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Why Didn't Nagin Follow His Own Plan?
Captains Quarters Blog ^ | 09/04/05 | Captain Ed

Posted on 09/05/2005 12:09:11 PM PDT by Copernicus

September 04, 2005

Katrina: Why Didn't Nagin Follow His Own Plan?

Mark Tapscott, one of the best crossover bloggers and a fierce researcher, turned up an interesting document yesterday: the New Orleans comprehensive hurricane disaster plan. The plan exists on line and has a high level of detail, and yet the Exempt Media has given no coverage of its contents. The most obvious reason is that it shows that New Orleans and the state of Louisiana didn't follow their own plan.

For example, the plan has this to say about the responsibility for evacuations:

The safe evacuation of threatened populations when endangered by a major catastrophic event is one of the principle reasons for developing a Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan. The thorough identification of at-risk populations, transportation and sheltering resources, evacuation routes and potential bottlenecks and choke points, and the establishment of the management team that will coordinate not only the evacuation but which will monitor and direct the sheltering and return of affected populations, are the primary tasks of evacuation planning. Due to the geography of New Orleans and the varying scales of potential disasters and their resulting emergency evacuations, different plans are in place for small-scale evacuations and for citywide relocations of whole populations.

Authority to issue evacuations of elements of the population is vested in the Mayor. By Executive Order, the chief elected official, the Mayor of the City of New Orleans, has the authority to order the evacuation of residents threatened by an approaching hurricane.

Evacuation procedures for special needs persons with either physical or mental handicaps, including registration of disabled persons, is covered in the SOP for Evacuation of Special Needs Persons.

In short, Mayor Nagin had the responsibility not just for the declaration of evacuation, but to have a plan ready to handle its implementation. As noted repeatedly, the only actions Nagin took was to call a press conference and ready the Superdome for refugees. Those with personal transportation available hit the roads and got out of the way. Those unable to move themselves, either from poverty or infirmity, got left behind. Why? Nagin had a responsibility under this SOP to have a plan and to implement it.

The document then goes on to discuss exactly how to conduct an evacuation of the city. It delineates several tasks for the city government, which it notes in section III-A is solely the responsibility of the city government. This makes perfect sense; in a potential catastrophe, one cannot rely on outside help that might have long-term difficulties in reaching the city, especially one with the geographical obstacles of New Orleans.

New Orleans established a time line for evacuations:

Evacuation notices or orders will be issued during three stages prior to gale force winds making landfall.

> Precautionary Evacuation Notice: 72 hours or less

> Special Needs Evacuation Order: 8-12 hours after Precautionary Evacuation Notice issued

> General Evacuation Notice: 48 hours or less

The mandatory evacuation order came a little less than 48 hours before the storm made landfall, but well past 48 hours before the levees broke. Further, the precautionary evac notice came about 96 hours before landfall, and the mayor only upped that to a general evac after George Bush exhorted the mayor and Governor Blanco to do so. (Notice that Bush could not, himself, give such an order; he has no authority to do so.)

Section III-B-V lists the tasks assigned to the various city government offices in the event of a hurricane catastrophe. The Mayor has three tasks: to initiate the evacuation, to retain overall control of the emergency operation, and then to authorize a return to the evacuated areas. The city's Office of Emergency Preparedness (OEP) reports to the mayor and must coordinate with the NOPD, the state OEP, and the regional transit authorities to:

* Supply transportation as needed in accordance with the current Standard Operating Procedures.

* Place special vehicles on alert to be utilized if needed.

* Position supervisors and dispatch evacuation buses.

* If warranted by scope of evacuation, implement additional service.

So the failure to order the buses out of their yards wasn't some failure of imagination on the part of Nagin and New Orleans. It isn't a case of the city not understanding the scale of what a Cat-4 storm could do to the city. According to New Orleans' own emergency plan, those buses should have rolled at least as soon as the mandatory evacuation order was given on Saturday, if not when the voluntary evac order came earlier. The city's OEP failed to carry out this crucial part of the emergency-response plan, which is why so many of the poor, infirm, and just plain stubborn citizens got stranded when the levees broke.

