Reporter's Notebook: Scenes of Disaster

Adam Housley
New Orleans — There are still bodies on the freeway; they have likely been here for eight days. Periodically someone from an emergency agency will stop, look at what's left wrapped in plasticene, and then get back in their vehicle and leave. I spoke with one firefighter who told me the bodies are entered into a database and eventually will be picked up. "Yeah, this is tough on our guys," he says as we walk down an abandoned and sunbaked Interstate 10 freeway, just east of downtown.

It appears that down one on-ramp two bodies were dumped, one wrapped in plastic, the other wrapped in a blanket. An arm and a leg can be seen; both bodies lie amongst looted trash.

Our location today is in the westbound lanes. Convoys of soldiers, boats and supplies fly by us, certainly headed for a flooded neighborhood. As I look to my left a looted mail van has been dumped. Inside there is food that was never eaten, but mostly alcohol. On the outside someone has spray painted in red "thug life," "black power," and "f*#! white boys."

About 15 feet below our freeway "live" location and the looted mail truck are neighborhoods filled with a black sludge. It looks like that oily goop that comes off your BBQ as you spray it down. Only this isn't slimy BBQ grease. This water gets worse by the second. Seepage from sewage lines, gas lines and garbage of every sort mixes into what was lake water. Now it is a toxic mess so serious the U.S. Coast Guard will medivac any of their men and women who get a decent amount sprayed onto them or fall into the watery sludge. There's stuff in this water they can't even identify.

We now resort to wearing masks near the water because of the stench. Our crew no longer will take boat rides, and we all carry a plastic can of Handi Wipes wherever we go to ensure we keep our hands clean.

Free shots are also being provided to anyone still in town. Yesterday I went to a hall building across the street from Harrah's. There, two nurses approached to give me hepatitis A and B vaccinations. I told them needles aren't my favorite things in life, but before I could flinch, protect myself, or fight back both needles went into both shoulders at the same darn time. Both the man and woman who did this dastardly deed smiled and said, "Hey! Someone get a camera."

Adam Housley joined FOX News Channel in 2001 as a Los Angeles-based correspondent. He is currently reporting on the Hurricane Katrina disaster from New Orleans.

Adam Housley joined Fox News Channel (FNC) in 2001 and currently serves as a Los Angeles-based senior correspondent.