They are interviewing a woman from NO. She says she has a message for George Bush.
"George W. Bush, you will never get my vote"
1. George Bush is a second term President. He will never run for office again.
2. You never would have voted for him to begin with.
Yea, I seen that one!
LOL....now that's funny.
I'm sure he is sitting at home with tears rolling down his face now though.
Yep, saw it too.
Somehow it escapes me why I should feel too sorry for the idiots who were told to evacuate & they failed to do so? Living in a city BELOW sea level? Hello?
I reserve my feelings for the poor kids & those who were in hospitals. The rest can go fuck their selves, IMO.
WHAT A CLUELESS BITCH.
Such an educated and well informed citizen is she.
She no doubt hated George Bush before this happened and used this disaster as an excuse to blame him for even more. Typical New Orleans asshole. I'd bet the generation before her and the generation after her are on the government dole.
YO....MY M.R.E. BE COLD FOO !!!
Well said - a huge +1!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Sept. 1, 2005, 8:04PM
The foretelling of a deadly disaster in New Orleans
FEMA ranked hurricane scenario highly likely in '01
By ERIC BERGER
Editor's note: This article was originally published on Dec. 1, 2001, in the Houston Chronicle. Because of its relevance to the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina, it is being republished.
New Orleans is sinking.
And its main buffer from a hurricane, the protective Mississippi River delta, is quickly eroding away, leaving the historic city perilously close to disaster.
So vulnerable, in fact, that earlier this year the Federal Emergency Management Agency ranked the potential damage to New Orleans as among the three likeliest, most catastrophic disasters facing this country.
The other two? A massive earthquake in San Francisco, and, almost prophetically, a terrorist attack on New York City.
The New Orleans hurricane scenario may be the deadliest of all.
In the face of an approaching storm, scientists say, the city's less-than-adequate evacuation routes would strand 250,000 people or more, and probably kill one of 10 left behind as the city drowned under 20 feet of water. Thousands of refugees could land in Houston.
Economically, the toll would be shattering.
Southern Louisiana produces one-third of the country's seafood, one-fifth of its oil and one-quarter of its natural gas. The city's tourism, lifeblood of the French Quarter, would cease to exist. The Big Easy might never recover.
And, given New Orleans' precarious perch, some academics wonder if it should be rebuilt at all.
It's been 36 years since Hurricane Betsy buried New Orleans 8 feet deep. Since then a deteriorating ecosystem and increased development have left the city in an ever more precarious position. Yet the problem went unaddressed for decades by a laissez-faire government, experts said.
"To some extent, I think we've been lulled to sleep," said Marc Levitan, director of Louisiana State University's hurricane center.
Hurricane season ended Friday, and for the second straight year no hurricanes hit the United States. But the season nonetheless continued a long-term trend of more active seasons, forecasters said. Tropical Storm Allison became this country's most destructive tropical storm ever.
Yet despite the damage Allison wrought upon Houston, dropping more than 3 feet of water in some areas, a few days later much of the city returned to normal as bloated bayous drained into the Gulf of Mexico. The same storm dumped a mere 5 inches on New Orleans, nearly overwhelming the city's pump system. If an Allison-type storm were to strike New Orleans, or a Category 3 storm or greater with at least 111 mph winds, the results would be cataclysmic, New Orleans planners said.
"Any significant water that comes into this city is a dangerous threat," Walter Maestri, Jefferson Parish emergency management director, told Scientific American for an October article.
"Even though I have to plan for it, I don't even want to think about the loss of life a huge hurricane would cause."
New Orleans is essentially a bowl ringed by levees that protect the city from the Mississippi River to its south and Lake Pontchartrain to the north. The bottom of the bowl is 14 feet below sea level, and efforts to keep it dry are only digging a deeper hole.
During routine rainfalls the city's dozens of pumps push water uphill into the lake. This, in turn, draws water from the ground, further drying the ground and sinking it deeper, a problem known as subsidence.
This problem also faces Houston as water wells have sucked the ground dry. Houston's solution is a plan to convert to surface drinking water. For New Orleans, eliminating pumping during a rainfall is not an option, so the city continues to sink.
A big storm, scientists said, would likely block four of five evacuation routes long before it hit. Those left behind would have no power or transportation, and little food or medicine, and no prospects for a return to normal any time soon.
