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CNN LARRY KING LIVE
Evacuation of New Orleans Moving Ahead
Aired September 4, 2005 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight with the evacuation of New Orleans moving ahead and house to house rescues, now underway. Dr. Phil McGraw joins survivors at Houston Astrodome. He'll try to help them get through this ordeal and they'll tell him and us about the loved ones they desperately hope to find. Lots more too, next on LARRY KING LIVE.
Good evening we've been with you live ever since the beginning of this, three hours last night and we'll stay on top of this story for as long as it takes. We do note, of course with sadness, the passing of Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist who died just as we went off the air last night. And normally we would have done a major hour on this, but knowing what the justice would have thought about that he would have said, "Certainly, stay on top of this hurricane story."
So, we wish his family the deepest and fondest condolences and wish this country well. All flags will fly at half staff in honor of Judge Rehnquist and all the hurricane victims. That will take place starting immediately.
Before we check with Dr. Phil let's go to New Orleans. Jeff Koinange is standing by. CNN correspondent reporting from there all day.
What happened with this helicopter crash?
JEFF KOINANGE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Larry, we're hearing it was a Coast Guard helicopter on a routine flight. It was just the flight crew that was onboard. In crashed, the crew is said to have been rescued by an other helicopter crew that was flying close by. Everything is OK, Larry. The crew is safe and well. The rescues continue throughout the city -- Larry.
KING: And how is the evacuation going?
KOINANGE: Well, for the most part it is pretty much complete. Most of the evacuees have been taken on buses to the various states outside the country. But I tell you what, Larry, there's some pockets here in the city where the Hurricane Katrina did not affect at all, this is the French Quarter, mostly. People had been holed up in their homes for days on end. I think they must have stocked a lot of supplies. Today, for the first time, the were coming out to see the extent of the damage. To look for neighbors, friends, relatives. For the most part people are coming out because they know that the city's secure. Thousands of National Guardsmen on the ground. It is very secure and people are moving about a lot, Larry.
KING: Thank you Jeff. Jeff Koinange in New Orleans.
Let's go to Houston Astrodome and our friend Dr. Phil McGraw. The host of "Dr. Phil" he as visited with hurricane victims at the Astrodome, he's in Houston today. Plans a special show, by the way, on Thursdays, check your stations for listings. Shot at the Astrodome, it'll be a series of town meetings and emotional reunions.
What did you find when you got there, Phil?
DR. PHIL MCGRAW, TALK SHOW HOST: Well, Larry, thanks for asking and thanks for doing this show. We're wanting to get the story out as much as we can. When you walk in the Astrodome, here, it is absolutely overwhelming what these people have been through and the manner in which they are living. I mean, they've gone from having homes and families in one of the most beautiful parts of the country to being on a cot that's 2-foot by 6-feet long, and that's all of the space they have. They have no privacy, they have no ability to get in contact with anyone. No ability to get anywhere and most of them are paralyzed with the gripping reality that family members are missing and may never be seen again.
Some get the terrible news where there here.
KING: And what do you say? I know you're an expert at this, but what do you sat to victims like that?
MCGRAW: Well, Larry, you know, it's really about letting them know a couple of things. No. 1, you're not alone. You're absolutely not alone. They could get isolated in the shelter and know how much and how passionately America is reaching out to them with their money and their time and their effort and their energy, so we're reassuring them of that. And then just simply talking about, you know, you've got to put one foot in front of the other. As overwhelming as it seems now, you've got put one foot in front of the other and take it a step at a time.
KING: We'll be taking with -- by the way, Dr. Phil will be with us live in studio on Tuesday night with more compelling stories in advance of this special.
But we're going to meet one of the people that was with us last night on our special, "How You Can Help." April Flowers is with us, she's in Houston, her husband, Jose Torres, is missing. Also missing are her sister, Barbara, and here sister's husband, and children.
Have you had any contact since the show last night, April.
APRIL FLOWERS, HURRICANE VICTIM: Yes sir, when I got back home to the shelter, that it was a phone call saying that my sister was watching CNN News and my sister was found with her kids in Baton Rouge. Her family's doing all right, but my husband, I can't find him.
KING: So, but everyone else is all right?
FLOWERS: Yes, my family's OK, my father's OK, my children is here with me, in Houston, it's just that I was worried about my sister. CNN brought us back together. She should be here from Baton Rouge in about another, maybe, two days form now.
KING: Well, I'm so happy for you April.
One of the problems, Dr. Phil, as we've been reporting all week, has been this communications lack. You know, we're able to communicate, you can communicate, but there's a lack, the lack of cell phone, the lack of people reaching people.
