them to the RED CROSS or something else.

    LowLife has the pic of me and Fat's Domino at the Superdome. He should be posting it, in my next installment of Monday/Tuesday day in N.O.

    HH
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  15. #15
    Sinner's Swing! racefan8's Avatar
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    04.01.11 @ 07:59 PM
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    Amazing. It sure irritates me that the people complained that it took too long for help to arrive. Y'all did your best!
    Stupid is forever, ignorance can be fixed.
    False words are not only evil in themselves, but they infect the soul with evil.
    Compassion is the basis of all morality.
    The stupid neither forgive nor forget; the naive forgive and forget; the wise forgive but do not forget.
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