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Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees

Angels in the Storm

Aired September 08, 2005 - 19:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening from New Orleans. All the latest breaking news on the disaster.
Plus, no politicians, no bureaucrats, just heroes. People on the ground saving lives, unaided and alone. It is 4:00 p.m. on the west coast, 7:00 p.m. on the east, and 6:00 p.m. in the beleaguered but still surviving city of New Orleans, "360" starts now.

ANNOUNCER: Tonight, "Angels in the Storm," a special edition of ANDERSON COOPER 360.

Ten days after Katrina, the Coast Guard and those brave guys dangling below the helicopters. Tonight, still rescuing people. Nearly 24,000 saved and still counting. How they go above and beyond to do whatever it takes to save a life.

When an interview suddenly turns into a rescue. A doctor on a story with Anderson ends up working to save the lives of dozens of survivors stranded and, until now, unnoticed. Tonight, we're there for a chance rescue.

No power, no water, fast rising water inside, and outside, snipers shooting at the hospital. But these doctors don't stop, even with supplies running out.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We are at the point where it's developing nation medicine.

ANNOUNCER: Tonight, inside Charity Hospital in New Orleans. Doctors and nurses, ordinary people providing extraordinary care.

When some police officers retreated, he did not. Tonight, an officer who weathered the storm, the looting, the violence and chaos to bring law and order back to his city. Tonight, the latest news and angels of the storm.

COOPER: Good evening from New Orleans. Here is what is happening right now at this moment. The latest information, we are keeping a close eye on another powerful storm, if you can believe it. Ophelia is now a hurricane. It has maximum winds 75 miles per hour. It is 70 miles off the coast of Cape Canaveral, Florida. Forecasters now warn that Ophelia may make a loop in the Atlantic and head for land either in the Caribbean or Florida. We're watching it closely.

And the price of gas has dropped a cent from yesterday. AAA says the national average for the price of a gallon is just over $3. To put things in perspective for you, just a year ago, gallon cost an average $1.87 a gallon.

And we want to warn you that we are about to show you some disturbing images you might not want your children to see. We think they are important for you to see, because we do not want to forget or gloss over the reality of what happened here and what continues to.

Law enforcement in New Orleans right now investigating violence that took place in the New Orleans convention center, where for days, we have heard reports of unspeakable conditions. We have seen the aftermath of that with our own eyes today. And violence, including rape and murder. Tonight, CNN has obtained these photographs.

While we cannot determine from the photographs how these people died, a source who saw the bodies say they appeared to have been mutilated after their death. Precisely when the photos were taken is uncertain, but they seem to confirm there was little, if any, law or order in that convention center in those first days after Katrina hit.

And later on, in fact tomorrow, on 360, you're going to meet a doctor that who inside that convention center, an exclusive talk. He was there trying to treat some 15,000 patients, he had little more than a stethoscope. He says what he saw there is nothing short of a national disgrace. That's tomorrow on 360, an exclusive.

Also ahead, a lot to talk about. First, the Coast Guard. We have seen them rescuing, remarkable rescues. For all the finger pointing at the local and the state and the federal governments over the past ten days, and we all know they are pointing fingers now at one another.

What has not failed, and what has not faltered, are the people who are not receiving orders from any government or any bureaucrat. They are people who just picked up their axes and their guns or their stethoscopes or their boats and they helped those in need, they helped strangers and they saved lives.

We begin with the U.S. Coast Guard, so far has rescued 23,909 people in the New Orleans area. Today, it said it's going to help local law enforcement with mandatory evacuations.

For a while now, we've shown you a lot of the rescues from afar. We witnessed one very up close the other day. Tonight, we take you inside a rescue and trust us, you have never seen rescues from this angle. CNN's Rick Sanchez.


RICK SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: They hang on a wire to rescue those who have no way out, no way but up. Straight up into an awaiting helicopter.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These people don't understand if they don't get out, they're going to die. You know, I've had a couple people squeezing so tight that I couldn't get a good grip.

SANCHEZ: Dave Foreman (ph) and Jeff Johnson (ph) part of an elite group of Coast Guard specialists called rescue swimmers. They're the ones we've seen on our TV screens, hanging from cables and plucking people from rooftops.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The water, when we first went out, was about half way up the house in some spots. And we would go back an hour later and the water was literally up to chimneys.

