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Rojo
09-02-2005, 09:14 PM
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Images of desperate people clamoring for food dropped from military helicopters, armed soldiers in the streets and bodies floating in fetid water are usually associated with the world's poorest countries.

But this time, the scenes of death and despair are coming from a major city in the world's richest economy.

The suffering of New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina has shaken even hardened development experts at the World Bank, who deal with extreme poverty and disaster daily.

"In many ways this is turned into a developing country," said Margaret Arnold, the World Bank's natural disaster expert, who has dealt with some of the world's biggest natural disasters, including the Asian tsunami.

"I am shocked that this is happening in the U.S."

Arnold said Americans must take a hard look at how events have unfolded in the past few days.

"When all of this has calmed down, a lot of U.S. cities will have to do some real soul-searching," she said.

Arnold, whose sister lost her home in the hurricane, said it was clear the city was unprepared to weather the storm, although officials had long warned such a disaster was inevitable.

She believes that even in some of the world's poorest nations, where disasters are commonplace, government officials would have moved more quickly to evacuate people.

"One thing we tell our client countries is to have clear institutional arrangements in place for having rapid response and effective coordination," Arnold said.

"This has been the first real test since FEMA (U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency) was put under Homeland Security and obviously it didn't work and I think they will want to reexamine how they respond to disasters."

Just as in the developing world, it is the poorest residents who have suffered most this time.

"It is the poor that are hit the hardest and they have the least coping mechanisms and probably don't have insurance," said Arnold. "Their homes are completely gone and they probably won't be able to rebuild and regain their livelihoods."

Experience has taught the bank that rebuilding after disasters can take years and billions of dollars.

"This is going to take some time and the poorest will not recover," she said, estimating economic costs could be well above $25 billion.

"With disasters, the poor are kept in this kind of cyclical poverty, because even the smallest events that don't register on the international scene impact them tremendously."

One positive in the rebuilding of New Orleans is that it should give authorities a chance to correct faults in the system that allowed the floodwaters to spill into the city.

"In (the) tsunami-affected region, we are trying to do that, to say 'This is an opportunity to go about things the right way and take the time to do it right,"' Arnold said.

RFS62
09-02-2005, 09:26 PM
I think it needs to be said that the mistakes of the past three days, the very public shortcomings, are not a reflection of the thousands of people involved in this relief effort.

99.5% of everything that's happened was excellent. The dedication of the search and rescue teams, the tireless efforts of the FEMA personnel on the ground and in the dome.... beyond reproach.

The preparation and hard work getting the supply pipeline primed before the hurricane made landfall set a new standard. It really looked like FEMA and the co-ordinated efforts of all the agencies involved had done everything possible to respond to a major event that had not even taken place yet.

And after Monday, all involved thought New Orleans had dodged a major bullet. The focus was ready to shift to Mississippi, ground zero of this savage hurricane, and where we will find in the next few days that tremendous loss of life and human suffering occurred.

Then the flooding started. The refugees who could have easily made their way to numerous relief centers were suddenly and unexpectedly cut off. Trapped on their roofs, in their second floors, in their attics... not knowing what was going on in the rest of the city, only in the small sphere of their block or neighborhood.... suddenly realizing they were now in a desparate race against time to get the two basic elements of life, food and water.

The feds were left with several crucial choices. They put all their focus on the search and rescue and hoped that the countless thousands of able bodied survivors could make their way to the dome or the convention center, or simply hold on. They realized that the levee was failing, and threw together a desparate plan to plug the leaks.

They didn't realize that people, the weak and elderly and infirm, were suffering and dying in the brutal August New Orleans heat. They knew it intuitively, but they still had to make choices, tough decisions, and they did.

They didn't have time to watch Fox and CNN and MSNBC all day, like so many of the American public did all day, every day.

They didn't get it. They weren't being politically expedient, they were simply doing the best they could in a terribly confusing and complex situation, where each day seems like a week due to the myriad of critical decisions they're forced to make under the gun.

The crucial error, in 20/20 hindsight, was not getting water and food to the refugees who made their way to the evacuation points. Nothing should have stopped them from doing that. Nothing. No excuse, no logistic problem, nothing should have stopped them from doing that.

They simply didn't understand it soon enough, and when they did, they took too long to DEMAND that it takes top priority.

Those three days of misjudgement will forever be remembered when history writes this story. FEMA will go on to do great things in the next few years of the largest disaster relief effort ever mounted in the United States. What a terrible shame it will be remembered by the pulizer prize winning efforts of telejournalists who documented in graphic detail the suffering of those three days in the Big Easy.

KronoRed
09-02-2005, 09:37 PM
Excellent post RFS

Rojo
09-02-2005, 10:38 PM
I think it needs to be said that the mistakes of the past three days, the very public shortcomings, are not a reflection of the thousands of people involved in this relief effort.

Of course not. Who has said this?

OnBaseMachine
09-03-2005, 01:21 AM
Forecast: Hurricane Season Far From Over Fri Sep 2, 9:09 PM ET

FORT COLLINS, Colo. - Amid the unfolding disaster left by Hurricane Katrina, Colorado State University researchers said Friday they expect more storms over the next two months.

"The very active season we have seen to this point is far from over," researcher Philip Klotzbach said. "We expect that by the time the 2005 hurricane season is over, we will witness seasonal tropical cyclone activity at near-record levels."

The school's hurricane forecast team of William Gray and Klotzbach said there is a 43 percent chance an intense hurricane will hit the U.S. coast in September and a 15 percent chance in October. The long-term average is 27 percent in September and 6 percent in October.

The forecasters predicted five named storms — four of them hurricanes and two of those major — for September, traditionally the most active month for hurricanes. The team predicted three named storms, two hurricanes and one major hurricane in October.

The Atlantic hurricane season already has seen 13 named storms, including Maria, which formed Friday. Four storms became hurricanes. The 50-year average per season from 1950 to 2000 is 9.6 named storms, 5.9 hurricanes and 2.3 intense hurricanes.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20050903/ap_on_sc/katrina_hurricane_forecast_4

OnBaseMachine
09-03-2005, 03:18 AM
I just saw replayed video of Geraldo Rivera and Shepard Smith on Fox News - both are pissed off at the lack of help for the people in the NO Convention Center - Rivera was crying his eyes out.

Here is the writeup on it.


IN KATRINA'S WAKE
Sobbing Geraldo:
Let the people go!
Rivera, Shep Smith make emotional pleas as survivors 'trapped' at convention center

Emotions are running high in the aftermath of catastrophic Hurricane Katrina, not only among the survivors, but also among the media covering the New Orleans Convention Center, considered ground zero for post-storm squalor and mayhem.

Fox News reporter Geraldo Rivera was filled with tears in his eyes and his voice fluttered with sorrow as he made an on-air plea to authorities to allow the estimated 30,000 storm victims at the center to be allowed to move to a safer, cleaner area.

"Let them walk out of here, let them walk the hell out of here!" Rivera sobbed. "Walk to some other town. Walk someplace where you can help 'em. ... These people in the same clothes, where do you think they go to the bathroom? They don't wash their hands, they don't wash their face, these babies. What the hell?"

Rivera made his intense plea on Fox's "Hannity & Colmes" program, at one point holding a young child in his arms on camera.

"There are so many babies here," Rivera said. "Take a look, I want everyone in the world to see. ... Look in the face of the baby. ... People [are] suffering, let them go! ... Let them walk over this damn interstate and let them out of here!"

In the same program from another location, Fox's Shepard Smith explained in a excited negative tone that authorities were preventing survivors from leaving the area.

"[Authorities] have set up a checkpoint at the bottom of this bridge," Smith said, noting the structure was the gateway to other parishes where the quality of life was better. "Anyone who walks up out of that city is turned around."

Smith summed up in an urgent tone the thoughts of the survivors seeking to leave the convention center, exclaiming, "Over there, there's hope, over there, there's electricity, over there, there's food and water. But you cannot go from there to there. The government will not allow you to do it. It's a fact."

http://worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=46131

Reds Nd2
09-03-2005, 09:02 AM
I don't know if anyones posted this yet, but Tulane has canceled the fall semester. I heard about it last night but now I have a link to the story.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9181647/


Katrina forces Tulane to cancel fall semester
New Orleans school encourages 8,000 undergrads to earn credits elsewhere
Updated: 1:51 a.m. ET Sept. 3, 2005
Tulane University canceled its fall semester Friday because of Hurricane Katrina and encouraged its students to take classes at others schools while New Orleans tries to clean up from the flooding.

Across town, the University of New Orleans campus appeared to be about two-thirds above water and the university said it planned to have Internet classes ready by October and satellite campuses open as soon as it could.

Dillard University said it wasn’t ready to give up on the semester either but officials were still considering how to proceed.


The hurricane left as many as 100,000 college students in the New Orleans area reconsidering their fall semester as conditions in the hard-hit city worsened, according to the American Council on Education. Officials said it likely would be months before New Orleans was functioning again.

Several schools already have offered to take in displaced Gulf Coast college students.

To help the students and their universities, the American Council on Education announced guidelines Friday that reflect the financial fears of the waterlogged Gulf Coast schools that don’t want to lose their students for good.

The statement released by the higher education group asked that the schools taking displaced Gulf Coast students in enroll them as visitors rather than transfers. It also asked that they not charge tuition to students who already paid fall tuition. For those who haven’t paid, it said the schools should charge the same tuition as the students’ original schools and send the money to those schools.

Many colleges already had offered to accept students without charging them extra, though the financial details of the offers have not all been clear.

The hurricane has left officials at many of the New Orleans-area colleges struggling to communicate with the outside world.

Tulane and the University of New Orleans both turned to the Internet to announce their plans Friday.

Tulane President Scott Cowen, working from Houston, wrote on the private university’s Web site that the school of 8,000 undergraduates was canceling the fall semester but that it would accept credit from any regionally accredited university and was encouraging students to take courses they would otherwise be taking at Tulane.

School plans to keep sports teams playing
Cowen also said the school would work to keep its sports teams together and continuing to represent Tulane by relying on other schools for practice and playing facilities.

“Our student-athletes are an integral part of this plan. We want our athletes to carry the torch, face, and name of Tulane University during this difficult time,” he said.

The football team set up temporary quarters at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. It’s first game will still be Sept. 17 against Mississippi State.

“It’s something that we want to do for New Orleans,” said Tulane linebacker Antonio Mason.

Marvalene Hughes, president of Dillard University, a historically black college in New Orleans, said she was planning further discussions with staff Friday night but was exploring a range of options and was not yet prepared to give up on the semester.

“I don’t give up that easily,” said Hughes, who has been president for just two months and was staying with family in Alabama.

There was no immediate word from other colleges but Terry Hartle, senior vice president of the Washington-based American Council on Education, said he expected most schools in New Orleans would be closed until at least January.

© 2005 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

M2
09-03-2005, 09:54 AM
RFS, I don't question that the people involved with the aid and rescue have worked tirelessly and always tried to do what they thought was best. My two criticisms of the effort to date is that clearly this nation wasn't prepared for a disaster of this magnitude, particularly in an urban area, and that it took three days before federal authorities managed to acknowledge the inadequacy of the response.

I know many resources were pumped into rescue, but I'm equally sure those rescuers were shuttling back information about the situation on the ground, making FEMA perhaps the first people to know about the tragedy that was unfolding. Also, if you're hoping the able-bodied can manage to get themselves to a central point, shouldn't you have food, water and medical care at that central point? And, given the inadequacy of the Superdome (we knew there was no roof or running water there after the first day), it should have been treated as nothing more than a staging area.

I imagine that once we find out the scope and depth of the human suffering involved in the wake of this hurricane that the people in charge of the emergency effort will be haunted pretty much for the rest of their lives by what they could have done differently. I appreciate that they've done a lot of things right along the way, but I doubt that's a comfort to anyone.

traderumor
09-03-2005, 10:00 AM
Is the media helping or adding to the mayhem?

M2
09-03-2005, 10:22 AM
Is the media helping or adding to the mayhem?

Generally they do neither. They just document it. Though in this case they put a spotlight on some intense human suffering and it probably sped the bureaucratic response by a few days. The federal response for the first few days was that they were on top of the situation and the media made it clear they weren't. One of the toughest things to do is to shake a bureaucracy from its standard operating procedure. I don't care what level of government you're talking about, the standard response is to describe the procedure, to tick off how the bureaucracy functions.

That's not entirely bad. If bureaucracies didn't follow those procedures they'd get even less done, but this was a case of extraordinary circumstances and I'm guessing that by highlighting that fact the media helped drag the bureaucracy into realizing it requires an extraordinary response.

RBA
09-03-2005, 10:29 AM
Great post, M2. Here is what was said by the government and what actually was happening.


The big disconnect on New Orleans

The official version; then there's the in-the-trenches version




NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana (CNN) -- Diverging views of a crumbling New Orleans emerged Thursday, with statements by some federal officials in contradiction with grittier, more desperate views from the streets. By late Friday response to those stranded in the city was more visible.

But the conflicting views on Thursday came within hours, sometimes minutes of each of each other, as reflected in CNN's transcripts. The speakers include Michael Brown, chief of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Homeland Security Director Michael Chertoff, New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin, evacuee Raymond Cooper, CNN correspondents and others. Here's what they had to say:

Conditions in the Convention Center




FEMA chief Brown: We learned about that (Thursday), so I have directed that we have all available resources to get that convention center to make sure that they have the food and water and medical care that they need. (See video of Brown explaining how news reports alerted FEMA to convention center chaos. -- 2:11 (javascript:cnnVideo('play','/video/bestoftv/2005/09/02/soledad.fema.brown.katrina.cnn','/bestoftv');))

Mayor Nagin: The convention center is unsanitary and unsafe, and we are running out of supplies for the 15,000 to 20,000 people. (Hear Nagin's angry demand for soldiers. 1:04 (javascript:cnnVideo('play','/video/us/2005/09/02/sot.nagin.lack.of.response.affl');))

CNN Producer Kim Segal: It was chaos. There was nobody there, nobody in charge. And there was nobody giving even water. The children, you should see them, they're all just in tears. There are sick people. We saw... people who are dying in front of you.

Evacuee Raymond Cooper: Sir, you've got about 3,000 people here in this -- in the Convention Center right now. They're hungry. Don't have any food. We were told two-and-a-half days ago to make our way to the Superdome or the Convention Center by our mayor. And which when we got here, was no one to tell us what to do, no one to direct us, no authority figure. Uncollected corpses



Brown: That's not been reported to me, so I'm not going to comment. Until I actually get a report from my teams that say, "We have bodies located here or there," I'm just not going to speculate.

Segal: We saw one body. A person is in a wheelchair and someone had pushed (her) off to the side and draped just like a blanket over this person in the wheelchair. And then there is another body next to that. There were others they were willing to show us. ( See CNN report, 'People are dying in front of us' -- 4:36 (javascript:cnnVideo('play','/video/us/2005/09/01/lawrence.katrina.new.orleans.cnn');))

Evacuee Cooper: They had a couple of policemen out here, sir, about six or seven policemen told me directly, when I went to tell them, hey, man, you got bodies in there. You got two old ladies that just passed, just had died, people dragging the bodies into little corners. One guy -- that's how I found out. The guy had actually, hey, man, anybody sleeping over here? I'm like, no. He dragged two bodies in there. Now you just -- I just found out there was a lady and an old man, the lady went to nudge him. He's dead. Hospital evacuations



Brown: I've just learned today that we ... are in the process of completing the evacuations of the hospitals, that those are going very well.

CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta: It's gruesome. I guess that is the best word for it. If you think about a hospital, for example, the morgue is in the basement, and the basement is completely flooded. So you can just imagine the scene down there. But when patients die in the hospital, there is no place to put them, so they're in the stairwells. It is one of the most unbelievable situations I've seen as a doctor, certainly as a journalist as well. There is no electricity. There is no water. There's over 200 patients still here remaining. ...We found our way in through a chopper and had to land at a landing strip and then take a boat. And it is exactly ... where the boat was traveling where the snipers opened fire yesterday, halting all the evacuations. ( Watch the video report of corpses stacked in stairwells -- 4:45 (javascript:cnnVideo('play','/video/health/2005/09/02/gupta.new.orleans.hospital.cnn','/health');) )

Dr. Matthew Bellew, Charity Hospital: We still have 200 patients in this hospital, many of them needing care that they just can't get. The conditions are such that it's very dangerous for the patients. Just about all the patients in our services had fevers. Our toilets are overflowing. They are filled with stool and urine. And the smell, if you can imagine, is so bad, you know, many of us had gagging and some people even threw up. It's pretty rough.(Mayor's video: Armed addicts fighting for a fix -- 1:03 (javascript:cnnVideo('play','/video/us/2005/09/02/sot.nagin.looting.drug.addicts.affl');)) Violence and civil unrest



Brown: I've had no reports of unrest, if the connotation of the word unrest means that people are beginning to riot, or you know, they're banging on walls and screaming and hollering or burning tires or whatever. I've had no reports of that.

CNN's Chris Lawrence: From here and from talking to the police officers, they're losing control of the city. We're now standing on the roof of one of the police stations. The police officers came by and told us in very, very strong terms it wasn't safe to be out on the street. (Watch the video report on explosions and gunfire -- 2:12 (javascript:cnnVideo('play','/video/us/2005/09/02/lawrence.katrina.new.orleans.mxf');)) The federal response:



Brown: Considering the dire circumstances that we have in New Orleans, virtually a city that has been destroyed, things are going relatively well.

Homeland Security Director Chertoff: Now, of course, a critical element of what we're doing is the process of evacuation and securing New Orleans and other areas that are afflicted. And here the Department of Defense has performed magnificently, as has the National Guard, in bringing enormous resources and capabilities to bear in the areas that are suffering.

Crowd chanting outside the Convention Center: We want help.

Nagin: They don't have a clue what's going on down there.

Phyllis Petrich, a tourist stranded at the Ritz-Carlton: They are invisible. We have no idea where they are. We hear bits and pieces that the National Guard is around, but where? We have not seen them. We have not seen FEMA officials. We have seen no one. Security



Brown: I actually think the security is pretty darn good. There's some really bad people out there that are causing some problems, and it seems to me that every time a bad person wants to scream of cause a problem, there's somebody there with a camera to stick it in their face. ( See Jack Cafferty's rant on the government's 'bungled' response -- 0:57) (javascript:cnnVideo('play','/video/bestoftv/2005/09/02/sot.katrina.cafferty.rant.cnn');)

Chertoff: In addition to local law enforcement, we have 2,800 National Guard in New Orleans as we speak today. One thousand four hundred additional National Guard military police trained soldiers will be arriving every day: 1,400 today, 1,400 tomorrow and 1,400 the next day.

Nagin: I continue to hear that troops are on the way, but we are still protecting the city with only 1,500 New Orleans police officers, an additional 300 law enforcement personnel, 250 National Guard troops, and other military personnel who are primarily focused on evacuation.

Lawrence: The police are very, very tense right now. They're literally riding around, full assault weapons, full tactical gear, in pickup trucks. Five, six, seven, eight officers. It is a very tense situation here.

http://images.clickability.com/pti/spacer.gif
Find this article at:
http://edition.cnn.com/2005/US/09/02/katrina.response/index.html

traderumor
09-03-2005, 10:49 AM
Generally they do neither. They just document it. Though in this case they put a spotlight on some intense human suffering and it probably sped the bureaucratic response by a few days. The federal response for the first few days was that they were on top of the situation and the media made it clear they weren't. One of the toughest things to do is to shake a bureaucracy from its standard operating procedure. I don't care what level of government you're talking about, the standard response is to describe the procedure, to tick off how the bureaucracy functions.

That's not entirely bad. If bureaucracies didn't follow those procedures they'd get even less done, but this was a case of extraordinary circumstances and I'm guessing that by highlighting that fact the media helped drag the bureaucracy into realizing it requires an extraordinary response.That is assuming the theory of an objective media simply reporting what is going on. I have seen very little coverage of the human suffering in less strategic spots like Mississippi and Alabama. The media is also fueling the race/social status issue. I consider that adding to the mayhem with baseless charges.

RBA
09-03-2005, 10:54 AM
That is assuming the theory of an objective media simply reporting what is going on. I have seen very little coverage of the human suffering in less strategic spots like Mississippi and Alabama.

Turn on MSNBC, Joe Scarboruogh (who I'm no fan of) has been covering that for a week now. CNN and Fox also have plenty of coverage of human suffering in those areas.

westofyou
09-03-2005, 11:07 AM
The media is also fueling the race/social status issue.

All fire needs oxygen, race and money is a major factor in this nation, no matter how hard we'd like it not to be.

OnBaseMachine
09-03-2005, 11:40 AM
9:58 A.M. - (AP) -- A raging fire is burning warehouses located less than a mile from New Orleans' French Quarter.

The blaze is sending smoke that ranges from green to charcoal black billowing over rows of warehouses.

The fire on the east bank of the Mississippi River is also buckling corrugated roofs and setting off tiny explosions. And a concrete loading dock area is the only thing separating the fire from a triple line of tanker cars.


9:56 A.M. - (AP) -- Evacuees are growing increasingly frustrated at the New Orleans Convention Center as they spend another day waiting for buses.

A dead man is lying on the sidewalk under a blanket with a stream of blood running down the pavement. People say he died from violence.

One refugee says "We're hurting out here, man. We got to get help."

