September 29, 2005 at 6:15pm
Rauch on Katrina:
looks at New Orleans disaster planing, and its lack thereof. Thanks to
for the link.
John Jenkins (
8 posts today; did someone cancel all of Prof. Kerr's Thursday classes?
Among the items that are puzzlingin all this is the question of why no federal declaration invoking emergency measures was done until the 27th, back dated to the 26th; and why that declaration only listed all the northernmost counties (Parishes)of Louisiana. The southernmost Parishes which faced the sea or were nearest, did not receive a declaration until the 29th.
Then one wonders why there is so little sign of self organization in the smallest units, parish, town, or city. In the Red River flood of 1997 in Canada people did not wait for government, though there had been a lot of planning and much had been done (a critical floodway had been built). Through self organization, block by bloc in the Winnipeg area and out to the rural areas, relying on the phone, the radio stations which became citizen notice boards, and ham radio, a network of formidable efficiency was built up in hours: "Block Cap.x, an old couple at this address need transport to a safe place; this is so-and-so, I live 10 minutes from there and I will be there in a few minutes; this is y;pumps are still available at this store, you can reach it on this road, size and price follow; this is z . you can get the following generators at this store, and the owner has not raised prices; this is A, we need transfport for a family of 4 they are water impacted...this is so and so, my son and I know that place and we will have our boat there in 1/2 hour,......" A call went out for earth moving equipment and a torrent of help arrived (including the Army) and 15 kilometres of dyke were reinforced in a matter of days, as incredible as that sounds. One wonders why so little of self organizatikon is heard from NO.
And dear God what can explain the police of one township holding guns on those fleeing the rising water from another, and refusing passage. That sounds like a commnity that has fractured due to very bad governance.
Apparently the author missed the recent Reuters article:
"Hurricane experts said Hurricane Katrina's storm surges were smaller than authorities have suggested and that poor design, failty construction or a combination of the two were to blame for the failure of New Orleans' flood-protection system."
"[Scientists and engineers at Louisianan State University's Hurricane Center] said Katrina's storm surges did not come close to going over the floodwalls, contradicting statements from the Army Corps of Engineers..."
"the real scandal of Katrina is the "catastrophic structural failure" of barriers that should have handled the hurricane with relative ease."