Voices in the News

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A sound montage of some of the voices in this past week's news, including Eric Blake, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service; New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin; Joe Suhayda, oceanographer in Baton Rouge; David Beale of Ocean Springs, Miss.; Mike Brown, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Director; Homozina Hebert, 80-year-old resident of Biloxi, Miss.; Dorothy Loy, Mississippi retiree; Betty Higgins, mother of missing hurricane victim, Tonya Walker of Long Beach, Miss; President Bush; unidentified hurricane victim; Jill Johnson, tourist in New Orleans from Saskatchewan; President Bush again; Mark Clark, hurricane evacuee; New Orleans Mayor Nagin again; President Bush once more; Alex Romansky, 30-year resident of Pascagoula, Miss.

LIANE HANSEN, host:

From NPR News, this is WEEKEND EDITION. I'm Liane Hansen.

And these were some of the voices in the news this past week.

Mr. ERIC BLAKE (National Weather Service): This is a very dangerous hurricane. It could have catastrophic consequences if it hits at this intensity.

Mayor RAY NAGIN (New Orleans): We are facing a storm that most of us have feared. I do not want to create panic, but I do want the citizens to understand that this is very serious.

Dr. JOE SUHAYDA (Oceanographer): And I think there'll people that will not leave the city for a whole variety of reasons, including 100,000 still that don't have automobiles.

Mr. DAVID BEALE (Resident, Ocean Springs, Mississippi): I boarded up the windows and battened it down. I feel more secure being able to be there and secure the house if something happens.

Mr. MIKE BROWN (FEMA): If you want to put yourself in that kind of harm's way, I just think you're nuts. You owe it to your family, you owe it to your loved ones, and you owe it to the public officials, the firefighters and the others who are going to try to save you, to not do that.

Ms. HOMOZINA HEBERT (Resident, Biloxi, Mississippi): My car's all flooded, my house is a wreck. Furniture floated all over the house.

Ms. DOROTHY LOY (Resident, Pascagoula, Mississippi): Now we're trying to salvage just a few memories. It's so depressing.

Ms. BETTY HIGGINS (Mother of Missing Hurricane Victim): She said, `Mom, I have no way.' She said, `I've got the storm shutters up and I'm going to try to stay here.' And she told me she would call me Tuesday and let me know if everything was OK. We haven't heard nothing.

President GEORGE W. BUSH: I cannot describe to you what it looks like to see entire neighborhoods underwater or, right down the coast in Mississippi, to see little communities completely obliterated. I mean, it is--it is--it is so devastating that it's hard to describe it.

Mayor NAGIN: They don't have a clue what's going on down here. They flew down here one time two days after the doggone event was over, with TV cameras, AP reporters, all kinds of goddamn--Excuse my French, everybody in America, but I am pissed.

Unidentified Man #1: If we don't get some help soon, it's going to get worse. People are going to start killing people for whatever they have in their house.

Ms. JILL JOHNSON (Tourist): We really thought that someone would help us, and we have found out that we are everybody's last priority here.

Pres. BUSH: (From press conference): A lot of people working hard to help those who've been affected, and I want to thank people for their efforts. The results are not acceptable. I'm heading down there right now. I'm looking forward to talking to the people on the ground.

Unidentified Man #2: Please send some help out here! Please! If it's not for us, for the elderly people and the babies. Please send somebody.

Mr. MARK CLARK (Hurricane Evacuee): Do we rebuild? Do we buy? Do we just move the hell out of here completely? My inclination after seeing this kind of storm damage is that we don't want to live here anymore.

Pres. BUSH: The good news is, and it's hard for some to see it now, that out of this chaos is going to come a fantastic Gulf Coast, like it was before. Out of the rubbles of Trent Lott's house--he's lost his entire house--there's going to be a fantastic house, and I'm looking forward to sitting on the porch.

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