CNN - 1 September 2005
Chaos at the convention centerPosted: 10:02 a.m. ET
CNN's Jim Spellman in New Orleans, Louisiana
I don't think I really have the vocabulary for this situation.
We just heard a couple of gunshots go off. There's a building smoldering a block away. People are picking through whatever is left in the stores right now. They are walking the streets because they have nowhere else to go.
Right now, I'm a few blocks away from the New Orleans Convention Center area. We drove through there earlier, and it was unbelievable. Thousands and thousands and thousands of people spent the night sleeping on the street, on the sidewalk, on the median.
The convention center is a place that people were told to go to because it would be safe. In fact, it is a scene of anarchy.
There is absolutely nobody in control. There is no National Guard, no police, no information to be had.
The convention center is next to the Mississippi River. Many people who are sleeping there feel that a boat is going to come and get them. Or they think a bus is going to come. But no buses have come. No boats have come. They think water is going come. No water has come. And they have no food.
As we drove by, people screamed out to us -- "Do you have water? Do you have food? Do you have any information for us?"
We had none of those.
Probably the most disturbing thing is that people at the convention center are starting to pass away and there is simply nothing to do with their bodies. There is nowhere to put them. There is no one who can do anything with them. This is making everybody very, very upset.