PDA

View Full Version : Katrina Aftermath: Woeful Incompetence (rant).



Pages : [1] 2

anonytmouse
09-02-2005, 01:37 PM
Has anyone else been shocked by the utter incompetence demonstrated by authorities in the aftermath of Katrina?


The Interdictor Blog (http://www.livejournal.com/users/interdictor/)

Three days ago, police and national guard troops told citizens to head toward the Crescent City Connection Bridge to await transportation out of the area. The citizens trekked over to the Convention Center and waited for the buses which they were told would take them to Houston or Alabama or somewhere else, out of this area.

It's been 3 days, and the buses have yet to appear.

Although obviously he has no exact count, he estimates more than 10,000 people are packed into and around and outside the convention center still waiting for the buses. They had no food, no water, and no medicine for the last three days, until today, when the National Guard drove over the bridge above them, and tossed out supplies over the side crashing down to the ground below. Much of the supplies were destroyed from the drop. Many people tried to catch the supplies to protect them before they hit the ground. Some offered to walk all the way around up the bridge and bring the supplies down, but any attempt to approach the police or national guard resulted in weapons being aimed at them.

There are many infants and elderly people among them, as well as many people who were injured jumping out of windows to escape flood water and the like -- all of them in dire straights.

Any attempt to flag down police results in being told to get away at gunpoint. Hour after hour they watch buses pass by filled with people from other areas. Tensions are very high, and there has been at least one murder and several fights. 8 or 9 dead people have been stored in a freezer in the area, and 2 of these dead people are kids.

The people are so desperate that they're doing anything they can think of to impress the authorities enough to bring some buses. These things include standing in single file lines with the eldery in front, women and children next; sweeping up the area and cleaning the windows and anything else that would show the people are not barbarians.

The buses never stop.

Before the supplies were pitched off the bridge today, people had to break into buildings in the area to try to find food and water for their families. There was not enough. This spurred many families to break into cars to try to escape the city. There was no police response to the auto thefts until the mob reached the rich area -- Saulet Condos -- once they tried to get cars from there... well then the whole swat teams began showing up with rifles pointed. Snipers got on the roof and told people to get back.

He reports that the conditions are horrendous. Heat, mosquitoes and utter misery. The smell, he says, is "horrific."

He says it's the slowest mandatory evacuation ever, and he wants to know why they were told to go to the Convention Center area in the first place; furthermore, he reports that many of them with cell phones have contacts willing to come rescue them, but people are not being allowed through to pick them up.



http://www.editorandpublisher.com/eandp/search/article_display.jsp?schema=&vnu_content_id=1001053068

"About 100 people have died at the Chalmette Slip after being pulled off their rooftops, waiting to be ferried up the river to the West Bank and bused out of the flood ravaged area, U.S. Rep. Charles Melancon, D-Napoleonville, said Thursday.

"About 1,500 people were at the slip on Thursday afternoon, where critical supplies like food and water are scarce, he said. Melancon expressed serious frustration with the slow pace of getting these items to the people waiting to finish their journey to safety.



http://www.editorandpublisher.com/eandp/news/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1001054091

Doctors, patients and staff are stranded at Baptist Hospital (extended campus of Memorial Hospital). My brother, Dr. Bryant King, is stranded there and has been sending occassional text messages to let us know the situation.

Yesterday, he explained that management at the hospital decided to selectively withhold food and water from patients. Doctors are being forced to decide who gets to live and who will starve to death. The hospital is surrounded by 8 ft of flood water; there is no more electricity, food or water. Windows are broken out and people are starving.

There has been very little press about this hosptial, but conditions are deplorable and they need to be evacuated. My brother asked that we please get them out of there. Please let the press know that Baptist Hospital (2700 Napolean Blv) is BEGGING FOR HELP!!!
...
I just received a phone call from my sister about Methodist Hospital, she has just informed me that FEMA is not helping them at all. They are out of water, food, and diesel fuel for the generator. If we don't get media attention I am afraid that something horrible will happen to my parents and everyone at the hospital.

There are 700 people in the 3rd floor lobby, about 50 or staff, and around 50-60 patients (a few have been evacuated but the rest died). They did have helicopters evacuating patients, but now they are refusing (by the way the helicopters were being paid for by the hospital parent company UHC).



http://editorandpublisher.com/eandp/news/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1001053452

1300 Still Trapped at University Hospital

Latest text message from inside the hospital: ''Water dropping. Gunshots. Not safe.''

