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WASHINGTON - The Jefferson Parish president's emotional retelling of a mother's desperate calls from a New Orleans nursing home included details that conflict with the timeline of the tragedy.
The story, of a colleague's mother begging her son for rescue as flood waters rose after Hurricane Katrina, came to prominence on Sunday, Sept. 4, when Aaron Broussard, president of Jefferson Parish in New Orleans, was interviewed by Tim Russert on NBC's Meet the Press. (MSNBC is a Microsoft-NBC joint venture.)
New details and interviews with the son whose mother died in the flood show that the tragedy unfolded from Saturday through Monday, Aug. 29 — not Monday through Friday, Sept. 2 as recounted by Broussard. The owners of the nursing home were indicted Tuesday for the deaths of more than 30 residents, which officials say occurred on Aug. 29.
The week after Hurricane Katrina hit, the president of Jefferson Parish (search) outside New Orleans, Aaron Broussard (search), complained on national TV that the federal response was taking too long. He broke down in tears as he said, "[A colleague's] mother was trapped in St. Bernard nursing home and every day [after the storm] she called him and said, 'Are you coming, son?'" Broussard said that each day, the son promised his mother, "Somebody's coming to get you." Then, Broussard said, "She drowned Friday night," four days after the hurricane hit.
But it now turns out that, according to new reports, the mother never called her son for help, and, what's more, she died the day the hurricane hit.