MCGRAW: Well Larry, on of the things that -- I had a town hall meeting today with so many people that are here because this is their town now. You have to understand that this isn't like a lot of disasters we had where people have to evacuate and then they go back in. A lot of these people have nothing to go back to, so when I say we had a town hall meeting, this is there town, and probably 90 percent of the people said they don't plan to leave Houston. We're hearing the same stories out of Dallas, where I was earlier today. But I think the main thing their telling us is they lack information. They're paralyzed here, they've got posters up looking for one another, but we -- mothers that got on the busses early with their children and where routed to Houston, when Houston filled up the next wave of busses went to Dallas and they were taking them in out there. So, they have a sense that maybe they're maybe their in Dallas and Houston, but yet they can't make connection because the system hasn't caught up with them yet. The system hasn't gotten to the point where they can go to a database and see how's in which shelter. So right now, they're paralyzed from this lack of information and it's really a debilitating thing for them emotionally and spiritually.
KING: Don't they need counseling?
MCGRAW: Well Larry they do, but right now, you know, when you talk about counseling you're talking more about their long-term needs. Right now so many people are in shock and what they need is support and just the support of a warm place to sleep, a loving arm around their shoulders. And I can tell you, when I talked to the group today they just overwhelmingly gave an ovation to the people of Houston, the police department here, the volunteers here, and they really have a sense of family in the Reliant Astrodome, in the Reliant Center, in the Reliant Arena, they all just have this great sense of family. They're pulling together and they realize that they're in this together.
KING: And, does it look like, to you like they going to be there a long time?
MCGRAW: Larry, I don't think we're looking at a short resolution to this at all. You know, if we look at what's happening in the New Orleans and Gulfport areas along the gulf coast, there, the water is draining very slowly and I think what you're going to find when it's gone, from what we understand from the Corp of Engineers, is that the infrastructure itself is wiped out. I think a vast majority of these people have no intention of trying to return to their homes in New Orleans, which means they're having to start a whole life over again in Dallas, in Houston, in Baton Rouge, in these other areas, and that's hard for us to get our mind around. So, right now, the best therapeutic thing is just the love and support that can be offered, it's not really time to do therapy. And what's going to happen after this is going to be a lot of post traumatic stress disorder, a lot of anxiety and depression from the loss and disruption of life.
KING: We'll take a break, we'll be right back with Dr. Phil at the Houston Astrodome, we'll be meeting other victims and some special guests coming aboard, too, including, in a couple of minutes, the former mayor of New Orleans. Don't go away.
KING: We'll be back in a moment with Dr. Phil and Earnest Polk who's missing his father and sisters. But first let's go to Atlanta check in with Sidney Barthelemy, the former mayor of New Orleans, he was the mayor from 1986 to 1994.
It's good to see you Sidney.
His mother-in-law is still missing.
You've heard nothing, Sidney?
SIDNEY BARTHELEMY, FMR. MAYOR OF NEW ORLEANS: No, Larry, we knew she was in the Superdome. She's paralyzed and she needed special care so she was sent to the Superdome with many other special care patients. And she left there and went to the triage center at the airport and we haven't heard anything since then. We have all kinds of people trying to get the information, and we just can't find out where she is.
KING: If the former mayor can't get it, a lot of people can't get it. I know that you were pleading for federal help early on. The New Orleans newspaper, the "Times-Picayune" had an editorial today and they said they were heavily -- it was an open letter to the president in which they were critical to the federal government response said, said every FEMA official should be fired, said, "We're angry, Mr. President, our people deserve rescuing. Many who could have been or not. That's a shame on this government." Do you share the view of that paper.
BARTHELEMY: Well, I feel that somebody's going to have to be held accountable and I think that the federal government should have been responsive then they were. There's still a problem, Larry. As I was mentioning, there are many, many families that can't find loved ones they do not have a system set up. They can't tell you where they are, and I mean, it's very distressing to many families and they still have a lot to do now, right now.
KING: Mayor Nagin said, today, he thinks there could be, get this, "thousands dead inside the city." Do you believe that?
BARTHELEMY: I believe there's going to be a large number of people who died waiting to be rescued. The water came on the city quickly and many people climbed in their attics and they were not able to get out, if they didn't have a hatchet or some way of breaking the roof, they got stuck there. And many people are going to found in their attics. And it's really a tragedy and a shame that that happened.
KING: What do you make of so many policemen walking off the job?