Through text messages and intermittent cell phone calls I have learned that 1300 patients and staff remain trapped mere blocks from the SuperDome at the University Hospital on Gravier Street. My girlfriend of 15 years is a 3rd OB/GYN resident there.

No power, food or water for 48+ hours.
Many dead are reported in the hospital.
No helipad exists.
No word from the outside world on a rescue or a plan.
The stench is said to be unbearable.

The fact that people are dying en-mass of thirst, diabetic shock(due to lack of food and/or insulin) and lack of medicines in 21st century America is extraordinary. Heads should roll and governments fall with incompetence of this magnitude.

Some authorities have tried to blame their pathetic response on violence. Maybe they should call in the MSF, UN or ICRC, all of which run hospitals, refugee camps and disaster relief in far more dangerous locations around the world. Of course, if they had done their job effectively, the level of violence would be much reduced.

They just announced, on the scanner (http://www.wwltv.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=15525), that University Hospital has been evacuated. Better late than never.

ober
09-02-2005, 01:46 PM
You're out of your mind. Do you understand that this isn't a normal situation? They can't navigate the streets because they are flooded. The work is slow and tedious because most of the rescues are done by helicopter, and that takes time. It's only been about 3 and a half days since they could even start to head that direction. And how would you feel if you are trying to save someone, but some .............. is shooting at you? You'd start to give up too.

You act like the government isn't doing everything they can. STFU.

Dante Shamest
09-02-2005, 02:13 PM
The work is slow and tedious because most of the rescues are done by helicopter, and that takes time.

Actually, most of the rescues are done by boats. Helicopters don't land in water that well.


You act like the government isn't doing everything they can. STFU.

It would appear that certain members of the government think that way. (http://www.cnn.com/2005/US/09/02/nagin.transcript/index.html) ;)

ober
09-02-2005, 02:17 PM
Actually, most of the rescues are done by boats. Helicopters don't land in water that well.
Have you seen the news???? They're not landing. They're hovering and plucking people off of their rooftops, smashing holes through the roof to get to some of them.

webmaster
09-02-2005, 02:20 PM
I don't think that's fair Ober. Some people are doing everything they can--but I do think it's reasonable to question whether the decisions made immediately before the disaster were correct. Maybe it's not possible to have predicted the looting that would take place, but I wonder whether, if security had been a focus earlier in the process, it may have been possible to nip the unrest in the bud. Obviously rescues must take priority over everything else, but it's arguably short-sighted not to establish a modicum of security prior to ramping up the rescue operations. For instance, independent rescuers are being discouraged becaues of the danger. It's not clear to me that these dangers are due to the maurading bands who have looted guns, but if so, then the lack of security has led to potentially a severe loss of manpower. (Interestingly, a disaster expert from LSU just mentioned that he expected to see control established much earlier using fleets of helicopters "from day 1".)


I think it's also fair to question whether the federal government is following the script that was set out after the "Hurricane Pam" training exercises. The local authorities, such as Walter Maestri, have pointed out that the federal government is simply not meeting its promises about what would happen. Granted, this is an exceptionally difficult situation, but it wasn't unexpected for a great deal of the city to be underwater. And people like Maestri are no strangers to dealing with the aftermath of hurricanes, so I'm inclined to trust that he has some sense of what should have been happening.

Also, I don't think that the streets in downtown New Orleans are all flooded. I know the French Quarter is the high ground, we definitely see people sitting on the ground near the convention center. I know for a fact--because I've been on it--that there is an offramp from the bridge directly to the convention center. If they're able to get trucks onto the bridge (and I just saw a news story discussing their dumping rations to people at the CC via the bridge), then I don't see why water flooding is truly an issue there. (And the news scenes I'm seeing don't show much water in that area at all.)

Finally, isn't it reasonable to question why supplies couldn't be airlifted to some of the survivors who were rescued only to be left to die? I realize that airlifting food carries risks, but if you're dealing with a small number of people--rather than a convention center sized crowd--it seems at least potentially feasible. Now, it's not clear how the authorities would know to feed these people, but they were rescued from rooftops, so it was clear that they existed.

Also, I don't really understand how the phone networks work, but if anyone knows the answer, I'm quite curious what would need to change to ramp up cell phone capacity to allow them to be more useful during an emergency. I know that my 504 area code cell phone works sporadically, so it can't all be a result of things being destroyed in the city. (Also, SMS works just fine according to the streaming broadcast of the local news.)