SANCHEZ: Based at the New Orleans Naval Air Station, Foreman and Johnson were among the first rescuers. What they saw, some of it captured on a camera mounted on their helicopter, will stay with them forever. Like the woman who simply couldn't pry herself out of her home. She couldn't do it, so they had to leave to save someone else. They wondered, had they lost her? Was she gone? But they went back the next day.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This lady managed to get herself outside the house and she was up to her waist in some mud, but we put the rescue basket down, and thank God she was able to get in there and we hoisted her up. She was very grateful.

SANCHEZ: And then are those they couldn't come back for.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There were so many people out there that we couldn't get to everybody.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There was this old couple and they basically were just sitting in the bed. And I felt that if I hoisted them with that strap, like Jeff said, that strap is very painful, that I was going to break their bones. And there was no other way to do that rescue. So we decided to try to come back the next day and see if we could get them a better way. I don't know whatever happened to those people.

SANCHEZ: Or the haunting memory of getting to a roof and finding so many stranded and terrified they fought each other and fought the rescuers to get hooked into a life-saving basket.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There was such desperation to get out of there that they were faking injuries and faking pregnancies and, so, I saw the best and the worst of people. One guy said you're taking me up or I'm going to shoot you.

SANCHEZ: This is a story about people and numbers. That's how many lives have been saved by Coast Guard helicopters from this base over the last 50 years. Now there's a new number. In fact, they've written in, 6,471 over the last week and counting. And many, many who were trapped inside, the rescuers had to cut escape holes into the roofs.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The ones that did, you know, get a hole in the roof, enough to get an arm out to where we could see those people, we went down with axes and chopped holes in the roofs and got them out.

SANCHEZ: These men blush when singled out. Praise is hard for them. They say it's just a job. Those of us who watch them know better.


SANCHEZ: If you really want to get a sense of just what a massive effort this has been for these Coast guard officials, consider this. They have doubled the number of air rescues this last week that they've had at this particular air base in the last 50 years. A staggering number.

Anderson, back to you.

COOPER: Rick, thanks very much.

Coming up in this special edition of 360: Angels of the Storm, a choice no mother should make between her baby about to be born and her 5-year-old son. Her dramatic story.

And we're showing you our boat cam, want to show you that now. How another mother came to the rescue. You're seeing Tulane Avenue completely under water. Our boat cam's just driving around looking for anyone who might be out there. We found people in this area. We'll show you that story a little bit ahead.

Plus, heroes of the storm miles away from where it hit. We're going to take you to Houston where one family has taken in more than 50 hurricane survivors.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If I could save one life by bringing that baby water and bringing formula, which is what I brought out. Diapers to comfort them, whatever I can do. If I save one life, just one life, and I make one person's life better on this trip, it's worth $1 million to me.


COOPER: Well, a little bit later on 360 you're going to meet a remarkable doctor who has saved lives and did it virtually on his own. And that should not have happened.

Welcome back to this special of 360. We're focusing tonight on the angels of the storm, the people who, you know, didn't wait around for the bureaucrats or the people in Washington to get their act together. They just grabbed what they could, a stethoscope, a gun, whatever it took to save lives.

Tonight, we're going to look at a mother that had to make a choice that no choice a mother should have to make. By herself, pregnant, alone, her child injured, she had to decide what to do. Wait with the child or try to get safety, try to seek help on her own and, perhaps, endanger her unborn child. Here's CNN's medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen.


ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Roszina Jefferson's story is a story no mother should have to endure. On Monday, August 29th, as Hurricane Katrina surged through her New Orleans home, she frantically grabbed her 5-year-old son, Ashton, left her fiance, and headed to higher ground.

She was nine months pregnant. Her due date, just 48 hours away. As the waters in New Orleans continued to rise, her situation only deepened. Arriving at a friend's home, her son suffered an asthma attack. Then Roszina went into labor and had to make a quick decision.

(on-camera): When you jumped, what did you tell your 5-year-old son?

ROSZINA JOHNSON, HURRICANE VICTIM: Mama's going to get us some help.

COHEN (voice-over): In the midst of contractions, she leapt from a window, leaving her son and friend behind. Swimming 30 minutes in search of help, the Coast Guard eventually found Roszina on a bridge and airlifted the laboring woman to Woman's Hospital in Baton Rouge. Throughout the rescue, she told the story of the son she left behind and prayed he would be found.

JOHNSON: I knew I would see him again.

COHEN: On Wednesday, August 31st, 8-pound 2-ounce Keith Hall Jr. was brought into the world.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Perfect heart, perfect lungs. Can't do better than that. He's perfect.

COHEN: But the birth was bittersweet. Two days had passed and there was no sign of 5-year-old Ashton.

JOHNSON: I'm glad I got this baby, but I miss my other baby.

