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"Waters Recede, Leaving a Trail of Frustration"

From the NYT:

... Water began to retreat in the submerged low-lying bayou country of South Louisiana on Sunday, but anger welled as residents and officials of Terrebonne Parish, which includes Houma, began to survey the storm-surge damage. This is one place where Hurricane Rita was the worst recent storm; Hurricane Katrina brought only minimal wind damage to the area...
... As Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco toured the area and called for $20.2 billion in federal money to strengthen the levee and pumping systems along the state's inundated coastal region, she found herself preaching to a sympathetic, if waterlogged, congregation.
For years, state residents and politicians have criticized what they believe is the federal government's indifference to the erosion of Louisiana's marshland and barrier islands that has lessened the state's buffer against major storms...
... Frustration seemed to spark like downed electrical wires in the bayou communities just south of here. Emergency management and law enforcement officials complained that the Federal Emergency Management Agency had yet to declare the parish a disaster area.
"FEMA? Who?" Jerry J. Larpenter, the sheriff of Terrebonne Parish, said dismissively, echoing the complaints of many officials elsewhere after Hurricane Katrina...
Sheriff Larpenter also expressed his impatience with other parish officials, who did not issue a mandatory evacuation for the 20,000 residents in the lower part of Terrebonne Parish. No deaths were reported and 3,500 residents were rescued, the sheriff said, but the toll in lives could have been significant if the hurricane had hit the parish directly.
"When you have a Category 5 hurricane, the only word should be 'mandatory,' " Sheriff Larpenter said...
...Cajuns here have burrowed into the bayous like mudbugs, and are famously independent and self-sufficient...

Schoolbuses in Metarie Aug. 30

Aug. 31's "After Escaping New Orleans, a Long Wait" discussed the events of Tuesday Aug. 30 in Metarie "on the edge of Interstate 10" near the Causeway Boulevard exit:

...2,000 hungry, flood-weary people, residents of New Orleans' northern neighborhoods and St. Bernard Parish to the northeast... everything they owned on their backs after 36 hours of watching the floodwaters breach their doors...
...By 11 o'clock, when two schoolbuses from Terrebonne Parish, finished their 50-mile journey to the site, about 200 impatient and desperate refugees swelled toward the buses...
...Terrebonne's two buses were the only ones these evacuees had seen for six hours, and nobody could say why. "Thank God you guys are here," said Darrell Jupiter, the mayor of nearby Napoleonville, who was helping with crowd control...
...[there were] approaching helicopters landing on a strip of grass nearby. Jordan, a New Orleans East resident, was picked up in a helicopter near the Chef Menteur Highway... [there was an] evacuation hub on Interstate 10...
...Two hours later, a caravan of perhaps a dozen empty schoolbuses from neighboring communities headed east in the flat, black night on Route 90, almost the only remaining route in and out of New Orleans and the neighboring communities where floodwaters were continuing to rise as the Army Corps of Engineers' attempt to close the three-block breach in one levee failed.
At the edge of Interstate 10, nobody - not the National Guard troops keeping order nearby nor the Acadian Ambulance workers ushering the injured to area hospitals by the dozens - could answer the insistent questions about the absence of transportation...
...[there was] an early round of schoolbuses out of Metarie on Tuesday afternoon... [boats came to the project... East Park Community Center was a shelter in Houma... ]

How many buses came before the six hour wait, and how many people did those buses - if any - take? The article doesn't say.

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