BARTHELEMY: Oh, that's heartbreaking, Larry. I cannot fathom that happening and for police officers who commit themselves to protecting and serving the citizens of the city and to walk off, I can understand the despair and the hopelessness, and again, that was the critical problem of the federal government not responding fast enough, because many people lost hope. The hole city, those people who where trapped there lost hope because they couldn't see anybody coming to help them.
KING: Thank you. Sidney, the best of luck and we hope you find your mother-in-law. It's a sad case.
BARTHELEMY: Thank you.
KING: Back to -- thanks Sidney -- back to Houston Astrodome with Dr. Phil and with Dr. Phil is Earnest Polk he is missing his father and his sisters. There's Earnest.
They wanted to ride out the storm. Why didn't they go when you left, Earnest?
EARNEST POLK, HURRICANE VICTIM: Well, I called them Saturday as I was heading out and they said they were heading to Baton Rouge, but then we lost all contact. From then on I have not been able to get contact with my father, my sisters, their children, their nieces, nephews, basically the whole patriarchal side of my family is missing.
KING: Dr. Phil, what do you say to Earnest?
MCGRAW: Well, I think at Earnest is really -- you just got to allow the system to catch up with you at this point. So many people are in this circumstance and I think there's natural tendency to fear the worst, but the truth is that the system is just lagging behind right. And as people get to the shelters, they're shelters are just overwhelmed by getting so many people at one time and we're seeing story after story after story where the system starts catching up and starts registering people, publishing the information, we're finding people, just one after another, after another. And I just ask you to just keep hope alive, keep optimism alive, because I know there are thousands of people in shelters that I have been to, that aren't registered, yet. So you just got to keep that hope alive.
KING: Good luck Earnest.
POLK: I'm keeping hope alive. There's some contact numbers that I want to give out.
KING: OK, and what are they?
POLK: If you don't mind.
POLK: Area code 504-606-8288 and also there's someone who is missing in New Orleans they were last heard from Tuesday they were on the second floor, water was flooding up. Their names are Debra Fisher, Delilah Holloway, 85 and 82-years-old. They're located at 2118 Cleveland Avenue. Any party that's doing search and rescue please get there. Again also, Lavella (PH) Guy 102, grandmother of Jack Roberts contact number 504-232-3166. Elisa Johnson, great aunt, 90-years-old, contact number, 504-915-3940. And Mozella (PH) Heart, great aunt, 90-years-old contact number 713-907-3307.
KING: Thank you Earnest. We'll take a break and when we come back, in addition to taking to Keith Darbonne, the -- whose 94-year- old grandmother, Mr. Eddie Gabriel is missing. We're also going to ask Dr. Phil why people stayed. We'll be right back.
KING: Special Sunday night edition of LARRY KING LIVE. We'll be with you again tomorrow night, of course, Labor Day night, and President George Herbert Walker Bush will be our special guest. President Bush tomorrow night, Dr. Phil in the studio with us Tuesday night.
Let's check in with Deborah Feyerick the CNN correspondent who was at the FEMA meeting today where the body count was discussed and she's in Baton Rouge.
Why was it so low?
DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well the reason it was so low is because the actual collection process, Larry, really hasn't even begun. They've just gotten a few people, just 60 people, they think the numbers, of course, are going to be just too big for anyone to possible bare. We can tell you that the demort (PH) teams, those national mortuary teams have been set in place, the efforts really ramping up. Forensic pathologist are going have a very hard and difficult task of trying to identify these people they may have been out there for days and days and days in the very hot sun. Dental records, DNA records, hospital records, all of that may be destroyed, so people aren't' going to have access to that either. There are -- there a temporary morgues has been set up not too far from where we are here in Baton Rouge and they're expecting to get possibly about as many as 1,000 people over the next two day period. But again, part of what was going on in New Orleans, the city really needed to be secured so that the recoverers could go in and try to get those people.
We were riding in New Orleans, Larry, and we actually saw a corner grave. Somebody had actually taken bricks from building that had collapsed during the hurricane and put them around a body that was completed blotted because of the sun and it had a tarp on it that said "Here lies Vera. Rest in peace." So, a couple of people who where still in New Orleans are truing to take care of those who are there. People who they may recognize or people who they may know.
And even, Larry, in some parishes, what they're doing is the parishes themselves are actually going out to try to take care of their own folks. They're not waiting for the national government to come in. What they're doing is they're making sure that they're burring their own -- Larry.