COHEN: Shannon Easley (ph) was about to enter her life. A mother of four and deeply religious, she was helping to open a shelter at her church in nearby Walker, Louisiana. In the coming week, this makeshift home would welcome some 25 families.

EASLEY: I went to social services and said, "Our church wants to open up a shelter. And I'm sure there'll be moms and babies that want a place to go." So she gave me a couple of names and Ms. Jefferson was one of them.

COHEN: Shannon also worked in the very hospital that Roszina gave birth. Seeking out Ms. Jefferson, a friendship formed.

EASLEY: We're going to help you so you're not going to be alone.

COHEN: On Thursday, September 1st, incredible news. Roszina's friend, the woman she left her 5-year-old with, saw her story on CNN and relayed a message to the hospital. Young Ashton and fiance Keith were safe at the Houston Astrodome.

JOHNSON: I found my baby!

COHEN: With that news, a mother wept and Shannon Easley devised a plan, then dialed her husband.

EASLEY: And I called Willis immediately, I said, "Willis, Willis, guess what. Guess what. They found the baby." He said, "Really, where's he at?" I says, "He's in Houston." And he said, "Are you thinking what I'm thinking?"

COHEN: As mother and baby Keith left the hospital and headed to the shelter, a surprise awaited them.

EASLEY: And I was so excited because I didn't want anybody to know.

COHEN: What Roszina didn't know was that Shannon had driven ten hours through the night and picked up her precious cargo. And when the exhausted mother arrived at the Juddson Baptist Church Shelter...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We've got something else for you. OK?

JOHNSON: My baby! Thank you! I missed you so much!

COHEN: Finally, mother, baby and big brother reunited.

JOHNSON: I was so surprised. I would have never in my life thought they would have been behind that door.

COHEN: Two mothers, two heroes and the happy ending continues. On Tuesday, Shannon Easely's town opened its heart and doors once again as little Ashton Jefferson attended his first day of kindergarten.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Recognize Ashton? You.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You get to meet a whole lot of new friends, don't you?


COOPER: A happy homecoming for one family. A helicopter passing overhead, looking probably for more evacuees, the search continues. And so many families still remain un-reunited. And every day, we hope that they are getting more and more in touch with one another.

Coming up next in this special edition of "360: Angels of the Storm," the story of a woman in Houston who wanted to know what she could do. Sitting, watching all of this on TV, she has opened her arms wider than you could possibly imagine, taking 50 evacuees into her small house.

Also tonight, a doctor, a remarkable man. We talked to him a little bit yesterday. Out on the water with him, we got involved in a rescue, a surprising rescue. Our cameras were filming it all. We'll have that ahead.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think that's our main mission, is to take care of our people. I think it's an honor and a privilege to go down and help these people.

COOPER: Heroes pull people off rooftops, out of burning buildings, out from under piles of rubble. They're breaking down doors to save those who've been trapped, or sometimes they simply open their doors, their own to shelter the homeless. CNN's Heidi Collins reports on one such hero.


HEIDI COLLINS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: As the sun comes up on another day in Houston, it's time for Barbara Hazy to take her daughter to school. Taz (ph) begins with the usual 10-year-old issues.

BARBARA HAZY, HOUSING 53 PEOPLE: Get in, I'm not worried about a purse.

COLLINS: Taz is an only child, but in the last week or so, she's had to share her mom with a lot of people, 53 to be precise, family and friends left homeless by Hurricane Katrina. Barbara's neighbors donate what they can to help, bags of clothing and food, but it is Barbara who pays the bills.

HAZY: We're doing good. It's a blessing. It's a sad story, but at the same time, it's a blessing. It makes you think, where would I be?

COLLINS: Dozens of eggs, tubs of butter, slabs of bacon, what it takes to feed an instant army of eight kids, five teens, and those adults who left early in search of work. Somehow, in a three bedroom, two bathroom house, she pushes them and somehow keeps the faith.

HAZY: You can go further. It's up to you to decide what I'm going to do with this. You want to lay down there and do nothing, then that's on you. It's on my heart to say, "Get up and move."

COLLINS: They wake from sleeping on every inch of her 1,700- square-foot home, cots, the floor, sofas that are too short and sometimes even sitting straight up.

HAZY: Bath times are limited. Shower time, 15 minutes, tops.

COLLINS: You have rules for all of these things?

HAZY: Yes. And my main rule is every get along

COLLINS: She must be a counselor, coach, and, most of all, patient. Despite her strength, even Barbara can't make it all go away for her guests. Karen Brown is one of those she took in.