That said, I think it's pretty clear that this situation isn't going to get better just because the US government does absolutely everything it can. Even in the best case, it's going to take about a month, minimum, to get the water out of the city. You can't just magically get rid of the suffering. Moreover, it should be noted that people preparing to sit out a hurricane are told to keep five days of food and water and a battery-powered radio (among other things). I realize that not everyone has the resources to do this kind of thing, but the reason it's suggested is that disaster relief is difficult, and you need supplies to sustain you for several days. I do know, however, that both Mayor Nagin and Maestri said that they had expected supplies within 48 hours from the federal government (presumably as a result of the hurricane Pam exercise).

I've heard a lot of comparisons between international relief and the response to Katrina. I don't really think that this is a fair comparison because the frame of reference is so different, and the expectations aren't really comparable. With the tsunami, for instance, I don't remember seeing 24-7 coverage, especially with people saying that they feel like they're living like animals and people complaining about the slow response. I feel like there's also a great deal more urgency to respond to a domestic disaster, and that makes every instant where supplies are not in place feel that much slower. We also tend to see a lot of recycled images of disaster, which makes it feel like very little is happening, even when those images are at times days old (for instance, the shots of looting at Winn-Dixie when the hurricane was practically still in New Orleans). Perhaps some of this is a result of the fear that if there were an even larger disaster we don't want to think that the federal government cannot restore order quickly enough to avoid upsetting our lives.

One thing I hope is that this disaster does lead to a re-evaluation of how America anticipates and handles long-term, low-immediate-likelihood threats. Maybe there aren't problems with how the system works, but I think it's fair to ask the question. (Yes, even now.)

ober
09-02-2005, 02:23 PM
It would appear that certain members of the government think that way. (http://www.cnn.com/2005/US/09/02/nagin.transcript/index.html) ;)

And I really think you need to re-read that article. This crap doesn't happen overnite, and that's basically what the article says.

ober
09-02-2005, 02:27 PM
Alex, I'm going to take that as it is, because I know you're directly involved with all of this. But I don't think it is fair for us to sit here and say that they're not doing everything they can. You don't know. I don't know. Why sit here and bash them when they are trying to help?

None of us know the full circumstances and whether or not they're doing all they can, so anything we say here is speculation. I'd say we should leave it at that.

Dante Shamest
09-02-2005, 02:27 PM
This crap doesn't happen overnite, and that's basically what the article says.

I searched for the word "overnight" in that article, and I quote the Mayor:


Then they told me that they went overnight, and they built 17 concrete structures and they had the pulleys on them and they were going to drop them.

I flew over that thing yesterday, and it's in the same shape that it was after the storm hit. There is nothing happening. And they're feeding the public a line of bull and they're spinning, and people are dying down here.

webmaster
09-02-2005, 02:47 PM
Alex, I'm going to take that as it is, because I know you're directly involved with all of this. But I don't think it is fair for us to sit here and say that they're not doing everything they can. You don't know. I don't know. Why sit here and bash them when they are trying to help?

None of us know the full circumstances and whether or not they're doing all they can, so anything we say here is speculation. I'd say we should leave it at that.

I absolutely agree that we shouldn't bash them--it's only fair for us to give the benefit of the doubt to everyone involved. One of my favorite press conferences was with the FEMA director, Michael Brown, because he did a good job of defending what was happening in the face of press criticisms.

I'm more interested in people giving constructive criticism about the process--maybe there's really nothing that can come from it, but I like the idea of an informed citizenry enough to hope that a reasoned discussion can prove useful. I know that I, personally, am quite interested in the logistics of the whole process and what can and should be done. (If nothing else, I need to know what to think of the response by government officials before I vote in the next election.)

For instance, perhaps one lesson that we can learn from this is that gunshop owners should take their supplies with them when they evacuate. Another might be that a central website for verifying identifies of survivors would be useful. (Or is there one? I know that local TV stations as well as CNN are running them, but something more central with the ability to verify identities might be nice.)

jverkoey
09-02-2005, 02:50 PM
One of my favorite press conferences was with the FEMA director, Michael Brown, because he did a good job of defending what was happening in the face of press criticisms.

