STATEMENT FROM WOMAN WHO WAS HELD IN ORLEANS PARISH PRISON
This woman wishes to remain anonymous due to fears of retaliation.
Friday August 26th 8:30 AM
Category 5 storm warning was issued. We are issued a plastic bag in case we are evacuated. Buses are already available outside. Mayor Naygen and Sheriff Gusman are questioned on T.V. about evacuating
prisoners. Gusman says he's leaving them where "they belong".(Months before he had been on our dorm floor assuring us about his new women's work program and how he intends to improve women's conditions.)
Saturday August 27th
St.Bernard's Parish is evacuated into our top floors. We are still waiting as New Orleans and Mississippi are being evacuated.
Sunday August 28th
Hurricane Katrina comes through. Power is lost and we have lost air-conditioning. Outside blinding rain,large trees and fences are falling. Cars in the parking lot are flooded out. Deaths are reported.
Monday August 29th 8:AM
Water backs up from our drains on our dorm and coming through the control front door, flooding the first floor.We are evacuated only to the second floor, there are three floors. Normally around 50 to a dorm, we are 125 women in one hot dorm with no windows and it's pitch dark that night. Water then floods the entire first floor forcing even deputies to the second and third floor. We are terrified because they are not moving us to the third floor.There wouldn't have been room anyway because St. Bernard inmates and deputies and their families are trapped with us.
Tuesday August 30th
There is no water and we are given 1/4 cup water from pre-filled garbage cans.Our water is contaminated. We are fed three small slices(canned) fruit and 1 piece of baloney that is rancid from the heat. People are having seizures from lack of medicine and heat stroke.I become nauseous and my ears are ringing.I am very dehydrated. Fighting breaks out among the inmates and deputies and among themselves. Even the deputies are crying and scared because there is no way out and others have been evacuated in the city. No more food comes through and we were drinking contaminated water from a sink.Deputies and head deputies have been threatening us constantly to leave us here. And I believed them. Water rises to the first stair of the second floor.It is pitch dark all night and deputies stand watch with flashlights.Inmates are no longer safe because deputies don't stop the fights anymore.
Wednesday August 31st 4:30 PM
As our head rank threatens to beat an inmates head in if she doesn"t shut up, they sent a call to rescue us.We,the second floor, are evacuated seven at a time.They had to weld open a gate and go through ten
feet of water on Tullane and Broad to even get us out to the small boats.Once outside all Tulane and Broad surrounding the courthouse is totally under water.We are taken under the Broad Street bridge and must wade thru infected water to get to dry ground.Under helicopter and armed guards we are fed finally and given water and told by many of our rescuers that they'd been trying for three days to get us out. We are bused to Angola State Penn. for men. I arrive on Thursday at 4:30-5:00 AM. I am sick, nauseaus,dehydrated. We see doctors, given emergency
numbers, clean clothes,beds and food. I have nightmares constantly,
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