"The bowl would be full," Levitan said. "There's simply no place for the water to drain."
Estimates for pumping the city dry after a huge storm vary from six to 16 weeks. Hundreds of thousands would be homeless, their residences destroyed.
The only solution, scientists, politicians and other Louisiana officials agree, is to take large-scale steps to minimize the risks, such as rebuilding the protective delta.
Every two miles of marsh between New Orleans and the Gulf reduces a storm surge — which in some cases is 20 feet or higher — by half a foot.
In 1990, the Breaux Act, named for its author, Sen. John Breaux, D-La., created a task force of several federal agencies to address the severe wetlands loss in coastal Louisiana. The act has brought about $40 million a year for wetland restoration projects, but it hasn't been enough.
"It's kind of been like trying to give aspirin to a cancer patient," said Len Bahr, director of Louisiana Gov. Mike Foster's coastal activities office.
The state loses about 25 square miles of land a year, the equivalent of about one football field every 15 minutes. The fishing industry, without marshes, swamps and fertile wetlands, could lose a projected $37 billion by the year 2050.
University of New Orleans researchers studied the impact of Breaux Act projects on the vanishing wetlands and estimated that only 2 percent of the loss has been averted. Clearly, Bahr said, there is a need for something much bigger. There is some evidence this finally may be happening.
A consortium of local, state and federal agencies is studying a $2 billion to $3 billion plan to divert sediment from the Mississippi River back into the delta. Because the river is leveed all the way to the Gulf, where sediment is dumped into deep water, nothing is left to replenish the receding delta. Other possible projects include restoration of barrier reefs and perhaps a large gate to prevent Lake Pontchartrain from overflowing and drowning the city.
All are multibillion-dollar projects. A plan to restore the Florida Everglades attracted $4 billion in federal funding, but the state had to match it dollar for dollar. In Louisiana, so far, there's only been a willingness to match 15 or 25 cents.
"Our state still looks for a 100 percent federal bailout, but that's just not going to happen," said University of New Orleans geologist Shea Penland, a delta expert.
"We have an image and credibility problem. We have to convince our country that they need to take us seriously, that they can trust us to do a science-based restoration program."
Berger is a Chronicle reporter.
That's almost as good as the news chick I heard tell people not to return to NO because "the power is off so the toilets wouldn't flush and there's no food." That's where a good education will get you.
It will now...and it will cost more now than it would have before Katrina moved in...Hindsight is freaken 20/20, no?
Natural Hazards Observer
Vol. XXIX No. 2 November 2004
Next Page | Table of Contents
Disasters Waiting to Happen . . . Sixth in a Series
In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, author Shirley Laska can be reached at 2005RSS@louisiana.edu.
What if Hurricane Ivan Had Not
Missed New Orleans?
Author’s Note: This column was originally intended to be the final disaster in the “Disasters Waiting to Happen” series. As I was developing the hypothetical situation depicting a devastating hurricane striking New Orleans, Louisiana, the disaster waiting to happen threatened to become a reality: Hurricane Ivan, a category 4 hurricane (with 140 mph winds) fluctuating to a category 5 (up to 155 mph winds), was slowly moving directly toward New Orleans. Forecasters were predicting a one-in-four chance that Ivan would remain on this direct path and would be an “extreme storm” at landfall. In reality, the storm veered to the north and made landfall east of Mobile Bay, Alabama, causing devastation and destruction well into the central Gulf shoreline and throughout the Southeast and the Mid-Atlantic states.
What if Ivan Had Hit New Orleans?
New Orleans was spared, this time, but had it not been, Hurricane Ivan would have:
Pushed a 17-foot storm surge into Lake Pontchartrain;
Caused the levees between the lake and the city to overtop and fill the city “bowl” with water from lake levee to river levee, in some places as deep as 20 feet;
Flooded the north shore suburbs of Lake Pontchartrain with waters pushing as much as seven miles inland; and
Inundated inhabited areas south of the Mississippi River.
Up to 80 percent of the structures in these flooded areas would have been severely damaged from wind and water. The potential for such extensive flooding and the resulting damage is the result of a levee system that is unable to keep up with the increasing flood threats from a rapidly eroding coastline and thus unable to protect the ever-subsiding landscape.