This one?
http://www.cnn.com/2005/US/09/02/katrina.response/

webmaster
09-02-2005, 02:53 PM
A few of those excepts may have come from the press conference, but it was a bit more detailed. He basically pointed out some of the problems--massive logistical issues, difficulty of communications, wind damage blocking roads, the difficulty of lining up troops in preparation for the hurricane, pointing out that the troop situation in Iraq isn't affecting the number of national guard troops available and bringing up that what's happening is more or less the result of the plans from earlier exercises.

sean
09-02-2005, 02:54 PM
If any of you read the article featured on Slashdot a few days ago about what would happen if Hurricane Ivan had NOT missed New Orleans, you'll know that it was a frigthenly accurate description of what happened in Hurricane Katrina. IIRC, most of the predictions about how long it would take to start getting a handle on the situation are ringing extremely true as we see what really happened and how much was really damaged. I do think things could've been done better, but the OP is certainly being unnecessarily hard on those in authority.

psychopath
09-02-2005, 02:57 PM
DELETED PARAGRAPH

It's interesting how most of the aid (evactuations, delivery of food and water, and ultimatly, proper organization), is being delivered on the same day that Pres. Bush arrived.
An emergency just isn't an emergency unless you make it look good for the president.
Also, when Bush arrived they gave him a briefing. Now, why did he need a breifing in a hanger, when they could have gave him all the information over a phone? Hmm.

DELETED PARAGRAPH

-psychopath

sean
09-02-2005, 03:02 PM
Maybe they should call in the MSF, UN or ICRC

When was the last time someone "called in" the US to give aid to a foreign country? American organizations were getting a lot of things done about the tsunami without Thailand "calling us in". I don't see the UN taking much initiative themselves. Perhaps it's too early to tell, but most of the countries in the UN aren't exaclty in the habit of returning favors to the US.

jverkoey
09-02-2005, 03:05 PM
When was the last time someone "called in" the US to give aid to a foreign country? American organizations were getting a lot of things done about the tsunami without Thailand "calling us in". I don't see the UN taking much initiative themselves. Perhaps it's too early to tell, but most of the countries in the UN aren't exaclty in the habit of returning favors to the US.

I believe Russia so far has offered help...or condolences, can't remember.

-edit-
Here we go: http://www.newsday.com/news/nationworld/world/ny-wokatr0902,0,6334263.story?coll=ny-leadworldnews-headlines

anonytmouse
09-02-2005, 03:16 PM
You're out of your mind. Do you understand that this isn't a normal situation? They can't navigate the streets because they are flooded. The work is slow and tedious because most of the rescues are done by helicopter, and that takes time. It's only been about 3 and a half days since they could even start to head that direction. And how would you feel if you are trying to save someone, but some .............. is shooting at you? You'd start to give up too.

You act like the government isn't doing everything they can. STFU.
I didn't think my post would be particularly controversial given that several newspapers (http://www.editorandpublisher.com/eandp/news/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1001054151), electronic media and the mayor have slammed the response. Even President Bush says "The results are not acceptable".

I never claimed the government isn't doing everything it can. However, I do believe poor decisions have been made.

Minimal rations (water and food) for a person is about 2kg a day. The payload for a Chinook helicopter is about 12,000kg. The 10-20,000 people at the convention center could have been fed with half a dozen Chinook flights a day. This would have saved several lives. Beyond the capacity of authorities?

The 1000 people on the slip could have been given emergency rations with one or two flights a day. Beyond the capacity of authorities?

It appears that most of the helicopters were tied up doing rooftop evacuations while elsewhere many more people were dying from lack of supplies. This often happens, in disaster situations, the most visible (people waving flags on rooftops) get help, while a greater number, but less visible (thirsty, starving) do not receive the help they need.

And yes I'm afraid I do expect the military to endure dangerous situations if it is a matter of saving thousands of lives. I don't expect them to "give up". If you were at the convention center, severely hungry, desperate and thirsty, would you think it acceptable for your government to abandon you due to the actions of a few individuals?

As quasi-official shelter points, why were there not security personnel at the convention center and dome throughout?

Today, the authorities are bussing people out, supplying food and water, pooring security people in and evacuating hospitals. If some of this (as far as possible) had been done three days ago, many people may not have died.

I think many others have pointed out the inadequacy of the original evacuation. A more comprehensive pre-hurricane evacuation could have greatly lessened the loss of life.

This isn't a political attack (although politicians must ultimately bear responsibility), and I hope this thread won't become political, but a criticism of the response in itself.

sean
09-02-2005, 03:20 PM
jverkoey - that's nice to see - I stand corrected.

jverkoey
09-02-2005, 03:26 PM
Something to note:
http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2005/09/02/national/a095218D41.DTL

kermi3
09-02-2005, 03:59 PM
I'm not going to be as in depth as I should here, time is short for me...

