Updated: 07:07 AM EDT
National Guardsmen Evacuate Superdome Refugees
By MARY FOSTER, AP
NEW ORLEANS (Sept. 3) - National
Guardsmen helped evacuate the mass of storm refugees from the Superdome
on Friday, where thousands were stuck in knee-deep trash and
blacked-out, putrid bathrooms. . .
At one point, the evacuation was
interrupted briefly when school buses rolled up so some 700 guests and
employees from the Hyatt Hotel could move to the head of the evacuation
line - much to the amazement of those who had been crammed in the
stinking Superdome since Sunday.
"How does this work? They (are)
clean, they are dry, they get out ahead of us?'' exclaimed Howard Blue,
22, who tried to get in their line. The National Guard blocked him as
other guardsmen helped the well-dressed guests with their luggage.
The 700 had been trapped in the
hotel, next to the Superdome, but conditions were considerably cleaner,
even without running water, than the unsanitary crush inside the dome.
The Hyatt was severely damaged by the storm. Every pane of glass on the
riverside wall was blown out.
Mayor Ray Nagin has used the hotel
as a base since it is across the street from city hall, and there were
reports the hotel was cleared with priority to make room for police,
firefighters and other officials.
National Guard Capt. John Pollard called the decision to move the Hyatt people to the head of the line "very poor.''