Skip to comments.AMERICA - The Right Way!! (Day 1700) [Remember the Trade Center!!]
Posted on 09/16/2005 4:55:51 AM PDT by Chairman_December_19th_Society
We will not tire, we will not falter, and we will not fail!
Do not let the victims of the attacks on New York and Washington, nor the brave members of our Nation's military who have given their lives to protect our freedom, die in vain!!
The Sinking of the City of New Orleans
As I am sure we all know by now, unless you've been living in a cave, the city of New Orleans was reminded, in the most brutal of ways, that man is not the master of nature, but that he lives within the will of his surroundings. That this might be applied to the debate on global climate change--if man could control nature, wouldn't he have eliminated such things as hurricanes?--is, in the words of Alton Brown from Good Eats, "another show."
Naturally, that such a calamity would be the fault of nature beyond the measure of mere men is not in the nature of humans--someone has to be blamed, and blamed he was. And by the end of the second week following the disaster, the personification of personal blame, the director of FEMA (the Federal Emergency Management Authority) was unceremoniously sacked, first from his duties along the Gulf coast (that was public) and then his position heading the agency (that was private--the public sap being that he "resigned").
Unfortunately, and Mr. Brown would probably take little solace in this, he was a political sacrifice; and offering to the great spin machine in Washington, DC, that would much rather look to the grindings of political opportunism than the true investigation into the events of the disaster.
Some of these events have not received wide publicity--and some none at all, far as I can tell--but this space will now endeavor to bring what is known, and what is a matter of public policy regarding disasters, into one report. This report draws upon information available from The Wall Street Journal, newsmax.com, Times-Picayune States-Item, FoxNews, the Department of Homeland Security, the National Hurricane Center, the Federal Emergency Management Authoriity, State of Louisiana, Wikipeida, and, of course, FreeRepublic.com.
As opening rants go, this one is rather long, but it is a tale that is screaming to get out.
Duties of the Mayor of New Orleans When Confronted With an Approaching Hurricane and its Aftermath...
Bureaucracies are notorious for drafting policies and plans that often are never implemented, mainly for the purpose of saying they have a policy, or a plan exists, to address virtually any given situation. This is done irrespective of whether any resources are actually available to implement a plan or policy, or not. Staff in these bureaucracies have an appropriately derisive name for these policies: shelfware.
One such piece of shelfware exists in the New Orleans city bureaucracy, a tome entitled the Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan.
This plan discusses what should be done in the event of a major hurricane approaching the Crescent City. The city administration, according to the plan, accepted responsibility for the following pre-event requirements (among others):
It is also worthy of note that, according to the Wall Street Journal, the City of New Orleans, on August 1, developed plans for the use of its transit and school buses to move refugees out of the city when and if disaster struck.
What is also interesting about the 9,000-word Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan is what it doesn't say:
Duties of the Governor of Louisiana When Confronted With an Approaching Hurricane, and its Aftermath...
The governor of the State of Louisiana is the primary official responsible for coordinating all phases of disaster relief to the entirety of citizens within that political subdivision. Many of the responsibilities the governor specifically has are spelled out in the National Response Plan of the Federal Department of Homeland Security, namely:
The Louisiana government's Evacuation Guidelines allow for the use of public school buses.
Duties of the Tropical Prediction Center (AKA National Hurricane Center) When Confronted With an Approaching Hurricane, and its Aftermath...
The duties of the TPC are actually fairly simple and straight forward:
Duties of FEMA, and the Department of Homeland Security, When Confronted With an Approaching Hurricane, and its Aftermath...
The duties of the Federal Government are probably the most misunderstood aspect of what occurs during disaster preparedness and disaster recovery. The abilities and capabilities of the FEMA, the Federal Government's agent in the event of a disaster, are spelled out in statute--the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (PL 93-288, as amended). The law is rather prescriptive and limits the ability of FEMA to respond, probably because of a sensitivity to that quaint notion of Federalism--we are a union of 50 autonomous states--that suggests the first response to disasters should come from the states themselves. FEMA is capable of reacting to an emergency, but that emergency has to be declared by the President...