The National Guard says it's doing what it can. One official says soldiers have served more than 70,000 meals outside the New Orleans Convention Center since yesterday. He says another 130-thousand meals are on hand


9:00 A.M. - A small group of police and firemen are trapped on top of the BellSouth building on Bundy Road in Eastern New Orleans and said they are dehydrated.

http://www.wwltv.com/local/stories/WWLBLOG.ac3fcea.html


NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana (CNN) -- As the struggle continued to rescue victims from floodwaters and evacuate people from New Orleans, two major fires raged along the waterfront Saturday morning.

One of them was engulfing an industrial district on the river and was threatening to proceed warehouse by warehouse along the stretch.

The black smoke covered the skyline of the city, where firefighting resources are stretched thin and the hydrants are dry. There was no sign that the 50-to-60 blazes were being fought.

On Friday, a bus carrying 50 evacuees overturned north of Lafayette, Louisiana, killing a man and injuring 12 people, a Louisiana State Police spokesman said.

http://www.cnn.com/2005/US/09/03/katrina.impact/index.html

traderumor
09-03-2005, 11:57 AM
All fire needs oxygen, race and money is a major factor in this nation, no matter how hard we'd like it not to be.Not as a reason why folks have not been helped.

RFS62
09-03-2005, 04:30 PM
RFS, I don't question that the people involved with the aid and rescue have worked tirelessly and always tried to do what they thought was best. My two criticisms of the effort to date is that clearly this nation wasn't prepared for a disaster of this magnitude, particularly in an urban area, and that it took three days before federal authorities managed to acknowledge the inadequacy of the response.

I know many resources were pumped into rescue, but I'm equally sure those rescuers were shuttling back information about the situation on the ground, making FEMA perhaps the first people to know about the tragedy that was unfolding. Also, if you're hoping the able-bodied can manage to get themselves to a central point, shouldn't you have food, water and medical care at that central point? And, given the inadequacy of the Superdome (we knew there was no roof or running water there after the first day), it should have been treated as nothing more than a staging area.

I imagine that once we find out the scope and depth of the human suffering involved in the wake of this hurricane that the people in charge of the emergency effort will be haunted pretty much for the rest of their lives by what they could have done differently. I appreciate that they've done a lot of things right along the way, but I doubt that's a comfort to anyone.


I agree with most of your take, but the failure comes directly from the top. Not FEMA and the Red Cross and other assets on the ground. The command. The resources were there, they simply weren't activated. I've been saying this all along.

The disaster relief community is extremely pissed off about this. Extremely.

If Geraldo freakin' Rivera can drive into the middle of New Orleans, so can trucks of water and food. There is no acceptable excuse.

OnBaseMachine
09-03-2005, 05:19 PM
4:00 P.M. - (AP): Fire broke out in the Saks Fifth Avenue store in the Canal Place shopping center in downtown New Orleans on Saturday, and firefighters brought in tanker trucks of water to keep it under control.

No other water pressure was available because of Hurricane Katrina, but Fire District Chief Donald Schulz said the blaze was contained after several hours. Cause was not known.

"All I can tell you is people ran out of the building as we went in," Schulz said.

Asked if he thought they deliberately set it afire, Schulz said, "They weren't sales clerks."

Firefighters had to cut through a window to get in.

Several fires have been an added aggravation during the ordeal that followed Monday's devastating hurricane which has forced an evacuation of the entire city.

One fire Friday destroyed a four-story residence building diagonally across the wide Canal Street from the shopping center.

"This district seems to have had more fires than any since the hurricane," Schulz said.

Another, bigger fire also broke out Friday with a thunderous explosion in a warehouse downriver from the French Quarter and continued to burn late Saturday.

A towering column of billowing smoke hung over the fire, which had spread along the row of warehouses.

Terry Ebbert, city em emergency operations director, downplayed the danger.

"It's not serious. It's not a toxic chemical. It's pretty well confined," he said.

http://www.wwltv.com/local/stories/WWLBLOG.ac3fcea.html

RBA
09-03-2005, 06:59 PM
Suspected disease outbreak causes shelter evacuation

By SUSANNAH A. NESMITH, WILLIAM DOUGLAS and MARTIN MERZER
Knight Ridder Newspapers

NEW ORLEANS — President Bush sent in the cavalry Saturday, ordering 7,000 soldiers and Marines from elite units into New Orleans and the storm-splintered upper Gulf Coast. Relief efforts gained traction as thousands of increasingly frail victims awaited rescue, relief and relocation.

"Many of our citizens simply are not getting the help they need and that is unacceptable ...," Bush said after ordering deployment of the 1st Calvary Division and other units. "We will not rest until we get this right and the job is done."

On the sixth day of disaster and despair, an urgent new problem erupted: disease. A suspected outbreak of dysentery compelled authorities in Biloxi, Miss., to hurriedly evacuate hundreds of people from a shelter. Medical experts have warned of epidemics sweeping through crowded, unsanitary shelters.

Authorities along the coast also complained of continuing neglect by the federal government. Donovan Scruggs, the director of community development for Ocean Springs, just east of Biloxi, said his city still didn't have a FEMA contact.

"Outside assistance from FEMA has been pretty much nonexistent," he said.

And so, on Sunday, many local residents again will rely on each other and will do the best they can. Two church notices in Gulfport, Miss., told the tale:

"St. Peters by the Sea will have services Sunday at 8 a.m. on the slab of the church."

"St. Marks Episcopal will meet at 9:30 a.m. on the slab of the church."

In New Orleans, significant progress was evident.

Thousands of evacuees finally left by air, bus and even train. By nightfall, nearly everyone had been removed from the convention center, many aboard helicopters that landed every 10 minutes in a Vietnam-style evacuation operation.

Soon, a fleet of festively named cruise ships — including the Holiday, Sensation and Ecstasy of Carnival Cruise Lines — will join the operation, serving as the floating homes of about 8,000 evacuees for up to six months.

But daunting challenges persisted — and in many cases intensified.

Hundreds of people still squatted outside the Superdome, waiting for buses. Some people remained inside the battered, squalid arena, too ill to walk or even crawl out.

A new fire raged on a wharf perilously close to the French Quarter, raising another acrid pillar of smoke over the city.

Even those who boarded buses, choppers and ultimately trains from Amtrak or jetliners from major airlines did so without spare clothing, other possessions and, in some cases, relatives who became separated along the way. They also didn't know their destinations.

"Are we going to leave this hellhole to go to a similar hellhole? We don't know," said Tim Washington, a resident of the Ninth Ward, who was watching over six nieces and nephews, an elderly woman and her 6-year-old niece outside the Superdome.

Worse, reports surfaced of buses packed with evacuees being turned away from shelters outside the disaster area.

New Orleans Council President Oliver Thomas said he spent the night with 200 people who were rejected by three shelters. "They were told, 'Don't even get off the bus,' '' he said.

The numbers are huge: 360,000 people in the region fed by the American Red Cross; an estimated 150,000 to 200,000 evacuees in the Houston area alone; at least 60,000 people requiring rescue in the disaster area.

An unknown number of victims remained trapped in the ruins of their homes — no food, no water — nearly a week after catastrophe struck a region nearly as large as the United Kingdom.

In one of many such episodes, officers from Louisiana's fish and wildlife agency rescued 125 people from a building next to Tulane University's Hospital on Saturday. Five were critically ill and were airlifted out.

"The elderly people, they smiled with tears in their eyes and they said, 'Thank you,' " said D. Hamilton Peterson, a federal official who rode with rescuers. "You could see the sense of relief in their eyes."

Other authorities spoke of an unrelenting torrent of the needy. Each time a group was shuttled out, another group appeared.

"More people continue showing up in places they (rescuers) weren't aware there were people," said Army Brig. Gen. Mark Graham, a leader of the federal task force. "There are people in apartment buildings and hotels. You can't count them until you start seeing them."

Across the nation, the ripple effects spread.

Gasoline stations in many states experienced panic buying or simply ran out of fuel. Many refiners and wholesalers rationed deliveries during a holiday weekend traditionally associated with automobile excursions.

And in the impact zone, new sights — awful sights — still materialized.

In Diamondhead, Miss., about halfway between Slidell, La., and Biloxi, Jimmie Brewer, an employee of the (Biloxi) Sun Herald, found this:

"The gated community of close to 9,000 residents is a scene of almost complete devastation. Neighbors are sharing generators, accounting for people and belongings as they can. ... To the south, a sheriff's department employee told me about pulling 15 bodies from homes on the south side of I-10."

The horror took its toll in countless ways.

Two New Orleans police officers shot and killed themselves, one Friday, one Saturday, according to Capt. Marlo Defillo, a police spokesman. "They're all taxed," he said. "But we're still going strong."

Bush, who has come under sharp attack by critics who slammed the relief effort as slow, uncoordinated and grossly insufficient, said that 21,000 National Guardsmen and 4,000 active-duty troops already were in the region.

On Saturday, he mustered 7,000 soldiers and Marines from the Army's 1st Calvary Division from Fort Hood, Texas, and 82nd Airborne Division from Fort Bragg, N.C., and the Marines' 1st Expeditionary Force from Camp Pendleton, Calif., and 2nd Expeditionary Force from Camp Lejeune, N.C.

All the units have seen extensive service in Iraq or Afghanistan in the last year.

Their new marching orders, here in the United States: Hit the ground within 72 hours, restore order and assist in efforts to recover from Hurricane Katrina, in nearly every way the worst natural disaster ever to strike the United States.

They'll be assigned first to New Orleans, then extend their influence elsewhere in the region that includes the shattered Mississippi cities of Biloxi and Gulfport, and many others.

"The enormity of the task requires more resources," Bush said. "In America we do not abandon our fellow citizens in their hour of need."

About 40,000 National Guard troops are on the ground or on the way.

Elsewhere across the stricken coast, relief efforts also intensified but still fell far short of meeting the needs of thousands of homeless people.

Agencies trying to assist hurricane victims were hampered by fuel shortages.

A day after the president stood in Biloxi and promised help, no government agency was there to erect tents for the homeless, and many officials criticized the Federal Emergency Management Agency, saying it seemed to focus on New Orleans at the expense of other areas.

"We've been running the show, but nobody here has any experience managing a disaster," said Scruggs, the official in Ocean Springs.

On the fuel front, a day after America's allies pledged 30 million barrels of gasoline and crude oil during the next 30 days, the federal government offered some better news on offshore oil production in the Gulf of Mexico.

The gulf accounts for about 10 percent of U.S. oil production or 2 million barrels a day. Katrina immediately knocked out all but 5 percent of the regional production, but facilities are coming back online daily and about 20 percent of the normal production was reported Saturday.

In a statement Saturday, Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman said he's approved loans for 12.6 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, the nation's emergency stockpile of about 700 million barrels of crude oil. The oil is already on the way to refineries, he said.

In New Orleans, scores of Army National Guard troops, fully armed and in full riot gear, patrolled the streets outside the convention center. New Orleans police, also in full battle gear, also were evident.

National Guard troops distributed bottles of water, military meals-ready-to-eat and other prepared food packets to the displaced residents. Some private volunteers arrived with vans full of help.

"We came here on our own and brought water and candy for the children," said Mark Kyle, 48, of Austin, Texas. "We brought 400 cases of bottled water. When we run out we'll go back and get some more."

Donna Bland, a New Orleans resident, said conditions had improved.

"I've been out here for four days," said Bland, 42, as she ate a military-issued meal of chicken soup and applesauce. "Things are getting better here, but it took them long enough to get here."

For others outside the convention center, waiting for a ride to take them away, it all still amounted to hell on earth. The body of a dead man draped in a black velvet sheet remained in the middle of the street outside the facility.

"I just want to leave here," said Shantrice Coleman, 23. "It's filthy, nasty and very unorganized."

What will happen next?

"I think I've seen the worst," said Beatrice Carter, 44, "but there's more to come."

CrackerJack
09-03-2005, 07:13 PM
If Geraldo freakin' Rivera can drive into the middle of New Orleans, so can trucks of water and food. There is no acceptable excuse.

Exactly. Of course if you turned on WLW this afternoon they are in full excuse/spin mode trying to deflect blame from the government and Bush, so predictable, had to turn it off after the usual 5 min's of listening to that ignorant tripe. And I agree this is a command problem from the top - logistics my rear end, I don't really want to hear more excuses and spin about how it took 3 days to enter a major city in our mainland while tens of thousands languished amongst dead bodies and their own feces.

That is unacceptable to me under any circumstances. It hits home hard that we need to start taking care of our own better, and quit meddling in other countries to the point we sacrifice our own people so consistently. The US has so many problems right now, and they are just getting worse as our government is ignoring them. This is a big wake-up call to that extent hopefully.

Falls City Beer
09-03-2005, 07:59 PM
Exactly. Of course if you turned on WLW this afternoon they are in full excuse/spin mode trying to deflect blame from the government and Bush, so predictable, had to turn it off after the usual 5 min's of listening to that ignorant tripe. And I agree this is a command problem from the top - logistics my rear end, I don't really want to hear more excuses and spin about how it took 3 days to enter a major city in our mainland while tens of thousands languished amongst dead bodies and their own feces.

That is unacceptable to me under any circumstances. It hits home hard that we need to start taking care of our own better, and quit meddling in other countries to the point we sacrifice our own people so consistently. The US has so many problems right now, and they are just getting worse as our government is ignoring them. This is a big wake-up call to that extent hopefully.

I'm reminded, in moments like these, of the scene in Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" where the ghost of Christmas Present reveals the poor starving urchins under his robe, saying: "Behold!"

And then I'm reminded of Dickens' "Hard Times," the whole novel.

Dom Heffner
09-03-2005, 08:21 PM
Somewhere, somehow, this has to be Bill Clinton's fault, I just know it.

MWM
09-03-2005, 08:28 PM
Somewhere, somehow, this has to be Bill Clinton's fault, I just know it.

Is someone blaming Clinton? Hadn't heard that.

TeamCasey
09-03-2005, 09:14 PM
Advice?

I keep seeing that agencies have more donations than they can sort and deal with at the moment. I want to do a collection in my neighborhood. I had it set up, but my dropoff point closed off and sent trucks yesterday. I was going to collect personal care items and baby care items. I was trying to steer away from food, furniture, camping equipment and clothing, because I knew the agencies were inundated with both and are having trouble sorting them. It also helps to be somewhat specific as I can do a lot of sorting on my end. I was going for toothpaste, shampoo, diapers et al., soap .... you get the idea.

As sad as this may sound ..... the press will cool off and the surge of donations will dwindle ..... yet folks will still be in temporary housing like tent cities, shelters and mobile homes for a LONG time. You know how it goes with yesterday's news.

I'm now thinking I should wait a couple weeks before I set this up. Should I wait until the surge is over and agencies are better prepared to accept stuff?

WVRedsFan
09-03-2005, 09:17 PM
Is someone blaming Clinton? Hadn't heard that.

Not yet, but Rush, Willy, everyone on Fox News, and the Republican majority in Washington are preparing to do just that.

Anything to divert blame from anyone now serving.

Falls City Beer
09-03-2005, 09:29 PM
Not yet, but Rush, Willy, everyone on Fox News, and the Republican majority in Washington are preparing to do just that.

Anything to divert blame from anyone now serving.

The gaslight gang.

Unassisted
09-03-2005, 09:54 PM
I'm hearing Sandy's friend Alfred on WWL radio's streaming feed now. I recognize his voice and I remember him talking at the gathering about working for WWL-TV.

He just found out yesterday that his dad was evacuated to Baton Rouge. Alfred is safe and sound in Pensacola, but was calling the radio station because of a couple of relatives he was unable to locate.

westofyou
09-03-2005, 09:56 PM
Alfred is good people, I'm glad that he's being heard, a strong man with a great voice, he's made for radio.

ochre
09-03-2005, 09:59 PM
Alfred is good people, I'm glad that he's being heard, a strong man with a great voice, he's made for radio.
He also had a bit of air time on Tracy Jones' show after one of those gathering games.

TeamBoone
09-04-2005, 12:37 AM
I think right now it's about survival items... food, water, toiletries, hygiene, vitamins, simple med (Tylenol), towels, washcloths, possibly clothing, etc. The household stuff can come later.

I don't think anyone should hold off on collecting the above items. Most places handling the distribution will be collecting the items periodically for swift disbursement. If you consistently stock pile the stuff, you'll be prepared when the plea comes.

I know there are going to be barrels around, just not sure where. TV and radio stations should be helpful in telling us where we can find them and also probably know what organizations are accepting items. Perhaps we could find out by calling them.

WVRedsFan
09-04-2005, 01:23 AM
I'm glad the discussion is about how to help. It's good, but a couple of new links might be interesting to all:

http://www.markarkleiman.com/archives/katrina_/2005/09/fake_sympathy_and_fake_relief_efforts.php and

http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2005_08/007014.php

Caveat Emperor
09-04-2005, 02:24 AM
Exactly. Of course if you turned on WLW this afternoon they are in full excuse/spin mode trying to deflect blame from the government and Bush, so predictable, had to turn it off after the usual 5 min's of listening to that ignorant tripe. And I agree this is a command problem from the top - logistics my rear end, I don't really want to hear more excuses and spin about how it took 3 days to enter a major city in our mainland while tens of thousands languished amongst dead bodies and their own feces.

That is unacceptable to me under any circumstances. It hits home hard that we need to start taking care of our own better, and quit meddling in other countries to the point we sacrifice our own people so consistently. The US has so many problems right now, and they are just getting worse as our government is ignoring them. This is a big wake-up call to that extent hopefully.

You have to admit that this administration, whether you agree with their policies or not, seems completely immune to contradiction. Nothing sticks to these people: facts and logic that fly completely in the face of any argument they make seem to be deflected by some Starship Enterprise-calibur shields. It has been like that since before they were even elected...confronted with rock-solid numbers that cited his tax cut plan would only result in a windfall for the richest 2% of Americans, Bush simply countered with his infamous "Fuzzy Math" line and the issue was somehow rendered moot.

A 9/11 commission report that identifies gross negligence on the part of the administration and the national security agencies under their watch? The report is published, debated slightly, and then buried under an avalanche of war news...

No WMDs in Iraq? The administration just refused to acknowledge the evidence and eventually shifted the debate from finding WMDs to liberating Iraqi people, all without batting an eyelash...

High-level administration official leaking classified information to reporters? The President just refuses to comment on the story and it goes away with nary a word from anyone other than the liberal bloggers...

Now, is someone really expecting this disaster to be a "Wake Up Call" to the way the federal government manages crisis situations in this nation? It makes me want to chuckle ruefully. The spin machine is in overdrive already, and it's the moronic yakbags on stations like 700 WLW who are on the front lines, shifting blame away from anything connected even tangentially to the federal government and setting up the scapegoats in this situation: Ray Nagin and Kathleen Blanco. It has already started: criticizing Nagin for finger pointing and his trip to Baton Rouge; criticizing Blanco for crying on national TV or for not making the proper requests for federal aid...hell, criticizing both of them for "not being prepared for a Category 5 hurricane."

When it is all said and done, it'll be the idiot locals who are at fault and the federal government under the watchful eye of George W. Bush who come out looking like saviors.

Rojo
09-04-2005, 03:13 AM
When it is all said and done, it'll be the idiot locals who are at fault and the federal government under the watchful eye of George W. Bush who come out looking like saviors.

It took them a little while to settle on a talking point. I'd like to think they could do better than, "It's not my department." I thought this President was supposed to be about leadership.

Falls City Beer
09-04-2005, 09:17 AM
You have to admit that this administration, whether you agree with their policies or not, seems completely immune to contradiction. Nothing sticks to these people: facts and logic that fly completely in the face of any argument they make seem to be deflected by some Starship Enterprise-calibur shields. It has been like that since before they were even elected...confronted with rock-solid numbers that cited his tax cut plan would only result in a windfall for the richest 2% of Americans, Bush simply countered with his infamous "Fuzzy Math" line and the issue was somehow rendered moot.

A 9/11 commission report that identifies gross negligence on the part of the administration and the national security agencies under their watch? The report is published, debated slightly, and then buried under an avalanche of war news...

No WMDs in Iraq? The administration just refused to acknowledge the evidence and eventually shifted the debate from finding WMDs to liberating Iraqi people, all without batting an eyelash...

High-level administration official leaking classified information to reporters? The President just refuses to comment on the story and it goes away with nary a word from anyone other than the liberal bloggers...

Now, is someone really expecting this disaster to be a "Wake Up Call" to the way the federal government manages crisis situations in this nation? It makes me want to chuckle ruefully. The spin machine is in overdrive already, and it's the moronic yakbags on stations like 700 WLW who are on the front lines, shifting blame away from anything connected even tangentially to the federal government and setting up the scapegoats in this situation: Ray Nagin and Kathleen Blanco. It has already started: criticizing Nagin for finger pointing and his trip to Baton Rouge; criticizing Blanco for crying on national TV or for not making the proper requests for federal aid...hell, criticizing both of them for "not being prepared for a Category 5 hurricane."

When it is all said and done, it'll be the idiot locals who are at fault and the federal government under the watchful eye of George W. Bush who come out looking like saviors. :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :luvu:

Falls City Beer
09-04-2005, 09:33 AM
Chertoff's new excuse is that "hey, we thought NO was just missed by the hurricane," so we slowed the cavalry down.

Now, my thinking is, if you didn't think it was going to hit NO, why the hell weren't you in Pascagoula, or Hattiesburg, or Biloxi? Sorry pal, that excuse ain't workin'. You weren't there. You weren't anywhere.

