Katrina Recovery – Part 1

A friend of my from way back in grade school has been working as an engineer at Mayo Clinic in Rochester Mn for the last few years.  As they heard about all the damage from hurricae Katrina the hospital decided to mobilize and try to help.

At first they went up to Camp Ripley which is an U. S. Army facility in central MN which was being prepared to receive refugees from the stoms destruction.  No refugees arrived at camp Ripley so my friend and his associate from Mayo decided to go to where the action is.

My friend has been sending e-mails back to friends and family and he has given me authority to post them here.

Long time no email – hope you’re all doing well. We are very busy down here – sorry I haven’t written more, sooner. The days are 18 hours a day for me. Very long, but very busy, never monotonous, which makes the time go very quickly. I’m guessing you’ve been reading some of the updates, etc. being put out by Communications on the website. Pretty accurate. It is amazing how much work goes into just keeping 90 people alive, clean, productive and civil.  The work is very rewarding, but ever changing (fluid), hectic, and sometimes chaotic. Priorities and missions for the traveling teams change hourly some days, to which we have to respond. We’re now dealing with hurricane Rita, and only time will tell how that affects us. This past week I’ve done everything from cleaning toilets to being pushed aside by the Governor of Louisiana’s Security guards as I just about bumped into her at the Cajun Dome (she looked really rough, worn out, etc. – you couldn’t help but feel sorry for her).

We’ve got a great crew to work with in Logistics. Funniest thing was working with John Wheeler for 2 days before I realized he was Bob’s brother. Talks like him, looks like him, but I just couldn’t make the connection until he told me. The logistics team is also comprised of Chad Andrist and Joe Liesse from materials – both are fantastic to work with. Job descriptions mean nothing here. We just do what’s needed. Last night I was at Wal-Mart picking up cooler stuff and 11:00 pm and ordering pizza for the night shift nurses at 11:30, and hauling dirty laundry at midnight.

Lots of conference calls, and coordination meetings and meeting with the entire staff. Lots of shuttling people around and everything else that needs to get done. We’re sleeping on the stage of a theatre which is strange but OK. About 30 guys in one area, and about 60 women on the other side of another curtain. We are sharing the facility with evacuees which are in another part of the building. We are also now staffing the Nursing component of the shelter.

That’s enough for now, hope you’re all doing well. As of now, I plan on being back Friday, September 30 (I’m taking 2 days off after we arrive in Rochester on the 27th).


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About waynem

As a Minnesota based photographer and artist I have been greatly influenced by the Upper Midwest. I focus my skills and energies on portraits, landscapes, cityscapes, architectural and fine art work. My best work comes from images first painted in my mind. I mull over a prospective image for weeks or months, seeing it from different angles and perspectives, then finally deciding what to capture. The result is images that deeply touch people's emotions and powerfully evoke memories and dreams. My images are used commercially by companies and organizations ranging from Financial Services firms, mom and pop Ice Cream shops and The Basilica of St Mary to communicate their shared vision and values. Book and magazine publishers have featured my images on their covers. My photographs also grace and enhance the decor of many fine homes.
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1 Response to Katrina Recovery – Part 1

  1. CHAD ANDRIST says:

    I agree when had a great team and hope in the future if somthing like this happend again these same people are there.

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