Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Jump out boys

Reason number two hundred million not to stick around during a storm: You may be suddenly abducted by soldiers and forcibly shipped to Utah while your dog gives futile chase behind the truck.
Many, including Timmons, resent that they didn't have a say in where they were sent.

"I didn't choose this at all," said Timmons, 57, who lost everything when his home in eastern New Orleans flooded. "I was forced to evacuate."

A day after the storm, Timmons said, he waded to a friend's home on Prentiss Avenue near Old Spanish Trail, where it was dry.

He ventured out daily to make sure his mother's house was secure. Petey, the family dog, would follow. A week after the storm, he was on one of his walks, Timmons said, when an Army National Guard truck pulled alongside him.

Two soldiers jumped out and told him he would have to come with them. Timmons said he refused. The soldiers forced him onto the truck and made him leave Petey behind.

"It was almost to the point that I was in tears," Timmons said. "My dog ran for miles behind me and then stopped."

The truck didn't stop until it reached the airport, Timmons said.

Inside the terminal, Timmons said he and other evacuees were poked and prodded along like cattle, an experience that further clouded his mood. "You didn't feel like a person," he said.

News that they were being flown to Utah was the final blow.

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