You sir, are a bleepin' disgrace. And the darkest, saddest coward I've ever seen.

Falls City Beer
09-04-2005, 09:54 AM
Falluja Floods the Superdome
By FRANK RICH

AS the levees cracked open and ushered hell into New Orleans on Tuesday, President Bush once again chose to fly away from Washington, not toward it, while disaster struck. We can all enumerate the many differences between a natural catastrophe and a terrorist attack. But character doesn't change: it is immutable, and it is destiny.

As always, the president's first priority, the one that sped him from Crawford toward California, was saving himself: he had to combat the flood of record-low poll numbers that was as uncontrollable as the surging of Lake Pontchartrain. It was time, therefore, for another disingenuous pep talk, in which he would exploit the cataclysm that defined his first term, 9/11, even at the price of failing to recognize the emerging fiasco likely to engulf Term 2.

After dispatching Katrina with a few sentences of sanctimonious boilerplate ("our hearts and prayers are with our fellow citizens"), he turned to his more important task. The war in Iraq is World War II. George W. Bush is F.D.R. And anyone who refuses to stay his course is soft on terrorism and guilty of a pre-9/11 "mind-set of isolation and retreat." Yet even as Mr. Bush promised "victory" (a word used nine times in this speech on Tuesday), he was standing at the totemic scene of his failure. It was along this same San Diego coastline that he declared "Mission Accomplished" in Iraq on the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln more than two years ago. For this return engagement, The Washington Post reported, the president's stage managers made sure he was positioned so that another hulking aircraft carrier nearby would stay off-camera, lest anyone be reminded of that premature end of "major combat operations."

This administration would like us to forget a lot, starting with the simple fact that next Sunday is the fourth anniversary of the day we were attacked by Al Qaeda, not Iraq. Even before Katrina took command of the news, Sept. 11, 2005, was destined to be a half-forgotten occasion, distorted and sullied by a grotesquely inappropriate Pentagon-sponsored country music jamboree on the Mall. But hard as it is to reflect upon so much sorrow at once, we cannot allow ourselves to forget the real history surrounding 9/11; it is the Rosetta stone for what is happening now. If we are to pull ourselves out of the disasters of Katrina and Iraq alike, we must live in the real world, not the fantasyland of the administration's faith-based propaganda. Everything connects.

Though history is supposed to occur first as tragedy, then as farce, even at this early stage we can see that tragedy is being repeated once more as tragedy. From the president's administration's inattention to threats before 9/11 to his disappearing act on the day itself to the reckless blundering in the ill-planned war of choice that was 9/11's bastard offspring, Katrina is déjà vu with a vengeance.

The president's declaration that "I don't think anyone anticipated the breach of the levees" has instantly achieved the notoriety of Condoleezza Rice's "I don't think anybody could have predicted that these people would take an airplane and slam it into the World Trade Center." The administration's complete obliviousness to the possibilities for energy failures, food and water deprivation, and civil disorder in a major city under siege needs only the Donald Rumsfeld punch line of "Stuff happens" for a coup de grâce. How about shared sacrifice, so that this time we might get the job done right? After Mr. Bush's visit on "Good Morning America" on Thursday, Diane Sawyer reported on a postinterview conversation in which he said, "There won't have to be tax increases."

But on a second go-round, even the right isn't so easily fooled by this drill (with the reliable exception of Peggy Noonan, who found much reassurance in Mr. Bush's initial autopilot statement about the hurricane, with its laundry list of tarps and blankets). This time the fecklessness and deceit were all too familiar. They couldn't be obliterated by a bullhorn or by the inspiring initial post-9/11 national unity that bolstered the president until he betrayed it. This time the heartlessness beneath the surface of his actions was more pronounced.

You could almost see Mr. Bush's political base starting to crumble at its very epicenter, Fox News, by Thursday night. Even there it was impossible to ignore that the administration was no more successful at securing New Orleans than it had been at pacifying Falluja.

A visibly exasperated Shepard Smith, covering the story on the ground in Louisiana, went further still, tossing hand grenades of harsh reality into Bill O'Reilly's usually spin-shellacked "No Spin Zone." Among other hard facts, Mr. Smith noted "that the haves of this city, the movers and shakers of this city, evacuated the city either immediately before or immediately after the storm." What he didn't have to say, since it was visible to the entire world, was that it was the poor who were left behind to drown.

In that sense, the inequality of the suffering has not only exposed the sham of the relentless photo-ops with black schoolchildren whom the president trots out at campaign time to sell his "compassionate conservatism"; it has also positioned Katrina before a rapt late-summer audience as a replay of the sinking of the Titanic. New Orleans's first-class passengers made it safely into lifeboats; for those in steerage, it was a horrifying spectacle of every man, woman and child for himself.

THE captain in this case, Michael Chertoff, the homeland security secretary, was so oblivious to those on the lower decks that on Thursday he applauded the federal response to the still rampaging nightmare as "really exceptional." He told NPR that he had "not heard a report of thousands of people in the convention center who don't have food and water" - even though every television viewer in the country had been hearing of those 25,000 stranded refugees for at least a day. This Titanic syndrome, too, precisely echoes the post-9/11 wartime history of an administration that has rewarded the haves at home with economic goodies while leaving the have-nots to fight in Iraq without proper support in manpower or armor. Surely it's only a matter of time before Mr. Chertoff and the equally at sea FEMA director, Michael Brown (who also was among the last to hear about the convention center), are each awarded a Presidential Medal of Freedom in line with past architects of lethal administration calamity like George Tenet and Paul Bremer.

On Thursday morning, the president told Diane Sawyer that he hoped "people don't play politics during this period of time." Presumably that means that the photos of him wistfully surveying the Katrina damage from Air Force One won't be sold to campaign donors as the equivalent 9/11 photos were. Maybe he'll even call off the right-wing attack machine so it won't Swift-boat the Katrina survivors who emerge to ask tough questions as it has Cindy Sheehan and those New Jersey widows who had the gall to demand a formal 9/11 inquiry.

But a president who flew from Crawford to Washington in a heartbeat to intervene in the medical case of a single patient, Terri Schiavo, has no business lecturing anyone about playing politics with tragedy. Eventually we're going to have to examine the administration's behavior before, during and after this storm as closely as its history before, during and after 9/11. We're going to have to ask if troops and matériel of all kinds could have arrived faster without the drain of national resources into a quagmire. We're going to have to ask why it took almost two days of people being without food, shelter and water for Mr. Bush to get back to Washington.

Most of all, we're going to have to face the reality that with this disaster, the administration has again increased our vulnerability to the terrorists we were supposed to be fighting after 9/11. As Richard Clarke, the former counterterrorism czar, pointed out to The Washington Post last week in talking about the fallout from the war in Iraq, there have been twice as many terrorist attacks outside Iraq in the three years after 9/11 than in the three years before. Now, thanks to Mr. Bush's variously incompetent, diffident and hubristic mismanagement of the attack by Katrina, he has sent the entire world a simple and unambiguous message: whatever the explanation, the United States is unable to fight its current war and protect homeland security at the same time.

The answers to what went wrong in Washington and on the Gulf Coast will come later, and, if the history of 9/11 is any guide, all too slowly, after the administration and its apologists erect every possible barrier to keep us from learning the truth. But as Americans dig out from Katrina and slouch toward another anniversary of Al Qaeda's strike, we have to acknowledge the full extent and urgency of our crisis. The world is more perilous than ever, and for now, to paraphrase Mr. Rumsfeld, we have no choice but to fight the war with the president we have.

ochre
09-04-2005, 10:59 AM
Dang. I had forgotten about the "Bush rushes to the White House to sign emergency legislation at the 11th hour" of the Schiavo case.

Falls City Beer
09-04-2005, 11:01 AM
Dang. I had forgotten about the "Bush rushes to the White House to sign emergency legislation at the 11th hour" of the Schiavo case.

Don't you ever call the Prez a hypocrite. How DARE YOU!!!!

ochre
09-04-2005, 11:07 AM
Don't you ever call the Prez a hypocrite. How DARE YOU!!!!
nah. It was only 48ish hours after the hurricane hit. There probably weren't any people on life support in Louisiana or Mississippi, so its not a fair comparison. Besides, nobody could have predicted that the levees would break.

RBA
09-04-2005, 11:13 AM
For all those not playing the blame game by placing blame on the local and state governments, you need to watch Meet the Press. A President of a Lousiana Parrish told it how it was and is. I'll post the video when I find it.

Falls City Beer
09-04-2005, 11:20 AM
For all those not playing the blame game by placing blame on the local and state governments, you need to watch Meet the Press. A President of a Lousiana Parrish told it how it was and is. I'll post the video when I find it.

Dude, that was hard to watch. I welled up pretty hard myself.

RBA
09-04-2005, 12:24 PM
Here is the video download links:

http://s30.yousendit.com/d.aspx?id=39D44TQZEXE632ASCA2EEL0ZIL
http://s28.yousendit.com/d.aspx?id=0PW4XZFWSF1D71GFBBTGED3R8W

They are both the same video.

SandyD
09-04-2005, 12:41 PM
I'm hearing Sandy's friend Alfred on WWL radio's streaming feed now. I recognize his voice and I remember him talking at the gathering about working for WWL-TV.

He just found out yesterday that his dad was evacuated to Baton Rouge. Alfred is safe and sound in Pensacola, but was calling the radio station because of a couple of relatives he was unable to locate.

Alfred found his aunt. They are in the Astrodome. His cousin is a well-educated, beautiful woman, and his aunt is a beautiful woman who is retired. Both are homeowners.

One of my co-worker's mother-in-law is here with us. She's about 80 year's old, and knows her home is under water. She lives in Arabi, which is one of the areas that had water to the rooftops. Someone has actually seen her house, and she knows it's bad. Said the only thing she regrets is losing her piano. Her mother always made sure she had a piano.

SandyD
09-04-2005, 12:46 PM
I can't get the video ... because I don't have sound, but that's my Parish President. I've met him. Can you summarize what he had to say?

A local news station here in Texas is showing pieces of our local New Orleans news stations on their cable rebroadcast channel. It's so comforting to get some news sources from back home.

RBA
09-04-2005, 01:18 PM
Here's another mirror site video:

http://www.canofun.com/blog/videos/JeffersonParishonMTPviaDU.wmv


http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9179790 /
MR. RUSSERT: And we are back.

Jefferson Parish President Broussard, let me start with you. You just heard the director of Homeland Security's explanation of what has happened this last week. What is your reaction?

MR. AARON BROUSSARD: We have been abandoned by our own country. Hurricane Katrina will go down in history as one of the worst storms ever to hit an American coast, but the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina will go down as one of the worst abandonments of Americans on American soil ever in U.S. history. I am personally asking our bipartisan congressional delegation here in Louisiana to immediately begin congressional hearings to find out just what happened here. Why did it happen? Who needs to be fired? And believe me, they need to be fired right away, because we still have weeks to go in this tragedy. We have months to go. We have years to go. And whoever is at the top of this totem pole, that totem pole needs to be chain-sawed off and we've got to start with some new leadership.

It's not just Katrina that caused all these deaths in New Orleans here. Bureaucracy has committed murder here in the greater New Orleans area, and bureaucracy has to stand trial before Congress now. It's so obvious. FEMA needs more congressional funding. It needs more presidential support. It needs to be a Cabinet-level director. It needs to be an independent agency that will be able to fulfill its mission to work in partnership with state and local governments around America. FEMA needs to be empowered to do the things it was created to do. It needs to come somewhere, like New Orleans, with all of its force immediately, without red tape, without bureaucracy, act immediately with common sense and leadership, and save lives. Forget about the property. We can rebuild the property. It's got to be able to come in and save lives.

We need strong leadership at the top of America right now in order to accomplish this and to-- reconstructing FEMA.

MR. RUSSERT: Mr. Broussard, let me ask--I want to ask--should...

MR. BROUSSARD: You know, just some quick examples...

MR. RUSSERT: Hold on. Hold on, sir. Shouldn't the mayor of New Orleans and the governor of New Orleans bear some responsibility? Couldn't they have been much more forceful, much more effective and much more organized in evacuating the area?

MR. BROUSSARD: Sir, they were told like me, every single day, "The cavalry's coming," on a federal level, "The cavalry's coming, the cavalry's coming, the cavalry's coming." I have just begun to hear the hoofs of the cavalry. The cavalry's still not here yet, but I've begun to hear the hoofs, and we're almost a week out.

Let me give you just three quick examples. We had Wal-Mart deliver three trucks of water, trailer trucks of water. FEMA turned them back. They said we didn't need them. This was a week ago. FEMA--we had 1,000 gallons of diesel fuel on a Coast Guard vessel docked in my parish. The Coast Guard said, "Come get the fuel right away." When we got there with our trucks, they got a word. "FEMA says don't give you the fuel." Yesterday--yesterday--FEMA comes in and cuts all of our emergency communication lines. They cut them without notice. Our sheriff, Harry Lee, goes back in, he reconnects the line. He posts armed guards on our line and says, "No one is getting near these lines." Sheriff Harry Lee said that if America--American government would have responded like Wal-Mart has responded, we wouldn't be in this crisis.

But I want to thank Governor Blanco for all she's done and all her leadership. She sent in the National Guard. I just repaired a breach on my side of the 17th Street canal that the secretary didn't foresee, a 300-foot breach. I just completed it yesterday with convoys of National Guard and local parish workers and levee board people. It took us two and a half days working 24/7. I just closed it.

MR. RUSSERT: All right.

MR. BROUSSARD: I'm telling you most importantly I want to thank my public employees...

MR. RUSSERT: All right.

MR. BROUSSARD: ...that have worked 24/7. They're burned out, the doctors, the nurses. And I want to give you one last story and I'll shut up and let you tell me whatever you want to tell me. The guy who runs this building I'm in, emergency management, he's responsible for everything. His mother was trapped in St. Bernard nursing home and every day she called him and said, "Are you coming, son? Is somebody coming?" And he said, "Yeah, Mama, somebody's coming to get you. Somebody's coming to get you on Tuesday. Somebody's coming to get you on Wednesday. Somebody's coming to get you on Thursday. Somebody's coming to get you on Friday." And she drowned Friday night. She drowned Friday night.

MR. RUSSERT: Mr. President...

MR. BROUSSARD: Nobody's coming to get us. Nobody's coming to get us. The secretary has promised. Everybody's promised. They've had press conferences. I'm sick of the press conferences. For God sakes, shut up and send us somebody.

MR. RUSSERT: Just take a pause, Mr. President. While you gather yourself in your very emotional times, I understand, let me go to Governor Haley Barbour of Mississippi.

WVRed
09-04-2005, 02:08 PM
I saw the interview, and I second FCB's post. Its very hard to watch, especially toward the end.

But I will address one thing.


MR. RUSSERT: Hold on. Hold on, sir. Shouldn't the mayor of New Orleans and the governor of New Orleans bear some responsibility? Couldn't they have been much more forceful, much more effective and much more organized in evacuating the area?

MR. BROUSSARD: Sir, they were told like me, every single day, "The cavalry's coming," on a federal level, "The cavalry's coming, the cavalry's coming, the cavalry's coming." I have just begun to hear the hoofs of the cavalry. The cavalry's still not here yet, but I've begun to hear the hoofs, and we're almost a week out.

Let me give you just three quick examples. We had Wal-Mart deliver three trucks of water, trailer trucks of water. FEMA turned them back. They said we didn't need them. This was a week ago. FEMA--we had 1,000 gallons of diesel fuel on a Coast Guard vessel docked in my parish. The Coast Guard said, "Come get the fuel right away." When we got there with our trucks, they got a word. "FEMA says don't give you the fuel." Yesterday--yesterday--FEMA comes in and cuts all of our emergency communication lines. They cut them without notice. Our sheriff, Harry Lee, goes back in, he reconnects the line. He posts armed guards on our line and says, "No one is getting near these lines." Sheriff Harry Lee said that if America--American government would have responded like Wal-Mart has responded, we wouldn't be in this crisis.

But I want to thank Governor Blanco for all she's done and all her leadership. She sent in the National Guard. I just repaired a breach on my side of the 17th Street canal that the secretary didn't foresee, a 300-foot breach. I just completed it yesterday with convoys of National Guard and local parish workers and levee board people. It took us two and a half days working 24/7. I just closed it.

Thats all fine well and good, but he completely avoided Mr Russerts question. While I dont approve 100% of how Bush has handled this(especially after seeing him grinning), the mayor and governor are just as guilty as Bush, whether you want to admit it or not.

Falls City Beer
09-04-2005, 02:15 PM
I saw the interview, and I second FCB's post. Its very hard to watch, especially toward the end.

But I will address one thing.



Thats all fine well and good, but he completely avoided Mr Russerts question. While I dont approve 100% of how Bush has handled this(especially after seeing him grinning), the mayor and governor are just as guilty as Bush, whether you want to admit it or not.

I can see holding the governor accountable, and maybe they find that she is accountable. But how on earth can you say the mayor's accountable? His infrastructure was destroyed!

WVRed
09-04-2005, 02:27 PM
I can see holding the governor accountable, and maybe they find that she is accountable. But how on earth can you say the mayor's accountable? His infrastructure was destroyed!

Just because his infrastructure was destroyed doesnt mean he isnt accountable. He waited until the last possible minute to evacuate, and it took pleas from Bush(the only thing hes done right), and the NHC to get it done.

Unassisted
09-04-2005, 02:27 PM
I can see holding the governor accountable, and maybe
they find that she is accountable. But how on earth can you say the mayor's
accountable? His infrastructure was destroyed!Simple, he didn't lift a
finger to evacuate the poor, prior to landfall. In the "Washing Away" series, and in
other "what-if" publications, it was stated that there were estimates of
100,000 people in the city lacking the means to evacuate. There was a plan on the
books to use city buses and school buses to evacuate the poor before the hurricane
struck - and yet, he didn't implement it. He told them to shelter in place or
head for the Superdome if they felt unsafe.

WVRed
09-04-2005, 02:35 PM
This is wrong, but ill post it anyways

http://freefromlooters.ytmnd.com/

The only place not looted in New Orleans.

RBA
09-04-2005, 02:37 PM
He told them to shelter in place or
head for the Superdome if they felt unsafe.

Can you link me a quote to where he told citizens to shelter in place? Didn't he say the Superdome is "a shelter of last resort"

I never ever heard him say "shelter in place". I remember him saying at one time that if they chose to disregard the evacuation order that they should have an AXE so they could hack their way out of their attics in case it started to flood.

Please provide the link where he told his people to "shelter in place"

Also the American Red Cross was told by FEMA and DHS to not enter New Orleans. They had immediate supplies: food, water, medicines, blankets ready to move in. Still 4 days after the Hurricane hit, they were still being denied entry into the city.

RBA
09-04-2005, 02:41 PM
This is wrong, but ill post it anyways

http://freefromlooters.ytmnd.com/

The only place not looted in New Orleans.

Wrong is right. I missed the humor. What year is this again?

Unassisted
09-04-2005, 02:47 PM
Can you link me a quote to where he told people to shelter in place? Didn't he say the Superdome is "a shelter of last resort" No, because that's not a quote. If you're poor and unable to travel, the shelter of first resort is "in place." If the neighborhood you live in is dangerous or you don't know anyone in it with a better shelter, there is no alternative but choosing between the first and last resort. He effectively told thousands of people to either "shelter in place" or come to the Astrodome. He didn't roll a single damn bus to get those people without transportation out of town.

Caveat Emperor
09-04-2005, 02:54 PM
Just because his infrastructure was destroyed doesnt mean he isnt accountable. He waited until the last possible minute to evacuate, and it took pleas from Bush(the only thing hes done right), and the NHC to get it done.

Because he is forced, in a situation like this, to counterbalance the overwhelming economic hit that the city would take on a "mandatory evacuation" due to it's status as a major hub of tourism and as a convention center with the need to protect lives.

I was living in New Orleans on 9/11 and the city economy lost millions of dollars due to airplanes being grounded for just those couple days. That was also the year that the Super Bowl had to be rescheduled to accommodate the extra week of games that were postponed on the weekend after 9/11. The city was already booked on the "rescheduled game day" for an auto manufacturers convention, and the city was talking of losing HUNDREDS of millions of dollars if that convention had to relocate to another city. Just one convention on one weekend.

The simple reality of New Orleans is that the one and only way the city makes money is by having people be there and travel there. Getting an "itchy" trigger finger when calling for evacuations devestates the city economically (which is already poor) almost as much as a mild-hurricane strike ever does (like the ones that were 'near misses' in the past).

Falls City Beer
09-04-2005, 03:00 PM
Planning was stymied by a shortage of buses, he said. As many as 2,000 buses, far more than New Orleans possessed, would be needed to evacuate an estimated 100,000 elderly and disabled people.

Found this nugget in NYTimes about "buses." It's difficult to say who's to blame here, but clearly NO didn't have "everything it needed."

And this still doesn't detract one iota from the fact that the Feds came along with no sense of urgency, too little, too late.

RBA
09-04-2005, 03:00 PM
No, because that's not a quote. If you're poor and unable to travel, the shelter of first resort is "in place." If the neighborhood you live in is dangerous or you don't know anyone in it with a better shelter, there is no alternative but choosing between the first and last resort. He effectively told thousands of people to either "shelter in place" or come to the Astrodome. He didn't roll a single damn bus to get those people without transportation to safety.

Yes, you are correct he didn't roll the buses. And you can fault him for that. Why he didn't I don't know.