In addition, the governor of an affected state can request the President to use Federal (as opposed to National Guard) troops, for a period not to exceed 10 days [emphasis added], work on public and private land "essential for the preservation of life and property."
The National Response Plan prepared by the Department of Homeland Security in December 2004, and prepared with full knowledge of the Stafford Act, notes the following:
Duties of the Army Corps of Engineers When Confronted With an Approaching Hurricane, and its Aftermath...
The duties of the ACE, in the New Orleans area, are one of maintaining the Federal levee system that protects the city against any hurricane of category three or less. The ACE notes:
Joseph Suhayda, who is a retired Louisiana State University coastal oceanographer notes the levees have sunk over the years, and probably wouldn't protect the area against even a category two hurricane. The 17th Street Canal overtop walls, however, probably would mitigate against this.
In addition, the ACE is responsible for a lock system on the New Orleans Industrial Canal which raises and lowers shipping from the 8 inches above sea level that is Lake Ponchatrain and the roughly 10 feet above sea level that is the Mississippi River. The lock was built in the 1920s, and the ACE was attempting to upgrade the lock and entire system in 1998 (indeed $600 million had been appropriated for the work). The residents of the 9th Ward in New Orleans sued the ACE because the work created too much noise. The project was still in litigation at the end of August 2005.
What Actually Happened...
August 25, 2005
KATRINA strikes Florida as a category I hurricane. At least 11 die.
August 26, 2005
President Bush calls Louisiana governor Blaco. Based on a series of meetings he has had with his Deputy Chief of Staff, the President tries to convince the governor to take needed action, and take it immediately.
The governor of Louisiana demurs, weighing the legalities of accepting Federal assistance, and wondering if doing so would lead to the perception that her office couldn't handle an emergency. Gov. Blanco flatly declares there is a plan for dealing with a large hurricane.
Gov. Blanco declares a state of emergency in Louisiana.
August 27, 2005
KATRINA becomes a category III hurricane.
President Bush declares a state of emergency for Louisiana.
FEMA begins the coordination of disaster relief with a number of Louisiana parishes. FEMA is, however, restricted from interfering in local operations because Louisiana has not authorized such activity.
FEMA activates Texas TF-1 search and rescue and stages them in Shreveport, LA (about 300 miles NW of New Orleans--a day's drive because you would leave the Interstate system at Lafayette due to flooding).
FEMA's Michael Brown (yep, the one that was cashiered) declares: "There's about 36 hours for folks to get ready. Beyond that, it's just too late. I can't emphasize enough to viewers how serious FEMA is taking this storm. The agency has dispatched teams to both states [LA and MS]
President Bush contacts Gov. Blanco and urges her to order a mandatory evacuation of New Orleans.
Mayor Nagin calls for a voluntary evacuation of New Orleans.
Gov. Blanco requests that President Bush declare a major disaster for the State of Louisiana as required by the Stafford Act. SPECIFICALLY MISSING FROM THIS REQUEST ARE THE FOLLOWING PARISHES: JEFFERSON, PLAQUEMINES, ST. BERNARD, AND ORLEANS. This means the Federal Government, BY LAW, is specifically PROHIBITED from providing aid to the areas most likely to be struck by KATRINA! [Of note: it appears the August 27 letter from the Louisiana governor's office is now no longer available on the state's website--it has been replaced by a letter dated August 28. Information here is that drawn from Wikipedia.]
President Bush declares a major disaster in the regions requested in Gov. Blanco's letter.
Max Maxfield, of the NHC, contacts Mayor Nagin. He pleads with the mayor to order an evacuation of New Orleans, pointing out the levees were not designed to handle a storm of this size.
August 28, 2005
12:40 AM CT: KATRINA becomes a Category IV storm.
10 AM CT: NWS says "devastating" damage will occur from KATRINA.
10 AM CT: Mayor Nagin and Gov. Blanco issue a mandatory evacuation order--this order is 24 hours late according to the city's Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan. The buses available in the city are never used.