Researchers have estimated that prior to a “big one,” approximately 700,000 residents of the greater New Orleans area (out of 1.2 million) would evacuate. In the case of Hurricane Ivan, officials estimate that up to 600,000 evacuated from metropolitan New Orleans between daybreak on Monday, September 13 and noon on Wednesday, September 15, when the storm turned and major roads finally started to clear.
To aid in the evacuation, transportation officials instituted contraflow evacuation for the first time in the area’s history whereby both lanes of a 12-mile stretch of Interstate 10 were used to facilitate the significantly increased outbound flow of traffic toward the northwest and Baton Rouge. The distance of the contraflow was limited due to state police concerns about the need for staff to close the exits. And, although officials were initially pleased with the results, evacuees felt the short distance merely shifted the location of the major jams.
These feelings were justified by the amount of time it took residents to evacuate—up to 11 hours to go the distance usually traveled in less than 1.5. For many who evacuated into Texas, total evacuation time frequently exceeded 20 hours. Since the storm, a consensus has developed that to alleviate this congestion much more secondary highway coordination is necessary throughout the state, contraflow needs to be considered for much greater distances, residents who are able and willing to evacuate early must be doubly encouraged to do so, families with multiple cars need to be discouraged from taking more than one unless they are needed to accommodate evacuees, and all modes of transportation in their various configurations must be fully considered for the contributions they can make to a safe and effective evacuation.
The major challenge to evacuation is the extremely limited number of evacuation routes, which is the result of the same topography and hydrology responsible for the area’s high level of hurricane risk. The presence of the Mississippi River, several lakes and bays, and associated marshes and swamps necessitates very expensive roadway construction techniques that are generally destructive to the environment, making the addition of more arteries increasingly challenging. This problem of limited evacuation routes also plagues the rest of the delta plain of southeast and south central Louisiana.
The fact that 600,000 residents evacuated means an equal number did not. Recent evacuation surveys show that two thirds of nonevacuees with the means to evacuate chose not to leave because they felt safe in their homes. Other nonevacuees with means relied on a cultural tradition of not leaving or were discouraged by negative experiences with past evacuations.
For those without means, the medically challenged, residents without personal transportation, and the homeless, evacuation requires significant assistance. The medically challenged often rely on life support equipment and are in such fragile states of health that they can only be moved short distances to medically equipped shelters. While a large storm-resistant structure with appropriate equipment has yet to be constructed or retrofitted, the Superdome was used to shelter nonevacuees during Ivan.
Residents who did not have personal transportation were unable to evacuate even if they wanted to. Approximately 120,000 residents (51,000 housing units x 2.4 persons/unit) do not have cars. A proposal made after the evacuation for Hurricane Georges to use public transit buses to assist in their evacuation out of the city was not implemented for Ivan. If Ivan had struck New Orleans directly it is estimated that 40-60,000 residents of the area would have perished.
Unwilling to merely accept this reality, emergency managers and representatives of nongovernmental disaster organizations, local universities, and faith based organizations have formed a working group to engage additional faith-based organizations in developing ride-sharing programs between congregation members with cars and those without. In the wake of Ivan’s near miss, this faith-based initiative has become a catalyst in the movement to make evacuation assistance for marginalized groups (those without means of evacuation) a top priority for all levels of government.
To the Rescue
If a hurricane of a magnitude similar to Ivan does strike New Orleans, the challenges surrounding rescue efforts for those who have not evacuated will be different from other coastal areas. Rescue teams would have to don special breathing equipment to protect themselves from floodwaters contaminated with chemicals and toxins released from commercial sources within the city and the petrochemical plants that dot the river’s edge. Additionally, tank cars carrying hazardous materials, which constantly pass through the city, would likely be damaged, leaking their contents into the floodwater and adding to the “brew.” The floodwater could become so polluted that the Environmental Protection Agency might consider it to be hazardous waste and prohibit it from being pumped out of the leveed areas into the lake and marshes until treated.
Regional and national rescue resources would have to respond as rapidly as possible and would require augmentation by local private vessels (assuming some survived). And, even with this help, federal and state governments have estimated that it would take 10 days to rescue all those stranded within the city. No shelters within the city would be free of risk from rising water. Because of this threat, the American Red Cross will not open shelters in New Orleans during hurricanes greater than category 2; staffing them would put employees and volunteers at risk. For Ivan, only the Superdome was made available as a refuge of last resort for the medically challenged and the homeless.