And did the city anticipate the amount of people that would get left behind? Apparently so, and designated shelter for 100,000 of them. Curiously, the Superdome does not appear on this order:

Shelter demand is currently under review by the Shelter Coordinator. Approximately 100,000 Citizens of New Orleans do not have means of personal transportation. Shelter assessment is an ongoing project of the Office of Emergency Preparedness through the Shelter Coordinator.

The following schools have been inspected and approved as Hurricane Evacuation Shelters for the City of New Orleans: Laurel Elementary School

Walter S. Cohen High School

Medard Nelson Elementary School

Sarah T. Reed High School

Southern University Multi Purpose Center

Southern University New Science Building

O. Perry Walker High School

Albert Wicker Elementary School

Did these shelters remain open, and did they have the resources on hand to provide food and water for 100,000 people? Did the decision to select these locations take into account the probability of massive flooding due to potential levee failure? Most importantly, if the Superdome had no plan for sheltering citizens during a general evacuation order -- and apparently had no provisions to do so -- why did New Orleans stack its citizens like cattle there during the early hours of the hurricane?

Many people have jumped to the conclusion that because the response in New Orleans has produced such a bad result, the underlying reason must have been a lack of planning. Had this document been followed and the city trained to react in accordance to it, it would have produced a far different result than what we see today. How often did city officials review this plan? Did they train to it, as required in the first section? When was the last time they ran drills against this plan?

It sure looks like no one in charge in New Orleans knew of this plan's existence. They certainly skipped over the part where they had the primary responsibility to take care of their own citizens. New Orleans residents should ask themselves why Nagin failed to follow his own disaster planning, instead of sitting on his rear and waiting for the feds to bail him out.

UPDATE: Nagin got his wish; DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff has announced that the feds have taken charge of New Orleans.

Posted by Captain Ed at September 4, 2005 07:01 AM

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TOPICS: Business/Economy; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events; US: Louisiana
KEYWORDS: eop; incompetence; katrina; katrinafailures; nagin; naginplan; neworleans
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Comment #21 Removed by Moderator

To: Copernicus

Mox nix if already posted, needs to be reposted 20 times a day.


22 posted on 09/05/2005 12:42:03 PM PDT by Ursus arctos horribilis ("It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees!" Emiliano Zapata 1879-1919)
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To: longshadow
Same material (from the NO Emergency Plan for Hurricanes) was quoted here on FR a couple days ago: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/1476538/posts?page=103#103

And here: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1477374/posts?page=83#83

And here:http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1477374/posts?page=1#1

23 posted on 09/05/2005 12:43:04 PM PDT by Nita Nupress ("LA Gov. Blanco said that Pres. Bush had called and urged the state to order the evacuation." (CNN))
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To: gawdbles

Too funny for the moderator I guess.

Nagin," If I disappear in the weeks ahead you know the CIA`s killed me ".


24 posted on 09/05/2005 12:44:35 PM PDT by Para-Ord.45
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To: Copernicus

The "fierce researcher" is a day late. Freeper "Smelly Fed" deserves credit:

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1476538/posts?page=52#33


25 posted on 09/05/2005 12:46:23 PM PDT by JoJo Gunn (Help control the Leftist population. Have them spayed or neutered. )
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To: Polybius

Why don't you email your research to Joe Scarborough? at his Joe.Scarborough@MSNBC.COM address. He seems to think this is the President's fault.


26 posted on 09/05/2005 12:46:59 PM PDT by Arizona Carolyn
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To: texianyankee
Excellent explanation. The first hurricane I ever recall was Carla in 1960. We lived in San Antonio at the time, yet it made an indelible impression upon me. I recall the winds, the rain, and hearing about threats of tornadoes. Yet we were 150 miles from the coast. For the life of me, I dont know why Nagin or the governor didnt order NOLA evacuated much earlier. It wasnt like they didnt see it coming!

Thanks.