But again, he never said for people to shelter in place. He gave an evacuation order. Apparently the city officials did not have a plan to roll school busses.

But, let's do some simple math here, how many buses would it take to get people evacutated in 48 hours, 72 hours????

How long has it taken to bus them out of the superdome? How long has it taken to evacuate the Convention Center by bus?

Now, that it comes painfully obvious the math doesn't work, what do you do now?

If your Bus idea would of worked, where would you evacuate them to? The Astrodome was 10 hours away. I guess you could of dumped them in a field somewhere in the hills.

Do the math.

Rojo
09-04-2005, 03:01 PM
I'm not sure about the buses. But there was a mandatory evacuation order and Nagin was unequivocable about the imminent dangers. I doubt Douglas MacArthur himself could affect a 100% evacuation. And frankly it doesn't matter. Local and state officials are sometime corrupt and incompetent. We expect better of the POTUS. If the trucks and soldiers had been there on Tuesday, we wouldn't be having this discussion.

UPDATE 7-Katrina lashes U.S. shore, New Orleans evacuates
Monday 29 August 2005, 0:03am EST

By Rick Wilking

NEW ORLEANS, Aug 28 (Reuters) - The fringes of potentially catastrophic Hurricane Katrina began whipping Louisiana on Sunday and about 1 million people fled the low-lying New Orleans area, which sat helplessly in the storm's path.

The brunt of Katrina, which had 160-mph (266-kph) winds on Sunday evening, was expected to crash ashore around sunrise on Monday. Its winds, tides and heavy squalls had already started arriving before nightfall.

The storm had weakened slightly from the morning, when it boasted 175-mph (282-kph) winds, but it remained a savage Category 5 storm on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale.

Mayor Ray Nagin warned the hurricane's storm surge of up to 28 feet (8.5 metres) could topple the levees protecting the city, which sits in a bowl-shaped area, and flood its historic French Quarter.

"Ladies and gentlemen, I wish I had better news for you but we are facing a storm that most of us have feared," Nagin told a news conference after reading out a mandatory evacuation order. "This is a threat that we've never faced before."

An estimated 1 million of the area's 1.3 million people were believed to have evacuated, emergency officials said.

Some of those unable or unwilling to flee piled into the Louisiana Superdome, New Orleans' enclosed sports stadium. Nagin, appearing on "Larry King Live" on CNN, said by Sunday night about 25,000 people had gathered in the stadium.

"This is an unprecedented storm with incredible power," said Nagin, whose city mostly sits below sea level and is protected by levees not designed to withstand the potential surge Katrina could deliver.

Several roads were turned one-way outbound to speed the evacuation and people lined up at gasoline stations and convenience stores to buy water and other supplies.

In the French Quarter, shopkeepers boarded up bars and restaurants. Police and fire officials used bullhorns to alert residents of the coming danger.

Only two of the dozens of bars along notorious Bourbon Street remained open, serving stragglers who wanted to squeeze in a last drink before Katrina barreled in.


ENERGY COMPANIES EVACUATE

Offshore, energy companies evacuated personnel and shut platforms in Katrina's path. The U.S. Gulf of Mexico is home to 25 percent of the nation's domestic oil and gas output and widespread damage to facilities was possible.

U.S. crude futures had jumped about 5 percent to $69.86 a barrel after briefly touching a record high of $70.80. Unleaded gasoline spiked by 22 cents to a record high $2.15 a gallon.

A spokesman for the U.S. Energy Department said it was monitoring the storm. It will be up to the federal government to issue crude oil loans to refiners from the 700 million-barrel Strategic Petroleum Reserve, if requested.

The Waterford nuclear power plant, 20 miles (30 km) west of New Orleans, was shut down as a precautionary measure.

Max Mayfield, director of the U.S. National Hurricane Center, described Katrina as a "perfect" hurricane. It was positioned about 105 miles (170 km) south of the mouth of the Mississippi River at 11 p.m. EDT (0300 GMT) on Sunday.

The storm was steaming north-northwest at 10 mph (16 kph). Hurricane force winds could be felt just offshore, and tropical storm-force winds were blowing well inland.

Katrina had a central pressure -- a measure of a storm's intensity -- of 904 millibars, which would make it one of the four strongest storms on record.

Mississippi and Alabama also braced for impact as the wide hurricane was forecast to push a 20-foot (6-metre) surge of seawater into the tourist community of Gulfport, Mississippi.

Tourists on the Gulf Coast scrambled to join the exodus but many were left trapped as rental cars were snapped up quickly. Authorities in New Orleans said they would commandeer vehicles and private buildings if necessary.

U.S. President George W. Bush declared an emergency in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama and a major disaster in Florida, where a weaker Katrina caused damage around the Miami area last week and killed seven people. The declarations allow federal aid to be deployed.

"We will do everything in our power to help the people and communities affected by this storm," Bush said from his ranch in Crawford, Texas.

New Orleans has not been hit directly by a hurricane since 1965 when Hurricane Betsy blew in, flooding the city and killing about 75 people in the United States.

(Additional reporting by Mark Babineck and Erwin Seba in Houston, Alice Jackson in Biloxi, Mark Felsenthal in Washington and Michael Christie in Miami)

© Reuters 2005. All Rights Reserved.

ochre
09-04-2005, 03:31 PM
The plan was to get as many of those unable to evacuate into facilities such as the Superdome. A key part of that plan was that there would be aid rolling in as soon as the storm cleared. Evacuating ~1 million people from the greater NO area is not an insignificant accomplishment. I believe there has been some indication that efforts to reinforce the lake levees were put off until too late. Not sure who is to blame, but that and FEMA blocking early aid packages seem to be the primary factors that many natives are complaining about.

RBA
09-04-2005, 03:35 PM
Watching the evacuation as it occured, I seen many people loading up their cars/suv/trucks to capacity with people. But I seen many cars and SUV's half empty. I seen Pickups with empty beds. You really don't want to think about it, but what ever happened to people helping their fellow man?

OnBaseMachine
09-04-2005, 04:43 PM
Is anyone currently watching CNN?

I turned it on there and they were saying something to the effect of "that was the last thing we needed to hear, but the fact is Hurricane season is just starting." Did anyone hear what they were talking about before that? I missed half of it.

ochre
09-04-2005, 04:55 PM
Is anyone currently watching CNN?

I turned it on there and they were saying something to the effect of "that was the last thing we needed to hear, but the fact is Hurricane season is just starting." Did anyone hear what they were talking about before that? I missed half of it.
I think another one is building up in the Atlantic. It was still a trop. depr. a couple of days ago, but I saw one of the forecast maps in a briefing I was helping with. I'll check the Hurricane Center web site.

ochre
09-04-2005, 04:58 PM
http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/PS/TROP/DATA/RT/WATL/VIS/20.jpg
Yep. Looks like another one building off the east coast...

OnBaseMachine
09-04-2005, 04:59 PM
Thanks Ochre.

Other news:


NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana (CNN) -- U.S. Coast Guard and Army helicopters circled over New Orleans on Sunday to drop supplies and rescue people trapped for a sixth day in the nearly deserted city.

The Coast Guard asked anyone still stranded in New Orleans "to hang brightly colored or white sheets, towels or anything else" to help rescuers locate them.

http://www.cnn.com/2005/US/09/04/katrina.impact/index.html

Okay...how the heck do they expect these people to hear this? There is no electricity in NO. They can't watch TV.

OnBaseMachine
09-04-2005, 05:00 PM
Are they expecting it to hit U.S. land?

ochre
09-04-2005, 05:00 PM
its Hurricane Maria and it looks like it will avoid the coast:
http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/storm_graphics/AT14/refresh/AL1405_PROB34_F120_sm2+gif/204543F120_sm.gif

OnBaseMachine
09-04-2005, 05:07 PM
Breaking news: Police shoot 8 people in NO carrying guns.


4:16 P.M. - N.O. Deputy Chief Warren Riley: Law enformcement officials shot eight people carrying guns on the Danziger Bridge today - killing five.


3:53 P.M. - (AP) The stress is getting to some police and firefighters in New Orleans, where the mayor says there have been cases of suicide. Mayor Ray Nagin says he's trying to find hospitals that can offer physical and psychological help to the emergency workers. Nagin says for days now, they've been holding the city together pretty much by themselves, and the toll is just too much for them.

Efforts are also underway to reunite some of those workers with their families. The question is where to do it? According to Nagin, they're looking for a city like Las Vegas that has lots of hotel rooms.

http://www.wwltv.com/local/stories/WWLBLOG.ac3fcea.html


Mayor: Police, firefighters traumatized
Nagin said Sunday that his top priority was to start moving traumatized police and firefighters out of the city so that they can get medical and psychological treatment.

"They've been holding the city together for three or four days, almost by themselves -- doing everything imaginable, and the toll is just to much for them," Nagin said. "So I need to get them out, and we've been trying to figure out where to take them so they can reunite with their families." (Watch video of the mayor discussing the heavy toll -- 6:20.)

Police Superintendent Eddie Compass said that two of his officers committed suicide, including one who had discovered his wife had died.

Compass also said that reports that 60 percent of the police force had deserted was "totally ridiculous."

http://www.cnn.com/2005/US/09/04/katrina.impact/index.html

Rojo
09-04-2005, 07:40 PM
What about a ski town? They should have a ton of rooms available in September.

OnBaseMachine
09-04-2005, 08:01 PM
A rescue helicopter has crashed in NO. No word yet on injuries.

Edit...the crew is safe.

RBA
09-04-2005, 08:45 PM
It just get worst.




http://www.nola.com/images/news/tplogo198x34.gif Major oil spill spotted on Mississippi River

9/2/2005, 9:30 p.m. CT
The Associated Press http://www.nola.com/images/spacer.gifNEW ORLEANS (AP) — State officials said Friday they have spotted a huge oil spill near two storage tanks at the town of Venice, on the Mississippi River downstream from New Orleans.

A flyover by the Department of Environmental Quality revealed what was described as a "major" oil spill.

"It's a large sheen," said DEQ spokesman Darin Mann.

It was unclear how much oil had spilled into the Mississippi River or whether the oil was coming from the tanks, which could hold 80,000 barrels of oil if full, according to Mann.

"They can't see a puncture. They don't see a rupture," he said.

Mann said inspectors needed to get on the ground to check out the magnitude of the spill, but the area was basically inaccessible by ground because Plaquemines Parish was nearly submerged by Hurricane Katrina.

No further details were given.

ochre
09-04-2005, 08:47 PM
That one *may* have been posted before RBA. I remember seeing a similar story and that is from Friday.

RBA
09-04-2005, 08:58 PM
Okay, you're right. I guess I'm just as well as inform as Mike Brown.

RFS62
09-04-2005, 09:04 PM
The plan was to get as many of those unable to evacuate into facilities such as the Superdome. A key part of that plan was that there would be aid rolling in as soon as the storm cleared. Evacuating ~1 million people from the greater NO area is not an insignificant accomplishment. I believe there has been some indication that efforts to reinforce the lake levees were put off until too late. Not sure who is to blame, but that and FEMA blocking early aid packages seem to be the primary factors that many natives are complaining about.


That's my take, too.

Nobody in the disaster relief community realistically believes an evacuation could ever be 100% effective. Even if the buses had rolled through the streets, thousands would never have got on them. It's the "cry wolf" aspect of so many evacuations in the past when the hurricane didn't hit. It's a well known concept in the community, and Galveston, Texas is another prime target talked about many times with the same disasterous potential, although much smaller in population.

The crime, and I mean it's criminal, is not getting food and water to the survivors immediately, no matter what it took.

No excuse is acceptable on this matter.

Unfortunately, that very public and devestating failure that caused so much misery on an international stage, and could have been avoided, will morph into partisan attacks, and quite possible obscure the essence of the problem.

ochre
09-04-2005, 09:06 PM
Glad to see you made it (somewhere at least) safely. I am assuming you reached your hotel?

Falls City Beer
09-04-2005, 09:12 PM
Unfortunately, that very public and devestating failure that caused so much misery on an international stage, and could have been avoided, will morph into partisan attacks, and quite possible obscure the essence of the problem.

I hope that the attacks (call them partisan if you wish, though I'd add that a LOT of Republicans are doing the actual attacking, so....) lead to greater accountability, no matter who's in charge.

OnBaseMachine
09-04-2005, 09:31 PM
Man Braves Alligator Attacks to Help Save Neighbors
LAST UPDATE: 9/4/2005 7:00:19 PM
Posted By: CyberBob

As alligators attacked, Hank Finney swam from house to house trying to save his neighbors in New Orleans. Finney is now safe here in San Antonio. News 4 WOAI's Demond Fernandez has the story of an incredible hurricane hero. Click here to watch…

Bandages and bruises sum up Finney's story of survival in Louisiana.

“It's been hell, man. It's been hell,” says Finney. “Dead bodies all over the place. Old people can't get out. No water. The stench of the smell of the city is just murder on people.”

Alligators almost killed Finney. They attacked while he was saving neighbors along New Orleans flooded streets.

“I was fighting off alligators – four foot alligators. Beating them off. They were tearing up a dead body, and I was just trying to beat them off. When I fell off, I scuffed myself up trying to get back in the boat because they were coming after me,” Kinney told WOAI.

Finney kept fighting because his neighbors kept calling.

“People hollering, ‘Can you help me? Can you help me?’” recalls Finney. “But you can only help so many because you've got a boat load of people.”

The bites caused serious infection, but Finney's going to be okay with anti-biotics. He's just glad he helped as many people as he could.

http://www.woai.com/news/local/story.aspx?content_id=4DB6A002-DB59-43EA-97E0-FC8EDD08B490

RFS62
09-04-2005, 10:25 PM
Glad to see you made it (somewhere at least) safely. I am assuming you reached your hotel?


Yep, I roll into Mobile tomorrow. I'm in a hotel tonight.

RFS62
09-04-2005, 10:34 PM
I hope that the attacks (call them partisan if you wish, though I'd add that a LOT of Republicans are doing the actual attacking, so....) lead to greater accountability, no matter who's in charge.


Yeah, I'm all for accountability. I believe there's plenty of ammo for the loyal opposition without having to resort to partisanship. In fact, I believe that brings the motives of the inquiry into question.

I'm a Republican. I'm outraged. I want to find out the truth, too.

Let the chips fall where they may. But keep it fair.

Bill Clinton and his experience means nothing to me. It is totally irrelevent in this matter.

LoganBuck
09-04-2005, 10:51 PM
I think another one is building up in the Atlantic. It was still a trop. depr. a couple of days ago, but I saw one of the forecast maps in a briefing I was helping with. I'll check the Hurricane Center web site.

I guess the real hurricane threat is about 9 days away, a new storm is taking a southernly path across the atlantic just off Africa.

http://www.weather.com/maps/news/atlstorm14/tropicalatlanticsatellite_large.html

I

LoganBuck
09-04-2005, 10:52 PM
I think another one is building up in the Atlantic. It was still a trop. depr. a couple of days ago, but I saw one of the forecast maps in a briefing I was helping with. I'll check the Hurricane Center web site.

I guess the real hurricane threat is about 9 days away, a new storm is taking a southernly path across the atlantic just off Africa.

http://www.weather.com/maps/news/atlstorm14/tropicalatlanticsatellite_large.html

How do you guys insert the weather maps?
http://image.weather.com/images/sat/tropsat_600x405.jpg

ochre
09-04-2005, 10:57 PM
like that :)

LoganBuck
09-04-2005, 11:00 PM
Thanks, ochre.

ochre
09-04-2005, 11:07 PM
click the http://www.redszone.com/forums/skins/RedsZone/editor/insertimage.gif button and paste in the url to the picture.

OnBaseMachine
09-04-2005, 11:17 PM
Another storm possible in hard-hit area
Web posted at: 9/5/2005 2:46:44
Source ::: AP

NEW ORLEANS: Katrina may seem like the last word in hurricanes, but there is a very real possibility that another major hurricane may hit New Orleans or some other portion of the 200-mile coastline devastated by Katrina in the weeks to come.

"We're not out of the woods yet," said Susan Cutter, director of the University of South Carolina Hazards Research Laboratory. "We're not even in the height of hurricane season."

A forecast released on Friday by meteorologists at Colorado State University calls for six more hurricanes by the time the hurricane season ends on November 30, three of them Category 3 or above. On average, about one major hurricane in three makes landfall in the US. "We expect that by the time the 2005 hurricane season is over, we will witness tropical cyclone activity at near record levels," the Colorado State meteorologists wrote.

The latest report from the National Weather Service mentions only Tropical Storm Maria. Maria intensified into the season's fifth hurricane yesterday, growing stronger over warm water far out in the open Atlantic. At 11am EDT, Maria had maximum sustained wind of 75 mph — only 1 mph higher than the threshold for hurricane status — and was centered 605 miles east-southeast of Bermuda. It was moving north-northwest at 13 mph, and was expected to turn toward the north. "On this track, Maria should remain well to the east of Bermuda and only pose a threat to shipping interests," said Stacy Stewart, a hurricane specialist at the National Hurricane Centre.

http://www.thepeninsulaqatar.com/Display_news.asp?section=World_News&subsection=Americas&month=September2005&file=World_News2005090524644.xml

Just what would happen if another hurricane hit near the New Orleans area? The water will still be in the city before hurricane season ends, so another storm would probably put the whole city under water. Its scary to even think of this.

OnBaseMachine
09-04-2005, 11:31 PM
Article on my new hero...Harvey Jackson. Saddest story I've ever seen. The woman that interviewed him on that Monday night actually broke down in tears while listening to his story.


Survivor's sad plight humanizes calamity

Don't turn away from Harvey Jackson.

And don't turn away from the thousands of other Harvey Jacksons who've lost everything but the clothes on their backs to Hurricane Katrina's terrible power.

I don't cry easily, but the news footage of Jackson, a Biloxi resident, moved me to tears. Katrina sacked and pillaged everything he had. Everything except the bewildered children at his side.

While trapped on top of his home as the swirling waters rose, Jackson was faced with the choice of saving his wife, Tonette, or his kids.

Even the strongest man, the best father, can't fight nature's wrath, can't hold back the sea, can't cling onto everybody at once. When the torrents tugged harder than Jackson's grip, his wife told him to take care of the children before her body slipped beneath the rising waters.

How would you like to live with that for the rest of your life?

Then Jackson's house split in two.

When a reporter found him, Jackson was wandering down a Biloxi street, numbed by a God-awful heartache most of us will have the good fortune to never know.

Sometimes it's a blessing our minds can't comprehend what's just happened. A distraught Jackson shook his head in disbelief as his words came tumbling out.

"(Our house) just opened up. She was with me, but I can't find her. I held her hand as tight as I could. She's gone. I'm lost. I've lost all that I had."

I don't know why Jackson didn't evacuate his family. Maybe he thought they could ride out the storm. Maybe they didn't have a car or couldn't get a ride to a shelter. The why, though, is immaterial here. We've all misjudged. No one deserves that kind of pain.

Hundreds of thousands are without food and water. Emergency officials estimate the storm may eventually leave 1 million residents homeless. Congress should be thinking fast about a Work Projects Administration-type cleanup effort.

There's a sense in America that natural disasters only happen in exotic lands chock full of dirt-poor people. Not here. Not in our rich country. But all the money in the national treasury couldn't keep Mother Nature at bay. And we suddenly have a lot more destitute folks after Katrina.

Americans are a generous people. Pictures of the Asian tsunami last December prompted us to open our checkbooks to the tune of $340 million. Surely we can do the same for our own.

Help, please. Call the American Red Cross at 1-800-HELP-NOW, the Salvation Army at 1-800-SAL-ARMY, or your church denomination's disaster relief committee.

Don't send clothes, fans, canned goods or bottled water. They only get in the way of relief efforts. Send cash.

As we return to our cozy homes, make a nice hot dinner and plop down in front of the tube to gawk at hurricane damage, we see the devastation but can't really know the immense suffering 1,000 miles south.

Anyone with second thoughts about feeding, clothing and sheltering his fellow countrymen in dire need would do well to recall his Sunday school Deuteronomy (15:11):

"Thou shalt open thine hand wide unto thy brother, to thy poor, and to thy needy in thy land."

One day, Harvey Jackson could be us.

http://www.news-leader.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050904/OPINIONS/509040334/1091

WVRedsFan
09-05-2005, 02:26 AM
Yep, I roll into Mobile tomorrow. I'm in a hotel tonight.

Godspeed, D.

I don't envy you at all. Regardless of the politics involved (and believe me there wlll be), we need to get to the bottom of this. This was not racial nor political. IMHO, it was just lazy-mindedness.

Good Luck.

traderumor
09-05-2005, 10:57 AM
That's my take, too.

Nobody in the disaster relief community realistically believes an evacuation could ever be 100% effective. Even if the buses had rolled through the streets, thousands would never have got on them. It's the "cry wolf" aspect of so many evacuations in the past when the hurricane didn't hit. It's a well known concept in the community, and Galveston, Texas is another prime target talked about many times with the same disasterous potential, although much smaller in population.

The crime, and I mean it's criminal, is not getting food and water to the survivors immediately, no matter what it took.

No excuse is acceptable on this matter.