In this hypothetical storm scenario, it is estimated that it would take nine weeks to pump the water out of the city, and only then could assessments begin to determine what buildings were habitable or salvageable. Sewer, water, and the extensive forced drainage pumping systems would be damaged. National authorities would be scrambling to build tent cities to house the hundreds of thousands of refugees unable to return to their homes and without other relocation options. In the aftermath of such a disaster, New Orleans would be dramatically different, and likely extremely diminished, from what it is today. Unlike the posthurricane development surges that have occurred in coastal beach communities, the cost of rebuilding the city of New Orleans’ dramatically damaged infrastructure would reduce the likelihood of a similar economic recovery. And, the unique culture of this American original that contributed jazz and so much more to the American culture would be lost.
Accepting the Reality
Should this disaster become a reality, it would undoubtedly be one of the greatest disasters, if not the greatest, to hit the United States, with estimated costs exceeding 100 billion dollars. According to the American Red Cross, such an event could be even more devastating than a major earthquake in California. Survivors would have to endure conditions never before experienced in a North American disaster.
Loss of the coastal marshes that dampened earlier storm surges puts the city at increasing risk to hurricanes. Eighty years of substantial river leveeing has prevented spring flood deposition of new layers of sediment into the marshes, and a similarly lengthy period of marsh excavation activities related to oil and gas exploration and transportation canals for the petrochemical industry have threatened marsh integrity. Sea level rise is expected to further accelerate the loss of these valuable coastal wetlands, the loss of which jeopardizes the fabric of Louisiana communities by threatening the harvesting of natural resources, an integral part of coastal culture. Concerted efforts by state and federal agencies are underway to develop appropriate restoration technologies and adequate funding to implement them.
The Future is Now
These solutions may not be able to overtake the speed of coastal loss. Strong storms not only threaten human lives, but also the physical coast itself. National hurricane experts predict more active and powerful hurricane seasons in the Atlantic basin for the next 10-40 years. The hurricane scenario for New Orleans that these converging risks portend is almost unimaginable. Hurricane Ivan had the potential to make the unthinkable a reality. Next time New Orleans may not be so fortunate.
Center for Hazards Assessment, Response and Technology
University of New Orleans
Natural Hazards Research and Applications Information Center - Institute of Behavioral Science
University of Colorado at Boulder | Last Modified: September 1, 2005
Sept. 1, 2005, 9:22PM
Flood control, R&R, war
Flood funds cut
George Bush's war of choice in Iraq is directly responsible for the worsening disaster in New Orleans. In the current budget, to pay for the war, Bush budgeted only one-sixth of the amount of money that New Orleans officials said they needed.
This was in spite of the fact that it was well-known that a New Orleans flood was among the three most likely catastrophic disasters facing the country. For fiscal year 2006, the New Orleans district of the Army Corps of Engineers is facing a $71.2 million reduction in federal funding.
George Bush ignored the impending disaster. He has no leadership for real people and real problems here at home.
MICHAEL C. ENGELHART Bellaire
I think it's way off base to lay all this a the Bush administrations feet
(the Klinton administration obvioulsy did very little)
the Federal government & CONGRESS has known about this potential(looming?)
disaster for about a decade & did very little proactive work to mitigate the
A truly educated voter/parasite
What do they think John Kerry would have done? Nuked the hurricane while it was still out at sea? Chartered a boat to get the idiots out of the French Quarter? Waved a magic wand and drained the streets? Maybe he could have reenforced the levee system in New Orleans.
I find it surprising that the people down their haven't started demanding that the rich people in this country shell out money to rebuild their city. Bill Gates could probably put one hell of a dent in the repair bill.
Maybe next they can blame the war in Iraq for their poverty. Although many of them seem to be able bodied and capable of serving in the military themselves. The pay and benefits are better than welfare, and they seem to like shooting people.
I turned off 24/7 news for good tonight. I'm getting very close to developing a 'fuck 'em all' attitude but I know the media is doing thier level best to focus on nothing but what went wrong in NO. There are others that need help too and I don't want to turn a cold shoulder to them over these assholes.
I've had it. I'm sending a note to FOX to tell them why I'm out of the news watching business for good. I can't listen to people stand and pick at the men and women working thier asses off around the clock to save people. I'm done.