Gov. Blanco seems to understand what's coming. On Larry King: New Orleans could expect a complete loss of electricity and water services as well as intense flooding.
New Orleans tells people to bring enough personal food and water to emergency shelters for three to five days. Problem would be--people after the storm would be moving to shelters through flood waters incapable of bringing their own supplies.
Seven trucks of food and three trucks with water deliver supplies to the Superdome.
1 PM CT: KATRINA becomes a Category V storm.
The mayor of New Orleans would make his last address to the city: fill [your] upstairs bathtubs with water, and in case of real trouble, make sure you have a way of hacking through your roof -- so you are not trapped by rising water.
AMTRAK offers the City of New Orleans free transportation to evacuate residents. The offer is turned down.
President Bush declares a state of emergency in Alabama and Mississippi.
August 29, 2005
Early morning: Mayor Nagin closes the Crescent City Connector--this would be the sole remaining land connection to the city over the coming days.
6:10 AM CT: KATRINA makes landfall at Grand Isle, LA. Maximum winds are 145 MPH.
6:44 AM CT: Hurricane KATRINA slams into Buras, LA, with winds of 144 MPH, and pushing in front of it a storm surge of 24 feet.
Early Morning: Waters from the Gulf of Mexico, being pushed up into marshes in Plaquemines parish, begin inundating this region. As the storm moves north, winds begin to shift, driving the waters from Lake Borgne into St. Bernard parish.
8 AM CT: Water rises in the Industrial Canal of New Orleans.
9 AM CT: Wind direction continues to move counter-clockwise. As winds start moving from the ENE, with KATRINA approaching Mississippi, water is shoved past the Chandelier barrier islands, into Chandelier Sound, and ultimately into Lake Ponchatrain. These waters slam into the Industrial Canal and spill over its eastern bank, flooding the 9th ward of New Orleans.
11 AM CT: Up to 10 feet of water is reported in St. Bernard.
1:00 PM CT: Winds start diminishing in New Orleans, and water levels begin to fall on Lake Ponchatrain. Residents of New Orleans think they have dodged a bullet. Shortly afterward, however, a barge breaks from its moorings.
2:00 PM CT: New Orleans officials admit a breach in the 17th Street Levee. This resulted from the barge that broke loose slamming into the concrete overtop wall of the 17th Street Canal--this concrete barrier is several feet thick. The wall breaks, and the inundation of New Orleans commences. [The barge, incidentally, has been found at the bottom of the breach.]
3:00 PM CT: New Orleans Homeland Security Director Terry Ebbertt: "Everybody who had a way or wanted to get out of the way of this storm was able to."
At other, unspecified, times:
August 30, 2005
1:30 AM CT: The 17th Street Canal levee breach is two city blocks wide.
12:00 PM CT: The Department of Homeland Security's Secretary becomes aware the levee breach cannot be plugged.
10:00 PM CT: Mayor Nagin reports that attempts to sandbag the 17th Street Canal breach have failed--80 percent of New Orleans is now under water.
At other, unspecified times:
FEMA and DoD personnel, as called for in the National Response Plan are moving doctors, nurses, rescue experts, support personnel, and supplies toward New Orleans. They are, however, powerless to use any of these as Gov. Blanco still had not declared the situation beyond the capability of Louisiana to handle, thus preventing Federal assistance because of Federal law (the Stafford Act)!
Mayor Nagin of New Orleans leaves the Crescent City Connector closed to all outbound traffic--including pedestrian.
By evening, Gov. Blanco was watching, most assuredly, the same newscasts the rest of us were, showing rapes, looting, and even the report of one of New Orleans' police officers being shot in the head. Bullets are flying by relief workers; indeed, the city was clearly out of control
The Louisiana governor still doesn't request Federal assistance.
Gov. Blanco calls for the evacuation of New Orleans "within 48 hours", but provides no assistance to undertake the operation.
USS Bataan begins what relief operations it can under Federal law.
Other US military assets are ordered to the Gulf region.