KING: Thanks Deborah. Deborah Feyerick in Baton Rough. Joining us in New York is Keith Darbonne. Keith has been a musician for years, he's played at -- Mr. Eddie is the one missing. Mr. Eddie Gabriel is -- and his wife, Mr. Eddie's wife and many of her relatives.
Now, Mr. Eddie is who related to you, Keith?
KEITH DARBONNE, LOOKING FOR "MR. EDDIE": He's my grandfather.
KING: And he -- he's played at Pat O'Brien's for what, 70 years?
DARBONNE: Yeah, for about 70 years. He's like Mr. New Orleans to a lot of people. He's been playing for a long time.
KING: When was the last time you spoke to him?
DARBONNE: Sunday night, I tried to get him to leave. Sometime around Sunday I tried to get him to leave and he said he's been through a lot of hurricanes, himself, and he didn't think it was going to be anything big and we young people we don't know, you know, we haven't lived through as much hardship as he has, so he should be OK.
KING: I know that, Mr. Eddie, I've been by Pat O'Brien's, that's a very famous spot, he played there for seven -- how old is he?
DARBONNE: Ninety-four, oh, he's actually 95, he just turned 95 this year.
KING: Are you fearing the worst, because they live in the 9th ward, right, and that was very hard hit?
DARBONNE: Yeah, well, I don't know how I feel right now. It's kind of mixed. I don't know what is happening. I'm trying to reach him, trying to reach other family members. There's a number of family members I have down in New Orleans that I've been lucky in some cases where I've been able to contact a few, and some other of my family members have contacted them, found them in other shelters or in nursing homes. By grandfather, we call him "Dadee" he's, his sister was found, she was in LaFaun (PH) nursing home and they airlifted all of the residents out of there, so she's OK. But there's still quite a few other people there that I don't know anything that is going on.
KING; Let's hope you get some good news, Keith. Keep us posted.
DARBONNE: Thank you. Thank you very much.
KING: Keith Darbonne in New York.
Back to Dr. Phil McGraw in the Houston Astrodome and with him is Anita Goldberg.
Dr. Phil, who -- what do you want -- who's missing from Anita's group?
MCGRAW: So, Anita, who are you missing at this point? Who all are you looking for?
ANITA GOLDBERG, HURRICANE VICTIM: I have two sisters, Mary Goldberg, Jeannie Goldberg. I have a nephew that's 17-years-old, Austin Goldberg. My sister, older sister is 53, my younger sister is 48.
MCGRAW: Do you know if they got out of New Orleans or you know...
GOLDBERG: No, I don't know if they got out of New Orleans. My two brothers and my mother were evacuated to Baton Rouge, my brother had a friend that lived there, they wanted my sisters and my nephew to go with him, but he -- they wanted to stay behind.
MCGRAW: Were they reluctant to leave?
GOLDBERG: They didn't want to leave at all.
MCGRAW: Why did they say they wanted to stay? I mean they know what's coming?
GOLDBERG: Both of my sisters and my nephew are slow. OK? They not there, and they stubborn. And I hate to say that, but it's true.
MCGRAW: Where there any officials that came and encouraged them. Was there any support that came to help them? GOLDBERG: I don't know.
MCGRAW: You just don't know, if they were just sitting there?
GOLDBERG: I don't know because I live out in Chalmette, in Saint Bernard Parish. I haven't had contact with my family in a long time, but I had talked to my son that lives Coughlin (PH) and he told -- he gave me this information. That they stayed behind.
MCGRAW: You know, what Anita's describing is what we're hearing from so many people that they just simply didn't want to pull up and leave again.
MCGRAW: Because when there are so many warnings -- well, sometimes, you know, there are a lot different reasons that people are telling us. No. 1, they've had so many false alarms. You know, you'll have a tropical storm, you'll have a hurricane, they board up, they leave, they disrupt their lives, they go off and it depletes their money. These are people that live on a very narrow margin and their ability to go stay in hotel or even travel to friend's homes makes it very, very difficult for them. And so they wind up spending all that money and then come back and nothing's happened, so it's like, you know, we're going to roll the dice one more time because false alarm after false alarm and so they just don't want to go and then there's that category of people that just say look, this is my home and nobody's running me out and sometimes, unfortunately it is really just kind of a rebelliousness against somebody telling them they have to leave their homes. And they resist that, they don't like somebody telling them what they have to do. So it can be very...
KING: Well, wish Anita the best of luck.
KING: Wish Anita the best of luck I got to get a break. We'll come back with lots more on this Sunday night edition of LARRY KING LIVE.
The flags are flying at half staff in memory of Justice Rehnquist and for all the victims of the hurricane. We'll be right back.
