Sunday, May 21, 2006

Don't come crying to me when history repeats itself...

Well, N'Awleans re-elected Ray Nagin as mayor.

You know, just when I think that humanity can't surprise me anymore, up jumps a village full of idiots to prove me wrong.

*sigh*

During the height of the Katrina debacle, I stumbled across the hurricane contingency plan for New Orleans.

The city of New Orleans not only did not follow their own guidelines for what to do in case of a hit by a hurricane, they actively violated their own plan by doing things specifically warned against in the plan.

Remember all those school busses window deep in the Ray Nagin Memorial Motor Pool?

The word y'all're looking for is "incompetence". "Ineptitude" is also apt.

Matter-of-fact, the only thing he did which wasn't incompetent was that tap-dancing, smoke-and-mirros act where he managed to shift the results of his own incompetence onto the Federal Government.

And the Media let him. Instead of asking, you know, investigative questions:

"Mayor Nagin, your own plan calls for the evacuation of residents using school busses. Why were none of the school busses used?"

"It's Bush's fault! Where is the Federal Government?"

"Mayor Nagin, your own disater plan calls for using certain schools as hurricane shelters, and you were specifically warned against using the Superdome as a shelter. Why did you authorize the use of the Superdome?"

"The Federal Gummint needs to get their butts down here! Oh my God, the horror!"

*sigh*

A lot of those deaths during- and post-Katrina are laid four-square at Nagins feet, but I guess that doesn't matter to the residents of the Big Easy.

I worked my butt off arranging for supplies to be sent to New Orleans and the rest of the Gulf Coast; I kept up lines of contact between our officers who volunteered their holiday time to help and family and command here; and I wound up hip-deep in N'Awlins refugees who got sent to our fair neighborhood.

It ain't gonna happen again.

Mark my words: This season or next, there's going to be a hummer of a hurricane hit on or near enough to what's left of New Orleans.

Y'all re-elected that incompetent idiot, y'all can sink or swim on your own this time. I wash my hands of the mess.

LawDog

12 comments:

BobG said...

I think part of the reason the media let him get away with it was that they were more interested in something else they could blame on Bush than on the facts of the matter.
Granted, FEMA fell down on the job, but most of the problems should have been taken care of by the local government before they got to the federal level.

THUNDER said...

Well said LD...

my .02 on the matter...

I was down there, post Katrina, for four months; and although I didn't get to N.O. (I spent my time working in Baton Rouge), BUT through research of my own (reading all the memos I could, talking with folks in many different capacities down there (that had worked the N.O. area) pre, contact, and post Katrina...here's what I learned...

FEMA did an outstanding job. Yup, I said it. They did. Given the mess they were handed, things could have been MUCH worse. Hard to imagine, right? Not really that tough if you were there. If FEMA had ANY downfall at all, it was that they were understaffed...NOT their fault. Their budget was cut a couple years prior downsizing them to nearly nothing.

TWO MONTHS prior to Katrina, FEMA got all the upper echelons together from city and state level from the Carolinas to Texas and gave them "The Bible". In that bible were detailed outlines of what to do during certain disasters (and yup, HURRICANE was one of them). I think Nagin was sleeping during this meeting, don't you? And yeah, LD, not one thing was done right by Nagin.

Oh yeah, and just to lay this whole thing to rest about how the Federal Gummint/FEMA took their sweet ass time getting there... FEMA can NOT go into ANY city or state locale without being requested by that local government office. Period. It's mandated that way. They can prep, they cvan start organizing, and they can make all the necessary arrangements for getting there, but they can NOT do anything FOR the area until they get asked for help, get there, and make the proper assessments.

Former FEMA director Brown (Mr. Scapegoat himself) kept telling Nagin, and anyone else that would listen) what to do, but nobody listened. Nagin CHOSE to do things his own way, and the media chose to side with Nagin and the poor, looting, declare martial law because that's the only way to get us under control, people of N.O. Sadly, all of Mr. Browns' predictions/warnings came true. *shrug*

Of course, after seeing the N.O. folks up close (B.R. took on as many refugees as any one city), it doesn't surpirse me in the least that the folks from The Big Easy (Money) picked him again.

By the way, the hurricane center talked to us about the hurricane cycle we are in... They told us "This is the first year of a six-year heavy hurricane (Cat 3 or higher) cycle". It ain't over folks (Although this year they are predicting that the hurricanes this year will be more localized along the eastern shorelines). Stay tuned.

THUNDER

Jon said...

I suffered through Rita. Since it was only a byline in the news, most people didn't have any idea of the devastation and costs caused by the storm. The local head of FEMA made the comment that if it hadn't been for the problems of Katrina and New Orleans, Rita would have been the storm of the century.

No matter how bad the storm is, the local officials can reduce, if not eliminate, injuries by evacuating everyone before the storm. Without injuries, the storm is only an event that causes damage. Intead of becoming a sensationlized news event, the storm becomes a joint effort of local heroes to clear, rebuild and resume. Instead of Geraldo standing in front of suffering people, he becomes a buffoon looking for a ditch to stand in so his story is more interesting.

New Orleans is a joke. The people are completely unable to control their destiny and make logical choices. They are doomed to repeat their past. Allowing Nagin to continue his career as mayor only shows how the city is a corrupt welfare society that will eventually disappear except as a tourist resort. Business and industry will shun the area. Economics will determine the future and I feel it will not ever be as it was in the past.

Anonymous said...

