Cider Press Hill

Katrina stuff

Monday, 1:59 pm

By Kate

Sep

05

2005

sunny

You knew I couldn’t keep quiet for very long…

It’s interesting—and informative—to go back and read through history as it happened. In this case, recent history— the lead up to and aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, as recorded by the New Orleans Times-Picayune blog.

August 27 - including the complete text of Blanco’s State of Emergency letter to President Bush, incidentally—since there seems some doubt in other media about its date or actual existence. Also the National Hurricane center’s description of a cataclysmic storm. Ray Nagin’s warning to get out and state evacuation plan procedures.
August 28 - including Ray Nagin’s mandatory evacuation notice and 13 RTA bus pick-up points for evacuation to shelters.
August 29 - all hell breaks loose.
August 30
August 31
September 1
September 2
September 4
September 5

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Tid-bit I didn’t know before: The French Quarter is part of the National Park Service’s Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve. While the French Quarter seems relatively unmolested, I wonder how the rest of the park fared.

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Also interesting info from The Times-Picayune considering the raging finger-pointing/smear campaign raging out of Rove’s office this morning (If they did right the first time, would they always be doing political damage control? Or are they just addicted to it?):

Feds’ Disaster Planning Shifts Away From Preparedness Tuesday, 8PM
By Bill Walsh, Bruce Alpert and John McQuaid c.2005 Newhouse News Service
...Some critics said that in a post-Sept. 11 world, when the Department of Homeland Security is focused on preventing another terrorist attack, not enough emphasis is being placed on preparing for natural disasters.
A case in point, they say, is the decision to take away from FEMA its historic responsibility for disaster preparedness. Now the agency, part of the Department of Homeland Security, will focus on post-disaster search and rescue.
The Homeland Security agency plans to create a new Directorate of Preparedness, covering planning for both terrorism and natural disasters. But it is still on the drawing board.
Russ Knocke, a Homeland Security spokesman, said the reorganization will lead to better disaster preparation.
"It will let the experts on planning and preparation focus on that and the experts on search and rescue focus on that,” Knocke said.
But experts in disaster planning say that it has already sown confusion among those on the front lines of preparing for disasters like Hurricane Katrina.
"It’s very confusing to the state and local governments,” said James Lee Witt, the FEMA director in the Clinton administration. “Who do they go to and how is it going to be coordinated now? It’s really going to be fragmented. I’ve talked to a lot of the states, and I don’t think they’re very happy about this."

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Did we all know that the United States has humbly (maybe) agreed to accept assistance from the United Nations for disaster relief? Must be a bitter cup o’ brew for those who so willingly bashed the United Nations in the run-up to the Iraq war.

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A fairly balanced critique from the BBC of the reasons why, in the aftermath of the hurricane, the whole thing has been a fouled up mess, from the local to federal responses.

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Some international press regarding Katrina’s aftermath. It ain’t flattering.

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Offers of aid from around the world, compiled by CNN. This article from The Scotsman (Scotland) runs a story entitled Beleaguered Bush forced to admit US is unable to cope. The international press is watching us and finding us wanting. It hurts my American pride (yes, I actually do own some), but I surely can’t argue with their conclusions.

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Tighten your belts. Katrina may tip us into a recession.

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On the home front: School begins tomorrow. The lad finishes his last day at his job today. The hair cut has already been attended to. After the first day of classes we’ll attend to the marathon supplies shopping trip. Too many times we’ve bought supplies before school, only to discover the teachers had very specific requirements, which meant yet another foray out with ruler and notebook in hand to make sure their specific requirements were met to a T. I really don’t mind waiting. It’ll be a mob scene out there today.

Today is a beautiful clear crisp September day, much like September 11, 2001. Eerily so. I wonder if that thought will ever not occur to me.