KING: The picture you're seeing is Cornelia Tibertow (PH), she's the mother of Sidney Barthelemy, the former mayor of New Orleans who was -- mother-in-law, rather, she is still missing, and you recognize he hope you get in touch with us or with Sidney in Atlanta. We'll be back with Phil in a moment.
Sean Astin joins us, the actor an humanitarian activists. You know the parents. His parents where John Astin and Patty Duke.
SEAN ASTIN, ACTOR: Still is. Still are my parents
Still are your parents, right.
ASTIN: Yep, John Astin, talked to him today, he's doing great. My mom was out grocery shopping up in North...
KING: What are you doing in this tragedy?
ASTIN: Well, a lot actually. I'm doing as a celebrity, I'm doing public service announcements, and national radio media tours, and exercising my critical thinking skills about how I can help, you know, figure out to get information without taxing the resources of the system, and you know, we're doing a lot. My daughter had a lemon aide drive, and raised a bunch of money
KING: Do you get involved in calamities, is that it? You go to catastrophic events?
ASTIN: Well you know, no I don't go to them. I mean I lived in this city during the riots in '92 and I took the whole thing in on my couch from the television in Sherman Oaks in my little two bedroom house. I didn't do a darn thing except watch and try and learn. And then I happened to be on the ground in Manhattan when the power outage happened and I had just impaneled on the presidents' council on service and civic participation. I kind of had the thought when I showed up Elijah Wood's apartment where I was -- he had given me a key and he wasn't even there and I just thought, am I going to ride out this thing at night in the dark with no radio, no battery, no candles, or am I going to -- you know, I don't want to be a hypocrite, I'm going to go out there and do something, so I rode around with Sergeant Miguel Ramos from the Emergency Service unit and we had a commandeered police traffic, then, and I rode shotgun and there were six elevator mechanics and we got people out of elevators and we gave people water and gave old people rides to where we knew were happening.
KING: Are you going to visit the (UNINTELLIGIBLE) in New Orleans?
ASTIN: Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. There's no question about that. There's no question. I've already -- the question is when and how and with whom. And the trick for me is, is making sure that I do it in a way that is -- that's as helpful as possible. You know as helpful as possible to the people. You know, a show -- I'm the -- you are the King of Bacchus, were you not?
ASTIN: Yeah, so in New Orleans. I mean there is a lot of Americans think that New Orleans and the great gulf region, you know, they aren't aware of some of the cultural history there and so a lot of Hollywood's famous celebrities, Bob Hope and Danny Kaye and Kirk Douglas and Henry Winkler, my friend, and two years ago Elijah Wood and you, sir, and I have been the King Bacchus at the Marty Gras celebration, and so there's...
KING: What is that you're wearing?
ASTIN: Well, this is a crucifix that was given to my family it was given from John Paul, Pope John Paul to Michael Hunt -- Sorry, I'll hold it up there so you can see it -- to Michael Hunt who looked after you, while you where in New Olreans as the King of Bacchus, and he looked after me...
KING: Has anybody heard from Michael?
ASTIN: Not to my knowledge. My wife has a very strong feeling that he's OK.
KING: I hope so.
ASTIN: And he's a smart man, but you know, he's an artist and he's a leader in his community, so I know that he's out there trying to help and heartbroken, today.
KING: Congratulations, Sean.
ASTIN: Thank you sir.
KING: Keep it up, man. Sean Astin, special guy.
In the Astrodome is Dr. Phil McGraw and with Dr. Phil is Robert Jemison who's been missing his wife and daughters. He's a nurse and has been volunteering at the Astrodome.
Where did you last see your family, Robert?
ROBERT JEMISON, NURSE VOLUNTEERING AT ASTRODOME: I saw my family, or I spoke with them, rather, on Saturday morning, this past Saturday morning, that is. They were telling me then they were preparing to try and get ready to leave New Orleans. At that time I was working on a EMS crew and ambulance and some at the Superdome back in New Orleans.
KING: So you were separated from them because you were working?
JEMISON: Yes, I had decided to stay behind and help out as much as possible.
KING: Where were they? At home?
DR. PHIL MCGRAW, TALK SHOW HOST: Larry, Rob...
KING: I'm sorry.
JEMISON: They were home. The were home in New Orleans, East.