But I agree with Alex that there have been balls dropped. However, we also can't judge them here from afar. I think the biggest problem is that nothing was prestaged. Everyone knew what was going to happen. Bush took the extreme measure of declaring a disaster area before the disaster struck. Plans should have been laid in more depth before the storm hit. Troops should have been brought to Jackson or some other suitible staging area. I do know that helicopters were staged nearby before the storm, but supplies and troops should ahve been prepared as well.

I think the local authorities spent too much time staring at the weather and encouraging people to evacuate. More efforts should have been made to plan. I realize that the local officials save lives by spending the time telling people to evac, but federal officials should have been preparing for the aftermath ahead of time instead of waiting to see what we would ask for afterwards.

I also think we have to remember that it's only been 3 days. The problem is bad, but our perception of it is worsened by the 24/7 coverage (which is a good thing)...as compared to the tsunami - IE I agree with Sean...

anonytmouse
09-02-2005, 04:13 PM
There are a few "what if?" articles floating around. It seems they weren't too far out.
National Geographic: Gone With the Water (2004) (http://www3.nationalgeographic.com/ngm/0410/feature5/)
Scientific American: Drowning New Orleans (2001) (http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?chanID=sa006&articleID=00060286-CB58-1315-8B5883414B7F0000)
American RadioWorks: Hurricane Risk for New Orleans (2002) (http://americanradioworks.publicradio.org/features/wetlands/hurricane1.html)

BobMcGee123
09-02-2005, 05:02 PM
You're out of your mind. Do you understand that this isn't a normal situation? They can't navigate the streets because they are flooded. The work is slow and tedious because most of the rescues are done by helicopter, and that takes time. It's only been about 3 and a half days since they could even start to head that direction. And how would you feel if you are trying to save someone, but some .............. is shooting at you? You'd start to give up too.

You act like the government isn't doing everything they can. STFU.


Strongly seconded

ILoveVectors
09-02-2005, 05:27 PM
i think we are doing to much.

jverkoey
09-02-2005, 06:16 PM
There are a few "what if?" articles floating around. It seems they weren't too far out.
National Geographic: Gone With the Water (2004) (http://www3.nationalgeographic.com/ngm/0410/feature5/)
Scientific American: Drowning New Orleans (2001) (http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?chanID=sa006&articleID=00060286-CB58-1315-8B5883414B7F0000)
American RadioWorks: Hurricane Risk for New Orleans (2002) (http://americanradioworks.publicradio.org/features/wetlands/hurricane1.html)

Wow, just read the scientific american one....I hope their estimates of 100,000 dead aren't going to be too close to the fact, everything else they've shown in the article is true though. :(

sean
09-02-2005, 06:17 PM
i think we are doing to much.

Are you serious? Would you care to back that up with any kind of argument?

ILoveVectors
09-02-2005, 06:21 PM
no nothing to argue its my opinion.

jverkoey
09-02-2005, 06:24 PM
It was a broiling August afternoon in New Orleans, Louisiana, the Big Easy, the City That Care Forgot. Those who ventured outside moved as if they were swimming in tupelo honey. Those inside paid silent homage to the man who invented air-conditioning as they watched TV "storm teams" warn of a hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico. Nothing surprising there: Hurricanes in August are as much a part of life in this town as hangovers on Ash Wednesday.

But the next day the storm gathered steam and drew a bead on the city. As the whirling maelstrom approached the coast, more than a million people evacuated to higher ground. Some 200,000 remained, however—the car-less, the homeless, the aged and infirm, and those die-hard New Orleanians who look for any excuse to throw a party.

The storm hit Breton Sound with the fury of a nuclear warhead, pushing a deadly storm surge into Lake Pontchartrain. The water crept to the top of the massive berm that holds back the lake and then spilled over. Nearly 80 percent of New Orleans lies below sea level—more than eight feet below in places—so the water poured in. A liquid brown wall washed over the brick ranch homes of Gentilly, over the clapboard houses of the Ninth Ward, over the white-columned porches of the Garden District, until it raced through the bars and strip joints on Bourbon Street like the pale rider of the Apocalypse. As it reached 25 feet (eight meters) over parts of the city, people climbed onto roofs to escape it.