As far as Texas is concerned, the classic example of a strom surge disaster in an unevacuated city was Galveston in 1900. The failure to evacuate, (well, it was 1900 and forcasting was not up to modern standards) resulted in 6,000 deaths from Storm Surge.


27 posted on 09/05/2005 12:47:37 PM PDT by Polybius
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To: Polybius


Excellent post. One of the best I've ever seen here.


28 posted on 09/05/2005 12:48:21 PM PDT by Nita Nupress ("LA Gov. Blanco said that Pres. Bush had called and urged the state to order the evacuation." (CNN))
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To: Copernicus

here is some more info pertaining to your post.
HI this is from the City of New Orleans own
ANNEX I: HURRICANES

PREPAREDNESS (PHASE I: TRAINING, EXERCISES AND EDUCATION)

City of New Orleans Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan

I. GENERAL

The safe evacuation of threatened populations when endangered by a major catastrophic event is one of the principle reasons for developing a Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan. The thorough identification of at-risk populations, transportation and sheltering resources, evacuation routes and potential bottlenecks and choke points, and the establishment of the management team that will coordinate not only the evacuation but which will monitor and direct the sheltering and return of affected populations, are the primary tasks of evacuation planning. Due to the geography of New Orleans and the varying scales of potential disasters and their resulting emergency evacuations, different plans are in place for small-scale evacuations and for citywide relocations of whole populations.

Authority to issue evacuations of elements of the population is vested in the Mayor. By Executive Order, the chief elected official, the Mayor of the City of New Orleans, has the authority to order the evacuation of residents threatened by an approaching hurricane.

Evacuation procedures for special needs persons with either physical or mental handicaps, including registration of disabled persons, is covered in the SOP for Evacuation of Special Needs Persons.

Major population relocations resulting from an approaching hurricane or similar anticipated disaster, caused the City of New Orleans Office of Emergency Preparedness to develop a specific Hurricane Emergency Evacuation Standard Operating Procedures, which are appended to the Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan.

The SOP is developed to provide for an orderly and coordinated evacuation intended to minimize the hazardous effects of flooding, wind, and rain on the residents and visitors in New Orleans. The SOP provides for the evacuation of the public from danger areas and the designations of shelters for evacuees.

II. CONCEPT OF OPERATIONS

The Hurricane Emergency Evacuation Standard Operating Procedure is designed to deal with all case scenarios of an evacuation in response to the approach of a major hurricane towards New Orleans. It is designed to deal with the anticipation of a direct hit from a major hurricane. This includes identifying the city's present population, its projected population, identification of at-risk populations (those living outside levee protection or in storm-surge areas, floodplains, mobile homes, etc.), in order to understand the evacuation requirements. It includes identifying the transportation network, especially the carrying-capacity of proposed evacuation routes and existing or potential traffic bottlenecks or blockages, caused either by traffic congestion or natural occurrences such as rising waters. Identification of sheltering resources and the establishment of shelters and the training of shelter staff is important, as is the provision for food and other necessities to the sheltered. This preparation function is the responsibility of the Office of Emergency Preparedness.

Conduct of an actual evacuation will be the responsibility of the Mayor of New Orleans in coordination with the Director of the Office of Emergency Preparedness, and the OEP Shelter Coordinator.

The SOP, in unison with other elements of the Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan, is designed for use in all hazard situations, including citywide evacuations in response to hurricane situations and addresses three elements of emergency response: warning, evacuation, and sheltering.

1. Warning: Formulates a comprehensive system for public information, early recognition of impending storms, and dissemination of emergency warning.

2. Evacuation: Formulates an effective procedure for orderly evacuation of residents and visitors within available warning time.

3. Sheltering: Formulates a comprehensive system of accessible shelters of adequate size.

The SOP is limited as it is not designed to address the protection of personal and real property, yet is developed to cover the total New Orleans geographic area. The timely issuance of evacuation orders critically impacts upon the successful evacuation of all citizens from high-risk areas. In determining the proper time to issue evacuation orders, there is no substitute for human judgement based upon all known circumstances surrounding local conditions and storm characteristics.

