But isn't that a total failure of the emergency planners in NO ? That report
after the previous fiasco at the Superdome said should not be used again.
And wouldn't anyone with a brain in the cities emergency management group
have been painfully aware that folks down in those areas didn't drive, would
need to be bussed out or trucked out or something (i.e. they were not going
to jump into their cars since they didn't have them) and had personal
available to do the job ?
From: cpf0000-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:cpf0000-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxx] On
Behalf Of Wayne McAlpine
Sent: Sunday, April 08, 2007 10:15 PM
Subject: Re: [CPF0000] OIG Issues Report estimates over 600, 000 Fugitive
aliens in U. S. whereabouts unknown.
Very simple answer: there were no drivers--they had evacuated.
Regarding the Superdome, it was designated only as a temporary shelter from the elements during the actual passage of the hurricane. When the sun came out on Tuesday morning people expected to go back to their homes to begin picking up the pieces and returning to normal. That's what normally happens after a hurricane passes.
Instead, people were confronted with a man-made disaster on top of the hurricane--the catastrophic failure of the levees that inundated large portions of the city for several weeks. People had no place to return to and the Superdome became not an overnight shelter, but the hell hole that you saw on television. The waters from the hurricane itself had caused minor flooding in some areas but those waters were already receding when the levee failures occurred.
Without question, the levee failures have been laid at the doorstep of the Corps of Engineers. At best the Corps is guilty of breathtaking incompetence, and the investigation is ongoing as to whether there was something more sinister involving substandard materials.
In hindsight I'm sure a lot of officials--federal, state and local--wish they had done things differently.
One last thing, there is always a hard core of people who refuse to evacuate for one reason or another. Some out of bravado, others out of sheer stupidity. Some people refuse to leave their pets. Others have no private transportation and no money--these were the people who got lost in the shuffle and whose needs are being addressed now. We could have done a better job with nursing home and hospital evacuations, although most hospitals are designed to be emergency shelters with auxiliary power and supplies of food and water. But like the Superdome, they're not equipped for an extended outage with flooding and a total breakdown in communications and civil order.
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