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In New Orleans, expectations low, frustrations high

 |  NCR Today

"Anger rises over failures." That headline screamed out at me from The Times-Picayune as I arrived at the airport in New Orleans. News was spreading that BP's latest attempt, as The Times Picayune described it, "to contain the oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico and fouling Louisiana wetlands."

Expectations that the next plan to contain the flow are low and frustrations are high. That seems to be the mantra repeated again and again when the oil spill is discussed. And fear of the unknown.

I am in New Orleans for next few days to gain some on the ground insight into this disaster. Today I will accompanying a team from the New Orleans archdiocese Catholic Charities touring their "Oil Leak Humanitarian Response Sites." There are five sites so far.

One thing that hits me very early is that although much of the rest of the country has been following this news story on and off for awhile, people down here have been living with this disaster for six weeks. Six weeks and no end in sight.

"It has already gone on a long time," Margaret Dubuisson, communications director for New Orleans Catholic Charities told me. " The fishermen in our communities are very independent. They are very used to putting food on the table, earning a living and taking care of their families and never asking for help. The fact that they have to now reach out because of circumstances completely beyond their control is devastating for them mentally.

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"We are hearing a lot of stories from wives from fisherman from family members that depression has set it. The anxiety and the fear of not knowing how knowing how long this is going to go on that the long term impact is going to be is weighing very heavily on these folks," Dubuisson said.

And now, apparently, they will have to live with the unknown until August.

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July 4-17, 2014

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