Information received from the National Hurricane Center concerning the storm's tract will allow the focusing on either a landfall, paralleling or exiting storm scenario. Information involving local conditions such as pre-hurricane rainfall, tide schedules, and the amount of pre-storm publicity, must be taken into account, as are the various known circumstances that are explained in the information summary portion of the Hurricane Evacuation Plan, in determining when an evacuation order should be issued. Any assumption regarding where and how the storm will likely make landfall involves clear and constant communication with the National Hurricane Center, the local office of the National Weather Service, State OEP and various local agencies that are monitoring either the storm's progress or other elements of the city's preparedness to weather the storm's passage.

The City of New Orleans will utilize all available resources to quickly and safely evacuate threatened areas. Those evacuated will be directed to temporary sheltering and feeding facilities as needed. When specific routes of progress are required, evacuees will be directed to those routes. Special arrangements will be made to evacuate persons unable to transport themselves or who require specific life saving assistance. Additional personnel will be recruited to assist in evacuation procedures as needed.

Slow developing weather conditions (primarily hurricane) will create increased readiness culminating in an evacuation order 24 hours (12 daylight hours) prior to predicted landfall. Disabled vehicles and debris will be removed from highways so as not to impede evacuation. In local evacuations involving more than fifty (50) families (i.e. 50 single dwelling units), staging areas may be established at the closest available public area outside the threatened area. Upon arrival at the staging area, evacuees will be directed to the appropriate shelter facility. Evacuees will be encouraged to stay with friends or relatives in non-threatened areas whenever possible. Security measures will be employed to protect the evacuated area(s) in accordance with established procedures and situations.

The use of travel-trailers, campers, motorcycles, bicycles, etc., during the evacuation will be allowed so long as the situation permits it. Public information broadcasts will include any prohibitions on their use. Transportation will be provided to those persons requiring public transportation from the area. (See Special Needs Transportation, ESF-1). An orderly return to the evacuated areas will be provided after the Mayor determines the threat to be terminated. Transportation back to the evacuated area after threat termination will be provided as available.

III. EVACUATION ORDER

A. Authority

As established by the City of New Orleans Charter, the government has jurisdiction and responsibility in disaster response. City government shall coordinate its efforts through the Office of Emergency Preparedness

The authority to order the evacuation of residents threatened by an approaching hurricane is conferred to the Governor by Louisiana Statute. The Governor is granted the power to direct and compel the evacuation of all or part of the population from a stricken or threatened area within the State, if he deems this action necessary for the preservation of life or other disaster mitigation, response or recovery. The same power to order an evacuation conferred upon the Governor is also delegated to each political subdivision of the State by Executive Order. This authority empowers the chief elected official of New Orleans, the Mayor of New Orleans, to order the evacuation of the parish residents threatened by an approaching hurricane.

B. Issuance of Evacuation Orders

The person responsible for recognition of hurricane related preparation needs and for the issuance of an evacuation order is the Mayor of the City of New Orleans. Concerning preparation needs and the issuance of an evacuation order, The Office of Emergency Preparedness should keep the Mayor advised.

IV: HURRICANE EVACUATION PROCEDURES

It must be understood that this Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan is an all-hazard response plan, and is applicable to events of all sizes, affecting even the smallest segments of the community. Evacuation procedures for small scale and localized evacuations are conducted per the SOPs of the New Orleans Fire Department and the New Orleans Police Department. However, due to the sheer size and number of persons to be evacuated, should a major tropical weather system or other catastrophic event threaten or impact the area, specifically directed long range planning and coordination of resources and responsibilities efforts must be undertaken.

A. Evacuation Time Requirements

Using information developed as part of the Southeast Louisiana Hurricane Task Force and other research, the City of New Orleans has established a maximum acceptable hurricane evacuation time standard for a Category 3 storm event of 72 hours. This is based on clearance time or is the time required to clear all vehicles evacuating in response to a hurricane situation from area roadways. Clearance time begins when the first evacuating vehicle enters the road network and ends when the last evacuating vehicle reaches its destination.