KAREN BROWN, LOST HOME IN KATRINA: I'm fine. I'm going into the real world and seeing other people functioning. I had two jobs before this. And just sitting around looking at the houses outside, it's like, I had that. And I don't have it any more.

COLLINS: Others try their best to tune out the past back home.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You can't do that! You can't do that!


COLLINS: They look to Barbara for stability, reassurance. She doesn't tell them, but it wears on her, too. The scar on her chest from three heart surgeries, the 21 pills she takes every day and the diabetes sometimes leave her feeling weak. Barbara takes me to a room where no one else is allowed. There, we find her husband, Taz, simply too exhausted to get out of bed. This is their sanctuary.

HAZY: I have to come in the closet sometimes just to get a quiet moment, but I can't ask them to leave. It wouldn't be fair.

COLLINS: Her closet, now a makeshift food pantry and storage space.

HAZY: One of these is every two days.

COLLINS: But still, she doesn't think she's doing enough.

HAZY: I want to give them more. I can't give them more.

COLLINS (on-camera): More how?

HAZY: I just want them to feel at home, and I can't give them the rooms and the space that they're used to.

COLLINS (voice-over): Barbara's sister, Phyllis, is now here, too.

(on-camera): What do you think of your sister?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She is very beautiful for her to open up her home to us. They have really shown us hospitality. You know, we had a home.

COLLINS (voice-over): And from that home base, three of the men who've been looking for work since the day they arrived at Barbara's house have at last, found jobs. They drive four hours each way back to Louisiana, but it's work.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I've got to do what I have to do until we can get back, you know?

COLLINS: The kids are all in school and those neighbors who keep hearing stories of Barbara Hazy continue to bring bags of food.

HAZY: We'll take care of each other. We don't have a choice.

(END VIDEOTAPE) COLLINS: And believe it or not, we are getting word that Barbara Hazy is expecting more people. Her brother and his family, her sister and her family, will be coming to Barbara's home soon. We also want to let you know about some the college students that you notice in the package.

There are five of them in all, they're very worried about transferring their credits from the schools they were going to in Louisiana to here somewhere in the state of Texas. In fact, one of them, who was getting ready to graduate in December in social work, nonetheless, is trying to transfer her credits to the University of Houston so she can graduate. She was supposed to do that, as we said, in December. It's going to be a little late, but she will, indeed, have her master's degree at some point very soon.

Back to you now, Anderson.

COOPER: Heidi, thanks for that.

Let's take a look at a map, just shows you what enormous effort housing the homeless have become. All the highlighted states have already taken evacuees in. Washington, Oregon, California have pledged to do that. They are now awaiting the first arrival. In all, more than 235,000 people are being housed at 750 shelters in 39 states tonight.

ANNOUNCER: When an interview suddenly turns into a rescue. A doctor on a story with Anderson ends up working to save the lives of dozens of survivors, stranded, and until now, unnoticed. Tonight, we're there for a chance rescue.

No power, no water, fast rising water inside, and outside, snipers shooting at the hospital. But these doctors don't stop, even with supplies running out.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We are at the point where it's developing nation medicine.

Tonight, inside Charity Hospital in New Orleans. Doctors and nurses, ordinary people providing extraordinary care. This special edition of 360 continues.


COOPER: Welcome back to 360. Taking a look from our boat cam down on Tulane Avenue. So much of this city still submerged under water, more than 50 percent of the city. And what that water is hiding and what is inside that water, we're going to address a little bit later on tonight on 360.

Right now, let's tell you what is happening at this moment. The Senate is voting on a massive hurricane aid bill. Senators are voting on a $52 billion emergency package. The House already approved it. The money's going to be spent over the next few weeks to assist the families that have been left homeless and devastated by Katrina. The funerals for the victims of Katrina are just beginning, what is believed to be one of the first funerals in going to be held in San Antonio, Texas, tomorrow for Glory Gardner (ph), a 47-year-old mother of five, was evacuated from here in New Orleans but she died two hours after coming to a shelter.

And the water continues to drain out of New Orleans slowly, that's with 37 of the city's 174 permanent pumps working. In the St. Bernard Parish, an area which has been submerged by the levee break, the water level has dropped five feet. And as I say, we're just going to seeing more and more gruesome images as that water drops. We all know what's inside.

We want to warn you that we're about to show you some disturbing still photographs that we just received. You might not want your children to see them. Law enforcement in New Orleans are right now investigating violence that took place inside the New Orleans convention center.

