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Conservatively liberal, moderately well-educated, and highly opinionated...

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Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Shoulda coulda

This just TICKS ME OFF!

Everybody knew that if New Orleans took a direct hit from a major hurricane, there was enormous risk to the levees – and thus the city.

So who's everybody?

The people in New Orleans knew. In the back of everyone’s mind was always that little niggling voice. Time, and many "near-misses" allowed for jokes and complacency, hurricane parties and a totally false sense of security. But those that coulda got out, shoulda.

But by everybody, I mean EVERYBODY KNEW!

In 2004, Homeland Security and the federal Emergency Management Agency ran an exercise called "Hurricane Pam" that provided a dire prediction about a Category 3 hurricane hitting New Orleans. It found, among other things, that flood waters would surge over levees, creating "a catastrophic mass casualty/mass evacuation

They KNEW the citizens in New Orleans were sitting ducks.

How can government at ANY level have watched storm after storm come in – year after year – and just hoped for a miss? What did those conversations look like, I wonder?

"Gosh, here comes another major storm into the Gulf. Sure hope it doesn't hit New Orleans."

"Yup, that'd be really bad, hunh, cuz those levees won't hold, and we won't be able to get people outta there."

Homeland Security spokesman Russ Knocke said he was not familiar with the documents but that the levees situation was one likely reason the government urged an evacuation of New Orleans before the storm hit.

"I think Katrina's gonna kick 'em right in the teeth down there this time. Darn. Tomorrow's lookin' bad for New Orleans."

"It's okay. We told 'em this mornin'. "

Too late now. Shoulda. Coulda.


  • At 10:07 AM, Blogger da po' boy said;

    The government knew and they were still slow to respond. So they ignored the risk when they were warned it could happen and then they ignored it after it happened until they finally couldn't ignore it anymore, like when Chertoff heard for the first time the Thursday after the storm during a radio interview that people were stuck at the Convention Center with no food or water.
    The planners didn't have a plan.
    Ticks me off, too.

  • At 10:18 PM, Blogger D. Sorrell said;

    They knew. There's no way they couldn't. There can't be a potiential danger like that approaching the U.S. and there not be plenty of knowledge about it.

    The Hurricane Pam study is the main reason I felt the burden of the early response needed to be coordinated locally. What were the chances that the federal government would stage resources for a response that may not have been necessary (if there had not been a break)? Who even read the info sent to D.C.?

    The federal officials' response was poor, but the local and state government should have had some "what if the feds don't come" plans, since it is the lives of their citizens at stake. I should have seen Nagin and Blanco before the flooding, continually calling attention to the danger.

    And notice how, except for flagrant comments, you don't see Nagin or Blanco now, calling attention to the continuing needs of the area. It's sad, IMHO.

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