Skip to comments.Mandatory evacuation ordered for New Orleans (Please keep this post - BUSH ORDERED EVACUATION!)
Posted on 09/03/2005 7:20:14 AM PDT by areafiftyone
Gov. Kathleen Blanco, standing beside the mayor at a news conference, said President Bush called and personally appealed for a mandatory evacuation for the low-lying city, which is prone to flooding.
(Excerpt) Read more at nola.com ...
One of the small, but significant items in the news report was how early-on the mayor was already taking in special needs people at the Superdome, early Sunday - people with walkers and in wheelchairs and with portable respirators - instead of arranging for them to go to the Hospitals, or even transporting them out to Tulane, which at least would not be under water. Then, having already sent people with special needs to the Superdome, he opens it up to 10s of thousands of others, and tells them to bring their own food for up to 3 or 4 days.
So, two points:
Since he did not provide much staff assistance at the Superdome, what did he think was going to happen with all the special needs persons he first took in there, when it got jammed up with another 30,000 people - who did not bring food for 3 or 4 days.
He told people going to the Superdome to bring food for 3 or 4 days, so he knew he had no legitimate expectation of achieving their evacation from the Surperdome until possibly Thursday. Yet, he has given everyone in the world the public perception that he believed otherwise, and feels the feds let him down. The man was not qualified to be dog catcher.
I know no one in the LSM will look at this, so I hust wanted to point it out.
In an interview with PBS the Mayor said he thought that 80% of the population of New Orleans had already gone to higher ground. How the heck could he think that? He didn't even care!
Bernard Kurich was just on Fox with Neil...and he pretty much said that the state and local officials screwed this up from the start. Even he noted how the city didn't have a plan to move the poor. I have a feeling those buses are going to become exhibit-1 during that Katrina hearings.
Your right these people should have had enough water and food each to last them for a few days from their own stores.
That's a complete load of crap. Initially, the storm was supposed to come in near Miami and head up through the Tampa Bay area, when it took the southwesterly jog, the track had it swinging back into Florida for about two minutes. All the tracks had it dead on for Louisiana, three or four days out.
This woman is criminally negligent as a Governor. No pre planning and no post hurricane services provided at all. All Floridians know it takes several days for Federal relief to come in, the local and state authorities are the first responders, in effect. In Florida, we are instructed to be prepared for hurricane season on day one. Of course, alot of us scramble a few days out to be sure we have extra water, batteries and canned goods, but most of us take it pretty seriously.
That said, I feel for the people of New Orleans. They have been victimized twice, first by the liberal social policies of the last forty years which made them totally dependent on the government, and two by the ineptitude of the state and local authorities.
Yes we need to spread this around. A good friend of mine and a staunch Bush supporter was mad at the President yesterday for not doing anything. I set her straight because I remembered this.
Exactly. They want hearings. I say "Bring it On!!"
The federal government should be quicker to respond, but the initial emergency response which includes law and order is the local and state government's responsibility. Was it the federal government first on the scene at the world trade centers? No, it was NYFD and NYPD with volunteers from all across the nation. In any disaster, the local government is in charge, with the state stepping in if needed.
None of that happened in New Orleans. The mayor and governor abandoned our fellow Americans in that city. It was bad enough to live in a bowl below sea level, it was exacerbated to horrendous levels by the inaction of the local and state government. The state and local should have tried to get a handle on things until the resources of the federal government could get on site.
Do you realize how unprecedented it is to have a president not only issue a disaster area proclamation before the disaster hits, but a president having to call a governor to get her to act in the face of danger? It's insane that a governor completely shirks her duties and leaves it up to the federal government to come in to take care of her problems. There are responsibilities the state has. It's why it's called a state. If governors defer all responsibility to the federal government, what's the point of having states at all?
The fact that today people are being helped, that people are being airlifted out, that control is being exerted is proof that the federal level did not fail. It was just that period of time before the federal level could get assembled and on the scene.
That mayor and governor both need to resign in shame. They need to apologize to those poor people they abandoned.
Unfortunately, the local N.O. authorities were out to lunch on that one.
People need to read this AP report from last year after Ivan:
Ivan exposes flaws in N.O.'s disaster plans 05:09 PM CDT on Sunday, September 19, 2004
By KEVIN McGILL Associated Press
Those who had the money to flee Hurricane Ivan ran into hours-long traffic jams. Those too poor to leave the city had to find their own shelter - a policy that was eventually reversed, but only a few hours before the deadly storm struck land.
New Orleans dodged the knockout punch many feared from the hurricane, but the storm exposed what some say are significant flaws in the Big Easy's civil disaster plans.
Much of New Orleans is below sea level, kept dry by a system of pumps and levees. As Ivan charged through the Gulf of Mexico, more than a million people were urged to flee. Forecasters warned that a direct hit on the city could send torrents of Mississippi River backwash over the city's levees, creating a 20-foot-deep cesspool of human and industrial waste.
Residents with cars took to the highways. Others wondered what to do.
