Groups of people were trapped. Some were trapped in the headquarters of the city’s Regional Transit Authority, others trapped in their home, some on roof tops and many others just clinging to whatever they could find. People from all over needed help, but there was no help in sight. Tuesday morning those who were at the Superdome soon lost power because the generator was submerged in water and was no longer useful. The food supplies and water were running low, so the people who were in the dome were told they could stay and hope for the best, or they could walk across the Crescent City Connection—the Mississippi River bridge, and that would take them to dry land on the other side of the river. Many people set out to cross the bridge. Some pulling children on mattresses and many wading in water up to their waist and for others even higher.
This excerpt is from Yahoo News and from Gary Rivilin’s book:
“A bus driver named Malcolm Butler and his wife, Dorothy, were among the first to notice the blockade. Initially, Malcolm Butler thought his eyes were playing tricks on him in the hot, midday sun. Butler was set to retire, after thirty-three years on the job, on August 31—the next day. Their home in New Orleans East had most certainly flooded. Butler, who is not tall, had walked through greasy water up to his neck, his nose and chin pointed upward, guiding Dorothy, who clung to an air mattress. They had probably been on the interstate for less than an hour when Butler stopped and asked Dorothy if she was seeing what he was: a pair of police officers brandishing weapons, blocking their passage. “They was standing up there with their automobiles blocking the bridge with shotguns and M16s and told us we couldn’t go no further,” Butler recalled.
Wilfred Eddington, the police officer assigned to walk point as they headed toward the West Bank, figured he was around one thousand yards from the foot of the bridge when he saw the two police cars parked nose to nose, forming a wedge to block their passage. Eventually, he heard them yelling,
“Go back! Go back! Get off the bridge!” He noticed their #black uniforms—they were members of the small force responsible for policing the bridge.” (Yahoo News, 2015) The bridge workers had been instructed not to allow anyone across the bridge. People of all ages, gender and some in poor health—and all black were trying to cross over into a predominantly white community, and the white town was not having it. Many of the people had guns drawn on them. They were threaten to be shot if they moved or even breathed. The white people of the city had no intentions of allowing the Black people from New Orleans to crossover and seek a safe haven. Read the must read whole story here.