That's where about 15,000 people were literally just dumped. We're talking about old people in diapers, just left to sit for days and days. The conditions in there were absolutely deplorable. We have heard reports about murders and rapes. We know people died in there. We know that for a fact, they were stored up on the second floor.

Tonight, CNN has obtained these photographs. While we can't determine exactly how the people died from these photographs, a source who saw these bodies says they appear to have been mutilated after death. Now, precisely when the photos were taken is not certain, but they do seem to confirm there was little, if any, law and order in that convention center in those first days after Katrina hit.

Tomorrow on 360 a conversation exclusive with a doctor, one of the few doctors, if you can believe it, who was inside that convention center. He went there on his own with a police escort he had little more than a stethoscope and some medicine that they had looted from a pharmacy and he was trying to treat 15,000 people who had been told to go to the convention center. They have been told, go there. You're going to get help there, you're going to get evacuated from there.

And they sat and sat and sat day after day after day. And what we saw there today, which you'll see tomorrow, is just shocking. This doctor calls it a national disgrace. And we want to show it to you because we don't want to just get cleaned up and be forgotten. We want people -- it's important that people know what happened here. That's why we're staying here and going to be continue to broadcast you the stories of heroes here who made a difference.

People who made life-saving choices. This doctor, we went out, I mean it's amazing how every day things change. We went out with this doctor to do a story about the water and what's inside the water, but we had to stop that interview because we had to get involved in a rescue effort. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) COOPER (voice-over): In New Orleans, you never know where the day is going to take you. We set out to do a story on what's in this flood water.

GREG HENDERSON, PATHOLOGIST: In this water you can expect anything that is in the human intestine tract is thriving and growing in this water.

COOPER: Dr. Greg Henderson is a pathologist. In the dangerous days after the hurricane he sent up a treatment center for New Orleans police and also tried to help the approximately 15,000 evacuees stuck at the convention center.

HENDERSON: Very simple word,s this is the dirtiest water you could ever possibly imagine.

COOPER: We just started motoring around when we spotted this man wading through the water.

HENDERSON: You need help?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I need everything.

HENDERSON: You need to get out of this water. Can we help this guy out?

COOPER: Of course, absolutely.

HENDERSON: Where have you been?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I've been in that building up there for I don't know how long.

HENDERSON: They didn't come check you?


COOPER: Here you go, sir.


COOPER: Here, have a seat.

We brought Thomas on to a highway onramp trying to figure out what to do next.

HENDERSON: Is there anybody else up there?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's a lot of people out there. There are people up on the eighth floor. They leave, the come to stay in the water (ph).

HENDERSON: Anybody been up there? Any federal officials?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nobody been up there. HENDERSON: Anderson a few minutes ago you asked me what it was like at the convention center. Fifteen thousand people in this condition. This man is symbolic of what was here in New Orleans and is still here in New Orleans. This is who we have to treat, this is who we have to think about and who we have to take care of.

COOPER: Dr. Henderson is fed up with the slow national response he's seen in New Orleans. He calls it a national disgrace.

Is a crime what's going on here?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't want any of that. I don't want to get in trouble.

HENDERSON: As close to a crime as you can get. I hate to call anybody a criminal. I hate to call anybody criminal, but this is just a just a damn bad situation.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I got my ID right in there.

COOPER: I know.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My bus card, my food stamp card.

COOPER (on camera): He says 25 people holed up in that building over there. He saw helicopters passing overhead for days now but no one has come to that building. Hard to tell how accurate he's being but then we think, okay, we'll go over there. They could be armed. You think, we'll try to call some police.

But how do you call police? There's not that level of organization at this point. You don't know who to call, exactly who's in charge. So we're going to try to figure out what to do.

(voice-over): We decided to take Thomas to a triage center that Dr. Henderson helped set up.

HENDERSON: Is everything you see right here, everything that was started and was done by people, resourceful people on the ground.

Look, anybody who is trying to tell you that there is failure from the ground up wasn't at the ground where I was. I was with the police officers that didn't sleep for six and seven days. I wish with those police officers who had opened wound on their legs and walked in that water.

COOPER: Thomas was checked out by physicians and then evacuated to Baton Rouge. It's not clear where he will end up.

Dr. Henderson told his emergency coordinator the location of the building where Thomas came from, where he said there were other survivors. She promised she would check it out.

COOPER: The lesson in all of this is what? The lesson what we saw on the boat and what we saw with Thomas is what? HENDERSON: Well, that's - on the boat that this ain't over yet. Anybody sitting here thinking, okay, the worst is past, the worst is not yet past.