You better believe that woman will be the FIRST one at the bank cashing her fuggin check when the money starts rolling in. How many insurance claims will have the "Crown Jewels of New Orleans" listed as stolen?
Then, when the .gov asks her to substantiate her claim and prove she HAD the "Crown Jewels of New Orleans", she's going to bitch that she lost it and STILL needs to be compensated... My dad was in the insurance biz for 35 years. I heard about all kinds of fraud...
Why didn't they just have a mandatory evacuation before the storm hit?
he could skip a term and then run again... Bush 2012!!!
What about the asshat governor who should have put foot to ass to get the National Guard in there, and bitch slap some sense into that idiot mayor.
as if... lol can she spell vote?
My Mother once told me "Stupid is as Stupid Does."
Stupid people crying and bitching about a situation they put themselves in, Stupid.
Thats what Democrats do. I dont know the psycological term, but I bet there is one for it. They secretly desire for a FEd Gov that is actually all that powerful and in some ways expect it be becuase thats what they want. When it lets them down by proving the .gov though big, isnt the monster they want it to be. They feel insecure becuase they need a big brother type of gov to be responsible for them.
It is more than evident every electiosn, especially the last one.
I widh the Pres would get on TV and flat out tell Americans that the Dems are keeping them repressed with their handout programs. Hit them where it hurts with the aweful truth. Many hate the repubs, but they hate being slaves even more. Problem is, they need to see the chains on them, they are too blind to see them becuase of the smooth talk and free handouts. Its like the good slaver thing. Feed your slaves well, give them a pat on the back all the while you are reminding them that had it not been for you, they would have nothing. The Democrats have perfected the way they own people, its so bad now even they believe they are innocent. Then again maybe things really havent changed. This time they blinded the slaves into thinking they are free. No need to leave the plantation, everything you need is here. It happened in the past. Many slaves never left the plantations and though technically they were free, they were still the slaves they always were. Really the only thing that has changed now is they enslave all races now.
Democrats are disgusting.
Sorry if I got this locked.
? When did they repeal the 22nd Amendment?
Fixed it for ya
I finally saw her.
What if you are too poor to evacuate?
Too poor? Those are usually the first to get help evacuating. Those with money, usually leave. How much money does one need to get out 4 days before it hits? Walking is free.
U.S. troops abroad to stay put despite hurricane
National Guards provide disaster relief without members deployed to Iraq
The Associated Press
Updated: 11:48 a.m. ET Sept. 1, 2005
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates - There will be no large-scale shifting of U.S. troops from Iraq and Afghanistan to help with disaster relief in Louisiana and Mississippi, a U.S. Central Command spokesman said Thursday.
Lt. Col. Trey Cate said top military officials are exploring ways to bring individual troops home to take care of families in need without altering the balance of forces in the war zones.
But top commanders are unsure if homecoming service members can yet visit areas stricken by Hurricane Katrina due to flooding and evacuations that are under way.
“There are lots of different options of getting soldiers back there,” said Cate, who is based in Qatar. “We’re going to do our best to take care of the troops and their families.”
In Baghdad, some 3,700 soldiers from the Louisiana National Guard’s 256th Enhanced Separate Brigade were preparing to return to their base in Lafayette, La., after spending nearly a year in combat in Iraq.
The 256th is expected to begin the trip home within weeks, and would be available for disaster relief at the discretion of Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco, said Lt. Col. Steve Boylan, spokesman for the U.S. military command in Baghdad.
“They are not going to redeploy early as they are already in the process of redeployment,” Boylan said.
Navy Cmdr. Jeff Breslau, a U.S. 5th Fleet spokesman in Bahrain, said no U.S. warships in the Gulf would be redirected to disaster relief in the Gulf of Mexico, but individual sailors with family emergencies could be granted home leave.
National Guards deal with shortfall
National Guard units called up for rescue work in Louisiana and Mississippi had to make do without members currently deployed in Iraq or Afghanistan.
National Guard troops from Alabama and Wisconsin, along with other law enforcers, were ordered to deal with the shortfall.
Most Americans identify the National Guard with providing emergency services during natural disasters. But in the past three years, numerous Guard units have been sent to Iraq to fight alongside regular forces.