Thousands drowned in the murky brew that was soon contaminated by sewage and industrial waste. Thousands more who survived the flood later perished from dehydration and disease as they waited to be rescued. It took two months to pump the city dry, and by then the Big Easy was buried under a blanket of putrid sediment, a million people were homeless, and 50,000 were dead. It was the worst natural disaster in the history of the United States.

Scary how accurate these articles are....it seems a lot of people saw this coming and nobody acted upon it...talk about procrastination :rolleyes:

kermi3
09-02-2005, 06:25 PM
i think we are doing to much.

That's a troll, first warning. Further violations of the guidelines could result in temporary or permanent banning. No discussion about this warning is desired on this thread. If you have any questions PM me.

kermi3
09-02-2005, 06:27 PM
There are a few "what if?" articles floating around. It seems they weren't too far out.
National Geographic: Gone With the Water (2004) (http://www3.nationalgeographic.com/ngm/0410/feature5/)
Scientific American: Drowning New Orleans (2001) (http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?chanID=sa006&articleID=00060286-CB58-1315-8B5883414B7F0000)
American RadioWorks: Hurricane Risk for New Orleans (2002) (http://americanradioworks.publicradio.org/features/wetlands/hurricane1.html)


Yea, it's been known for a while that this could happen. In fact there was one FEMA study/memo a while back stating that they would not rebuild the cirt if this happend. Obviously they can't nor should they stick to that...but it was there.

jverkoey
09-02-2005, 06:30 PM
Wouldn't it be pointless to rebuild the city? You're really only asking for disaster, all just for the sake of being built in the same "area". Based on all the studies I've seen, it's going to take 20+ billion just to clean up new orleans, that's not including rebuilding the thousands upon thousands of homes, cleaning damage from the polluted water all over the city....I'm sad to say this but I really think New Orleans as a city should be moved...even though that's probably completely irational.

It's scary, thinking that only 6 or 7 years ago I was actually walking down the streets of New Orleans...now it's all under water.

jverkoey
09-02-2005, 06:44 PM
I wonder, why is that China was able to evacuate half a million people in a couple days, where in the states, far fewer than that are still stuck in New Orleans? This makes no sense.

http://english.people.com.cn/200509/02/eng20050902_206032.html

Typhoon Talim pounded East China's Fujian Province Thursday afternoon with strong winds and rainstorms after wreaking havoc in Taiwan.

According to the Fujian provincial observatory, Talim slammed into the Putian region at 2:30 pm, with gusts of 126 kilometres per hour.

About 193,000 local residents were transferred to safety Thursday, following relocation of 286,000 people in the previous two days.

kermi3
09-02-2005, 06:47 PM
Wouldn't it be pointless to rebuild the city? You're really only asking for disaster, all just for the sake of being built in the same "area". Based on all the studies I've seen, it's going to take 20+ billion just to clean up new orleans, that's not including rebuilding the thousands upon thousands of homes, cleaning damage from the polluted water all over the city....I'm sad to say this but I really think New Orleans as a city should be moved...even though that's probably completely irational.

It's scary, thinking that only 6 or 7 years ago I was actually walking down the streets of New Orleans...now it's all under water.

No it's not pointless. It's a wonderful historic city. It is an economic center and crucial to the refineries in ther area. The clean up has to be done either way - it's a bio/envirmental hazard if we don't. At that point, how much already invested money are you loosing by abandoning the skyscrapers, streets, roads, and infrastructure that has survived?

....and as for the scary thing...2 weeks ago I followed a tradition I have...Before I left for college I took a few moments to look at the park behind my home in case I'd never see it again. It will never be the same again.

kermi3
09-02-2005, 06:51 PM
I wonder, why is that China was able to evacuate half a million people in a couple days, where in the states, far fewer than that are still stuck in New Orleans? This makes no sense.

http://english.people.com.cn/200509/02/eng20050902_206032.html

Because you're looking at news that's run through a state newspaper and because in China people don't have the choice to stay if they want to...There was a manditory evacuation of New Orleans. My parents drove out. It was quite possible to get out of the city through Monday - until it hit. The people who stayed either were dumb, or had to stay for various reasons.

jverkoey
09-02-2005, 06:51 PM
No it's not pointless. It's a wonderful historic city. It is an economic center and crucial to the refineries in ther area. The clean up has to be done either way - it's a bio/envirmental hazard if we don't. At that point, how much already invested money are you loosing by abandoning the skyscrapers, streets, roads, and infrastructure that has survived?
Good point...I just hope that if it does get rebuilt, that people actually think ahead before just assuming nothing bad ever happens, heh. There's too many reports predicting this disaster, I believe, for any one person to be happy with the way things were handled before the disaster...So we should learn from it to not let it happen again (to state the obvious).