Clearance time also includes the time required by evacuees to secure their homes and prepare to leave (mobilization time); the time spent by evacuees traveling along the road network (travel time); and the time spent by evacuees waiting along the road network due to traffic congestion (delay time). Clearance time does not refer to the time a single vehicle spends traveling on the road network. Evacuation notices or orders will be issued during three stages prior to gale force winds making landfall.

> Precautionary Evacuation Notice: 72 hours or less

> Special Needs Evacuation Order: 8-12 hours after Precautionary Evacuation Notice issued

> General Evacuation Notice: 48 hours or less

B. Evacuation Zones

Evacuation (vulnerability) zones provide a base to model traffic movements from one geographic area to another. It is necessary to revise the evacuation zones from time to time due to data generated by new generations of storm-surge modeling .

Evacuation zones are designed to meet several functions: (1) In coastal areas they must reflect the areas in each storm scenario which will need to be evacuated due to storm-surge inundation; (2) They should relate as closely as possible to available population data information, such as enumeration districts, census tracts, zip code areas, transportation analysis zones, etc.; and (3) They need to be describable in a manner that persons in the area will be able to understand.

Evacuation zones will be developed pending further study.

cntinued on web site.
V. TASKS



A. Mayor

* Initiate the evacuation.

* Retain overall control of all evacuation procedures via EOC operations.

* Authorize return to evacuated areas.

B. Office of Emergency Preparedness

* Activate EOC and notify all support agencies to this plan.

* Coordinate with State OEP on elements of evacuation.

* Assist in directing the transportation of evacuees to staging areas.

* Assist ESF-8, Health and Medical, in the evacuation of persons with special needs, nursing home, and hospital patients in accordance with established procedures.

* Coordinate the release of all public information through ESF-14, Public Information.

* Use EAS, television, cable and other public broadcast means as needed and in accordance with established procedure.

* Request additional law enforcement/traffic control (State Police, La. National Guard) from State OEP.

C. New Orleans Police Department

* Ensure orderly traffic flow.

* Assist in removing disabled vehicles from roadways as needed.

* Direct the management of transportation of seriously injured persons to hospitals as needed.

* Direct evacuees to proper shelters and/or staging areas once they have departed the threatened area.

* Release all public information through the ESF-14, Public Information.

D. Regional Transit Authority

* Supply transportation as needed in accordance with the current Standard Operating Procedures.

* Place special vehicles on alert to be utilized if needed.

* Position supervisors and dispatch evacuation buses.

* If warranted by scope of evacuation, implement additional service.

E. Louisiana National Guard

* Provide assistance as needed in accordance with current State guidelines.

F. Animal Care and Control

* Coordinate animal rescue operations with the New Orleans SPCA.

G. Public Works

* Make emergency road repairs as needed.

H. Office of Communications

* Release all public information relating to the evacuation.

PART 3: SHELTERING

(See ESF-6, Mass Care)

Emergency shelter operations are the responsibility of the Office of Emergency Preparedness Shelter Coordinator. Shelters are provided by the Orleans Parish School Board, while manager training and support activities and supplies are provided by the Office of Emergency Preparedness.

Reassessment of facilities is an on-going process conducted jointly by the School Board, and Emergency Preparedness Division. The shelter activation list is updated yearly, and takes into consideration new school construction, school closings and renovations.

A. Shelter Demand

Shelter demand is currently under review by the Shelter Coordinator. Approximately 100,000 Citizens of New Orleans do not have means of personal transportation. Shelter assessment is an ongoing.

I found this very interesting for the full document the link is http://www.cityofno.com/portal.aspx?portal=46&tabid=26


29 posted on 09/05/2005 12:50:33 PM PDT by lastchance (Hug your babies.)
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To: Polybius

Good work. It shows the truth.


