Skip to comments.Broussard on Meet the Press... More dispute before the storm..
Posted on 09/04/2005 10:05:05 PM PDT by AngryCapitalist
This is a follow up on my previous post in the Bloggers & Personal section...
SECTION: NATIONAL; Pg. 1
LENGTH: 867 words
HEADLINE: Jeff may abandon evacuation compact; Broussard: Parish security comes first
BYLINE: By Sheila Grissett and Ed Anderson, Staff writers
A battle over the state's new evacuation guideline grew more heated Tuesday with Jefferson Parish President Aaron Broussard saying Jefferson could pull out of the plan and Gov. Kathleen Blanco suggesting it may be time to discuss whether state officials, and not parish leaders, should have the final say on evacuation orders.
In a stinging, four-page letter to Blanco, Broussard criticized portions of the evacuation procedure and some of Blanco's public remarks about the need for southeast Louisiana parishes to stick together and follow the plan, completed three months ago.
During a public appearance on an unrelated matter just minutes after getting the letter, Blanco said one issue that needs considering is whether the state's top emergency personnel, including State Police and Homeland Security, should have the final say on when or if parishes should evacuate.
"We will be talking about that in the next few weeks," Blanco said.
Broussard said Tuesday that he wouldn't turn over decision-making authority unless the Legislature put the state in charge of the process
"I would never willingly abrogate my responsibility," he said.
The new plan was written to correct mistakes that led to September's nightmare evacuation from Hurricane Ivan. It calls for residents from low-lying coastal communities to leave first, followed by the West Bank and, finally, the heavily populated areas of East Jefferson and Orleans Parish.
Last Friday, Broussard recommended that all Jefferson Parish residents begin a voluntary evacuation at noon as Hurricane Dennis approached Cuba, 50 hours from its eventual U.S. landfall. He also asked State Police to implement contraflow, a system of reversing interstate lanes that isn't called for in the state plan until the winds of a serious storm are about 30 hours from hitting the coast.
Broussard has said the plan isn't flexible enough to provide advance, daylight evacuations for residents in his parish, and he reiterated Tuesday that he would pull out of the arrangement before following procedures that he and his staff don't think are in the best interest of Jefferson Parish.
Blanco had little to say about the controversy Tuesday and offered no direct criticism of Broussard. But she suggested that when emergency officials meet in coming days and weeks to evaluate Hurricane Dennis, a topic of discussion will be who should be authorized to order evacuations.
Blanco didn't say she favors shifting responsibility to the state, only that the concept should be explored.
Although many Louisianians are hurricane-savvy and know when to evacuate, others rely on official direction. In those cases, Blanco said, a premature evacuation is just as harmful as a late one.
"A premature decision causes you problems," Blanco said. "If you do that constantly, people lose confidence" in officials and will not leave when a major storm imperils an error.
"I think this will all work out in the long run, but I think right now emotions are high and everybody's justifying their decisions," the governor said. "I think everybody will settle down and look at the needs of the region."
Stands by actions
Broussard said Tuesday that he remains confident in his decision last Friday to recommend a midday evacuation to ensure parish residents had plenty of time to reach a destination before dark.
The contraflow requested by Broussard would have closed I-10, I-55 and I-59 to incoming traffic at a time when Hurricane Dennis had not yet reached Cuba and before any other parishes, including low-lying communities south of the Intracoastal Waterway, were being advised by their emergency officials to evacuate.
"But I learned my lesson," Broussard said Tuesday. "I won't ask for contraflow again. I'll recommend evacuation and leave it to state officials to implement contraflow."
State officials who helped write the new plan said using contraflow in the final stage of their three-phase evacuation will allow the efficient evacuation of the entire southeast Louisiana region.
"We can move the population out in 50 hours," said Lt. Chris Bodet, evacuation coordinator for Troop B. "Of course, we always like to see people leave early. It makes it easier for them, and it puts less people on the road in the final stage of evacuation. But lots of people can't do that, especially in Orleans Parish, and this is a plan designed for the entire region."
Will stay in line
Broussard said he and his top advisers don't believe that the area can be evacuated in 50 hours. And even if it can, he said, the phased evacuation doesn't give him the flexibility to ensure that Jefferson Parish residents can always begin to evacuate during daylight hours.
Unless he is forced to pull out of the plan, Broussard said, he will continue to try work within the state's guidelines and always give low-lying parishes the opportunity to evacuate ahead of Jefferson.
"Emily is coming," Broussard said of the new tropical storm expected to be near Cuba on Sunday, "and I pledge to the other parish presidents today that I will endeavor to implement this (state) plan without endangering my residents."
. . . . . . .
Sheila Grissett can be reached at email@example.com or (504) 883-7058.
LOAD-DATE: July 13, 2005
Was contraflow ever implemented on the interstates before Katrina hit?
Aha! You are good.
Who is that guy? I saw him talking about his mama. It was heartwrenching... worse then the guy who couldn't hold on to his wife's hand anymore. I cried and cried and cried! AND, called my mama!
I missed this somewhere... who is this guy and what is the story. Thanks.
All he can do now is blame the Feds.
He should tender his resignation first thing Tuesday morning, the worthless whiner.
I agree that he cried because he's incoompetant in his job. Was Timmy Russert going to grill him? NEVER!
In fact, Russert's performance appeared to be more scripted that Broussard's.
Parish boss - democrat lib.
It wasn't even his mama.
Flim flam man defense may be more like it.
Now THAT is television. With Geraldo rescueing grannies, what was Timmy Russert to do?
This is disgusting. These leaders have no business pulling this emotional nonsense.I realize they're human, but they need to break down IN PRIVATE. The way they are just sitting there, crying and asking for help is STUPID. Drudge was playing Nagin's interview before the hurricane, and he was non-chalant, saying they were basically ready...
Louisiana: a state of mind
With the way he's carrying on, I predict we will be able to use it within 24 hours.
I just heard the replay of his interview with Bernard Kerrick. Boy, am I glad that guy didn't get an appointment.
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