The Louisiana brigade watched the disaster unfold on television as they finished their nearly yearlong deployment to Camp Liberty, west of Baghdad. The troops are expected to leave Iraq by November, if their deployment is not extended.
Boylan said the Army was providing the Louisiana Guardsmen extra Internet and phone lines to contact family and friends affected by the hurricane.
Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle agreed to send 500 Wisconsin National Guard troops to Louisiana Wednesday to help out. The Wisconsin Guard itself is stretched, with 1,700 members serving in Iraq and Afghanistan and another 1,000 mobilizing for deployment overseas.
Blanco said she has asked the White House to send more rescue workers to free up the 4,000 National Guard troops already in New Orleans to stop looting and return law and order to the flooded city.
A brigade of Mississippi National Guard soldiers also remains in Iraq, attached to the II Marine Expeditionary Force.
More than 1,600 Mississippi National Guardsmen were activated to help with the recovery, and the neighboring Alabama Guard was planning to send two battalions to Mississippi to help cover the shortfall.
© 2005 The Associated Press.
It was crappy timing for most of them, if the storm had come a couple days later they would have all had their government checks by then, and would have had sufficient funds to get out.
Was FEMA ready for a disaster like Katrina?
Critics cite shift in priorities following the 9/11 attacks
By Lisa Myers
Senior investigative correspondent
Updated: 6:46 p.m. ET Sept. 2, 2005
WASHINGTON - The terrorist attacks of 2001 changed the priorities and focus of federal emergency planners. Former officials say 9/11 diverted attention from natural disasters such as Katrina, which had been the primary focus of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
A government document obtained by NBC News shows just how radically the focus shifted to terrorism. It is dated July 2004 and lists 222 upcoming FEMA and homeland security exercises scheduled to prepare for national emergencies. Only two involve hurricanes.
"And even in both of those cases, they're dealing with what would happen if there were a terrorist attack associated with a hurricane event," says NBC News analyst William Arkin.
What's more, it appears that the federal government did not follow up on an exercise last year that mostly predicted what happened in New Orleans — devastating flooding and hundreds of thousands stranded.
The scenario was dubbed Hurricane Pam: 120 mph winds, a massive storm surge, 20 feet of water in the city, 80 percent of buildings damaged, refugees on rooftops, possibly gun violence that would slow the rescue.
"What bothers me the most is all the people who've died unnecessarily," says Ivor Van Heerden, a hurricane researcher from Louisiana State University who ran the exercise.
Van Heerden says the federal government didn't take it seriously.
"Those FEMA officials wouldn't listen to me," he says. "Those Corps of Engineers people giggled in the back of the room when we tried to present information."
One recommendation from the exercise: Tent cities should be prepared for the homeless.
"Their response to me was: 'Americans don't live in tents,' and that was about it," recalls Van Heerden.
However, others say it's unfair to blame the federal government, that no amount of planning could have prepared for this.
"We have trained against similar scenarios, but it's not the same as a crisis unfolding before your eyes," says Frank Cilluffo, a former Bush administration aide for homeland security.
Homeland security officials also argue that no one predicted that flooding and devastation would encompass not just New Orleans but the entire Gulf Coast.
© 2005 MSNBC.com
Computer models predicted disaster
New Orleans scenario 'well anticipated,' experts say, so what happened?
Updated: 8:02 p.m. ET Sept. 2, 2005
WASHINGTON - Virtually everything that has happened in New Orleans since Hurricane Katrina struck was predicted by experts and in computer models, so emergency management specialists wonder why authorities were so unprepared.
"The scenario of a major hurricane hitting New Orleans was well anticipated, predicted and drilled around," said Clare Rubin, an emergency management consultant who also teaches at the Institute for Crisis, Disaster, and Risk Management at George Washington University.
Computer models developed at Louisiana State University and other institutions made detailed projections of what would happen if water flowed over the levees protecting the city or if they failed.
In July 2004, more than 40 federal, state, local and volunteer organizations practiced this very scenario in a five-day simulation code-named "Hurricane Pam", where they had to deal with an imaginary storm that destroyed over half a million buildings in New Orleans and forced the evacuation of a million residents.
At the end of the exercise Ron Castleman, regional director for the Federal Emergency Management Agency declared: "We made great progress this week in our preparedness efforts.
