September 4, 2005
“This Was Our Home”
In all of this trying to stay off the internet that I’ve been doing, I missed out on a story about my dear Jackie. Quite harrowing:
Vindy.com News, Local & Regional Story
Published: Saturday, September 3, 2005
Local family seeks help for stranded relative
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Some help for the flooded South is on the way from Mahoning Valley agencies.
By WILLIAM K. ALCORN
VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER
AUSTINTOWN — Stranded with friends in her New Orleans home, surrounded by floodwaters, frightened of looters, running low on food and water, and pregnant, Jackie Mang, formerly of Austintown, said she and others need help but aren't getting it.
Mang called her mother, Liz Nelson of Austintown, on Sunday from an office building in downtown New Orleans, where she and her boyfriend, Brian Marchese, took refuge from Hurricane Katrina.
The next time Mang's family heard from her was Tuesday, when she called on a cell phone they had found. She, Marchese and six others were in her home, where they had gone from the office building before the flooding.
"How they got there, I don't know," said Beth McCartney of Girard, Mang's sister.
Mang called her mother on the cell phone again Thursday and said they hadn't seen anybody for four days.
Mang and her friends are apparently safe from the flooding, but the water that surrounds her home and probably protects them from looters also has them trapped.
"They don't have a boat or any other way to escape," McCartney said.
In siege mode
Most recently, shortly after noon Friday, Mang called her mother briefly to let her family know she is still all right.
However, her mother said Marchese told her they are heavily armed to protect themselves. Marchese, who described conditions as being like a those of a Third World country or a war zone, said the military is needed on every corner.
Nelson said her daughter seems to be somewhat irrational, worrying about things such as her lost identification, and has a thyroid condition for which she has no medicine.
"I think she's in shock. She was crying and afraid and could hear shots fired and see fires. She is talking like she doesn't understand the extent of what has happened to New Orleans," Nelson said.
Nelson said her daughter is OK for the moment, but they have only about a week's worth of food and water left.
There are eight of them hunkered down together in the house, taking turns standing guard, staying together and sharing what they have, Nelson said.
Lack of response
"I am very frustrated that we can't get help to Jackie and others in New Orleans. We respond quickly to disasters in foreign countries. How could we let it go almost a week without getting food and water to those people? We have people dying," she said.
Nelson said she just wants to get her daughter home and safe.
"Then we'll put the pieces back together and go from there," she said.
Ironically, Mang is usually home this week for the Canfield Fair. But because she had signed up to start classes at the University of New Orleans, about which she was very excited, she could not follow her usual routine.
"As a mother, you feel helpless. I want to get on a plane and go down there and get a boat and get her. I can't understand why they don't get them out of there," Nelson said.
A frustrated McCartney said she has called every authority in Louisiana that she can think of, including the Salvation Army, the Red Cross and even CNN, but has been unable to get help for her sister and her friends.
McCartney said that she finally got through to the Louisiana State Police and gave them her sister's address but that she is unaware of any rescue attempt.
"I was at the point Thursday, I could hardly talk I was so frustrated. It makes you wonder why they weren't ready. A big city like that should be prepared," McCartney said.
Mang, 31, a 1991 graduate of Austintown Fitch High School, has lived in New Orleans six years.
I spent the day trying to track down news of Jackie on Nola.com and Craigs list and finally found out that she is “okay.”
AND NOW—this email—I just got it minutes ago, from my dear Jackie:
Just a note to say Im alive.
i am extremely tramatized.
The anarchy,storm,flood water and the smell of rot in the city can not be put into words.
I am healthy except my stomach is sick and my feet are slightly infected from contaminated water.
My house is perfectly intact and all the trees fell away from it.
The French Quarter from Canal to Burgundy up to Poland Avenue is an island.
It is starting to smell like bodies and birds are starting to flock.
We didn't get water in our neighborhood until yesterday.
Ive become a pro at looting for food and all the neighbors get together.
I am now outside Baton Rouge.
We had to siphon gas to leave and it was stressfull with all the down trees and lines,military and gangs.
People in our neighborhood are walking on the streets with shotguns,axes,bats.
Houses are getting robbed and buildings are getting blown up.
People are hotwiring city buses and running them into houses
People are getting shot over gasoline and water.
I don't know who's alive and who's dead.
People from the neighborhood are taking canoes over St.Claude and France area to pull people out of water.
There are dead Children on Canal Street
Dog Packs are forming
I am mentally having some problems.
People are getting raped
New Orleans is the most scariest place on the planet
The cops are looting and drinking beer riding on the back of cars with rifles
Its under a police state
They are shooting people and taking away our weapons
We had a gun,ax,hooks,a staff,cleaver and a few knives.
I will be able to repond but please dont expect too much from me right now.
Im really over alot of this.
Masako-Couldn't even get past Claiborne to check your house. Water too deep.
Sarah-Your house is still intact-no damage Water receded,your car is there but someone put a screwdriver in the gas tank to get gas.
Robin-Couldn't get to your house because of water and violence.
Tark and David-Houses are fine as far as I can see
Steve Garafano-House looks ok but the brick fence is all over the road.One window may be broken.
People are robbing houses so this is only storm damage.
I do have photograps to download and will later but Im really fucked up right now.
Im having a hard time in society.
I hope we can all return.
i may have more stories later when I can.
The government are idiot. They left us to die.
Sarah we had to use your house for resources-thank you.
Friends that gave me keys to their houses-thank you.
You helped us survive.
Noone ever take anything for granted.
I am grateful for a flushing toilet
We had to use buckets and go to neighborhood pools to gather water.
I am grateful for ice
And for life.
there are still children there!
There are Old people
People with their limbs rotting
people lying on the street on mattresses.
Yes this is the bywater.
This was our home.