Unfortunately, that very public and devestating failure that caused so much misery on an international stage, and could have been avoided, will morph into partisan attacks, and quite possible obscure the essence of the problem.What I want to know is why. How do you know no "excuse" is acceptable? It seems, in all my years on this earth, that very seldom do the facts come out in a monumental failure that it was simple incompetence and/or lack of planning. There is usually a chain of events that transpire that make the failure understandable, even if it's not palatable or excusable. Of course, the lazy way out is to just say "Bush is the worst. president. ever." That has and will accomplish nothing.

WVRed
09-05-2005, 11:08 AM
Dont think this has been posted. Wow.

http://www.lakelandledger.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050904/NEWS/509040419/1039


Polk Couple Survive the Unthinkable

By Gabrielle Finley
The Ledger

LAKELAND -- Women being raped screamed. Armed looters terrorized the innocent, and people stood in ankle-deep urine just to use the bathroom.

Dena Cochran and her boyfriend Mike Smithkey of Lakeland sought refuge in the New Orleans Superdome after Hurricane Katrina flooded the city's streets Monday.

But the chaos inside the hot and crowded stadium, where as many as 30,000 people lived without adequate food, water and basic sanitation for days, seemed worse than what the vacationing couple had fled.

Filth and excrement spattered the bathroom walls, and the stench of desperation hung heavy, as violent drunks mixed with stranded tourists and locals who'd lost everything.

"I feel like I was in a concentration camp," said Cochran, 36. "Nothing prepares you to see a living landfill.

LEAVING THE HOTEL

About 6:30 a.m. Monday, the electricity went in the Barrone Plaza, where the couple had been staying since Aug. 25.

Five minutes later, the hotel generator blew.

Katrina blew out windows and left the hotel in total darkness. Even the emergency stairway lights were shot.

A sinking feeling came over them. They were armed with only a flashlight.

The looters wading toward their hotel had weapons.

"At one point we heard what sounded like a young male kicking in doors. All we could do is lay there and pray that he doesn't make it to our room," Cochran said Saturday, from the safety of an Arlington, Texas, motel room.

The shots outside continued through the night.

Wednesday morning, the hotel management told the couple they had to evacuate to the Superdome.

They took only medications and toiletries and waded through waist-deep water for a mile and a half.

SHELTER OF LAST RESORT

Together with a couple they were traveling with, a single mom from Manhattan and her 12-year-old son, Cochran and Smithkey huddled in seats on the stadium's first level.

Down below, on the football field, they heard gunshots.

Drifting in and out of sleep, they heard women screaming as they were being raped in the bathrooms, Cochran said.

Unaware of what was happening, though, the group slept in shifts.

"I've been a cop for 27 years," said Smithkey, 44. "I would've been fine if it was just me, but I was responsible for my girlfriend and the other single woman."

Racial tensions flared, with only a handful of whites living among a sea of black faces.

"We would hear things, racial comments like, `It's all the white man's fault,' and I understood their point," Cochran said. "Racism is a huge part of this story, I'm afraid."

"Some apologized for us having to go through this in their city. They were disgraced and embarrassed."

There were signs of compassion, too. Many people put the safety of children and the elderly above their own.

Conditions deteriorated quickly.

Needles from diabetic patients, dirty diapers, contaminated blankets and pillows littered the ground.

There was no food or water, other than the water bottles, snacks and military-issue MREs they brought with them.

Thursday, Cochran, Smithkey and the rest of their group moved outside the stadium. They slept on a makeshift palette, fashioned from heavy plastic sheeting and cardboard.

There was no peace to be had.

Thousands of people gathered near the stadium, waiting for buses to take them out of the city. People relieved themselves anywhere and everywhere.

For 12 hours, Cochran and Smithkey waited in line with the sick, the hungry, the drunk and the armed.

"Those are things you don't want to mix -- angry people, liquored up with weapons," Cochran said.

Ten hours into the wait, that lesson hit home for Cochran.

GET ON THE BUS

Another woman in line stared hatefully at Cochran and her friends and called them "devils."

"She said, `God will get you,' " Cochran said.

Grabbing a shank from a friend, the black woman stuck the weapon in her pocket-sized Bible.

She inched closed to Cochran, but Smithkey, a retired Polk County Sheriff's sergeant, saw the woman grab the shank and blocked her way.

"Had Mike not seen that," Cochran said through tears. "I would've laid there and died."

Two hours later, a chartered bus arrived to take them out of New Orleans. Cochran said she was still afraid for her wife.

Wanting sleep and food, the couple wanted to find the nearest hotel. But they couldn't.

"It was like prison," Cochran said.

At the next stop, Cochran ate her first "meal" since the storm -- four days earlier -- a bag of potato chips, a package of Skittles and a Coke.

The bus reached Fort Worth, Texas, at 1 a.m. Friday.

A local police officer took Cochran, Smithkey and their friends off the bus.

Outside, Pamela Harmon, a first-grade teacher, offered to help.

"She saved all six of our lives," Cochran said.

Harmon crammed all six into her Chevy Blazer and took them to Wal-Mart, where they bought new clothes, then drove them to a hotel.

A HAPPY ENDING

The couple bought plane tickets to Tampa and expect to meet up with friends and family in Lakeland this afternoon.

"All I want is to see my family," Cochran said. "(And) those friends we traveled with are family now. We kept each other alive."

OnBaseMachine
09-05-2005, 12:39 PM
MacGyver's real name is apparently Reuben Smith. :dunno:


10:51 A.M. - Reuben Smith, New Orleans evacuee: Lived on Marengo Street, between Louisiana and Napolean Avenue. When the waters started rising, Smith made makeshift floatation devices using plastic bags and duck tape. The rising waters forced him to swim to a nearby two-story home and wait for rescue.

http://www.wwltv.com/local/stories/WWLBLOG.ac3fcea.html


10:12: A.M. - Jefferson Parish President Aaron Broussard: I'm not surprised at what the feds say, they're covering their butts. They're keeping the body counts down because they don't want to horrify the nation. It's worse than Iraq, worse than 9-11. They just don't want to know how many were murdered by bureaucracy.

OnBaseMachine
09-05-2005, 12:53 PM
A Broad Area Of Low Pressure Has Remained Nearly Stationary Just Off The Southeastern Coast Of Florida And Over The Northwestern Bahamas. This System Has Become Slightly Better Organized This Morning... And A Tropical Depression Could Form In This Area During The Next Day Or Two. A Noaa Hurricane Hunter Aircraft Is Scheduled To Investigate The System Tomorrow..If Necessary. Interests In The Bahamas And Florida Should Monitor The Progress Of This System.

http://www.weatherhub.com/Hurricane/

Unassisted
09-05-2005, 05:37 PM
These Gannett News Service reporters agree that more could have been done to get those in New Orleans without transportation to safety.

http://www.shreveporttimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050905/NEWS01/509050357/1002

Evacuation plan didn't address many contingencies
Provisions failed to account for city's many poor, those without cars.
September 5, 2005

By Malia Rulon
and Katherine Hutt Scott

Gannett News Service

WASHINGTON -- An evacuation plan devised by Louisiana state officials in the event of a "catastrophic hurricane" in New Orleans predicted difficulties in getting the city's 463,000 people, nearly a third of whom don't own cars, out of the low-lying area.

But nothing in the 45-page plan addressed what ended up becoming reality for about 100,000 residents and tourists of the once-vibrant city: With no money, no electricity, no car, no airline flights and no public transportation, there was no way to get out before the storm.

"I felt abandoned," said Mike Johnson, 20, who helped his neighbors and their two children get from their one-story house to his two-story house as the water started gushing in. They huddled in Johnson's home for two days with no food or water. "There wasn't nobody doing nothing."

Most of the city's residents got out before the storm hit. But tourists and the city's poorest, disabled and infirm residents were left behind to face the hurricane -- and nearly a week of waiting for aid and transportation out of the city.

"The disaster that we are observing lays bare the tremendous class stratification of our society," said Bryan Fair, a law professor at the University of Alabama who teaches courses on race and gender discrimination.

"The people who were left behind in New Orleans are the people who are always left: the poor, the people without power, the people that our society doesn't care about."

Many evacuated before storm

Those with cars, cash, credit, and friends or relatives in other cities took to the roads on Saturday when forecasters issued a hurricane watch for the city at 11 a.m., meaning that a storm could strike within 36 hours.

People boarded up businesses and jammed the roads. By mid-afternoon, gas stations were running low on fuel. At 4 p.m. that day, the state turned all inbound interstate lanes into outbound routes to help quicken the evacuation.

By Sunday, Katrina was a monster Category 5 hurricane with 165-mph winds, prompting New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin to issue the city's first-ever mandatory evacuation order at 10 a.m.

"We are facing a storm that most of us have long feared," he said. "This is a once-in-a-lifetime event."

Highways remained backed up until late in the day as people heeded his warning and headed inland. At the peak of the evacuation, as many as 18,000-people-an-hour were streaming out of southeastern Louisiana, state police said.

Those without cars trapped

Residents who don't own cars -- more than 49,000 households in New Orleans, according to Claritas Inc., a San Diego-based market research company -- had few options.

Greyhound ended bus service out of the city late Saturday, citing safety concerns. Amtrak, which runs on tracks that go through the city's levees, ended service to and from New Orleans on Sunday.

Most major airlines cancelled flights out of the Louis Armstrong International Airport as the hurricane neared: Delta shut down after midnight Saturday; American, US Airways and Continental ended service by early Sunday afternoon.

Since the flight cancellations came earlier than expected, many tourists were stranded. Some rented cars before rental agencies shut down. Others took taxis as far as Baton Rouge, 75 miles away, and rented cars.

The city provided some buses to transport residents left behind to 10 emergency shelters, including the 77,000-seat Louisiana Superdome, home of the NFL's New Orleans Saints, which opened at noon on Sunday. As many as 9,000 people lined up for blocks to get in before the storm. More came after the levees broke on Tuesday.

One woman waiting to enter the stadium told the New Orleans Times-Picayune she was there because she had no money. Another woman said she had no car. One man said he wanted to avoid sitting in traffic.

By the time Katrina hit New Orleans early Monday morning, an estimated 100,000 people remained in the city.

Authorities brought survivors by truck, boat and helicopter to two main collection points close to high ground -- the Superdome and the convention center. But once they took them there, they didn't start moving them out fast enough, and the crowd quickly became too big for the buildings to handle.

The scene at both places looked as bad as any footage from a war-torn country in the Third World -- garbage piled up everywhere, shards of glass cutting into barefoot evacuees, exhausted and dying people lying on debris and detritus.

The stench of rotting bodies filled a shopping center leading from the Superdome out to an adjacent Hyatt. Survivors told of dumping corpses into the floodwaters around the arena, just to get them away from the living. Starving babies cried inconsolably as their mothers sat helpless, unable to feed them with the military rations they didn't even get until late in the week.

"We are being treated like dogs, like slaves," said Tinita Castell, a pregnant nursing student from New Orleans marooned outside the convention center Friday afternoon. "We believed, we had faith that they were going to make something happen."

Gap in planning?

What's so eerie about Hurricane Katrina is that for years, engineers and climatologists have warned that a major storm could wreck havoc on the city.

A 2002 series in the Times-Picayune called "Washed Away" accurately predicted that if a major storm hit the city, getting out of town could be close to impossible for thousands of residents.

"100,000 people without transportation will be especially threatened," the paper wrote. "A large population of low-income residents do not own cars and would have to depend on an untested emergency public transportation system to evacuate them."

According to the state's evacuation plan for southeast Louisiana, the primary means of evacuation was to be personal vehicles. But 27 percent of the city's households don't own a car -- a problem that doesn't appear to have been addressed in advance planning models.

The "untested" emergency response system was supposed to be a system of public buses that would transport people out of the city in the event of a disaster.

Instead, buses took people to the Superdome, which was supposed to be a staging point from which to transport people out of the state.

But nearly a week after the hurricane had hit ground, thousands of people were still waiting for buses to take them out of the city. By then, the Superdome had become uninhabitable as the air conditioning cut off, running water stopped and toilets backed up.

Who was left behind

Natural disasters are indiscriminate: They hit both affluent and poor areas.

While that was the case with Katrina, images on TV and in newspapers paint a different picture. They show people perched on rooftops and at the Superdome who are grief-stricken, tired, hungry, poor and black.

"It reveals the overlap between poverty and race in the U.S.," said Fair, the University of Alabama professor. "It also points out the deep poverty that exists in this country. We have a tremendous divide."

In New Orleans, 67 percent of the city's residents are black and one-third of them come from households that earn less than $15,000 a year.

"The poor were just left to fend for themselves," said Rep. Jose Serrano, D-N.Y., who was among other lawmakers in Washington who expressed shock and dismay at the late and poorly coordinated hurricane relief effort.

The reality of life for many of the city's poorest residents is that welfare and Social Security checks arrive at the beginning of each month, meaning that by the time the hurricane hit, money and food had run out.

Other residents, who live paycheck-to-paycheck, recalled previous hurricane evacuations where they had spent more than $1,000 on out-of-town hotel bills only to find that the storm had spared the city.

For these people, evacuating the city wasn't an option.

"I know they're saying 'Get out of town,' but I don't have any way to get out," said New Orleans resident Hattie Johns, 74. "If you don't have no money, you can't go."

Beverly Corbell of The Daily Advertiser at Lafayette; Curtis Heyen of The Times at Shreveport; Mike Madden and Brian Tumulty of GNS contributed to this report.

On another note, I saw today on WWL that Mayor Nagin wants to find a way to give every remaining N.O. police officer and firefighter a 5-day, all-expenses paid vacation to Las Vegas.

RBA
09-05-2005, 06:09 PM
These Gannett News Service reporters agree that more could have been done to get those in New Orleans without transportation to safety.

http://www.shreveporttimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050905/NEWS01/509050357/1002

On another note, I saw today on WWL that Mayor Nagin wants to find a way to give every remaining N.O. police officer and firefighter a 5-day, all-expenses paid vacation to Las Vegas.

Las Vegas was selected because they have a huge amount of hotel space. I have no problem with these heros getting some R&R after going thru several days of hell. Do you?

Unassisted
09-05-2005, 06:17 PM
I have no problem with these heros getting some R&R after going thru several days of hell. Do you?Only if it's paid for with tax dollars, because of the precedent it would set. I doubt that it will be, though. There should be plenty of grateful citizens and businesses willing to foot the bill.

OnBaseMachine
09-05-2005, 07:47 PM
3:32 P.M. Ben Morris, Slidell mayor: We are still hampered by some of the most stupid, idiotic regulations by FEMA. They have turned away generators, we've heard that they've gone around seizing equipment from our contractors. If they do so, they'd better be armed because I'll be damned if I'm going to let them deprive our citizens. I'm pissed off, and tired of this horse$#@@."

http://www.wwltv.com/local/stories/WWLBLOG.ac3fcea.html

I hope Michael Brown is fired. I saw an interview of him today, and he comes off as arrogant to me.

paintmered
09-05-2005, 07:58 PM
The real unfortunate thing IMO is that when all this is cleaned up and N.O. is drained and the rebuilding begins, there will be a non-partisan congressional committee created to improve disaster response.

They will "fix" the problems created by bureaucracy with none other than additional layers of bureaucracy.

RFS62
09-05-2005, 07:59 PM
The real sad thing IMO is that when all this is cleaned up and N.O. is drained and the rebuilding begins, there will be a non-partisan congressional committee created to improve disaster response.

They will "fix" the problems created by bureaucracy with none other than additional layers of bureaucracy.


Exactly my fear.

Falls City Beer
09-05-2005, 08:04 PM
Exactly my fear.

Mine as well. I'd just like my president to appoint the right person the first time, so we don't have to go through this again.

M2
09-05-2005, 09:04 PM
A few random thoughts:

I'm with RBA that the chief failing was not getting food and water to the survivors.

Saw Chertoff on MTP yesterday and apparently he's not familiar with the concept of runoff. I'm no hydrologist, but even I know that it takes a while for rain to collect inside of bodies of water.

Are the people in charge responsible for anything anymore? And if they're not, would it be too much to ask for someone who would be?

ochre
09-05-2005, 09:09 PM
Saw Chertoff on MTP yesterday and apparently he's not familiar with the concept of runoff. I'm no hydrologist, but even I know that it takes a while for rain to collect inside of bodies of water.


That doesn't surprise me. I read an article on the anti-scientific/anti-intellectual stance that Bush favors. That one of his functionaries would not be able to grasp a fairly simple (scientifically) phenomenon seems to fit. They seem to favor gut feelings on things.

OnBaseMachine
09-05-2005, 09:20 PM
.

OnBaseMachine
09-05-2005, 09:36 PM
8:06 P.M. - Jackson: Venezuela offered help, but was turned away.


FEMA did not have a plan for a massive rescue or of receiving of evacuees. Said Homeland Security turned away the American Red Cross by saying it was too dangerous.

http://www.wwltv.com/local/stories/WWLBLOG.ac3fcea.html

Falls City Beer
09-05-2005, 10:20 PM
A few random thoughts:

I'm with RBA that the chief failing was not getting food and water to the survivors.

Saw Chertoff on MTP yesterday and apparently he's not familiar with the concept of runoff. I'm no hydrologist, but even I know that it takes a while for rain to collect inside of bodies of water.

Are the people in charge responsible for anything anymore? And if they're not, would it be too much to ask for someone who would be?

What's really distressing is some of these posters can see, for instance, DanO's (or Lindner's or Allen's, et al) culpability in creating an awful team, yet they can't, for whatever reason, find their government at fault for anything. It's bloody mystifying.

ochre
09-05-2005, 10:34 PM
Turned away the Red Cross too?

I'm getting a very "let them eat cake" vibe from this operation.

OnBaseMachine
09-05-2005, 10:58 PM
Awesome.


Mary Landrieu: I'll Punch Bush, 'Literally'

Sen. Mary Landrieu threatened the president of the United States with physical violence on Sunday, saying that if he or any other government official criticizes New Orleans police for failing to keep civil order in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina - "I might likely have to punch him - literally."

"If one person criticizes [our sheriffs], or says one more thing, including the president of the United States, he will hear from me - one more word about it after this show airs and I - I might likely have to punch him - literally," Landrieu railed on "ABC's "This Week."

Story Continues Below

It is illegal to threaten the president with physical violence.

The Louisiana Democrat blasted Bush for neglecting the New Orleans levees, and demanded that he stop using the disaster for "photo-ops."

"The president came here yesterday for a photo-op," Landrieu charged, while surveying the disaster scene via helicopter with "This Week" host George Stephanopoulos in tow. "He got his photo-op but we are never going to get this fixed if he does not send us help now."

Landrieu also blamed Bush for cutting funding for levee improvement, before bursting into tears on camera.

In recent days, Louisiana officials have been criticized for bungling evacuation and rescue efforts. One of those officials, Lt. Gov. Mitch Landrieu, is Sen. Landrieu's brother.

http://www.newsmax.com/archives/ic/2005/9/4/101101.shtml

RFS62
09-05-2005, 11:03 PM
What I want to know is why. How do you know no "excuse" is acceptable? It seems, in all my years on this earth, that very seldom do the facts come out in a monumental failure that it was simple incompetence and/or lack of planning. There is usually a chain of events that transpire that make the failure understandable, even if it's not palatable or excusable. Of course, the lazy way out is to just say "Bush is the worst. president. ever." That has and will accomplish nothing.


Sorry, I just saw this. I may have missed other posts that I would have normally tried to read, I just don't have time to catch up.

In the baseball world, I'm the first to complain when Monday Morning Quarterbacks question a double-switch, or when a reliever is brought in. I always try to make the point that we don't know everything that was going on behind the scenes, that there could be extenuating circumstances that made the decision play out differently than we could possibly know watching from the sidelines.

So, I can agree with that sentiment in your post. Every possible benefit of the doubt should be extended, as the repurcussions to this situation are grave, indeed. This isn't a game, it's peoples lives.

But sometimes it's an ockhams razor situation of biblical proportions. The trucks were there. The water was there. The food was there. It was loaded, staged, and ready to roll exactly when it was needed. Someone, somehow, set in motion the stunning decision to not send it in for three days, while the entire world watched the suffering on TV. I've talked to FEMA guys, National Guardsmen, insurance people, residents of New Orleans... they all agree. It was dereliction of duty on a historic scale.

I don't blame Bush directly. I do, however, believe he bears a ton of responsibility for his appointment of Brown, and his reorganization of FEMA post 9-11.

I'll reserve judgment until all the inquiries are completed, and you can bet your last dollar that there will be completely thorough and in-depth inquiries from numerous sources, both public and private. But my gut tells me Brown is the main culprit. He's not an evil man, I don't think. But he's not up to the task of running this agency. Talk is cheap, performance is all that counts in this arena. Lives hang in the balance.

The nation and the world are outraged. Rightfully so.

Unassisted
09-05-2005, 11:43 PM
from article... "FEMA did not have a plan for a massive rescue or of receiving of evacuees. Said Homeland Security turned away the American Red Cross by saying it was too dangerous."FEMA's refusing to admit any relief supplies or personnel into the city. They want to make staying in the city as unattractive an option as possible. I've seen several reporters on TV today who say they've interviewed die-hard residents who prefer to stay put, including some senior citizens.

RBA
09-05-2005, 11:49 PM
FEMA's refusing to admit any relief supplies or personnel into the city. They want to make staying in the city as unattractive an option as possible. I've seen several reporters on TV today who say they've interviewed die-hard residents who prefer to stay put, including some senior citizens.

I think they got their point across. I guess they also wanted to give Geraldo some ratings reporting from the N.O. convention center.

