Mary Queen of VietNam Church Survivors

Remember this post, where I shared this specific request for help found at the NOLA website:

“Story: Mary Queen of VN Church 5069 Willowbrook Drive, New Orleans, LA 70129

There are still approximately over 300 Vietnamese people stranded in
sewage water up to the necks in many areas gathered at the Church.
We’ve contacted USCG, Red Cross, news media but no help has come out to
their way yet. As you all know, Versailles is so far on the eastern edge
of New Orleans that by the time any helicopters come that way, they’re
already filled with people and have to turn back towards the Superdome
to drop people off. (I think this is the case but not sure)”

Blogger My Boaz’s Ruth points out that a good number of helicoptors flying overhead were not rescue choppers at all- they were media owned and operated, and their purpose was not save anybody but to give the reporters good film footage. Wonder if that might have been the case in this situation?

“We have been in touch with some of the people there thru one phone (a
land line in a residential home near the small church) for the past two
days but no help still. The people have been taking turns to keep
telephone watch to hear news. We managed to patch thru NBC via 3-way
calling around 3pm today but still no help.

The water is still rising in that area. The levees east (Lake
Pontchartrain) and south (Chalmette)of Versailles are the ones that have
been breached. Many of the people are growing weak and sick from lack of
food and water plus the heat. Some of them feel like they probably
won’t make it for the next day. Please people!!! do what you can to get
these people to save land.”

That story bothered me so much that I hunted down an email address for FEMA and emailed them to ask if they knew about the people trapped in the church building, and if they had somebody monitoring that website. FEMA emailed me back to say they did know about them, and they would be rescued. Given the conditions described above, I was horribly frightened that it would all be too late.

But maybe conditions were not quite so dreadful as that email made them sound. Via Mudville Gazette I find this article:

Not everyone was in a rush to leave. About 200 Vietnamese Americans from the Mary Queen of Vietnam Church in the Michoud neighborhood of New Orleans sat patiently on chairs, chatting and playing cards. They had decided to wait until the crowds jamming the bus lines had eased, said Viet Tran, 17.

“We’ve come through this together, as a group, so we want to wait till we can all go out together as a group,” Tran said.

Huh?

I’m really glad they seem to be okay.

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3 Comments

  1. My Boaz's Ruth
    Posted September 6, 2005 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

    Squee!
    Thanks for the link :)

  2. Donna-Jean
    Posted September 7, 2005 at 12:40 am | Permalink

    Good for you for contacting FEMA. I hope this group has, in fact, been rescued. If it’s the same group, it was at the Convention Center where Geraldo Rivera pointed them out (I am pretty sure it was Geraldo) on Fox News the other night – he said something like they were an island of “serenity.”
    Praying for all the evacuees, and for those still there (whether overlooked, or refusing to leave).

  3. Suzi
    Posted September 7, 2005 at 3:13 am | Permalink

    Hopefully the 200 waiting for later flights out were the ones up to their necks. And I can certainly understand them wanting to get out together after they made it through that. If they’re calmly waiting to be evacuated, then they’re helping, not hurting.

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