Thursday, September 1, 2005

It's Not Like They Didn't Know

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Jackson Square before the hurricane

Let's make one thing clear. I have shed many tears watching the unimaginable devastation and loss that people are suffering in New Orleans.  

But I am also angry at the mental midgets who didn't have a better plan for the day that came. I think the people that run that city and state didn't do their jobs in preparing for a hurricane of Katrina's magnitude.  They didn't have an evacuation plan for the sick and the poor. They didn't have a contingency plan if the levees broke. They didn't put much thought into the demands of housing thousands of people in the Superdome.


Here's something from Richard Roeper's column in the Chicago Sun-Times that I found interesting:

"Amid this maelstrom, the estimated 200,000 or more people left behind in an evacuation will be struggling to survive. Some will be housed at the Superdome, the designated shelter . . . for people too sick or infirm to leave the city. Others will end up in last-minute emergency refuges that will offer minimal safety. But many will simply be on their own, in homes or looking for high ground.

"Thousands will drown while trapped in homes or cars by rising water. Others will be washed away or crushed by debris. Survivors will end up trapped on roofs, in buildings or on high ground surrounded by water, with no means of escape and little food or fresh water, perhaps for several days."

That quote is from a five part series from the Times-Picayune written in 2002 about what would happen if a major hurricane struck.

And every word of that has come true.  

The people who run the city of New Orleans and the state of Louisiana have proved they are incompetent when it comes to preparing and responding to a disaster.

I also wonder what precautions were in place to make sure that the building codes demanded hurricane worthy construction?  

Earlier I wondered why a request for 20 million in federal funds for the levees was turned down.  Someone in a comment made a more important point:  Where is all the money -- about a million a day -- from the casinos?  What was it used for?

While we're at it, who has been doing the upkeep on these levees? One wonders if the money spent was money not properly put to use.

New Orleans has been a hotbed of corruption for decades. Katrina was a killer storm. But scratch the mud she left behind and I bet there's plenty of local blame to go around.

NOTE:  I also think that if the Twin Towers had been built properly, they wouldn't have collapsed. For starters, I think the steel was bad. So that should give you some idea where my head is.


djzgirl71 said...

I agree with you wholeheartedly.  It is very sad to think this all could have been avoided.  Why was that turned down????????  A million and one inquiring minds want to know!!!!!


suzypwr said...

Well, you know, if you just let disaster happen, the federal government will pay. Besides, it won't happen to them. Why evacuate when you can wait for someone to come get you and pay for your shelter and care? So many lives could have been spared, so much suffering avoided. It's so sad.


robbush6 said...

When you put your life and livelihood in the hands of the Army Corps of Engineers, who designed and built the levees 60 years ago, you get what you get. Before the hurricane and the resulting flood, they couldn't just get on the PA system and say, "Oops, there's been a mistake of huge proportions by Planning and Zoning. New Orleans is now closed." No one would have believed it until they saw it for themselves. Those are the people that stayed behind who are now waving the white flags. Sometimes when you gamble, you lose.

shaz19743 said...

Mental midgets doest even cover it ! How the hell could they let this happen then even after the fact when it does continue to be utterly inadequate in organisational skills of any kind !
Your right NO ONE would have believed it could be this bad ! Not in this day and age and in the USA X

screaminremo303 said...

The people of New Orleans were living on borrowed time from Day One. Why would anyone trust something that was built with the "technology" of the '40's. They might as well have been living in mud huts.
They were told to get ready to evacuate nearly four days before the damn thing hit. The people who are stuck on rooftops have no one to blame but themselves.
Bulldoze the whole stinking shithole and send the residents to Iowa. We found places for the Vietnamese refugees, why not them?

emmapeeldallas said...

Well, I'll admit that after all these years, I'm still a dewey-eyed liberal, so that surely colors my views, but...having said that...geez, face it, most of the people who stayed are POOR and also, many of them are old and infirm.  I've read that about a sixth of the people in New Orleans didn't own cars.  I know a little something about parents never owned a house, we didn't have indoor plumbing until I was 8, and we didn't have a car, so I can relate to all of that...and when I was a kid, if we'd been told to evacuate when the river was due to flood in Minnesota, my family wouldn't have been able to get out...we'd have been like those people on the rooftops...and maybe that's why I empathize with them...and I DO empathize with them...


jayveeconcerto said...

My EXACT sentiments.... you've said it well.        Jon

sistercdr said...

Mrs. L, you're right on here.  I love New Orleans, but corruption is the way of politics there.  On my first trip to NO, I heard a cabbie say Welcome to Lousy-ana, lousy schools, lousy roads, lousy politicians.  A quick drive through the state prior to this could have shown almost anyone that infrastructure improvements were badly needed.

robbush6 said...

Bad steel? I've had bad Mexican and bad advice and a bad haircut, but how does steel go bad? The towers got hit with flying missles, lest we forget. Were the building designers supposed to allow for that?

grassriver said...

I grew up in south-east Florida and everytime a hurricane missed us there would be countless editorials in the paper calling for people to take the storms seriously, get storm shutters, buy supplies in May before the season started, bring buildings up to code ...etc, but no one listened. And then Andrew hit and changed everything.

Unfortunately, it takes disaster to strike before people/gov'ts take the steps toward prevention.

sdoscher458 said...

You are partially correct about the towers coming down. The design allowed the center of the building to act like a wick for the jet fuel & flames..that's why the elevators became death traps. During those years too, the mob was heavily involved in any type of construction in it is possible the steel was corrupted or not up to code. Sandi