"Disaster response teams developed action plans in critical areas such as search and rescue, medical care, sheltering, temporary housing, school restoration and debris management. These plans are essential for quick response to a hurricane but will also help in other emergencies," he said.
In light of that, said disaster expert Bill Waugh of Georgia State University, "It's inexplicable how unprepared for the flooding they were." He said a slow decline over several years in funding for emergency management was partly to blame.
Levee failure predicted
In comments on Thursday, President George W. Bush said, "I don't think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees."
But Louisiana State University engineer Joseph Suhayda and others have warned for years that defenses could fail. In 2002, the New Orleans Times Picayune published a five-part series on "The Big One" examining what might happen if they did.
It predicted that 200,000 people or more would be unwilling or unable to heed evacuation orders and thousands would die, that people would be housed in the Superdome, that aid workers would find it difficult to gain access to the city as roads became impassable, as well as many other of the consequences that actually unfolded after Katrina hit this week.
Craig Marks who runs Blue Horizons Consulting, an emergency management training company in North Carolina, said the authorities had mishandled the evacuation, neglecting to help those without transportation to leave the city.
"They could have packed people on trains or buses and gotten them out before the hurricane struck. They had enough time and access to federal funds. And now, we find we do not have a proper emergency communications infrastructure so aid workers get out into the field and they can't talk to one another," he said.
Most of those trapped by the floods in the city of some 500,000 people are the poor who had little chance to leave.
Ernest Sternberg, a professor of urban and regional planning at the University of Buffalo, said law enforcement agencies were often more eager to invest in high tech "toys" than basic communications.
"It's well known that communications go down in disasters but people on the frontlines still don't invest in them. A lot of the investments that have been made in homeland security have been misspent," he said.
Several experts also believe the decision to make FEMA a part of the Department of Homeland Security, created after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, was a major mistake. Rubin said FEMA functioned well in the 1990s as a small, independent agency.
"Under DHS, it was downgraded, buried in a couple of layers of bureaucracy, and terrorism prevention got all the attention and most of the funds," she said.
Former FEMA director James Lee Witt testified to Congress in March 2004: "I am extremely concerned that the ability of our nation to prepare for and respond to disasters has been sharply eroded.
"I hear from emergency managers, local and state leaders, and first responders nearly every day that the FEMA they knew and worked well with has now disappeared. In fact one state emergency manager told me, 'It is like a stake has been driven into the heart of emergency management,'" he said.
Underlying the situation has been the general reluctance of government at any level to invest in infrastructure or emergency management, said David McEntire, who teaches emergency management at the University of North Texas.
"No-one cares about disasters until they happen. That is a political fact of life," he said.
"Emergency management is woefully underfunded in this nation. That covers not only first responders but also warning, evacuation, damage assessment, volunteer management, donation management and recovery and mitigation issues," he said.
(c) Reuters 2005. All rights reserved.
Now THATS funny.... What a dumb bitch...
Are you going to cut and paste this crap into every hurricane thread?
Dude, what's with you? I've read your posts in the other related threads and am beginning to think you are the official spokesman for looting lowlifes.
Too poor to evacuate, now THAT was dumb. Killer storm approaches, you've a week advance notice. Start walking or thumbing! Duhhhh..... Doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out "Gee, I had better moe and joe shuffle my ass out of the danger zone"...
I can try if you like but near as I can remember I've only replied to
TWO Katrina threads the past week
not to mention he's a typical cocksucking homo liberal!
This event serves as a reminder that self-sufficiency and self-responsibility are key at every level. The residents of NO, the city government, and the state government are all showing off how screwed you can be when you aren't responsibly self-sufficient. Wake up world: if you choose to be irresponsible and dependant upon whatever's bigger than you, then you have no control over your own destiny and are asking for getting screwed over in bad times.
I can rest assured that no one will vote for George Bush ever again.
These people are under 10k a year earners...there are no jobs where they are. Yup...walkin's free...but where do you walk to???? There were no hotel within the "safe zone" with vacancies and none of them started at less than 100/nite. Even if these people had SOME money saved they'd never be a ble to afford it.
It's not as easy as some are making it sound...real easy to sit here in relative comfort sayin "I woulda done this..."
And why the hell are we, the American tax payers, going to rebuild this "city" that should be relinquished to the sea?