Mayor Nagin finally opens the Crescent City connector to allow refugees to go to the West Bank to "find whatever relief they can locate". This means that for three days, by force, the mayor has kept people locked in the Central Business District of New Orleans. Now, unfortunately, no one who would need to know this can learn of this because: (1) there were no electronic means to distribute information in New Orleans anymore; and (2) the city government didn't make this fact known to the people in the CBD.
Looting prompts state officials to send an armored personnel carrier and 70 additional officers into New Orleans.
People are trapped in the Superdome and Convention Center with no electricity, no food, no water, and no sewer capability.
Officials in the city of New Orleans first realize people are using the Convention Center as a refugee center.
President Bush declares the Gulf coast a Public Health Emergency.
First relief supplies reach the Superdome.
Louisiana workers begin closing the 17th Street Canal breach.
September 1, 2005
Media outlets begin to criticize the slow response of Federal assistance to New Orleans--in fact, it was not possible because there had been no request from Louisiana to provide relief. The Stafford Act prohibited FEMA and other Federal agencies from doing anything.
Gov. Blanco finally signs Executive Order KBB-2005-23. This Order requests Federal assistance. It would still be several hours, because of the road network in southern Louisiana allowing only two routes of access to New Orleans, before relief supplies could reach New Orleans.
Gov. Blanco finally allows the Red Cross access to New Orleans.
Federal officials would rescue 10,000 people in the first 12 hours after Gov. Blanco gave permission for them to operate in Louisiana.
Buses arrive in New Orleans to remove people. This encourages some, who realize there is now a land outlet, to steel cars from parking garages to get out of the city.
FEMA is informed by New Orleans officials that people are located at the Convention Center.
New Orleans mayor delivers his "SOS" speech.
Fires start breaking out in places within New Orleans--fortunately, most of the city doesn't become ablaze as there is little that can be done to constrain these fires.
A 50-member Canadian force (who, remember, are not under the strictures of the Stafford Act) reach New Orleans. Louisiana State Senator Boasso would comment they beat the US military by five days.
National Guardsman bring 475 buses to New Orleans, along with relief supplies.
Red Cross officials request permission to distribute supplies in New Orleans from state officials; their request is refused to avoid creating an incentive for folks to stay at the Superdome.
Gov. Blanco requests 40,000 National Guard troops.
California swift water rescue crews rescue hundreds from New Orleans, but have to stop when shot at by thugs.
The 17th Street Canal is separated from Lake Ponchatrain by a sheet piling.
September 2, 2005
President Bush requests unified control over all local police and National Guard units reporting to the Louisiana governor. Note carefully, unified control, not a takeover, was being sought. Gov. Blanco rejects this saying such would be comparable "to a Federal declaration of martial law."
Fifty relief vehicles arrive in New Orleans ("the cavalry"). Sick and wounded are finally evacuated from two hospitals (presumably Charity and Tulane Medical Center).
Week of September 4, 2005
Gov. Blanco requests that the State of Louisiana take over the recovery of bodies in the delta region, including Jefferson, Orleans and St. Bernard parishes.
September 4, 2005
The Superdome is completely evacuated.
September 5, 2005
The breach in the 17th Street Canal is closed. The sheet pilings at its connection to Lake Ponchatrain are removed so the canal can be used to aid in draining the city.
September 6, 2005
Forced evacuation of New Orleans ordered by the mayor. Gov. Blanco, however, refuses to endorse this order, so its legitimacy is questionable.
September 8, 2005
President Bush issues and Executive Order suspending the Davis-Bacon Act of 1931; this will allow Federal contractors to pay wages below the prevailing rate to those rebuilding after KATRINA.
September 9, 2005
Michael Brown is relieved of KATRINA recovery responsibilities by Secretary of Homeland Security Chertoff.
September 12, 2005
Michael Brown steps down, probably after being cashiered in private as the political fall guy, as head of FEMA.
September 13, 2005
Gov. Blanco criticizes FEMA for the slow pace of recovering dead bodies.