Unassisted
09-05-2005, 11:49 PM
But my gut tells me Brown is the main culprit. He's not an evil man, I don't think. But he's not up to the task of running this agency. Saw a news story tonight on CNN that Mike Brown's management experience consists of a stint as the CEO of a horse-breeders' trade association. That is omitted from his official bio on the FEMA web site, because he was relieved of his duties there in 2001. From that auspicious gig, he went on to FEMA, coming on board as second-in-command and getting promoted when his predecessor left the agency.

FWIW, his predecessor felt he was the best person for the job because he had worked so closely with him for several years.

A Democrat who was interviewed in the story speculated that the FEMA director position was handed out by this administration more for political patronage than for leadership ability.

Rojo
09-05-2005, 11:58 PM
Sorry, I just saw this. I may have missed other posts that I would have normally tried to read, I just don't have time to catch up.

In the baseball world, I'm the first to complain when Monday Morning Quarterbacks question a double-switch, or when a reliever is brought in. I always try to make the point that we don't know everything that was going on behind the scenes, that there could be extenuating circumstances that made the decision play out differently than we could possibly know watching from the sidelines.

So, I can agree with that sentiment in your post. Every possible benefit of the doubt should be extended, as the repurcussions to this situation are grave, indeed. This isn't a game, it's peoples lives.

But sometimes it's an ockhams razor situation of biblical proportions. The trucks were there. The water was there. The food was there. It was loaded, staged, and ready to roll exactly when it was needed. Someone, somehow, set in motion the stunning decision to not send it in for three days, while the entire world watched the suffering on TV. I've talked to FEMA guys, National Guardsmen, insurance people, residents of New Orleans... they all agree. It was dereliction of duty on a historic scale.

I don't blame Bush directly. I do, however, believe he bears a ton of responsibility for his appointment of Brown, and his reorganization of FEMA post 9-11.

I'll reserve judgment until all the inquiries are completed, and you can bet your last dollar that there will be completely thorough and in-depth inquiries from numerous sources, both public and private. But my gut tells me Brown is the main culprit. He's not an evil man, I don't think. But he's not up to the task of running this agency. Talk is cheap, performance is all that counts in this arena. Lives hang in the balance.

The nation and the world are outraged. Rightfully so.

Great post! Although I shovel a wee bit more culpability to Bush for not returning from vacation, that's about my take as well. Again, if Bush doesn't fire Brown and Chertoff, I'm on board for the big 'peach.

LoganBuck
09-06-2005, 12:07 AM
Top reason on the news tonight to stay in New Orleans - "I need to take care of my dog."

For Sen. Mary Landrieu, All you are saying is that it is okay for you to point fingers at the Federal level, but the Feds can not point at the local and state level. There is a parking lot with 120 school buses sitting in 8 feet of water in NO. This was bungled by the entire government local, state, and federal.

This whole thing was lost from the minute it became apparent that Katrina was a completely different mess than what had been previously dealt with. The devastation ranges over an area greater than the landmass of Great Britain. Even a convoy of truckloads of supplies would have been like using a toothbrush to clean the urinals in Ohio Stadium on Sunday morning.

OnBaseMachine
09-06-2005, 12:13 PM
Parts of Florida are under a Tropical Storm warning.

Tropical depression formed just off Florida (http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/tafb/danger_atl.gif). Additional strengthening is expected.\


Fla. Storm Could Bring 15 Inches of Rain

Tuesday September 6, 2005 4:46 PM

MIAMI (AP) - About 120 miles of Florida's Atlantic coast were under a tropical storm warning Tuesday as a new system formed just offshore and threatened to dump up to 15 inches of rain in parts of the state.

The tropical depression could strengthen into Tropical Storm Ophelia by Wednesday, which prompted the warning from north of Jupiter to Titusville, according to the National Hurricane Center.

It could bring tropical storm conditions of winds of at least 39 mph to the state by Wednesday morning.

``The primary concern is very heavy rains,'' hurricane specialist Richard Pasch said. Five to 10 inches were expected over the next few days, with some isolated areas possibly getting 15 inches.

At 11 a.m. EDT, the depression had top sustained winds of about 30 mph and was centered about 180 miles southeast of Cape Canaveral. It wasn't moving, but it should start heading north-northwest later Tuesday, forecasters said.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/worldlatest/story/0,1280,-5259370,00.html

Unassisted
09-06-2005, 12:20 PM
Parts of Florida are under a Tropical Storm warning.
FWIW, you might want to start a new topic for this new storm, in the hope that it could be unsullied by politics. This thread is doomed.

We need to practice discussing current events without discussing politics.

Blimpie
09-06-2005, 12:43 PM
FWIW, you might want to start a new topic for this new storm, in the hope that it could be unsullied by politics. This thread is doomed.

We need to practice discussing current events without discussing politics.I have given up on that one...I think I'll just wait for the September 15th ban instead. :beerme:

Rojo
09-06-2005, 12:47 PM
We need to practice discussing current events without discussing politics.

Might I ask why? I mean we can all agree its a tragedy, so what's the point?

traderumor
09-06-2005, 01:15 PM
What's really distressing is some of these posters can see, for instance, DanO's (or Lindner's or Allen's, et al) culpability in creating an awful team, yet they can't, for whatever reason, find their government at fault for anything. It's bloody mystifying.This poster tries not to jump to conclusions, which I think much of the criticism is based on. Not understanding that is something equally bloody mystifying.

Unassisted
09-06-2005, 02:49 PM
Might I ask why? I mean we can all agree its a tragedy, so what's the point?Because it will be disruptive to have a thread that discusses current events apolitically moved over to the other board when it is 50 posts long because some poster makes a post that takes it in a political direction. Two words: momentum killer.

Unassisted
09-06-2005, 03:29 PM
Heard a couple of Texas Rangers (Texas state police) on a radio show today discuss their experiences helping out in New Orleans over the past week. They both said that one of the biggest reasons for the lawlessness in New Orleans was that hundreds of police officers there took their vehicles and left town before the flooding, with no permission or explanation.

These rangers said that they saw far more police lieutenants and assistant chiefs, as well as park rangers and police from other parts of the state pitching in to help citizens than rank-and-file NOPD officers. The reason they knew they were working with high-ranking officers is that the uniform shirts for the upper ranks in NO are white, while rank-and-file officers wear blue shirts.

Much has been made of the officers being unaccounted for, but the implication I've always taken from those media references is that they probably died heroically or were stranded somewhere in the city. One of the rangers said that he had been on a helicopter tour of the damaged areas in southern Louisiana and he personally saw several New Orleans police cars parked in Lafayette, Louisiana - over 100 miles west of New Orleans.

One of the rangers was a 35-year veteran of police work. He was near tears as he said that the behavior of those officers who abandoned their city was certainly contrary to any sworn oath that he'd ever taken as a law-enforcement officer.

This story made me less in favor of the free trips to Las Vegas for the police force, unless the perq is given with supervisors' approval. Some of those officers didn't go through hell at all, they just got themselves the hell out of town. :angry:

OnBaseMachine
09-06-2005, 03:43 PM
Fox News says the Tropical Storm off Florida could move into the Gulf...

Reds Fanatic
09-06-2005, 03:48 PM
[Here is the current track map for that tropical storm. Unless it makes a big left turn across Florida I don't see how this gets into the gulf.

http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/storm_graphics/AT16/refresh/AL1605W_sm2+gif/145127W_sm.gif

Blimpie
09-06-2005, 03:51 PM
Heard a couple of Texas Rangers (Texas state police) on a radio show today discuss their experiences helping out in New Orleans over the past week. They both said that one of the biggest reasons for the lawlessness in New Orleans was that hundreds of police officers there took their vehicles and left town before the flooding, with no permission or explanation.

These rangers said that they saw far more police lieutenants and assistant chiefs, as well as park rangers and police from other parts of the state pitching in to help citizens than rank-and-file NOPD officers. The reason they knew they were working with high-ranking officers is that the uniform shirts for the upper ranks in NO are white, while rank-and-file officers wear blue shirts.

Much has been made of the officers being unaccounted for, but the implication I've always taken from those media references is that they probably died heroically or were stranded somewhere in the city. One of the rangers said that he had been on a helicopter tour of the damaged areas in southern Louisiana and he personally saw several New Orleans police cars parked in Lafayette, Louisiana - over 100 miles west of New Orleans.

One of the rangers was a 35-year veteran of police work. He was near tears as he said that the behavior of those officers who abandoned their city was certainly contrary to any sworn oath that he'd ever taken as a law-enforcement officer.

This story made me less in favor of the free trips to Las Vegas for the police force, unless the perq is given with supervisors' approval. Some of those officers didn't go through hell at all, they just got themselves the hell out of town. :angry:I know that many of us have probably seen the footage of the NOPD officer who tried to run over the news camera person while racing away from the French Quarter in his squad car screaming, "It's every m-f-er for himself in here!". While much of the behavior by the NOPD is simply inexcusable, I think I will need the benefit of time before I can fully comprehend what these officer were faced with over the last eight days....


New Orleans Police Stunned by Suicides
Sep 06 11:24 AM US/Eastern

By CAIN BURDEAU
Associated Press Writer
NEW ORLEANS

Life wasn't supposed to end this way for Sgt. Paul Accardo: alone in chaos. He wrote a note telling anyone who found him to contact a fellow officer. He was precise, and thoughtful, to the end. Then he stuck a gun into his mouth and killed himself.

Accardo, 36, was one of two city cops who committed suicide last week as New Orleans descended into an abyss of death and destruction caused by Hurricane Katrina. He was found in an unmarked patrol car Saturday in a downtown parking lot.

His funeral was planned for Wednesday.

Back when life was normal and structured, Accardo served as one of the police department's chief spokesmen. He reported murders, hostage situations and rapes in measured words, his bespectacled face benign and familiar on the nightly news.

"Paul was a stellar guy. A perfectionist. Everything had to be just right," recalled Sgt. Joe Narcisse, who went to police academy with Accardo and worked with him in the public affairs office.

Uniform crisply pressed, office in order, everything just right on his desk. That was Accardo.

"I'm the jokester in the office. I'd move stuff on his desk and he didn't like that," said Capt. Marlon Defillo, Accardo's boss. "He was ready to call the crime lab to find out who messed with his desk."

Maybe, Defillo reckoned, he killed himself because he lost hope that order would ever be restored in the city.

A public information officer, the captain said, turns the senseless _ murder, rape, mayhem _ into something orderly for the public. "It's like dominoes scattered across a table and putting them in order."

But in New Orleans for the past week, the chaos seemed endless.

Like the rest of the department, Accardo worked long, difficult days _ sometimes 20 hours. He waded through the mass of flesh and stench in the Louisiana Superdome. He saw the dead in the streets.

Defillo remembered how bad Accardo felt when he was unable to help women stranded on the interstate and pleading for water and food. One woman said her baby had not had water in three days.

He even wanted to stop and help the animals lost amid the ruin of New Orleans, Defillo said.

Unable to stop the madness and hurt, Accardo sank into depression.

Narcisse remembered being on the telephone with him, complaining about the flooding when his old academy buddy cut him off midsentence: "Joe. Joe. I can't talk to you right now." He couldn't handle it anymore, Narcisse said.

"It was like you were having an awful conversation with someone who died in your family," he said.

Accardo _ who also lost his home in the flood waters _ looked like a zombie, like someone who hadn't slept in year, Defillo said. But so did so many on the 1,600-member force.

Officials said Monday that between 400 to 500 officers were unaccounted for, many tending to their homes or looking for their families, and some dropping out. To lessen the stress, officers were being cycled off duty and given five-day vacations in Las Vegas and Atlanta, where they also would receive counseling.

Said Mayor Ray Nagin: "I've got some firefighters and police officers that have been pretty much traumatized."

Police Superintendent Eddie Compass didn't know how many had abandoned their jobs outright, but denied that it was a large number.

"No police department in the history of the world was asked to do what we (were) asked," he said.

But Defillo said he never thought Accardo would kill himself.

"We kept telling him, 'There's going to be a brighter day; suck it up,'" Defillo said. "He couldn't shake it."

According to the obituary in the Advocate of Baton Rouge, Accardo left a wife, Anne; his mother, Catherine; a brother; a sister; and eight nieces and nephews.

OnBaseMachine
09-06-2005, 04:38 PM
3:11 P.M. - (AP): "Its full of rot. Its full of chemicals. Its just the most revolting soup you can imagine."

The description comes from a reporter trying to describe the stench from the water that fills the streets in much of New Orleans.

Warren Levinson of Associated Press Radio accompanied a search and rescue team door-to-door in one neighborhood today in the city. He reports that a number of people found alive in some apartment buildings were determined to stay, only to eventually agree to leave. One man says, after seeing the destruction, he's glad to be getting away.

Levinson reports that the smell that hit him and the searchers when they knocked down some apartment doors showed there is more in there "than rotting food." He adds there will be "some really awful discoveries when the waters finally recede."


3:41 P.M. - GONZALES (From WBRZ-TV, Baton Rouge): Ascension Parish authorities are investigating a shooting involving two Arizona sheriff's deputies.

Sheriff Jeff Wiley says it was "road rage" and deputies feared for their safety. The shooting occurred on Louisiana Highway 74 near Prairieville.

Wiley says the deputies, who were coming off duty from assisting in New Orleans, were in unmarked vehicle, when a pickup truck with one person tried to cut them off as the highway narrowed to two lanes.

Wiley says pickup's driver made obscene gestures and made abrupt stops and swerved in front of the deputies.

Finally,the Maricopa County deputies turned on their red lights, but pickup did not stop.

A short time later, Wiley says the deputies found the pickup stopped in the middle of the road, and the river was standing outside his truck. He says the passenger deputy got out and drew his weapon, identified himself as a police officer and told the guy to stay where he was.

Wiley says the guy in the pickup started coming toward the deputy and allegedly said -- quote -- "I don't care who your are, if you pull that gun your better use it."

The deputy fired one shot, intending to fire over the guy's head, but struck him in the face.

The pickup driver was taken to a hospital in Gonzales with a non-life threatening wound.

Wiley did not identified the victim.


3:55 P.M. - WWL-TV: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers say they expect to drain New Orleans in 80 days.

http://www.wwltv.com/local/stories/WWLBLOG.ac3fcea.html

WVRed
09-06-2005, 06:10 PM
Awesome.



http://www.newsmax.com/archives/ic/2005/9/4/101101.shtml

With comments like Senator Landrieu and Mayor Nagin have made, im almost to the point of wondering why New Orleans is even receiving help. They call out the commander in chief, yet expect the city to be rebuilt like it was before.

Look at how Mississippi is handling the situation compared to Louisiana, its not even close.

Rojo
09-06-2005, 06:13 PM
They call out the commander in chief, yet expect the city to be rebuilt like it was before.

Sorry, but its not the Commander in Chief's money.

westofyou
09-06-2005, 06:15 PM
With comments like Senator Landrieu and Mayor Nagin have made, im almost to the point of wondering why New Orleans is even receiving help.

Because it's America?

Not Bushvolkia

paintmered
09-06-2005, 06:18 PM
Bushvolkia

We need a link to a random communist national anthem. :p:

Falls City Beer
09-06-2005, 06:24 PM
Look at how Mississippi is handling the situation compared to Louisiana, its not even close.

Errr, population concentration?

RBA
09-06-2005, 06:31 PM
Why did all those people in Mississippi choose to stay? They were told to leave. Why didn't Haley Barbor moblized the school buses to get them out? I think he told them it was too late and to shelter in place. Those people drown.

WVRed
09-06-2005, 06:35 PM
Why did all those people in Mississippi choose to stay? They were told to leave. Why didn't Haley Barbor moblized the school buses to get them out? I think he told them it was too late and to shelter in place. Those people drown.

Yet do you see Mississippi demanding help?

The corrupt Louisiana political machine has been exposed as incompetent, thousands have died, and there’s a good chance the FBI will get up in there and find out where they blew all their Federal disaster preparedness funding. At the very least, they’ll be out of power, but some of them may actually be facing prison terms. So they’re calling in everyone they can to create a scene and confuse people. Jesse Jackson is a great example of this.

But I think in the end, they’ll go down. There are a lot of people who want to pin this on the Federal government, but I think too many people see the local officials for what they are.

What you are seeing is sheer desperation as the house of cards comes down.

RBA
09-06-2005, 06:36 PM
Errr, population concentration?

I guess, WVRed doesn't get that concept.


No. What you see is a political machine on the right ramping up to place all the bungling on the local and state governments. Why just Louisiana? (D) next to their names.

westofyou
09-06-2005, 06:39 PM
US Senator Trent Lott, a Republican from Mississippi who lost his coastal home in the storm, said Brown's job is in jeopardy.


"If he doesn't solve a couple of problems that we've got right now he ain't going to be able to hold the job, because what I'm going to do to him ain't going to be pretty," Lott said on CBS.

ochre
09-06-2005, 06:41 PM
Under provisions of the Stafford Act and applicable
regulations:
■ A Governor may request the President to declare a
major disaster or emergency if the Governor finds
that effective response to the event is beyond the
combined response capabilities of the State and
affected local governments. Based on the findings of
a joint Federal-State-local Preliminary Damage
Assessment (PDA) indicating the damages are of
sufficient severity and magnitude to warrant assistance
under the act, the President may grant a major disaster
or emergency declaration. (Note: In a particularly
fast-moving or clearly devastating disaster, the PDA
process may be deferred until after the declaration.)
■ If the President determines that an emergency exists
where the primary responsibility for response rests
with the Government of the United States, or
because the emergency involves an area or facility
for which the Federal Government exercises
exclusive or preeminent primary responsibility and
authority, the President may unilaterally direct the
provision of assistance under the act and will, if
practicable, consult with the Governor of the State.
■ DHS can use limited pre-declaration authorities to
move initial response resources (critical goods
typically needed in the immediate aftermath of a
disaster such as food, water, emergency generators,
etc.) closer to a potentially affected area.
■ Federal assistance takes many forms—including the
direct provision of goods and services, financial
assistance (through insurance, grants, loans, and
direct payments), and technical assistance—and
can come from various sources.
■ In a major disaster or emergency as defined in the
Stafford Act, the President “may direct any Federal
agency, with or without reimbursement, to utilize
its authorities and the resources granted to it under
Federal law (including personnel, equipment,
supplies, facilities, and managerial, technical, and
advisory services) in support of State and local
assistance efforts…” [sections 402(a)(1) and
502(a)(1) of the Stafford Act, 42 U.S.C. §
5170a(1) and § 5192(a)(1)].
■ In an actual or potential Incident of National
Significance that is not encompassed by the
Stafford Act, the President may instruct a Federal
department or agency, subject to any statutory
limitations on the department or agency, to utilize
the authorities and resources granted to it by
Congress. In accordance with HSPD-5, Federal
departments and agencies are expected to provide
their full and prompt cooperation, available
resources, and support, as appropriate and
consistent with their own responsibilities for
protecting national security.

Doesn't mention anything in there about feds turning away truck loads of potable water, diesel fuel, or the Red Cross anywhere in there that I can tell.

It does indicate that the President, on his discretion can order federal resources into a "significant event". If the local and state governments are so obviously inept, that (not ordering in Federal resources) is an even more egregious Federal Blunder. Its nice to see where the "spin" line will be drawn by the pundits though. Thanks for the heads up :).

westofyou
09-06-2005, 06:42 PM
Yet do you see Mississippi demanding help?

The corrupt Louisiana political machine has been exposed as incompetent

Thank you Adam Stanton.

Caveat Emperor
09-06-2005, 07:08 PM
With comments like Senator Landrieu and Mayor Nagin have made, im almost to the point of wondering why New Orleans is even receiving help. They call out the commander in chief, yet expect the city to be rebuilt like it was before.

Look at how Mississippi is handling the situation compared to Louisiana, its not even close.

They call out a "Commander in Chief" that made the executive decision to remain on vaction while their city was devestated by a Hurricane and appointed people who, as it is shown now, were clearly not up to the task of managing a large-scale disaster to key positions.

And the Mississippi -- Louisiana comparison makes my blood boil (almost as much as the asinine "Look how Rudy Gulliani handled the 9/11 situation" comments being made by certain commentators). This is, quite literally, an apples and oranges situation. At no place in Missisippi, or anywhere else in the Gulf Coast, did you have a situation like you had in New Orleans: an urban, majority inner-city, population of very poor people who were stranded without the means to move out prior to the Hurricane and without the means to leave FOLLOWING the Hurricane.

You concentrate 10,000+ people in a single area without adequate sanitary conditions, a lack of food and water, and no information based on when (and if) they are going to be allowed to leave, and you see how the government in Mississippi handles that. Oh yeah, and they'll also be facing onrushing water from 3 sides, and a large number of individuals drowning and stranded OUTSIDE of the shelters too.

Apples and oranges...and a specious argument, in my opinion. I hate to even think it, but I think that blame, in this situation, centers more on the (R) or (D) after a politicians name than his/her actual culpability for the loss of human life.

Chip R
09-06-2005, 07:28 PM
They call out a "Commander in Chief" that made the executive decision to remain on vaction while their city was devestated by a Hurricane and appointed people who, as it is shown now, were clearly not up to the task of managing a large-scale disaster to key positions.


That may be true but it won't pay to make Bush and a Republican congress mad.

westofyou
09-06-2005, 07:29 PM
Louisiana Superdome, where thousands were stranded after Katrina, is likely to be torn down, state official tells CNN. More soon.

