Going Home, With or Without Permission

Alex Chadwick speaks with Katie Lasky, one of many New Orleans residents who plan on returning to their homes in the coming days — with or without official permission.

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ALEX CHADWICK, host:

One New Orleans resident with plans to go back to the city is Katy Lasky(ph). DAY TO DAY spoke with her just after Hurricane Katrina hit. Since then, all she's learned about the state of her house is that the back door is open. Her home is in the Orleans Parish in mid-city near the New Orleans fairgrounds. Katie is at work in Baton Rouge which is where we're reaching her.

Katie, hello. Welcome back to DAY TO DAY. When are you going back? How do you plan to get there?

Ms. KATIE LASKY (New Orleans Resident): I think that we are either going to go back Saturday or Monday. And we are gonna drive in, go through Jefferson Parish and try to enter in--off River Road.

CHADWICK: When you say we, you're going in with a friend or neighbor?

Ms. LASKY: I'm going to go in with hopefully my fiance and most likely his brother.

CHADWICK: This is not permitted at the moment.

Ms. LASKY: No, but we haven't seen our house, and we know that there was water in the neighborhood. And we also know that we got that call from our alarm company so we're pretty desperate to just get in and see and just see what we're dealing with. I'm prepared for everything and anything. I just need to see so I know where to go from here.

CHADWICK: So you're not planning on staying? You're gonna go, take a look at the place, see what's there, maybe carry some things out and then leave again?

Ms. LASKY: Yes, exactly.

CHADWICK: Even so, do you have a plan for trying to get in because there are National Guard soldiers there, the police are there. If they find you, maybe they're not going to let you go?

Ms. LASKY: Well, I'm hoping that we can tell them that we are going to rescue an animal or I've always said, at last resort, maybe tears will work. I don't know. We're just going to try. I've heard that if you try a number of different checkpoints, you have some success.

CHADWICK: If they turn you back at one place, you'll try another?

Ms. LASKY: Exactly.

CHADWICK: Are you talking to other neighbors and friends? I just wonder if everyone you know is trying this or are people waiting?

Ms. LASKY: It depends what neighborhood you live in. The majority of people I know who live in the uptown area have already been to their homes, some multiple times. There is a man I know who lives on my street, two blocks from me. He went in on Wednesday and was able to get across town and get into our neighborhood now that the water is down. And I think it also depends on your proximity. We're lucky to be in Baton Rouge in that we can go for the day.

CHADWICK: How about this--and I mean this is probably going sound like a stupid observation, but is there a civic obligation on your part to wait because if everyone does this, it's just going create a horrible nuisance for the people who are trying to clean up?

Ms. LASKY: Well, I've thought of that, but my position on it is the mayor is going to let people back into the city next week. I have heard no indication that those people are gonna be limited to the neighborhoods in which they live. And I feel like I need the opportunity to secure my property before people are allowed back in and maybe have free reign of the city. You know, I will stay out of anybody's way. I will not, you know, try to go somewhere where it looks dangerous. But I feel like I need to to do this and that I should be allowed the opportunity to.

CHADWICK: New Orleans resident Katie Lasky speaking with us from Baton Rouge. She plans to try to reenter the city briefly this weekend or Monday. Katie, good luck.

Ms. LASKY: Thank you very much.

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