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Audio update from Kyle, live from the heart of New Orleans

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I just talked to Kyle, our on-the-scene correspondent, and they've already been covering a lot of New Orleans, including neighborhoods where apparently only they and the military have gotten access to - they've got a very large SUV.

Click here to listen to my 3 minute interview with Kyle on the latest, recorded moments ago. He reports that more photos and written reports are coming.

(Question for you geeks out there - the file is a WMA file. It's already like 800k, even though it's only about 3 minutes long. That seems a bit large to me - any suggestions on how to reduce sound files further, available freeware I can use. Thanks.)

UPDATE: Some additional photos Kyle just sent in, from New Orleans:

Search and Rescue is apparently going house to house, door to door, and then spray painting an orange X to indicate, I suppose, that they've already been there.

Transcript of my converation with Kyle (courtesy of Daryl):

K: I’m talking to Kyle Shank, who’s our Americablog correspondent down in New Orleans, I guess right now. Kyle, where are you guys?
K:Right now, we’re sitting on the freeway atop the famous graveyards right near the French Quarter.
K:And, basically, water is, it’s like a scene out of Waterworld, we’ve been driving all afternoon through 3 or 4 feet of floodwater.
J:You’ve been driving through 3 or 4 feet of floodwater?
K:I think so, because we were pretty deep in there. Maybe not 3 or 4 feet, maybe just 3 feet, but we’re driving through floodwater, it’s kind of like Mad Max in the sense that people are driving all over the place on the freeways, you’re going in the right direction but someone else is coming at you in the wrong direction, kinda like anything goes. And it almost feels like a ghost town, almost as if the people have been vaporized and are gone.
J:Are you seeing police or military?
K: Oh yeah, all over, all over, there’s military convoys going back and forth. At any point in the day there’s probably about four or five helicopters out and about, you can hear it pounding away at your ears, coming overhead, coming extremely low, and they’re either dropping things, or looking for people. There’s boats in the water, the flat-bottom type of boats that can go around, and they’re knocking on houses still, still trying to find out if people are still alive. They’re not really even looking for bodies in the water, they’re going house by house and marking them with orange spraypaint on which ones they’re already determined that nobody’s in. Apparently there are still people holding out.
J:Wow. Had you guys had any interaction yet, with the police or the authorities or anything like that?
K:All of our interactions have been good, we’ve bartered cigarettes to gain their approval and help them watch our vehicle-
J: (laughs) To whom? You bartered with who? No names, but…what kind of a person did you barter cigarettes with to watch your vehicle?
K: Oh, the National Guard, but it’s an understated type of thing…he knew that was our vehicle, and we hooked him up with a pack of cigarettes. That kind of thing is going on, but to be honest, all the troops and all the police have been very nice, and even when we’re, basically, because we have this huge tank of a car, we’re riding through floodwater where a lot of other people can’t get, to be honest-
K:People were asking us what we were seeing, because we’re getting so far in.
J:Great, great.
K:And we were at some points, on in places, in the residential areas, where the troops were and no one else was. There are some other cars running around, some smaller SUV’s and larger ones too. But still, it seemed like we were the only ones who had some guts to actually go as deep as we were.
J:Or crazy, whichever, but yeah…
K:Crazy, yeah.
J:Wow, that’s great, and you said you’ll have some more photos and reporting in a bit?
K:Exactly. Yeah, it’s all about trying to get photos and trying to use the connection to get them up as fast as possible. More will be coming in once we settle down a bit and when we drive back, more writing as well.
J:Great, thanks Kyle, make sure you check in later.
K: Alright.

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