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Last Updated: Monday, 5 September 2005, 16:41 GMT 17:41 UK
New Orleans police 'gave no help'
The Scott family
The Scotts said they would be holidaying in Wales next year
A family from Merseyside have described their "terrifying" ordeal stranded in a New Orleans hotel in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

Gerard and Sandra Scott, from Wallasey, said they feared for the lives as law and order broke down in the city.

The couple, along with seven-year-old son Ronan, escaped with the help of a Texan family who hired a minibus to rescue stranded tourists.

"I think we're going to Wales next year," Mr Scott said on Monday.

The family, who arrived back at Manchester Airport on Monday, were on holiday in New Orleans when the hurricane struck.

You would hear shots ringing out during the night and that was one of the most worrying things
Gerard Scott

They refused to travel to the Superdome with other tourists after they were told it would be unsafe.

Instead, staff and guests barricaded the hotel doors and at night men took it in turns to patrol in case anyone broke in.

Mr Scott told BBC Radio 4's The World at One they received no help from the authorities and were forced to fend from themselves.

He said police officers only appeared to patrol the city between 0900 and 1700 local time, leaving people in the hotel to fend for themselves after dark.

"You would hear shots ringing out during the night and that was one of the most worrying things, because we had no security," he said.

No licence

Asked what support they did receive, Mr Scott said: "Nothing. The only information we got from anybody in authority was if a policeman walked past and we shouted to them out of the windows.

"The only information we ever got off them was negative: 'Don't go here, don't go there'. There was no, 'Are you OK? Are you safe? Have you got water?'.

"I couldn't describe how bad the authorities were."

The Scott family spent a few days in Texas with the family who drove them out of the city.

They had been unable to hire a car and drive themselves out because neither had taken their driving licence.


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