New Orleans -
A Walk Through Hell

By Allen G. Breed
Associated Press
Help finally arrives, but New Orleans' residents indignant as more die; racism claims persist; in French Quarter, signs say 'You loot, we shoot!'
NEW ORLEANS -- With a cigar-chomping general in front, a camouflaged-green convoy of at least three-dozen troop vehicles and supply trucks rolled through floodwaters Friday into a desperate city where some storm survivors had died waiting for food, water and medicine.
"Thank you Jesus!" Leschia Radford shrieked amid a throng of thousands outside the New Orleans Convention Center.
Some people threw their arms toward heaven and others nearly fainted with joy as the trucks and hundreds of soldiers arrived in the punishing midday heat in a scene that looked like a relief mission to a Third World country.
But there was also anger and profane jeers from many in the crowd of nearly 20,000 who questioned why they had to wait four days after Hurricane Katrina and threaten to riot before they could get anything to eat or drink.
"They should have been here days ago," said 46-year-old Michael Levy, whose words were echoed by those around him yelling, "Hell, yeah!"
"We've been sleeping on the ... ground like rats," Levy added. "I say burn this whole ... city down."
Above the din of the chaos, a woman is screaming the Lord's Prayer as if heaven can no longer hear silent pleas.
"And lead us not into temptation," she bellows hoarsely to the unhearing throng, "but deliver us from evil."
But temptation is everywhere in this crippled city. And so, it seems, is evil.



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