30 posted on 09/05/2005 12:50:59 PM PDT by bmwcyle
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To: Polybius
The plan called for them to use the buses before the storm hit and flooding began to evacuate the poor and disabled. Idiot mayor did not even take the precaution to reposition the buses and other city vehicles to higher ground. Just in case don'tcha know?????

On Friday the 26th August, mayor said the storm would likely overwhelm the levees. On Saturday he suggested, then urged the city to evacuate, but he did not order, and then not enforce such an order. His legal department was afraid of being sued by the clubs and hotels for damages they would suffer if he compelled them to close their doors.

The NO mayor and gov of LA are total idiots reduced to blathering insane rants of everyone is to blame but them.
31 posted on 09/05/2005 12:55:44 PM PDT by Ursus arctos horribilis ("It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees!" Emiliano Zapata 1879-1919)
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To: JoJo Gunn; Smelly_Fed
The "fierce researcher" is a day late. Freeper "Smelly Fed" deserves credit: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1476538/posts?page=52#33

Thanks for giving him credit where credit is due.

I hate it when bloggers see stuff on FR and then don't give FR credit.

32 posted on 09/05/2005 12:56:01 PM PDT by Nita Nupress ("LA Gov. Blanco said that Pres. Bush had called and urged the state to order the evacuation." (CNN))
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To: Polybius

And now you're posting cool pictures. Mind if I just follow you around today? LOL!


33 posted on 09/05/2005 12:57:12 PM PDT by Nita Nupress ("LA Gov. Blanco said that Pres. Bush had called and urged the state to order the evacuation." (CNN))
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To: Nita Nupress
Excellent post. One of the best I've ever seen here.

Thanks.

Our job is to educate since, because of their political agenda, the liberal MSM has no intention of trying to educate the masses.

I FreepMailed you the HTML for the post with a Galveston 1900 Storm Surge addition thrown in.

Feel free to re-post it or pass it as you see fit whenever anybody needs education on the Storm Surge topic.

34 posted on 09/05/2005 12:59:30 PM PDT by Polybius
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To: Abcdefg

BTTT


35 posted on 09/05/2005 12:59:38 PM PDT by Richard Kimball
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To: Copernicus

That site went down last night due to bandwidth issues, I tried to read this.

They didnt even attempt to follow their plan....no one had the leadership skills....and reading it, I bet the plan is wholly unrealistic anyway.


36 posted on 09/05/2005 1:02:48 PM PDT by BurbankKarl (u)
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To: Copernicus

Everyone KNEW that the storm was a catagory (5) storm with sustained winds of 175 mph. and reported wind gusts well over that, at the very least 12 hours before land fall. Everyone KNEW that NewOrleans was in the direct path of the eye wall at that time, luckily the storm moved east at the last minute missing downtown by a few miles. What kind of mentality does it take to leave 20,000 people stranded in the heart of a city built (6) feet BELOW sea level being protected by Levee's designed to withstand a catagory (3) storm ?. Not to mention Levee's and water pumps that were nearly 100 years old.


37 posted on 09/05/2005 1:07:47 PM PDT by CheezyChesster (I for one, am totally disgusted with this lack of respect for Human life)
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To: CheezyChesster

Levees are just a BAD IDEA!


38 posted on 09/05/2005 1:17:37 PM PDT by Abcdefg
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To: beyond the sea
He left town.

Did Nagin really leave town? One local NO radio guy was on KFI in L.A. this morning and said that Nagin stayed in town the whole time, staying across the street from the City Hall. This actually is more believable because of the photos shot by the Interdicter there, showing the line of cars and guns protecting City Hall as early as Weds.

Let's not say he left town if he didn't. To me, that would make a HUGE difference. If he really left, that's about as scummy as can be.

39 posted on 09/05/2005 1:18:18 PM PDT by Yaelle
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To: Copernicus
Why Didn't Nagin Follow His Own Plan?

ummm...
Because he's a Democrat?
If you've heard him speak, you would already know that he's quite stupid...

40 posted on 09/05/2005 1:20:13 PM PDT by Bon mots
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