You make some excellent points. The first responders MUST be those initially on the ground in the disaster area because until it’s deemed to be safe to enter the disaster area, not the Red Cross, FEMA nor any other relief agency will be permitted to go in, putting the lives of their employees or volunteers at risk.
While no one could have foreseen the damage Katrina inflicted on NOLA with the levee breaches, it’s indisputable that had Nagin and Blanco ORDERED (not just recommended) total evacuation of the city well in advance of the storm hitting, many more lives would have been saved and the resources used to rescue able bodied people off rooftops could instead have been used to rescue people unable to help themselves, like hospital and nursing home residents.
A helicopter rescue is painstaking and dangerous compared to driving into a neighborhood and loading 50 people on a school bus once every half hour.
One positive in Katrina is that places in NO that should NEVER have been developed in the first place will hopefully, not be redeveloped.
In today’s TP a very pertinent article.
Ex-Nagin aide pens tell-all book about Katrina
Posted by Gordon Russell, Staff writer August 25, 2007 10:23PM
Of the wild rumors to circulate across New Orleans in the chaotic days after Hurricane Katrina, one of the more preposterous was the tale that Gov. Kathleen Blanco exacerbated the flooding by ordering helicopters sent to attempt repairs on the 17th Street Canal to instead rescue a politically connected minister and members of his congregation in eastern New Orleans.
But Mayor Ray Nagin apparently was among those who believed it, according to a new book by Sally Forman, Nagin’s former communications director, who was at his side during the storm and much of its aftermath. Forman self-published the book, which she said is based on voluminous notes she took while working for Nagin. The book is the first on Katrina written by someone who was with the mayor throughout the disaster.
Forman, the wife of Audubon Nature Institute chief executive Ron Forman, resigned her post because her husband decided to challenge Nagin in last year’s mayoral election. He finished third.
That the outrageous helicopter tale would find so prominent an adherent is typical of some of the anecdotes in Forman’s book, which reveals a pervasive level of mistrust among City Hall staffers and other officials.
Nagin and his staff weren’t the only ones to regard others with suspicion, according to the book. As misinformation spread in the wake of the storm, the bumbling response by all levels of government led to a circus of finger-pointing and recrimination.
Forman’s book, titled “Eye of the Storm,” touches on the blame game, but it is most revealing in its description of the mayor and his inner circle, because that was the world she inhabited. It offers a rare peek behind the curtain of an administration that likes to keep its inner workings private.
Nagin has never gone public with his theory about the governor calling off the helicopters; he did not respond to questions this week about whether he still believes it happened. The story was never formally investigated, perhaps because no one publicly alleged that it occurred.
Actually, the levee breaches were discussed by guys from the NWS some years before Katrina. I have a hurricane video that discussed that very thing and had computer simulations of what would happen if the levees broke.
They can't say that they were unaware of it. Anyone with an ounce of common sense could have figured this would happen some day and the levees that keep water out can keep it in.