I saw this blurb

RBA
09-06-2005, 07:30 PM
That may be true but it won't pay to make Bush and a Republican congress mad.

Are they leaders or are they children?

Falls City Beer
09-06-2005, 07:38 PM
That may be true but it won't pay to make Bush and a Republican congress mad.

If the Republicans aren't careful, the Senate might belong to the Dems in 2006. That would all but destroy any chances of Bush leaving anything but the worst legacy of any two-term American president.

You may not want to make Republicans mad, but you want less to make the American people mad. It's as it should be.

Chip R
09-06-2005, 07:41 PM
Are they leaders or are they children?
All I'm saying is that making a guy who can control the flow of hundreds of billions of dollars in aid - especially a guy who has been known to be spiteful - may not be the smartest thing to do. If they are angry with him that's fine. But I sure wouldn't make my anger public. Politics are funny. The guy who is your enemy today could be your best friend tomorrow.

paintmered
09-06-2005, 08:21 PM
Louisiana Superdome, where thousands were stranded after Katrina, is likely to be torn down, state official tells CNN. More soon.

I saw this blurb

:(

I got to tour it back in the mid-90's. I was really suprised how nice of a facility it is. It was apparent they did things the right way when they built it and I hope it will be saved.

Besides, if they bulldoze it, that means the Saints aren't coming back.

Caveat Emperor
09-06-2005, 08:26 PM
:(

I got to tour it back in the mid-90's. I was really suprised how nice of a facility it is. It was apparent they did things the right way when they built it and I hope it will be saved.

Besides, if they bulldoze it, that means the Saints aren't coming back.

Hopefully a combination of insurance on the building owned by the city and federal aid will lead to a new facility being built in it's place.

There's still a slight chance that this could be a win-win situation for the Saints and the City, since they wanted a new stadium all along.

I'll miss the Superdome...it was a grand building. I graduated there in 2003 and spent many a frustrating Saturday afternoon/evening there trying to figure out why Tulane Football was so bad. :cry:

Rojo
09-06-2005, 08:44 PM
Because it will be disruptive to have a thread that discusses current events apolitically moved over to the other board when it is 50 posts long because some poster makes a post that takes it in a political direction. Two words: momentum killer.

Not sure I follow all that. Anyhow, I see it more as inertia killer.

RBA
09-06-2005, 08:48 PM
Hopefully if they plan on using the next facility as a "last resort shelter", they will put in emergency back up generators to power everything to include AC. Store MRE's and water. Have a water treatment system to make water drinkable. Have a medical clinic in the facility. For just a start. But I'm thinking the first priority will be Sky Boxes.

jmcclain19
09-06-2005, 08:50 PM
Embarrassments just keep rolling out for Mike Brown

http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20050907/ap_on_go_ca_st_pe/katrina_disaster_response


FEMA Chief Waited Until After Storm Hit By TED BRIDIS, Associated Press Writer
14 minutes ago



WASHINGTON - The government's disaster chief waited until hours after Hurricane Katrina had already struck the Gulf Coast before asking his boss to dispatch 1,000 Homeland Security employees to the region — and gave them two days to arrive, according to internal documents.
Michael Brown, director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, sought the approval from Homeland Security Secretary Mike Chertoff roughly five hours after Katrina made landfall on Aug. 29. Brown said that among duties of these employees was to "convey a positive image" about the government's response for victims.

Before then, FEMA had positioned smaller rescue and communications teams across the Gulf Coast. But officials acknowledged Tuesday the first department-wide appeal for help came only as the storm raged.

Brown's memo to Chertoff described Katrina as "this near catastrophic event" but otherwise lacked any urgent language. The memo politely ended, "Thank you for your consideration in helping us to meet our responsibilities."

The initial responses of the government and Brown came under escalating criticism as the breadth of destruction and death grew. President Bush and Congress on Tuesday pledged separate investigations into the federal response to Katrina. "Governments at all levels failed," said Sen. Susan Collins (news, bio, voting record), R-Maine.

Homeland Security spokesman Russ Knocke said Brown had positioned front-line rescue teams and Coast Guard helicopters before the storm. Brown's memo on Aug. 29 aimed to assemble the necessary federal work force to support the rescues, establish communications and coordinate with victims and community groups, Knocke said.

Instead of rescuing people or recovering bodies, these employees would focus on helping victims find the help they needed, he said.

"There will be plenty of time to assess what worked and what didn't work," Knocke said. "Clearly there will be time for blame to be assigned and to learn from some of the successful efforts."

Brown's memo told employees that among their duties, they would be expected to "convey a positive image of disaster operations to government officials, community organizations and the general public."

"FEMA response and recovery operations are a top priority of the department and as we know, one of yours," Brown wrote Chertoff. He proposed sending 1,000 Homeland Security Department employees within 48 hours and 2,000 within seven days.

Knocke said the 48-hour period suggested for the Homeland employees was to ensure they had adequate training. "They were training to help the life-savers," Knocke said.

Employees required a supervisor's approval and at least 24 hours of disaster training in Maryland, Florida or Georgia. "You must be physically able to work in a disaster area without refrigeration for medications and have the ability to work in the outdoors all day," Brown wrote.

The same day Brown wrote Chertoff, Brown also urged local fire and rescue departments outside Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi not to send trucks or emergency workers into disaster areas without an explicit request for help from state or local governments. Brown said it was vital to coordinate fire and rescue efforts.

Sen. Barbara Mikulski (news, bio, voting record), D-Md., said Tuesday that Brown should step down.

After a senators-only briefing by Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff and other Cabinet members, Sen. Charles E. Schumer (news, bio, voting record) said lawmakers weren't getting their questions answered.

"What people up there want to know, Democrats and Republicans, is what is the challenge ahead, how are you handling that and what did you do wrong in the past," said Schumer, D-N.Y.

Sen. Ted Stevens (news, bio, voting record), R-Alaska, said the administration is "getting a bad rap" for the emergency response.

"This is the largest disaster in the history of the United States, over an area twice the size of Europe," Stevens said. "People have to understand this is a big, big problem."

Meanwhile, the airline industry said the government's request for help evacuating storm victims didn't come until late Thursday afternoon. The president of the Air Transport Association, James May, said the Homeland Security Department called then to ask if the group could participate in an airlift for refugees.

Unassisted
09-06-2005, 09:34 PM
Not sure I follow all that. Anyhow, I see it more as inertia killer.It will be a pain to copy and paste quotes between forums, compared to the one-button click. I predict that in most cases, closing and restarting a long thread at the other board will kill the momentum in that long thread.

Rojo
09-06-2005, 10:21 PM
It will be a pain to copy and paste quotes between forums, compared to the one-button click. I predict that in most cases, closing and restarting a long thread at the other board will kill the momentum in that long thread.

Gotcha.

OnBaseMachine
09-07-2005, 12:37 AM
They are now forcing everyone to evacuate New Orleans.


10:53 P.M. - (AP): As flood waters slowly receded by the inch Tuesday, New Orleans Mayor C. Ray Nagin authorized law enforcement officers and the U.S. military to force the evacuation of all residents who refuse to heed orders to leave the dark, dangerous city.

Nagin's emergency declaration released late Tuesday states that those who can be compelled to leave include people who are on private property or just don't wish to flee, unless they have been designated by government officials as helping with the relief effort. The move comes after some citizens informed authorities who had come to deliver them out of New Orleans that they would not leave their homes and property.

While acknowledging that the declaration had been made, police Capt. Marlon Defillo said when contacted late Tuesday that any forced removal of citizens had not yet begun. He said that those who were visiting homes were still reminding people that police may not be able to rescue them if they stay.

"That would be a P.R. nightmare for us," Defillo said of any forced evacuations. "That's an absolute last resort."

Repeated telephone calls to Nagin's spokeswoman, Tami Frazier, were not returned for comment.

http://www.wwltv.com/local/stories/WWLBLOG.ac3fcea.html


8:17 P.M. - BATON ROUGE (AP): A reporter for the St. Petersburg Times newspaper was shot and wounded while covering the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in Baton Rouge, La. , the newspaper said Tuesday.

Marcus Franklin, 34, was shot on Monday night. He was released after being treated at the Baton Rouge General Hospital. Doctors decided that removing the bullet was too risky, the newspaper said .

Franklin had been reporting on evacuees returning to their homes in Jefferson Parish near New Orleans. He said he was on his way back to his motel in Baton Rouge at 11:30 p.m. when he stopped at a stop sign at a dimly lit intersection in a residential area.

He had his windows rolled down and his air conditioning off to save gas. Suddenly a man with a black revolver appeared and asked how much money he had, Franklin said.

"I looked at the gun sort of in disbelief," Franklin said. "That's when I heard a pop ... It sounded like the proverbial firecracker."

After driving off he realized he had been shot in the stomach. He called 911 for police and emergency medical technicians. He spent the night in the hospital and was to be flown back to St. Petersburg on Tuesday.

OnBaseMachine
09-07-2005, 02:26 AM
AP: Four may have died from cholera-like bacteria.

Rojo
09-07-2005, 02:30 AM
AP: Four may have died from cholera-like bacteria.

It should be contained by the LOCAL government.

oregonred
09-07-2005, 03:02 AM
Hopefully if they plan on using the next facility as a "last resort shelter", they will put in emergency back up generators to power everything to include AC. Store MRE's and water. Have a water treatment system to make water drinkable. Have a medical clinic in the facility. For just a start. But I'm thinking the first priority will be Sky Boxes.

Or have the city and state build the $200M New Orleans Arena with public dollars to try and lure the NBA Hornets from Charlotte then finish last in league attendance two years later Oh wait...

Unassisted
09-07-2005, 08:53 AM
Gotcha.Because I appreciate simplicity and you don't? :confused:

GAC
09-07-2005, 09:04 AM
They are now forcing everyone to evacuate New Orleans.



http://www.wwltv.com/local/stories/WWLBLOG.ac3fcea.html

They should have made a better effort to do that before the storm hit. They issued a mandatory evac order 14 hours before it hit, yet did little to back it up. Not saying they wouod have gotten everyone out; but they should have made a better effort IMO to especially get those who were not able to get out on their own.

Also heard that Nagin has ordered that anyone who refuses to leave is to be issued no water.

Rojo
09-07-2005, 12:58 PM
Because I appreciate simplicity and you don't? :confused:

I meant "I understand now".

OnBaseMachine
09-07-2005, 01:11 PM
If mods think this deserves a thread of its own then feel free to move it.


Tropical Storm Ophelia strengthens off Florida 58 minutes ago

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Tropical Storm Ophelia strengthened just off the east Florida coast, bringing rain to central and northern parts of the Sunshine State, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said on Wednesday.

As of 11 a.m. EDT (1500 GMT), the center of the storm, with maximum sustained winds near 50 miles per hour, was located about 85 miles east-northeast of Cape Canaveral.

The NHC forecast some strengthening during the next 24 hours.

Ophelia is moving northwest at nearly three mph, and the NHC expects this general slow motion to continue during the next day or two.

On its forecast path, the storm should continue to meander in the Atlantic Ocean about 100 miles off the Floridian coast through early next week, far away from the U.S. oil and natural gas fields in the Gulf of Mexico.

Other weather models, however, showed the storm entering the Gulf.

Of the seven major weather models, two -- the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL) and the Beta and Advection Model Medium (BAMM) -- projected the storm would cross central Florida and enter the Gulf of Mexico, while the other five models showed the storm staying in the Atlantic.

NHC will issue an intermediate advisory at 2 p.m. followed by a complete advisory at 5 p.m.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20050907/us_nm/weather_ophelia_position_dc

Blimpie
09-07-2005, 02:25 PM
AP is reporting that only 5 of the 148 existing drainage pumps are currently in operation in New Orleans...God, please have mercy and steer Ophelia away from the Gulf of Mexico. :pray:

OnBaseMachine
09-07-2005, 08:50 PM
Frustrated: Fire crews to hand out fliers for FEMA
By Lisa Rosetta
The Salt Lake Tribune

ATLANTA - Not long after some 1,000 firefighters sat down for eight hours of training, the whispering began: "What are we doing here?"

As New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin pleaded on national television for firefighters - his own are exhausted after working around the clock for a week - a battalion of highly trained men and women sat idle Sunday in a muggy Sheraton Hotel conference room in Atlanta.

Many of the firefighters, assembled from Utah and throughout the United States by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, thought they were going to be deployed as emergency workers.

Instead, they have learned they are going to be community-relations officers for FEMA, shuffled throughout the Gulf Coast region to disseminate fliers and a phone number: 1-800-621-FEMA.

On Monday, some firefighters stuck in the staging area at the Sheraton peeled off their FEMA-issued shirts and stuffed them in backpacks, saying they refuse to represent the federal agency.

"I would go back and ask the firefighter to revisit his commitment to FEMA, to firefighting and to the citizens of this country," said FEMA spokeswoman Mary Hudak.

The firefighters - or at least the fire chiefs who assigned them to come to Atlanta - knew what the assignment would be, Hudak said.

"The initial call to action very specifically says we're looking for two-person fire teams to do community relations," she said. "So if there is a breakdown [in communication], it was likely in their own departments."

One fire chief from Texas agreed that the call was clear to work as community-relations officers. But he wonders why the 1,400 firefighters FEMA attracted to Atlanta aren't being put to better use. He also questioned why the U.S. Department of Homeland Security - of which FEMA is a part - has not responded better to the disaster.

The firefighters, several of whom are from Utah, were told to bring backpacks, sleeping bags, first-aid kits and Meals Ready to Eat. They were told to prepare for "austere conditions." Many of them

came with awkward fire gear and expected to wade in floodwaters, sift through rubble and save lives.

"They've got people here who are search-and-rescue certified, paramedics, haz-mat certified," said a Texas firefighter. "We're sitting in here having a sexual-harassment class while there are still [victims] in Louisiana who haven't been contacted yet."

The firefighter, who has encouraged his superiors back home not to send any more volunteers for now, declined to give his name because FEMA has warned them not to talk to reporters.

On Monday, two firefighters from South Jordan and two from Layton headed for San Antonio to help hurricane evacuees there. Four firefighters from Roy awaited their marching orders, crossing their fingers that they would get to do rescue and recovery work, rather than paperwork.

"A lot of people are bickering because there are rumors they'll just be handing out fliers," said Roy firefighter Logan Layne, adding that his squad hopes to be in the thick of the action. "But we'll do anything. We'll do whatever they need us to do."

While FEMA's community-relations job may be an important one - displaced hurricane victims need basic services and a variety of resources - it may be a job best suited for someone else, say firefighters assembled at the Sheraton.

"It's a misallocation of resources. Completely," said the Texas firefighter.

"It's just an under-utilization of very talented people," said South Salt Lake Fire Chief Steve Foote, who sent a team of firefighters to Atlanta. "I was hoping once they saw the level of people . . . they would shift gears a little bit."

Foote said his crews would be better used doing the jobs they are trained to do.

But Louis H. Botta, a coordinating officer for FEMA, said sending out firefighters on community relations makes sense. They already have had background checks and meet the qualifications to be sworn as a federal employee. They have medical training that will prove invaluable as they come across hurricane victims in the field.

A firefighter from California said he feels ill prepared to even carry out the job FEMA has assigned him. In the field, Hurricane Katrina victims will approach him with questions about everything from insurance claims to financial assistance.

"My only answer to them is, '1-800-621-FEMA,' " he said. "I'm not used to not being in the know."

Roy Fire Chief Jon Ritchie said his crews would be a "little frustrated" if they were assigned to hand out phone numbers at an evacuee center in Texas rather than find and treat victims of the disaster.

Also of concern to some of the firefighters is the cost borne by their municipalities in the wake of their absence. Cities are picking up the tab to fill the firefighters' vacancies while they work 30 days for the federal government.

"There are all of these guys with all of this training and we're sending them out to hand out a phone number," an Oregon firefighter said. "They [the hurricane victims] are screaming for help and this day [of FEMA training] was a waste."

Firefighters say they want to brave the heat, the debris-littered roads, the poisonous cottonmouth snakes and fire ants and travel into pockets of Louisiana where many people have yet to receive emergency aid.

But as specific orders began arriving to the firefighters in Atlanta, a team of 50 Monday morning quickly was ushered onto a flight headed for Louisiana. The crew's first assignment: to stand beside President Bush as he tours devastated areas.

http://www.sltrib.com/utah/ci_3004197

CNN: 30 dead bodies found in a flooded nursing home east of New Orleans.

SandyD
09-07-2005, 09:23 PM
OBM, that just makes me angry.

And there's no excuse for nursing home patients to still be in the area. Whatever company manages that nursing home should lose its license.

KronoRed
09-07-2005, 09:34 PM
Ridiculous, you can get anyone to stand next to the pres, how bout let the skilled people get on the real work and not the press tours and photo ops.

paintmered
09-07-2005, 09:35 PM
Yeah, that seriously ticks me off too.

I really really hope it isn't true. :(

OnBaseMachine
09-07-2005, 09:38 PM
OBM, that just makes me angry.

And there's no excuse for nursing home patients to still be in the area. Whatever company manages that nursing home should lose its license.

It made me angry too. I made a comment about it and then deleted it because I didn't want to start another political war... I try to stay away from that stuff.

And I agree about the nursing home. They said some of the nursing home patients were evacuated, but the 30 that died were left behind for some reason. It better be a damn good reason. Those people had ZERO chance of survival once that storm hit.

RFS62
09-07-2005, 09:40 PM
Yeah, that seriously ticks me off too.

I really really hope it isn't true. :(


Nothing about this report surprised me in any way.

RBA
09-07-2005, 09:44 PM
I'll like to get one of those flyers. I bet it has a big picture of President Bush smiling on it.

Who wants to take that bet?

Spring~Fields
09-08-2005, 07:02 PM
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,23889-1772189,00.html


Poor and isolated nations rally to offer aid
From Giles Whittell and Jane Macartney in Beijing



CASH from Djibouti, the US can accept. Bananas from Panama, so far, it cannot.
Hurricane Katrina has triggered an outpouring of generosity from some of the world’s poorest nations towards the world’s richest, forcing the US State Department into an awkward diplomatic dance and turning an Arkansas air force base into a cosmopolitan aid bazaar.



Ten days after President Bush indicated that his country would not need aid, it has accepted pledges of more than £540 million from 45 countries and is processing offers from 45 more. First-aid kits are on their way from Israel, dyke-plugging specialists from Holland and money from Afghanistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh as well as Kuwait, which is sending £272 million in oil and cash.

Djibouti, whose per capita GDP is 1/30th of that of the US, has pledged £30,000. Afghanistan said it was offering £55,000, tsunami-ravaged Sri Lanka had come up with £13,000 for the American Red Cross, poverty-stricken Bangladesh has offered £540,000, while Panama wants to donate 120,000lb (54,430kg) of bananas.

Some offers, heavily tinged with Schadenfreude, have been declined. More than 1,000 doctors put on standby by Fidel Castro, who customarily sends his medical teams to disaster zones, will stay in Cuba; 20 million barrels of crude oil offered by Tehran on condition that the US not seek nuclear sanctions will stay in Iran.

The US is anxious not to offend anybody, but is calling for cash and ready meals rather than specialised equipment. Even so, a Mexican army convoy bearing mobile kitchens and water purification units crossed the Texan border yesterday, bringing with it the first Mexican military presence on US soil since 1846.

International relief flights from Britain, Russia, Italy, Spain, Egypt, Israel and China began arriving in Arkansas on Monday. The Chinese shipment of 100 tonnes of bedding, clothes, tents and generators was intended “to show that we’re standing with Americans”, the pilot, He Jie, said on arrival.

In Beijing, the China Foundation for Poverty Alleviation, one of the countries foremost charities, will begin a campaign today to drum up aid for survivors of the hurricane.


http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,23889-1772189,00.html

OnBaseMachine
09-08-2005, 11:07 PM
CNN showed gruesome photos taken inside the New Orleans Convention Center. Four people - three men, one woman - were mutilated and killed. You could see an arm laying out in the open. :(

I hope they find the individuals responsible for this.

LoganBuck
09-08-2005, 11:27 PM
Those pictures were probably fabricated by Bush. He is in bed with CNN.

GAC
09-09-2005, 08:06 AM
Just off the cellpone talking with rfs. He is in the region of Alabama/Mississippi. Keep this guy in your prayers folks.

RBA
09-09-2005, 08:58 AM
Those pictures were probably fabricated by Bush. He is in bed with CNN.

How do these pictures help Bush? Isn't that what you are implying?

Blimpie
09-09-2005, 12:38 PM
God, I pray that they were using the Radio Shack TRS-80 for these projections... :(


Hurricane Simulation Predicted 61,290 Dead
By RON FOURNIER and TED BRIDIS
Associated Press Writers
16 minutes ago


As Katrina roared into the Gulf of Mexico, emergency planners pored over maps and charts of a hurricane simulation that projected 61,290 dead and 384,257 injured or sick in a catastrophic flood that would leave swaths of southeast Louisiana uninhabitable for more than a year.

These planners were not involved in the frantic preparations for Katrina. By coincidence, they were working on a yearlong project to prepare federal and state officials for a Category 3 hurricane striking New Orleans.

Their fictitious storm eerily foreshadowed the havoc wrought by Category 4 Katrina a few days later, raising questions about whether government leaders did everything possible — as early as possible — to protect New Orleans residents from a well-documented threat.

