Thursday, September 01, 2005

Katrina Relief: Central Louisiana

Keep in mind that we're in the early stages of rescue/evacuation. Here's a small sample of what's going on in one place as the rescued stay-behinds are bused in.

Alexandria police Chief Daren Coutee asked Gov. Kathleen Blanco today to try to arrange weapons and drug searches of people fleeing New Orleans before loading them on to buses and shipping them to Central Louisiana.

That request is in the wake of arrests made in Pineville early today on two occupants of three filled buses that showed up unannounced at the closed Wal-Mart building, which was converted into a shelter Wednesday afternoon.

Today, Pineville police Chief Jay Barber said two men were arrested, one on a weapons charge, another on possession of about one pound of cocaine.

Coutee also asked Blanco to "decontaminate" before they're bused by washing the New Orleans refugees, who are "covered in debris."

This morning, Barber said firefighters were ready to help "decontaminate" the new Wal-Mart shelter after the early morning arrival of the three buses.

By noon, Pineville's fire department set up showers in the rear of the Wal-Mart building, Barber said.

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