jverkoey
09-02-2005, 06:53 PM
Because you're looking at news that's run through a state newspaper and because in China people don't have the choice to stay if they want to...There was a manditory evacuation of New Orleans. My parents drove out. It was quite possible to get out of the city through Monday - until it hit. The people who stayed either were dumb, or had to stay for various reasons.
Ah hah, I see. Glad your parents made it out by the way.

webmaster
09-02-2005, 06:57 PM
Jeff, it seems to me that China performed that evacuation before the storm hit. In New Orleans, they probably evacuated 80% of the city, that's over 300,000 people, and if you include the surrounding areas, I imagine that at least half a million were evacuated in that weekend.

Also, about New Orleans: I hope they rebuild it (and, of course, do it right). I mean, how many cities in the world are designed to withstand a direct hit from a category five hurricane? I imagine it would be something of an engineering marvel and, I hope, something of an inspiration for future generations.

sean
09-02-2005, 07:04 PM
Rebuilding New Orleans is a good idea, but certainly some considerations for preventing this kind of damage in the future are in order.

kermi3
09-02-2005, 07:07 PM
Good point...I just hope that if it does get rebuilt, that people actually think ahead before just assuming nothing bad ever happens, heh. There's too many reports predicting this disaster, I believe, for any one person to be happy with the way things were handled before the disaster...So we should learn from it to not let it happen again (to state the obvious).

I think everyone in NOLA knew it would happen - my friends and I used to talk about it on the playground as kids. Locally, efforts have been made to upgrade the levies and rebuild the marshes for years, have slowed efforts to a crawl. However a lack of federal funding, which our congressional delegation have been attempting to get years. Funds were committed and then cut in the past few years' budget cuts:

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4829443

Thantos
09-02-2005, 07:28 PM
How far below sea level is NO? It it be "builtup" to a slightly high elevation?

B0bDole
09-02-2005, 08:39 PM
20 ft on avg I believe

Thantos
09-02-2005, 08:53 PM
Hmmm well if they can build an airport on the ocean I wonder if they could raise the elevation of an entire city. Of course would it do any good.

kermi3
09-02-2005, 10:46 PM
It's not that low. 6' is a better average, if I'm not mistaken:
http://www.mvn.usace.army.mil/pao/response/NGVD.asp

They were good levies yall, just not good enough. They need to be rebuilt a few feet higher - my under educated opinion.

edit: We also have to remember that to raise the city would cause a lot of destruction and that terraforming is part of what caused this problem. If no for coastal and wetlands erosion (http://marine.usgs.gov/fact-sheets/LAwetlands/lawetlands.html), there would have been a lot more land and buffer between New Orleans and the coast. Those wet lands and barrier islands were destroyed by the levies.

VirtualAce
09-02-2005, 11:48 PM
Part of the reason we can't evacuate like that is simple.....we live in a democracy. You can't force people to leave their homes - they can stay if they choose to. Some chose to stay and some had no choice. But AFAIK you cannot force anyone to leave their homes.

I know that some of the people simply could not leave and if we had a more pro-active FEMA instead of a reactive one then much of this could have been prevented. However, as usual, we reacted. Fact is they knew the levee could break and in fact practiced this exact scenario some years before Katrina struck. Computer models forecast this exact scenario and so I fail to understand why we are so shocked that it happened. I do feel for the people who absolutely had no way of escape but as for the others who had fair warning and a means to leave and brain to figure out that staying behind is probably not the best idea.....next time get out.

I will donate food and money to the cause because I realize that not everyone was there because of a lack of planning. It saddens me to see the pictures on TV but somehow I get the feeling that the news networks are loving it. They ramp up the disturbing photos, hype up the aftermath, interview the most disturbed individuals, and overall broadcast a sense of impending doom. And then they broadcast misinformation about the gas so everyone goes out to buy it......and now what they broadcast is true because every Tom, Dick, and Harry went out and filled up because of the scare tactics. Thanks news guys. Morons. Thats it - when there is a possible gas shortage....let's scare everyone and make it so.

