I am duty-bound to report the talk of the New Orleans warehouse district
last night: there was rejoicing (well, there would have been without the curfew,
but the few people I saw on the streets were excited) when the power came back
on for blocks on end. Kevin Tibbles was positively jubilant on the
live update edition of Nightly News that we fed to the West Coast. The mini-mart,
long ago cleaned out by looters, was nonetheless bathed in light, including
the empty, roped-off gas pumps. The motorcade route through the district
was partially lit no more than 30 minutes before POTUS drove through. And yet
last night, no more than an hour after the President departed, the lights went
out. The entire area was plunged into total darkness again, to audible groans.
It's enough to make some of the folks here who witnessed it... jump to certain
It is impossible to over-emphasize the extent to which this area is
under government occupation, and portions of it under government-enforced lockdown.
Police cars rule the streets. They (along with Humvees, ambulances,
fire apparatus, FEMA trucks and all official-looking SUVs) are generally not
stopped at checkpoints and roadblocks. All other vehicles are subject to long
lines and snap judgments and must PROVE they have vital business inside the
vast roped-off regions here. If we did not have the services of an off-duty
law enforcement officer, we could not do our jobs in the course of a work day
and get back in time to put together the broadcast and get on the air. As we
are about to do.
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