I was hired in 1975 to work in the Texas Coastal Zone Management Program. Part of the deal was a study (and separate report) on "Hazards of the Coast". I worked with Bob Simpson and Herb Saffir ("Saffir/Simpson Scale") in looking at the behaviors and effects of many 20th Century hurricanes.

All coastal states and Great Lakes states had such programs, funded in part by NOAA.

Last I heard, Lousy-anna is a coastal state. They've had the available information and recommendations since at least 1977, in both state and local offices.

However, I've read nothing to indicate Mayor Nagin ever gave any consideration to any facet of hazard and respones.

And the people don't care. Shades of WashDC and Mayor Cokesniff.

Art

Anonymous said...

I agree Lawdog, New Orleans re-electing Nagin resembles Wash, D.C. re-electing Mayor Barry a few years ago...crooks in charge remain in charge!

I refuse to give New Orleans a nickel of it gets flooded again.. it is on its own... Nagin will do nothing and city residents will be rewarded for their incompetence at the ballot box...

My only hope is that sane people have moved away from city and that new hurricane can revisit area and clean it from view once and for all.

Spending more money fixing New Orleans city is a crime; the levees and dikes cannot support Level 3 winds/rain/flood and best action would have been to move city inland. But it will take more devastation so local and fed gov't finally learn...

Let's sit back and watch the rats make refuge until the winds of summer 06!

Anonymous

Glenmore said...

Nagin won, so New Orleans shouldn't get any more outside support, and should just drown to improve the gene pool.

Alternative: Landrieu won, so the New Orleans shouldn't get any more outside support, and should just drown to get rid of the racists, who are all that are left there.

Different outcome, different group, same result.

An independent study of the levee system was released this weekend. It pretty much condemned every aspect, over a period of more than 30 years. Incorrect design, inadequate funding, substandard construction, haphazard maintenance. Culpable parties include Congress, Army Corps of Engineers, contractors and their management, state and city government,and local levee boards.
The sins of the past are repeating - current repairs include such illogicalities as first fixing the Lower Ninth Ward side of the Industrial Canal levee to protect a totally destroyed area, then next year working on the much less damaged upriver side, which ALMOST failed during Katrina.

Papa Ray said...

There was a study done by a university back in the seventies I believe. I read it in some mag. Might have been Popular Science as I had a subscription back then.

From what I remember, the only way to make NO a safe place to live was to do three main things. All of which might have been doable back then but I am not so sure about now as prices have gone skyhigh.

Anyway, the overview is this.

Improve and rebuild the levees.

You would inject (it was some kind of concrete or concrete-mud mixture (like the oil field uses I would guess). These drill sites would be around the outside of the city and would be very close together and close to the levees and would be injecting into the water table.

I seem to remember that there were some type of order that this would be done but don’t recall now. Anyway after that was done, drilling and pumping inside the city would remove most of the existing underground water. They said some mud injection would have to be done inside the city as well. Because, removal of all this water would cause parts of the city to sink even more.

Massive amounts of dirt and rock would have to be trucked in to the city and distributed in any case to further raise buildings and streets.

Now there would be a high dollar construction project, but one that would have lasting results.

But, nothing like that is even possible or probable, instead we will sink millions [billions?] into NO to prove that we care.

Then watch as it is destroyed again.

Nagin will get his share [fair and square in his eyes] and move to higher ground.

Papa Ray
West Texas
USA

AFSister said...

I'm a Red Cross volunteer, and all that you said about Nagin and the NO disaster plan is 100% correct.

A total clusterfuck, laid out at Nagin's feet, and totally ignored by NO citizens. They all need to be bitch-slapped.

AFSister said...

btw... Thunder is spot-on too. The local government, and you, as a private citizen, should be self-sufficient for the first 72 hours. Trust me... the resources were there, but Nagin failed to follow instructions and guidelines that could have saved countless lives and eliminated much of the suffering endured by NO citizens.

You would not believe (or perhaps you would) the stories of corruption in the government system down there which was highlighted by Katrina response.

Anonymous said...

The trounble with what's been allowed to happen in New Orleans is that it is right at being the most important single city in the US. It has provided the infrastructure for all the industrial base of the lower Mississippi River. Oil & gas and grain exports are the mainstays, and cannot be replicated elsewheere. Financial centers can be anywhere, and could be relocated relatively easily. Other cities have ports, but they don't handle the quantities of oil and gas. And then there's the incredible amount of industrial traffic up and down the Mississippi River, with materials from Texas being moved as raw materials for industries as far north as Chicago.

IOW, it can't be ignored or abandoned.

Art

Anonymous said...

MORE OVALTINE PLEASE!!!

Cybrludite said...

Sorry I missed this when it was fresh, but let me point out some things about the election down here. Had the Republicans ran one serious canedate instead of dividing their vote between two guys, Nagin wouldn't have made the run-off. After that, we were left with a very unpalatable choice: The moron who made such a hash of things during the storm, or a smart, hard left politico who is a scion of one of the political families who got us in this mess to begin with. Imagine, if you will that you had to pick between Marion Barry and Hillary Clinton for mayor.

For those saying we should just sink, and be damned with us, you might want to be careful what you wish for. Take a long, careful look at just how much of the Midwest is dependant on being able to cheaply get their products to port via barges on the Mississippi. Even if we had the rail capacity to send it via Houston or Mobile, you'd be taking a mongo slice out of their profit margins. We can sink back into the swamps if you really want us to, but you'll be paying twice as much for gas & seafood, and get to watch the Midwest go back to being a ginormous prairie in the bargain.