MCGRAW: Well, Larry, Robert's being -- yes. Larry, Robert is being very modest about this, frankly he was in our town hall meeting today, and this guy was running an ambulance, getting people in and out of the Superdome until the absolute, virtual last second. He made his last ambulance run in six feet of water and virtually had to walk out of New Orleans himself to get to the highway and get a ride out and he's been volunteering since he got here. And so, it's been a very -- it's been a very trying time for Robert and very difficult and you've made a huge difference here, I mean he's a favorite among the people in the Astrodome family, I can assure you.
KING: Well, I sure hope he finds his family. These are such terrible times, Dr. Phil, I can't imagine what it's like there.
JEMISON: Can I...
ASTIN: Well Larry, I can tell you...
KING: All right, hold it Sean. Go ahead Phil.
MCGRAW: I can tell you, Larry, the despair is really gripping for these people and I think that the sense of not being able to do anything at this point, because they can't -- they can leave, of course, but there's nowhere to go. If they try to get on a cell phone, and call back to the New Orleans area or even 504, the lines are down, so they can't -- not just that they can't pick up a phone and call somebody, the lack of information is as big a problem, here as anything to these people.
KING: Before we break, you wanted to ask something, Sean?
ASTIN: Yeah, just you know, there's something that people can do in the moment. My daughter was in your green room and we were watching, it was the first that she had been exposed to the horror. And I saw that she was quite concerned so I just gave her a paper and a pen and she wrote -- and she made some pictures of the helicopter rescuing our friend and the party and -- so children and families can do...
KING: That's very nice.
ASTIN: And it's way to take those feelings, while your waiting for information and you're stuck instead of just feeling them, you can actually...
KING: Let it out.
KING: Thanks Sean.
ASTIN: Thanks Larry.
KING: We'll be right back with more. We're going to meet a famous New Orleans artist -- photographer, rather. Herman Leonard, his images of Jazz musicians and stars like Sinatra are world famous. He evacuated from New Orleans on Saturday with his daughter and her 10-year-old daughter. And We'll be right back following this.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is a wakeup call for New Orleans. (UNINTELLIGIBLE)
KING: Still to come, the great Wynton Marsalis, joining us now in the studios in Los Angeles, Herman Leonard, the acclaimed photographer, you'll be seeing some of his extraordinary pictures and his daughter, Shana. They both are -- how did you get out of New Orleans?
HERMAN LEONARD, PHOTOGRAPHER: We drove out, drove out on Saturday evening, actually. It took us about seven hours. He went through Houston, got there at 5:00 in the morning, and fortunately found a hotel room.
KING: You -- Shana, a lot of people stayed, a lot of people left late. What prompted you to get out quick.
SHANA LEONARD, HERMAN'S DAUGHTER: Instinct. I have a handicapped daughter and I just, you know, I just had to get out of there. I didn't want to take any chances.
KING: Were a lot of people leaving Saturday? H. LEONARD: Oh my god yes. By the time we -- we were about three or 4:00 in the morning, on the way to Houston, and there was a steady line of cars just all the way at three, four, 5:00 in the morning. I never saw so much traffic at that hour of the morning anywhere.
KING: Did you have any idea it would be like it tuned out?
H. LEONARD: Oh, I had no idea. We had -- we had hurricane warnings, but this particular hurricane the trajectory it took was totally unexpected. The force of it was expected, but we didn't think it really would hit us.
KING: How long you lived in New Orleans?
H. LEONARD: Thirteen years.
KING: Plan on going back?
H. LEONARD: Oh god yes.
KING: It's an interesting city to take pictures, I'll bet.
H. LEONARD: New Orleans is wonderful city, not only to take pictures, but just to live in. I have lived all over the world in many places because of my work, and I find that that is one of the most unique cities in the entire world because of the spirit that's there. The joy of living there, the camaraderie, the openness, the tolerance that's there.
KING: I believe we're going show some of Herman's pictures. Why did you choose L.A.?
H. LEONARD: Why did I choose it?
KING: Why come here?
H. LEONARD: Because we have friends here.
KING: Oh, good -- Look at that shot of young Tony Bennett. Wow. Shoot in black and white a lot, right?
H. LEONARD: Yes, in those days. Yeah, these where all shot in the '40s and '50s and I'm very glad that I have these mementos.
KING: How are your daughter's needs? How's she doing?
S. LEONARD: She's OK, she's kind of quiet lately and you know.
KING: How old?
S. LEONARD: She's 10. She' 10-years-old and you know, I think it's really hard on children to go through this.
KING: Does she miss her city? S. LEONARD: Yeah, I think so. You know, she's traveled all over the world, so you know, she moves around and I think that it's just really traumatic for children to go through this.
KING: Are you going shoot pictures here, Herman?
