Hi again. I am at Memorial Hospital in Gulfport, MS. (60 miles east of New Olreans in Harrison County, MS) We have no outside communication except via email due to underground cables. I don't know where to start. I have only slept about 8 hours since 10/11am on Sunday morning. I have worked like never before. I can be thankful that we have our own well, running water, electricity, and internet. Our generator power nor food supply is expected to last past Thursday morning. I am sure we will get supplies, but it will be tight.
On Sunday morning, I left for work with 3 pairs of scrubs
, socks and undergarments, a battery powered alarm clock, an Ann Rice novel and a small supply of food in my bookbad. These are now the only item I own. I was able to leave the hospital for a few hours during which time I went to check on my house and the family that I have that were still in town. My house in Bay St. Louis, MS, was completely filled with water and all of my belongings are destroyed. I have not been able to contact my boyfriend of five years. I have circulated his description and will try to locate him tomorrow if I have my releif show up.
My relief was in Atlanta, GA. She is my cousin. She called her mother who is in the northern part of the state and told her that she was stuck in Hattiesburg, MS (1.5 hours north of the hospital) because there was no gas to be purchased anywhere. Her mother emailed me at midnight and told me that as of an hour ago, she siphoned gas out of an abandoned vehicle to continue her trip. The gas she siphoned may still not be enough to get her here. Her mother said that she is now out of cell phone contact. The people who are able to use their cell phones get a verizon wireless message stating the at it will cost 2.99 to activate and 1.99 a minute to talk. We have been able to get a few outside phone calls to the hospital, but the phone lines are very messed up. We are able to use the phones for interhospital communication.
I spent part of my four hours outside today locating dead bodies and tying a red, plastic ribbon to the closest tree. Helicopters blades are a constant reminder as well as the blackness that surrounds me.
As far as anything being operational, it will be months before my hospital is restored. We have a lot of structural damage. The windows in the patient rooms and along the south (beach facing) side blew out. We had to put our patients in the hallway during the storm. We are now taking in so many people it is unreal. We are discharging patients and putting them on the floor in the cafeteria just so we can have the bed to put a new patient in. I have seen so many people who were submerged in water for hours. People are coming to the hospital because they have no where else to go. It will take several weeks just to restore sanitary conditions here, but it will take months to become fully functional and years to rebuild...