"They say evacuate, but they don't say how I'm supposed to do that," Latonya Hill, 57, said at the time. "If I can't walk it or get there on the bus, I don't go. I don't got a car. My daughter don't either." Advocates for the poor were indignant.
"If the government asks people to evacuate, the government has some responsibility to provide an option for those people who can't evacuate and are at the whim of Mother Nature," said Joe Cook of the New Orleans ACLU.
It's always been a problem, but the situation is worse now that the Red Cross has stopped providing shelters in New Orleans for hurricanes rated above Category 2. Stronger hurricanes are too dangerous, and Ivan was a much more powerful Category 4.
In this case, city officials first said they would provide no shelter, then agreed that the state-owned Louisiana Superdome would open to those with special medical needs. Only Wednesday afternoon, with Ivan just hours away, did the city open the 20-story-high domed stadium to the public.
Mayor Ray Nagin's spokeswoman, Tanzie Jones, insisted that there was no reluctance at City Hall to open the Superdome, but said the evacuation was the top priority.
"Our main focus is to get the people out of the city," she said. Callers to talk radio complained about the late decision to open up the dome, but the mayor said he would do nothing different.
"We did the compassionate thing by opening the shelter," Nagin said. "We wanted to make sure we didn't have a repeat performance of what happened before. We didn't want to see people cooped up in the Superdome for days."
When another dangerous hurricane, Georges, appeared headed for the city in 1998, the Superdome was opened as a shelter and an estimated 14,000 people poured in. But there were problems, including theft and vandalism.
This time far fewer took refuge from the storm - an estimated 1,100 - at the Superdome and there was far greater security: 300 National Guardsmen.
The main safety measure - getting people out of town - raised its own problems.
More than 1 million people tried to leave the city and surrounding suburbs on Tuesday, creating a traffic jam as bad as or worse than the evacuation that followed Georges. In the afternoon, state police took action, reversing inbound lanes on southeastern Louisiana interstates to provide more escape routes.
Bottlenecks persisted, however.
Col. Henry Whitehorn, head of state police, said he believes his agency acted appropriately, but also acknowledged he never expected a seven-hour-long crawl for the 60 miles between New Orleans and Baton Rouge.
It was so bad that some broadcasters were telling people to stay home, that they had missed their window of opportunity to leave. They claimed the interstates had turned into parking lots where trapped people could die in a storm surge.
Gov. Kathleen Blanco and Nagin both acknowledged the need to improve traffic flow and said state police should consider reversing highway lanes earlier. They also promised meetings with governments in neighboring localities and state transportation officials to improve evacuation plans.
But Blanco and other state officials stressed that, while irritating, the clogged escape routes got people out of the most vulnerable areas.
"We were able to get people out," state Commissioner of Administration Jerry Luke LeBlanc said. "It was successful. There was frustration, yes. But we got people out of harm's way."
Leading a city of predominantly poor and poorly educated people is a challenge, but it is not rocket science. You have to do things differently because people do not read, they do not have computers, and they do not have cable TV, and they are not inside during the summer because it is too hot. You need to have trucks out on the streets with bullhorns and people handing out simply written leaflets telling folks what to do. You need to have the city buses picking people up at their usual bus stops and taking them to safe places. You need to have those places already stocked, especially with baby formula and diapers and porta-johns. A hell of a lot of these folks are single mommas and grandmommas who are high school dropouts with lots of babies. All they know how to do is make formula and change the Pampers.
I'm a white, middle-aged, upper middle class suburban mom, and I know all this stuff. Why in the hell did nobody in charge in the City of New Orleans know it?
Yes, that;'s been obvious all along. That is the real rub, when you think how caustic their words against Bush have been. Talk about sitting on their *#^%$! Just what did they think this was?
Nevertheless, as has been pointed out on this board, New Orleans officials did not adjust what ever excuse they had for an evacuation plan after it fell apart last year.
It certainly looks that way. You might contrast this with the responses of Governor George Pataki and the governors of New Jersey and Massachussetts on 9/11. Governor Pataki, after the second plane hit the WTC requested from the Gov of Mass that she provide air cover over NYC from the ANG F15 squadron based at Otis AFB on Cape Cod. Pataki knew this was a ready squadron, and unlike the F16 squadrons of the NY ANG in upstate Ny, it could provide aircraft quickly. The Gov. of Mass, before the DoD authorized it ordered F15s to fly cover over NYC.
Gov. McGreevy of NJ, though a rather corrupt Democrat, immediately authorized the dispatch of state and local police and fire assets to NY to serve under the command structure of the NYPD and FDNY, and he, with the mayor of Jersey City and Hoboken, readied those cities for an influx of people escaping by ferry.
These things were done under extreme, immediate and uncertain circumstances by government leaders who understood that their most solemn responsibility is the protection of life. Governor Blanco certainly, and perhaps Governor Barber as well don't measure up to that task and responsibility.
(Sorry, this is not a response to your post. Just was here when I heard it.)
My God. The democrats are putting together a response to the President's address this morning on our ongoing disaster response.
These people (Nagin, Blanc-slate-o) are in way over their heads, figuratively speaking.
Now, thousands of their constituents are in way over their heads, literally.