H. LEONARD: Oh, I hope to. Yeah I hope to keep active.
KING: Did you have your own studio in New Orleans?
H. LEONARD: I had my own studio. I work out of my home, which is now -- I don't know how much of it is gone, but I work out of the home.
KING: Have you been able to reach friends?
H. LEONARD: Yes.
KING: And have they told you if your house is standing?
H. LEONARD: Nobody knows. I know it's standing, because we can see from the starlight photos.
KING: Now Dr. Phil, do you -- are you hearing this?
MCGRAW: Yes I am.
KING: What a dilemma to be somewhere. You got out in time, you got a daughter and a granddaughter who has, obviously, problems and you don't know if you have a house.
MCGRAW: You know, Larry, I think that's what everybody is facing at this point and I think what we're hearing from so many of the people in New Orleans that didn't have the resources to get on an airplane or a bus or their own car or even in a car pool to get out, that's the frustration we're hearing from a lot of people here inside the Astrodome. They're so thankful for help and support they're getting now, but they felt very much abandoned when they were in New Orleans. It's like there's this mandatory evacuation but no way to evacuate. Nobody coming to get them, nobody giving them the warning, nobody telling them what they can do to get out. I mean so many people felt like, you know, I hear you saying we need to go, but we don't have the resources and they're so upset that so many thousands of people that may well be dead in New Orleans are that way not because they didn't heed the warning, but because they didn't have the means or ability to get to the evacuation centers and get out.
KING: Well said.
Charles, you were lucky, you had a car.
H. LEONARD: We were very lucky to have a car. With so many of my friends that were, just as Dr. Phil said, that were unable to get out. Particularly -- I was very close to the jazz musicians. Oh, sorry.
KING: Sorry Phil, what?
MCGRAW: I think we're going to see a lot of anger from these people as they get through the shock part of this, when they realize that so many deaths may have been averted if they had not been, what they believe, to be left. And I'm not saying that's true, I'm just telling you what we're hearing from the people in our town hall meeting.
KING: Fact of live.
MCGRAW: What we're hearing from the evacuees that are here. Absolutely.
KING: Dr. Phil's going to have a special on Thursday night we'll talking a lot more of that on Tuesday.
Thank you Herman.
H. LEONARD: Thank you very much, Larry.
S. LEONARD: Thank you.
KING: Shana, best of luck to you.
S. LEONARD: Thank you.
KING: Take pictures again.
H. LEONARD: Yes, we will.
KING: We'll be back with more on this special edition of LARRY KING LIVE right after this.
KING: We'll check back with Dr. Phil and another story of a missing person. We'll let's get an update from Anderson Cooper who's been on the scene all week. He's in New Orleans.
How's the evacuation going?
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, it continues and we're seeing helicopters all day long picking people up. It's obviously slow, the number of people actually being picked up. For the first time tonight, just a short time ago, we saw a petrol of the 82nd Airborne marching through the down --down Bourbon Street of all things. A strange site, certainly to see. But Larry, I got to tell you, I was out in a boat in the ninth ward and it is still shocking. I mean there is water everywhere. A woman, I saw her corpse laying in her backyard, floating in water. There are dogs alive in trees, there are -- I mean, I don't what they're going to do with all these animals that are out there who are desperately in need or starving and thirsty. There's a very desperate scene still, Larry.
KING: Terrible. Thanks Anderson, doing great work.
Dr. Phil is with Andrea Charles who's missing her mother, dad, two sisters, two brothers, nieces and nephews. And last heard from the a week ago Saturday. They were staying in the French Quarter.
What -- why didn't they try -- did they try to get out Andrea?
ANDREA CHARLES, HURRICANE VICTIM: Yes.
KING: And what happened.
MCGRAW: What kept them from getting out?
CHARLES: I didn't leave with them, so last time I -- the last thing I -- when I heard form my mother was Saturday. And that's the last time I talked to either one of them.
MCGRAW: So you don't know whether they tried to get out and couldn't or they didn't have any way...
CHARLES: I don't know if they got out or they stayed.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They're right in there trying to take a picture of us.
MCGRAW: So no messages at all, no information, nothing to -- no clues, nothing to go on?
CHARLES: No, not since Saturday.
MCGRAW: And Larry, there is a...
KING: How desperate...
MCGRAW: There's a poster board at the end of -- one end of the Astrodome where everybody is able to post a list of the people they're missing and everybody checks that board and I know from having been in Dallas, the other two large shelters that they're doing the same thing there, so hopefully the system catches up and we start to register, then we'll start to see these people start to reconnect, but you can't give up hope because it's just a matter of information at this point.
