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Alex Cabrero ReportingWe hear all the time from rescuers and evacuees from the Gulf Coast that you can't imagine what it's really like unless you're there. Our own Alex Cabrero was there. He's back now with a unique look at what it was like to actually cover the stories.
The one thing you just can't get from television is smell. You could smell garbage, raw sewage, and in one place in Slidell, Louisiana you could smell rotting flesh. Some houses underwater hadn't had a rescue crew arrive yet.
It's not a pretty thought, but then again, none of this is pretty. We brought along a camcorder to record how we went about bringing you some stories.
Marc Weaver: "I'm not even sure I'll get gas when I get to the pumps."
That's Marc Weaver, the photographer who traveled with me to the Gulf Coast. To cover stories we need gas to get around, and that's a luxury. We waited in line for close to two and a half hours for gas.
Many filled jugs for their generators because there was no electricity. That was obvious at night when it was pitch black. When we slept Marc took the back of our vehicle, I got the parking lot.
In the morning we found ants invading our food supply. It was only crackers and potato chips, but it left us with barely anything. Fortunately, we found the one Sam's Club that was open; it was another two-hour wait just to get more food.
We didn't realize how much we missed air conditioning and it seemed everybody was buying a generator. To get the stories back to Utah, we used an NBC satellite truck. We edited the stories in the middle of what used to be a busy area -- now it's nothing. At one point an electric fire knocked out our satellite truck so we had to use another one.
On our last night the sunset was beautiful, but an even better sight was the airport in Birmingham, Alabama; we knew we'd soon be back home. We felt guilty about coming back home because we knew the people we were leaving didn't have a home. It's nice to be back here in Salt Lake City, but we fell guilty at the same time.