After watching many of their predictions prove grimly accurate, "Hurricane Pam" planners now hope they were wrong about one detail — the death toll. The 61,290 estimate is six times what New Orleans Mayor C. Ray Nagin has warned people to expect.

"I pray to God we don't see those numbers," Michael Brown, director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, said in an interview with The Associated Press. "My gut is ... we don't. But we just don't know."

The known Katrina death toll was less than 400 on Friday, but officials expect it to skyrocket once emergency teams comb through 90,000 square miles of Gulf Coast debris. Fears are particularly acute in New Orleans, where countless corpses lie submerged beneath a toxic gumbo that engulfed the city after levees gave way.

The death toll is just one of the many chilling details in a 412-page report obtained by the AP from a government official involved in the Hurricane Pam project. Written in ominous present-tense language, the report predicts that:

_Flood waters would surge over levees, creating "a catastrophic mass casualty/mass evacuation" and leaving drainage pumps crippled for up to six months. "It will take over one year to re-enter areas most heavily impacted," the report estimated.

_More than 600,000 houses and 6,000 businesses would be affected, more than two-thirds of them destroyed. Nearly a quarter-million children would be out of school. "All 40 medical facilities in the impacted area (are) isolated and useless," it says.

_Local officials would be quickly overwhelmed with the five-digit death toll, 187,862 people injured and 196,395 falling ill. A half million people would be homeless.

The report calls evacuees "refugees" — a term now derided by the Bush administration — and says they could be housed at college campuses, military barracks, hotels, travel trailers, recreational vehicles, private homes, cottages, churches, Boy Scout camps and cruise ships.

"Federal support must be provided in a timely manner to save lives, prevent human suffering and mitigate severe damage," the report says. "This may require mobilizing and deploying assets before they are requested via normal (National Response Plan) protocols."

On the defensive, White House officials have said Louisiana and New Orleans officials did not give FEMA full control over disaster relief. The so-called Hurricane Pam plan, which was never put into effect, envisions giving the federal government authority to act without waiting for an SOS from local officials.

Under FEMA's direction, federal and state officials began working on the $1 million Hurricane Pam project in July 2004, when 270 experts gathered in Baton Rouge, La., for an eight-day simulation. The so-called "tabletop" exercise focused planners on a mock hurricane that produced more than 20 inches of rain and 14 tornadoes. The drill included computer graphic simulations projected on large screens of the hurricane slamming directly into New Orleans.

"We designed this to be a worst-case but plausible storm," said Madhu Beriwal, chief executive of Innovative Emergency Management Inc. of Baton Rouge, hired by FEMA to conduct the exercise.

The experts completed their first draft report in December 2004.

A follow-up workshop on potential medical needs took place in Carville, La., on Aug. 23-24 of this year, bringing together 80 state and federal emergency planning officials as well as Beriwal's team.

They produced an update on dealing with the dead and injured, and submitted it to FEMA's headquarters in Washington on Sept. 3. By then, Katrina had hit and the Bush administration, state and city officials were under heavy criticism for a sluggish response.

The report was designed to be the first step toward producing a comprehensive hurricane response plan, jointly approved and implemented by federal, state and city officials. But a lack of funding prohibited planners from quickly following up on the 2004 simulation.

"Money was not available to do the follow-up," Brown said.

Hurricane Pam planning was prescient in many ways, predicting the flooding would exceed 10 feet and create a putrid mix of corpses, chemicals and human waste.

The report is remarkably detailed in spots. It includes diagrams for makeshift loading docks to distribute water, ice and food to storm victims — color-coded to show where pallets, traffic cones and trash bins would be placed.

In other places it's obvious that the report is a working document; it doesn't specify what hospitals or airports would be used.

The report missed the mark in some cases. Planning for a weaker but slower-moving storm than Katrina, the Hurricane Pam report did not predict that levees would break as happened in real life. However, state and federal official have long known that the levees were not built to withstand a Category 4 storm or higher.

Hurricane Pam slammed into New Orleans. Katrina's eye hit to the east.

The report did not mention looting and lawlessness, which was rampant in the immediate aftermath of Katrina. It did call for at least one security guard at each shelter.

In another burst of foresight, the planners sought creative ways to house evacuees. Among other ideas, they instructed Louisiana parishes to find large vacant lots that could house makeshift trailer parks at a moment's notice.

The deadline for doing so: Next month.

OnBaseMachine
09-11-2005, 11:09 AM
Just read that a few locals in NO think the death toll may be a bit lower than orginally thought(10,000) but the firefighters think it will be that high once they look around from house to house.

Hopefully the firefighters are wrong on this one.

RFS62
09-11-2005, 10:41 PM
Here are a couple of Mississippi photos.

I've posted a bunch more here (http://lastperson.suncircle.org/index.php?topic=69.0)


http://lastperson.suncircle.org/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=69.0;id=463;image

http://lastperson.suncircle.org/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=69.0;id=473;image

WVRedsFan
09-11-2005, 11:50 PM
I thought this column by Molly Ivins might be food for thought. I haven't done the research to substansiate the claims made in it. Maybe RFS62 can comment if he has time. I don't envy him at all...

http://www.creators.com/opinion_show.cfm?next=1&ColumnsName=miv

AUSTIN, Texas -- George W. Bush has come up with his worst idea since he decided to have the military investigate torture by the military at Abu Ghraib prison. He, George W. personally, plans to investigate to "find out what went right and what went wrong" in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

It's hard to guess where Bush will look first, but maybe he should start with the appointment of "Brownie" to head FEMA, the federal disaster relief agency. "Brownie" is Michael Brown, who was appointed by some president.

At the time, Brownie was deputy director of the agency under Joe Allbaugh -- because he was Joe Allbaugh's college roommate, you see, and Allbaugh was Bush's campaign manager in 2000, you see, which made both of them qualified to manage disasters.

The FEMA press release announcing Brownie's appointment started with his other obvious qualification, "From 1991 to 2001, Brown was the commissioner of the International Arabian Horse Association." It's unclear whether "Brownie" was fired or resigned from the organization in the wake of financial mismanagement and lawsuits.

Hours after Hurricane Katrina made landfall, Brown wrote his boss, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, to ask permission to send 1,000 FEMA employees to the scene to support rescuers and to "convey a positive image" about the government's response. Brownie said he expected the workers to be there two days later. This apparently inspired Bush's comment, "Brownie, you're doing a heckuva job."

Brownie is ably assisted by two top aides, one a former Bush campaign advanceman and the other a former Bush campaign public relations guy.

FEMA was once considered one of our better federal agencies (those in the government-is-the-enemy camp may not believe this, but some government agencies are actually known for effective performance.) Exactly why the right-wing Republicans chose to make FEMA a political football was never clear -- unless you subscribe to the theory that they particularly dislike any government agency that helps people, since that makes government popular and they are bent on making government unpopular.

At any rate, going back to the Reagan administration, conservatives have been hacking away at FEMA -- they mostly just under-funded it, one of their favorite tactics, unless a hurricane hit Florida just before an election. Sorry to sound boringly partisan, but that is the record, and the Clinton administration did work hard at rebuilding the agency.

So now those on the liberal side are saying: "See, that's what happens when you starve government in order to give rich folks tax cuts. Government agencies can't do the jobs they were set up to do."

Silly liberals see this as vindication that they have been right all along. But the Bush administration officials are in full blame-shifting mode: First, they announced repeatedly they don't want to "play the blame game." Then, they start blaming everybody else.

According to The New York Times, Karl Rove and Dan Bartlett, White House communications director, began a campaign this weekend to blame local and state officials. The "woefully inadequate response," said "sources close to the White House," was the fault of "bureaucratic obstacles from state and local officials."

The bottom line is they're playing the race card. As many of you have noted, it IS a racial issue that poor people suffer most in any natural or economic disaster. Because Katrina hit the Deep South, a great many of the poor people affected are black, especially in New Orleans -- both hit hardest and majority black to begin with.

I'm not sure what to say about a cable news station that plays a "loop" of black looters over and over -- about 20 seconds of actual footage, replayed for four minutes, while the voiceover dwells on the looting problem. Obviously, there are some looters in New Orleans and elsewhere, and equally obviously, there are lots of people who were without food or water for days.

The exhausted and desperate black mayor of New Orleans begged for help in an interview late last week. "They're feeding the public a line of bull and they're spinning, and people are dying down here," Mayor Ray Nagin said, talking about the feds. "It's politics, man, and they are playing games. ... They're out there spinning for the cameras. ... I don't want to see anybody do any more goddamned press conferences. ... Excuse my French, everybody in America, but I am pissed. ...

"Don't tell me 40,000 people are coming here! They're not here! It's too doggone late. Now get off your asses and do something, and let's fix the biggest goddamned crisis in the history of this country. People are dying."

The mayor was in tears. I heard two nice, white American "ladies" deploring this interview. "Well! He should remember there might be children listening!" Children still without food and water. What happens to people when they talk about race? Of course, most of us don't actually talk about race any more, we refer to it only indirectly, we talk "those people."

Watch carefully, listen carefully -- minority groups have always been blamed after natural disasters, since the days when the Hungarians were supposed to have cut the fingers off bodies to get the gold rings in the wake of the Johnstown Flood. Dirty Bohunks.

HotCorner
09-12-2005, 11:21 AM
Here are a couple of Mississippi photos.

I've posted a bunch more here (http://lastperson.suncircle.org/index.php?topic=69.0)


http://lastperson.suncircle.org/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=69.0;id=463;image

http://lastperson.suncircle.org/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=69.0;id=473;image

"The topic or board you are looking for appears to be either missing or off limits to you."

Do I need an account to that site to view the pictures?

westofyou
09-12-2005, 11:26 AM
Do I need an account to that site to view the pictures?

Probably, it's free.... it's Ochre's off site for RZ.

Blimpie
09-12-2005, 11:28 AM
"The topic or board you are looking for appears to be either missing or off limits to you."

Do I need an account to that site to view the pictures?I had the same problem, 2844...

westofyou
09-12-2005, 11:34 AM
BTW those photos remind me of South Carolina in 1989 after Hugo, trees snapped in half for miles and piles of stuff that used to be buildings.

Blimpie
09-12-2005, 12:08 PM
Sadly, for these people who survived the storm--the battle has not even begun...


Louisiana set for an epic legal fight
By Christopher Swann in Baton Rouge and Andrew Ward in Atlanta
Published: September 11 2005 22:02
Last updated: September 11 2005 22:02

Louisiana is facing an epic legal battle to determine who should pay to repair damaged properties, with insurance experts predicting that tens of thousands of homeowners will discover their insurance claims will not cover the cost of rebuilding their homes.

Jim Brown, Louisiana's insurance commissioner from 1992 until 2004, estimates that only a quarter of houses in the poorest areas affected by Hurricane Katrina had flood insurance. Standard insurance policies, carried by almost all homeowners, cover damage caused by storms but not floods.

In addition, those who bought federal flood insurance beyond the means of many poorer households may find compensation falls short, since it covers losses of only up to $250,000. “There is a big insurance gap,” said Mr Brown. “In all likelihood many people will suffer great financial loss.”

Similar disputes are expected along the Mississippi coast, where the worst damage was caused by the storm surge brought ashore by Hurricane Katrina rather than the 145mph winds. Experts said disputes are likely to arise over whether a storm surge will be classified as a flood.

Flood coverage was offered under a scheme backed by the Federal Flood Insurance Program. But it was expensive, costing up to $1,000 a year for a $200,000 home.

“The [physical] nightmare of the emergency is hopefully over for many people but the financial nightmare is just about to begin,” said E.L. “Bubba” Henry, alawyer representing insurance companies.

A report by Risk Management Solutions, a company that provides catastrophic risk data to insurers, estimated that losses from the hurricane could reach $125bn, with insured losses of between $40bn and $60bn. Insurance experts said in general, if damage is caused by wind or rain, the insurance companies are liable. But if the water comes from the ground, the Federal Flood Insurance Program is liable. Many homeowners are expected to argue that the flooding was caused by the wind and torrential rain, which led to the bursting of the levees in New Orleans.

James Donelon, general counsel for the state Department of Insurance, believes this question will have to be decided in court.

HotCorner
09-12-2005, 12:14 PM
Probably, it's free.... it's Ochre's off site for RZ.

Yep. That fixed it. ;)

pedro
09-12-2005, 01:07 PM
Those pictures were probably fabricated by Bush. He is in bed with CNN.

Does his wife know? Because,you know, she doesn't really strike me as a "swinger".

paintmered
09-12-2005, 01:10 PM
"swinger"

http://hollywoodcostumesandparty.com/austinpowers/austin3b.jpg

KronoRed
09-12-2005, 01:39 PM
Yea baby

Reds Fanatic
09-12-2005, 02:58 PM
CNN is reporting Michael Brown the head of FEMA has resigned.

OnBaseMachine
09-12-2005, 03:32 PM
EPA: Floodwaters contain lead

Final tests show that floodwater in New Orleans contains high levels of lead and E. coli bacteria, the Environmental Protection Agency said Monday.

The agency issued an advisory last week about the water based on initial test results, EPA press secretary Eryn Witcher said. The samples were taken from six locations in the city on September 3.

The latest EPA advisory warned against direct contact or ingesting the water.

"Also, people can become ill if they have an open cut, wound or abrasion that comes into contact with water contaminated with certain organisms," the agency said. "One may experience fever, redness and swelling at the site of the infection and should see a doctor right away if possible."

Witcher said the level of lead would cause "concern if a child ingests large amounts of the floodwater."

http://www.cnn.com/2005/US/09/12/katrina.impact/index.html

Blimpie
09-12-2005, 04:44 PM
CNN is reporting Michael Brown the head of FEMA has resigned.So I guess a raise is out of the question, then.

OnBaseMachine
09-12-2005, 11:32 PM
Dozens Found Dead at New Orleans Hospital By ADAM NOSSITER, Associated Press Writer
27 minutes ago

NEW ORLEANS - The bodies of more than 40 mostly elderly patients were found in a flooded-out hospital in the biggest known cluster of corpses to be discovered so far in hurricane-ravaged New Orleans.

The exact circumstances under which they died were unclear, with at least one hospital official saying Monday at least a few of the patients were dead before the storm, and another saying the rising temperature in the hospital afterward likely contributed to some of the deaths.

The announcement, which raised Louisiana's official death toll to nearly 280, came as President Bush got his first up-close look at the destruction and the embattled director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency resigned.


In New Orleans, a contractor was back at one of the previously repaired levees after water was found to be seeping through. Brig. Gen. Doug Pritt of the Oregon National Guard described it as a minor leak.


The death toll has also been rising as more bodies are recovered across the region.

At least 40 bodies were found Sunday at the 317-bed Memorial Medical Center, but the exact number was unclear. Bob Johannesen, a spokesman for the state Department of Health and Hospitals, said 45 patients had been found; hospital assistant administrator David Goodson said there were 44, plus three on the grounds.

http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20050913/ap_on_re_us/hurricane_katrina

Unassisted
09-12-2005, 11:33 PM
Saints will play 4 games in Baton Rouge and 3 in San Antonio.

http://customwire.ap.org/dynamic/stories/F/FBN_SAINTS_HOME_FIELD?SITE=TXSAE&SECTION=SPORTS&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2005-09-12-19-07-34

OnBaseMachine
09-13-2005, 01:32 AM
MSNBC: Water is overflowing a canal in New Orleans due to the pumping, plus there is another minor levee breach on London avenue.

They had some guy from LSU on there talking; he said even a Tropical Storm would cause a lot of flooding in New Orleans if one were to hit in the next couple months in that area.

OnBaseMachine
09-13-2005, 02:27 PM
Bush: 'I take responsibility' for U.S. failures on Katrina
Tuesday, September 13, 2005; Posted: 2:04 p.m. EDT (18:04 GMT)

NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana (CNN) -- President Bush on Tuesday said he takes responsibility for the federal government's failures in responding to Hurricane Katrina.

"Katrina exposed serious problems in our response capability at all levels of government and to the extent the federal government didn't fully do its job right, I take responsibility," Bush said during a joint news conference with Iraqi President Jalal Talabani.

Bush said he wants to know what went right and what went wrong so that he can determine whether the United States was prepared for another storm, or an attack. (Watch the president's statement -- 1:32)

"I'm not going to defend the process going in, but I am going to defend the people who are on the front line of saving lives," Bush said. (Full story)

Earlier in the day, the White House announced the president will address the nation Thursday night about recovery efforts in the Gulf Coast.

New Orleans may lose 160,000 homes

Katrina and the floodwaters that swept through New Orleans may have damaged 160,000 homes beyond repair, an official with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said Tuesday.

Col. Richard Wagenaar said that one of the local government's biggest challenges would be letting residents return to look at their homes.

Water flowed into the city from Lake Pontchartrain through five breaches in three levees after the storm hit August 29, leaving 80 percent of the city submerged. (Watch Wagenaar describe the levee repairs -- 3:34)

Workers should be able to pump the remaining water out of the city by the end of October, said Wagenaar, the New Orleans district commander of the Corps of Engineers.

"It's set up by neighborhoods," he said. "Some of them will be done by early October, other ones by mid-, late October -- if everything goes right, Mother Nature doesn't give us any rain and our pumps continue working."

Wagenaar said the process would speed up once water recedes around the city's main pumping station -- Pump Station No. 6 -- and its 1920s-era pumps can go back online. That's not expected for another two weeks. (Watch the efforts to pump New Orleans dry -- 2:40)

He said that workers were focusing on making "semi-permanent" repairs to the levee system that protects the low-lying city -- that could take two or three months. More permanent fixes would be made once investigators have determined why the levees failed.

The Corps of Engineers hasn't completed surveys of the levees outside the city, but Wagenaar said they appeared to be badly damaged. Some areas remain inaccessible and can only be looked at from the air.

"The levee at the Mississippi River and Gulf outlet is virtually gone," he said. In the event of another hurricane or strong tropical storm, St. Bernard Parish, east of New Orleans, would "have zero protection on one side of their parish at this time."

Ninety percent of the 10-mile-long, 17-foot-high levee on the east flank of the river is gone, leaving only a small, 60-foot-long levee intact.

"Should another storm come in, it could do more damage than it already has," Wagenaar added.

http://www.cnn.com/2005/US/09/13/katrina.impact/index.html

OnBaseMachine
09-14-2005, 03:42 PM
According to reports from The Weather Channel, as of September 9, 2005, the National Hurricane Center is considering a reclassification of Hurricane Katrina on the Saffir-Simpson scale to a Category 5 storm at landfall. The reclassification would be based on the storm surge and central pressure data of the storm at landfall.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hurricane_Katrina

Johnny Vander m
09-16-2005, 12:16 AM
Well I am finely back, 9 days without power and 19 days without internet due to hurricane Katrinia here in Mississippi, I am able to read Redszone. Happy to know no one missed me ecept RFS62 and Team Casey who pm. me. :( We had a cat 2 here in Jackson, still got part of my home and still alive,,,,,,,,,,,,,,as if anyone cares! :mooner:

WVRedsFan
09-16-2005, 12:25 AM
Well I am finely back, 9 days without power and 19 days without internet due to hurricane Katrinia here in Mississippi, I am able to read Redszone. Happy to know no one missed me ecept RFS62 and Team Casey who pm. me. :( We had a cat 2 here in Jackson, still got part of my home and still alive,,,,,,,,,,,,,,as if anyone cares! :mooner:

Hey Wetzel...

I wondered about you. I couldn't remember if you were in Louisiana or Mississippi, but I knew your absence meant trouble.

Is everything Ok? I hope so.

Good to have you back.

OnBaseMachine
09-16-2005, 11:32 AM
The official death toll from Katrina rose to 795 on Thursday, with 558 of them in Louisiana, 218 in Mississippi and 19 more from across Florida, Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee.

The number is expected to rise as flood waters recede. Decaying corpses can still be seen on New Orleans' streets a full 18 days after Katrina hit.

http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/N16634744.htm

RBA
09-16-2005, 12:52 PM
Well I am finely back, 9 days without power and 19 days without internet due to hurricane Katrinia here in Mississippi, I am able to read Redszone. Happy to know no one missed me ecept RFS62 and Team Casey who pm. me. :( We had a cat 2 here in Jackson, still got part of my home and still alive,,,,,,,,,,,,,,as if anyone cares! :mooner:


We care. Thanks for the update. Glad you are safe.

KronoRed
09-16-2005, 01:48 PM
We do care..glad to see you're safe

TeamMorris
09-16-2005, 02:38 PM
As a matter of fact Johnny, I did email you twice and got a message both times telling me your email address was not vailed as did I a month ago also (Never thought of PMing you for some reason)! I just figured you changed your email address or blocked me.

You WERE mentioned several times in RedsZone Peanut Gallery. You need to go check that board out sometime. I think you would like it :) Once in, click on cheers and go from there.

TeamMorris
09-16-2005, 02:39 PM
Oh...and VERY glad you are Ok :)

Johnny Vander m
09-16-2005, 10:57 PM
Oh forgive me folks, came home from the local pub last night with maybe too much wine drinking and maybe feeling sorry for myself, then drinking some more wine to go along with that. It has been a tiring couple weeks so forgive me for acting like a spoiled kid. I am so fortunate compared to the coast and NO. and having my friends at Redszone. TeamMorris, check your pm in a bit, not yet though. Thanks friends.

OnBaseMachine
09-18-2005, 02:08 AM
Tropical Depression 18 has formed. The path for 18 has it entering the Gulf of Mexico by Wednesday.

Tropical Storm Philippe developed earlier today.