KING: Thanks Andrea. Dr. Phil, we got to break now and we'll live you now. Have a save trip back. Thanks for all the work you're doing and we will see you here Tuesday night live in our studio for an update...
MCGRAW: I'll see you Larry.
KING: And we'll talk about your Thursday special.
MCGRAW: Thanks for all your work on the Larry, you're doing a great job of getting the word out.
KING: You were great tonight, and we'll see you Tuesday. Former President Bush will be with us tomorrow night, and when we come back we'll spend our remaining moments with there great Wynton Marsalis. Don't go away.
KING: In New York is the great Wynton Marsalis, the artistic director of Jazz at Lincoln Center, the first jazz artist to earn the Pulitzer Prize for music. New Orleans is his hometown. Jazz at Lincoln Center is going to produce the "Higher Ground" hurricane relief benefit, next Saturday, a week from Saturday, September 17.
Who have you lined up, Wynton?
OK. Wynton can't hear us yet. We'll check that out.
Bresley (PH) in Texas, we'll take a call. Hello.
DENISE DUNCAN, LOOKING FOR RELATIVE: Yes. Yes, Larry.
KING: Yeah, go ahead.
DUNCAN: Yes, my name is Bresley (PH), Duncan, Denise. Denise Duncan and me and my daughter are frantically looking for her father. He lived in New Orleans, actually in (UNINTELLIGIBLE) and he had no way to get out. His wife Karen and their son Jeffrey and we are frantically looking for them. We don't have any numbers to call anywhere to even -- to know where to begin where to look for them. And we desperately are seeking for them to please call us. And...
KING: Do you have a number where they can reach you?
DUNCAN: Yes sir I do. Any one from the Puckett family, Terry, Walter, Karen, Jeffrey, Ruthann...
DUNCAN: Please call Melissa (UNINTELLIGIBLE) at...
KING: What's the number?
KING: Thank you dear, we hope it works out.
We understand we can connect with Wynton Marsalis now.
Who's performing on the 17th, Wynton?
WYNTON MARSALIS, JAZZ MUSICIAN: Well we have a lot of people, Paul Simon, Buckwheat Zideco, The Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra will be there, we're going to have Diana Crawl and Elvis Costello, and a lot more of us are just going to come together, a lot of New Orleans musicians.
KING: How painful this must be for you to watch?
MARSALIS: It's deeper than pain. You know, pain is something quantifiable, or something we can understand, it's a deep profound American tragedy.
You were born -- how much of the Marsalis family, they're all in music, come from New Orleans?
MARSALIS: We all come from New Orleans. There's four of us that are musicians. My father, Ellis, is a piano player and we're rooted in New Orleans, we come the kind of gumbo of New Orleans, the mix with French, Spanish, West African, Creole, American, all the things in the cultural intelligence that creates New Orleans' music, New Orleans' food, New Orleans' people. We're the only city in the world with a full culture. So, we're very proudly New Orleanian.
KING: How can people who want to attend the benefit or want to help, how can they go? What do they do?
MARSALIS: They just have to go to our Web site jalc.org and get information about it.
KING: Jalc.org, that's Jazz at Lincoln Center dot org.
MARSALIS: Right, but I want to -- I want to say to the American people, it's important to understand that this is a very profound moment in our history and it's important for us to realize that our political leadership is not reflecting the will and the feelings of the American people. As a musician I've been around the country, around the Untied States of America for 25 years touring and representing the city of New Orleans and our country, also, around the world. I've been at the tables of Americans all over our country, Iowa, Minnesota, Alaska, I don't care what state you want to name, we have been there swinging, teaching people's kids, and doing other things. And I have to tell you that I know as people around our country of all hues look at these images and here these people talk, they will understand that these are beautiful people.
MARSALIS: And there's nothing to fear. So the whole history and legacy we had for polarization, using race and other issues, pointing fingers at each other, this was at the root of slavery, it was argued when the Constitution, Bill of Rights, Declaration of Independence was being established, the Civil War, it was at the center of that, the Civil Rights movement. We've had a whole legacy of these things. It's time for us to dig down into our souls...
MARSALIS: And realize that this is the time...
MARSALIS: For us to redefine American greatness.
KING: We're running out of time. Can you play something out for us?
MARSALIS: I'm going to play something form New Orleans. KING: Yeah, that's...
MARSALIS: The first is called "St. James Infirmary."
KING: I know it.
MARSALIS: OK. The other is "Down by the Riverside."
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