COOPER: There is no way to know how bad it will get. No accurate number of how many people need to be evacuated, how many people have died in their homes. Today, one man named Thomas reached safety, the question is how many more like him remain behind?


COOPER: I hope you heard what the doctor said. This ain't over yet and it's not going to be for a long time. And the water is still everywhere, and the bodies are still everywhere, the people, the dead people, let's not even call them bodies any more.

I want to show you on camera that man Thomas pointed it this building which is right over to my right. You can see it on that other camera.

Dr. Henderson got his person to call 82nd Airborne to go in there or call the authorities to go in there. When they found out there may be weapons in there they called the 82nd Airborne and asked to go in. Today we called the 82nd Airborne, that doctor checked up with them and we have not found out whether or not they were able to go in there.

But as we have put this live shot together we've seen people inside that building. We believe it used to be called the Claremont Arms (ph). We don't know the building -- what it is called now and we don't know the address - not the Claremont Arms? It used to be called the Claremont Arms. If anyone is watching this and can get to a phone, there may be as many as 25 people in that building that no one has checked on.

So again, tomorrow we'll try to get someone to check on that building because, we're off the I-10 highway and people driving by all the time. There's so many buildings like this, probably, that it's a matter going door to door, house to house, room to room.

We also have some news just in to CNN. Just moments ago the Senate passed a nearly $52 billion emergency aid package for Hurricane Katrina recovery efforts. That amount sets aside roughly $1.4 billion a day for the five week period this covers. The vote was 97-0. It was already approved by the House earlier today so that thing is moving through.

A lot ahead tonight to cover. Hospital heroes. It's not just this Dr. Henderson. Over at Charity Hospital where Dr. Sanjay Gupta was. Doctors are taking matters into their own hands. They were storing bodies in the stairwells because the morgue in the basement flooded. No one was responding to their calls for help. We'll have their story.

Also tonight a police officer that stayed on the job under grim conditions. I know you have heard a lot about New Orleans cops giving up, tossing in their weapons and running away. Well, I can tell you for everyone who ran there were ones who stayed behind.

You're going to meet them ahead.

First the "World in 360," a look a the international aid.


COOPER: It's amazing what you see when you're just out there on the water. Our cameraman, Kevin, is out there in a shallow bottom boat and sees this man, poking his head out of this store. People just camping out wherever they could. You know, people find sort of a relatively safe, relatively dry place and they try to stockpile food there and just trying to last this thing out, thinking the flood waters are going to go down. They're not going to go down.

The city has to be drained and it is going to take time and people have to evacuate from the regions at least where the flood waters are. Strange what you see when you're driving around in a boat in the streets of New Orleans.

We have been talking about doctors and the remarkable work they were doing. Handfuls of them here and there without much help from the outside.

No where is that more clear than what happened at Charity Hospital here in New Orleans. They had to store the bodies in the stairwell, things got so bad. Sanjay Gupta takes a look.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You in the tree!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm in the water.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're in the water?

GUPTA (voice-over): As the first people were rescued from the flood waters of New Orleans, some were brought here, to Charity Hospital. Charity has always been the hospital of last resort for many of the city's poor, uninsured and often forgotten.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE.: We see people who present challenges. It is a real marvelous commitment to taking care of patients first.

GUPTA: Dr. James Aiken (ph) did his residency at Charity Hospital over 20 years ago. Now the hospital's director of emergency preparedness, he has spent years planning for disasters. But nothing prepared him for this.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There are some things you can plan on and some things you can't. What happened afterwards was not part of the plan.

GUPTA: Monday afternoon a breach in the levee starts pouring water into downtown. 29-year-old Dr. Michael Abotsis (ph), a resident with charity's intensive care unit watches the flooding. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can actually see the water rising. So it was going up maybe six inches an hour first night.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Here, we were up to our ankles in water.

GUPTA: By Tuesday charity's emergency generators are under water. With dwindling power, staff members scramble to keep their patients alive.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We found an area of the hospital where the emergency generators were working and we just ran hundreds of feet of extension cords to the ICU to run our life support stuff.

GUPTA: Trying to comfort patients under war zone-like conditions. Doctors and staff cope with a situation that is only getting worse.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We don't have electricity, we don't have water, we can't run labs or take x-rays. We're basically back to primitive medicine.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We have no showers or toilets at all.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Every night was a very scary situation. You can hear the gun fire. We had a SWAT team come through the hospital because they had report of a hostage situation. So, things are getting very, very tense.

GUPTA: Their only comfort? A promise that help is on the way.


