Arkansas Guard Dons Protective Gear in New Orleans Muck

SEPTEMBER 14, 2005 - Posted at 8:08 a.m. CDT

NEW ORLEANS - Work for the Arkansas National Guard got down and dirty yesterday as medical personnel donned protective suits and went door-to-door in a posh subdivision of New Orleans laid low by up to four feet of floodwater and sewage.

One lady broke down and cried when she saw a guardsman at her front door while she and a man salvaged items from their home just down from the Metarie Country Club.

In the Metarie Club Estates, medics and experts in nuclear, biological and chemical materials pounded on windows or walked through doors that were wide open, searching for people who failed to escape rising floodwaters spurred by Hurricane Katrina after it came ashore August 29 with 145 mile-per-hour winds.

Arkansas National Guard members have been on patrols in the New Orleans area since shortly after the hurricane hit.  They have recently been in charge of securing Jefferson Parish, with its collection of New Orleans suburbs, bedroom communities and fishing camps.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)