There's a lot of blame to go around, but some things present themselves as clear when the facts are analyzed:
On its face, then it would hold the Governor of Louisiana is directly responsible for the needless deaths of hundreds of people in Jefferson, Orleans, Plaquemines, and St. Bernard parishes. The legislature of Louisiana should begin an immediate investigation into this barbarous act, and initiate impeachment proceedings. If need be, the United States Department of Justice should enter into the equation also to the extent allowed under Federal law.
Secondarily, an investigation should also be launched into the culpability of Mayor Nagin into the suffering and death of people in New Orleans for failing to follow, to the extent he had the flexibility under state law, his own disaster plan.
And finally, the United States Congress needs to conduct its own investigation into where hundreds of millions of dollars in Federal funding for flood protection in the Bayou State actually went.
Partial list of primary sources consulted for this article:
FreeRepublic.com: Blanco Refused To Act... Governors Indecision Cost Precious Time
FoxNews: New Orleans Nursing Home Owners Charged With Negligent Homicide
Newsmax: Amtrak, Nagin Argue Over Rescue Train
Newsmax: Red Cross Blocked Before Levee Break
Newsmax: Gov. Kathleen Blanco's Bureaucrats Blocked Food and Water
Newsmax: Mayor Nagin- Gov. Blanco Delayed Rescue
Newsmax: Why New Orleans Flooded
Wikipedia: Hurricane Katrina timeline
FEMA: National Response Plan
FEMA: Emergency Aid Authorized For Hurricane Katrina Emergency Response In Louisiana
For AMERICA - The Right Way, I remain yours in the Cause, the Chairman.
If it was cooler I'd say fire up that hot tub and suggest a new adventure. LOL
Bush the unreported hero Andrew Bolt
The JFK Question Manuel Miranda
I know, Chair. It's just that my brain can't accept it all. It's far to sad , yet I wouldn't be surprised. I will agree an investigation should be ordered.
Toby saw this 'cause ABC is all he can get, right now.
The winter before our 25th, I brought up the subject with my husband...
He hesitated, then asked..."So you want to take a cruise, or something?" Then held his breath, waiting for my answer!
"No! Let's just go over to Virginia for a quiet weekend.."
Wow! You should have seen the look of relief on his face!!
And no, I hadn't bought into the Virginia is for Lovers thing...
With my mother's family all coming from there... its beauty...its history... it's long been a favorite of mine.
We're having some much needed rain!!!!
Oh my. That looks just like my Elsa...although I have never put foil on her head..yet. LOL
I will have the tiny gc here with me today, due to his daycare provider having a family funeral.
I may, or maynot be back here until mid afternoon when his Mother arrives to retrieve him.
Yesterday morning, they were telling us they would have the money by this evening. They also asked if we were paid whether they could reopen; we said "yes".
But, yesterday afternoon, the business owner's son called us from Richmond. He asked us if they could pay $20K now, and the rest after they sell the business.
They don't have the money.
Hope you two have many, many more!
MozartLover should be getting ready for her adventure about now!!
All I can say about your brilliant summary is: WELL DONE!!!!!
Thanks for all your hard work and in getting this thread and discussion started!
sometimes you just need to take what is there before it turns into zero and a law suit. There was one year that the "write offs" were no longer attractive. Profit was our goal, not sheltering. It is a terrible situation for all of you there
Excellent work, Chairman. Thank you for providing this clear timeline, which will come in handy for all of us.
You're probably vaguely remembering a quote of Stalin, which goes (something) like this:
"One death is a tragedy, millions of deaths are a statistic."
The point being that once the "numbers" start to rack up, the communists' dream of minimizing individuality in favor of the "class" or "group" takes over. When individual identity and worth (value) plummet, it is easier to get the collective to rely on external or governmental controls. Then, instead of individual thought and power, you have a small group of extremely powerful policy-makers controlling the lives and thoughts of the many.
LOLOLOL! I'm probably married to his brother, except for the farm machinery part. Happy Anniversary!
Bump for later reading, and thanks, Molly! BBL
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