GUPTA: Wednesday dawns and still no sign of relief.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We come before you at this precious time, dear Lord.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We kept on being told, hey, help is on the way, don't worry about it. This is going to be all FEMA. They're going it move out all your patients.

GUPTA: Faced would the realization that no one was coming to rescue their patients, staffers take matters into their own hands.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So that night I began to make phone calls on my own and Wednesday we began to set up to sort of orchestrate our own evacuation plan.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One of the other doctors in the ICU, Jeff Williams, had actually called CNN.

DR. JEFF WILLIAMS, CHARITY HOSPITAL: We have not been able to evacuate almost anyone, I think three people yesterday and two today out of 250.

GUPTA: Did you ever think when you were working at Charity Hospital that you would be moving around in a boat to get to work?


GUPTA: With possible snipers over your head?


GUPTA: I managed to arrive at charity with the CNN crew the next day. The conditions I find are deplorable. The ER is forced to move to higher ground. The morgue is flooded and bodies are now being stacked between floors 11 and 12.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I will compare it to being on the Titanic. It was dark, the lights were blinking and the water was starting to come in through the windows.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're just asking, begging for help.

GUPTA: The staff pleads with us to get help.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If you could just tell the United States, please, help us. Thank you.

GUPTA: After impassioned pleas by phone, helicopters are finally promised. They must get their patients to a make-shift helipad they're sharing with Tulane University Hospital.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We've been waiting therefore hours to get them out. We have been crying for help. Anybody who will listen. We have a need!

GUPTA: The charity staff watches as Tulane's people get out while their own patients are ignored.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We were just incredulous that this was going on. I lost my voice, I was doing a lot of yelling.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Two of them have died here on this ramp waiting to get out, in this very spot.

GUPTA: Suddenly, all evacuations come to a halt. Sniper fire breaks out. After two more frustrating days of fighting for their patients, charity hospital finally gets them all to safety.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When that last patient went off and the last staff person waved, that, to me, was the moment that I knew we had pulled off something that we never would have imagined being able to pull off before all this started.

COOPER: Now back in New Orleans as part of the relief efforts, Dr. Aiken's work continues. As he looks towards saving even more lives, he reflects back on how he was able to save one.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I do remember a time at the very end when I was helping to position a gurney to put this patient on a very hard floor in an 18-wheeler and you can see it was coming and he reached -- he reached up and shook my hand.


COOPER: That was Dr. Sanjay Gupta reporting.

As we've been listening to Sanjay's piece we have this cameraman, Kevin, out in a boat and he found this man who is on the second floor of a store. The man speaks only Spanish and I'm trying to talk to my cameraman and talk to this man if he needs help. Kevin, ask this man if he needs help. Does he want to be evacuated?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hola, senor, you need help? Quiera ayude (ph).



He's above a store right now and he says he has food, which is frijoles, and water.

COOPER: We're trying to find out, we're going to try to get this man help whether he wants it or not. We have some people at the overpass of the highway and try to get some Spanish speakers out there. Because this is the kind of thing you run across all the time and it's surreal that still, this long after the disaster, I mean, we're finding people and, you know, it's just one of those things. It's just hard to explain unless you're here. And I'm glad you're here with us tonight seeing all this.

Coming up next on this special edition of 360, the New Orleans police officers, you know, you heard a lot about police cutting and running here during the storm and some did, but a lot of them stayed on the job, even though their homes were gone. We'll have their stories when we come back. Appalling circumstances that they were living under.

Also my reporter's notebook, ordinary human beings called on to make extraordinary decisions and extraordinary sacrifices.


COOPER: Well, for all the talk of police officers who abandoned their posts here in New Orleans, there were ones who stayed and a lot of them who stayed even though their homes were gone. They didn't know if their loved ones were dead or alive. They had little ammos, their radios were ancient and, yet they took an oath to serve and protect and that's an oath they stood by.

CNN's Adaora Udoji tells their story.


ADAORA UDOJI, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Police captain Jimmy Scott (ph) and his officers work 18 hour days on little sleep for a second week in wet boots and dirty clothes at New Orleans' first precinct trying to save the city where he was born.

CAPTAIN JIMMY SCOTT, NOPD: I had no doubt we'd survive, it is just some scary times in there for everybody, I think.

UDOJI: So scary they saluted their survival with a new name. Ft. Apache, after they were attacked in the violent aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They challenge and you all should be on target.

UDOJI: Plunged in darkness, Captain Scott held his officers together, holed up on the roof surrounded by flood waters and looters fending off bullets they couldn't see. CNN's Chris Lawrence and his team were there.

CHRIS LAWRENCE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Just heard a gunshot. We were just talking to one of the officers and just like that, you heard a gunshot just go off, aimed somewhere near us.

UDOJI: They held off their attackers with snipers on the roof. Most of the officers, including Scott, fought knowing their own houses had been wiped out by the flood. But not every officer stayed. Some had to leave to find lost husbands and wives and children. Some just left. Abandoning their badges and their fellow officers.

SCOTT: We have a real hard road ahead and this separates the men from the boys.

UDOJI: Most are still here driven by a ferocious love for their city and their neighbors. Even an officer whose wife just gave birth to a baby he's never seen. They are fueled by rescue worker volunteers they never met, handing the battered officers a morale boost. They haven't seen their families for days, surviving by commandeering generators. Seizing looters' goods with replenished food and water as they secure the city and rescue people every day who are still trapped.

SCOTT: A lot of horror and the horror is going it get worse.

UDOJI (on camera): Because you're convinced they're going to find a lot of bodies?

SCOTT: A lot of bodies.

UDOJI (voice-over): Captain Scott has no plans to take a break to see his wife or family any time soon. He plans to lead his officers in a city they barely recognize.

You don't like the word heroism, why is that?

SCOTT: Because everybody is just doing what they have to do.


COOPER: Doing what they have to do, there is the words of a hero.

Let's find out what is coming up at the top of the hour on PAULA ZAHN NOW.

PAULA ZAHN, CNN HOST: Thanks, Anderson.

At the top of the hour we're going to be taking a trip through downtown New Orleans and see how some of the holdouts have been getting by under the most severe of conditions and how they're reacting to the latest evacuation order.

I'll also ask the New Orleans police superintendent how much force he'll use to carry out that order. We'll see you at the top of the hour, thanks, Anderson.

COOPER: Paul, thanks very much. When we come back, my "Reporter's Notebook," a behind-the-scenes look on what it's like here on the ground.


COOPER: Welcome back. We're live in New Orleans. Those of us who have been covering the story for the past week or almost two weeks now. We've really seen things that makes it hard for us to sleep at night sometimes. And what helps us get any rest is that we have also seen other things. Enormous courage, incredible selflessness, faith and strength and qualities for which there are no words and those are the things we try to focus on. We thought we'd like to give you the chance to focus on that, as well. Here's my "Reporter's Notebook."


COOPER (voice-over): In moments like these when governments falter, heroes appear in ways large and small. In Waveland, Mississippi, Sally Slaughter brought searchers to her missing neighbor's house, even though she had troubles of her own to worry about.

SALLY SLAUGHTER, HURRICANE VICTIM: My family thinks I'm dead because I haven't been able to get a hold of anybody it let them know it because they thought I stayed at home.

COOPER: I hope you're going to be all right.

SLAUGHTER: Hopefully my family sees this and - "I'm okay."

COOPER: The urban search and rescue squad from Virginia find the family of four dead, drowned in their home. All they can do is mark the door, they have to move on.

In New Orleans, for all the talk of quitting cops, we found a cowboy crew still on patrol. They have music and guns, but their ammo is low.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The criminal element try to get us down, but they can't get us because we're still together. They thought they could break us but they can't. That's why it's going down.

COOPER: Nicholas wood is a rookie, five weeks out of the police academy.

NICHOLAS WOOD, NOPD: Nothing we did in academy could prepare us for this, but, you know what? It's a good life experience. You have to grow up real fast. Got to do what you got to do.

COOPER: You've got to do what you got to do. The words of a hero not looking for credit.


COOPER: Then there's the victims we'll never forget. Pauline Conaway discovering her home is now gone.

CONOWAY: That's our grill.

COOPER: What do you say, what can you say? The pain is so deep.

CONOWAY: I can't find my room (ph). It's above our room.

COOPER: Cries of sorrow, songs of faith. This week we've heard them all. An old legally blind woman, they call her Miss Connie, waits with her companion, a lab named Abu.

MISS CONNIE, EVACUEE: I'm not sure where I'll end up, but I'm sure God knows where I'll end up.

COOPER: God is still watching over New Orleans?

MISS CONNIE: Absolutely. Absolutely. Will she rise again? Yes, indeed. Absolutely.

COOPER: When government's falter, it's people who stand up. In times of disaster, heroes are born.



COOPER: A good note to end on for our coverage tonight. CNN's prime-time coverage continues, however, with Paula Zahn. I'll be back in New Orleans tomorrow. Hey Paula.