Also, being an avid tornado chaser here in the Midwest, it should be noted that when the National Weather Service issues warnings they should not be taken lightly. The National Weather Service, Severe Storms Forecast, and Tropical Storms Forecast centers are not idiots. Unless you are prepared and/or understand severe weather my advice to you would be to, in the case of a hurricane: leave, and in the case of a tornado: take cover.
But many think they know better than the weather systems in place and make very poor decisions based on this false assumption. Do so at your own peril. We have extremely advanced forecasting methods that can plot the path of these monster hurricanes when they are days away. In my estimate residents had nearly a week to plan and to get the hell out of Dodge. But many of those interviewed even admitted they simply stayed behind and didn't heed the warnings. So to all of you out there who do not heed the warnings of the National Weather Service or the Tropical reports - let this be a lesson. When a hurricane is forecasted to make landfall near you.........get the hell out of there.

And I'm not sure how many of you have actually been in hurricane force winds. The highest wind speed I've ever experience firsthand is about 100 mph and that was only for an instant near a weather system that was producing a tornado. At 100 mph it was extremely hard to stand, see, drive, etc. I could not imagine what 145 mph winds would feel like. 145 mph winds for any length of time will simply obliterate anything that is not concrete or extremely fortified. Also more damage is caused in cities because when the wind is pushed between two buildings, the pressure drops and the wind speed increases - fundamental science. So the wind speed between buildings was probably far over the 145 mph mark. I don't know of many man made civilian structures that can handle that type of external force on it for any length of time. So the infrastructure that we all appreciate each and every day does not exist in the area because the storm either destroyed it or critically wounded it. I cannot blame the government for their reponse time given the amount of damage that was inflicted in the area by Katrina.

As well placing rescue personnel in harms way only worsens the situation and the supplies and/or buses still wouldn't reach their correct destination. I don't appreciate that some are turning this into a political issue when in fact it is a natural disaster that no one could have stopped. Yes a lot of things didn't work as designed to but that crap happens all the time. IMO the government is doing all they can at this point to help the victims. You can't just rush in like the lone ranger and expect everything is going to be ok. This is a huge disaster - almost like having several F5 tornadoes obliterate several towns or even perhaps Chicago. You don't repair the damage overnight - and it will take years for this to be repaired. And also as far as the military being spread too far to help the victims is absolutely misinformation. CNN reported that 3 guard units were in Iraq and because of that they could not be deployed to help the victims. This is so stupid. There are hundreds of units in the United States that can be called up to aid the victims of Katrina. This was a very stupid comment made by CNN.

And another thing I cannot see how the water can be so polluted with toxic chemicals. Everyone knows that diluting chemicals in water reduces their potency and their effect on materials. To say that the city is toxic is ridiculous - there would have to be more chemicals in the water.....than there was water in the city. And since we all know that probably 80 to 90 percent of what is in the city is water.....the toxic idea is absurd. More hype and misinformation.

Don't get me wrong, I understand the severity of the situation and feel a deep sense of compassion on those affected by this disaster - but let's use some logic here and not jump to irrational thinking and rash conclusions. A nuclear bomb did not hit the area - it was a storm and just like all those before this one.....everything will be repaired and things will get back to normal. But it will take time.

Playing the blame game, as has been the recent trend in the US, is not going to help anyone at this time. There will be plenty of time for that later. Right now let's concentrate on helping the victims, rebuilding the area, and getting on with daily life.

kermi3
09-02-2005, 11:57 PM
>>But many think they know better than the weather systems in place and make very poor decisions based on this false assumption. Do so at your own peril. We have extremely advanced forecasting methods that can plot the path of these monster hurricanes when they are days away. In my estimate residents had nearly a week to plan and to get the hell out of Dodge.

I agree with almost everything you've said Bubba except the statement above. People didn't really know it was coming until Thursday. The initial forcast was for Florida - in fact I got really made when I found out that the forcast had been shifted to focus on the MS and AL boarder because the national media was still reporting Florida. It wasn't until Thurs that it started to really become clear.

You have to remember that numourous hurricanes have almost hit New Orleans in the last few years and have unexpectedly turned away. We became complacient. The forcast models, even 24 hrs from impact have a margin of error of 80 miles - that's a huge way for a hurricane...

That being said - those people should have gotten out. They had all weekend. I do have friends who stayed. All are fine, thank god. One (SW of NOLA) even has power and water - they are running a refugee center now...


...I don't know about the toxins...but as long as I can remember they've warned us to stay out of flood waters because of the toxins and the raw sewage...remember, when there's water everywhere the sewage spreads.

jverkoey
09-03-2005, 12:30 AM
And another thing I cannot see how the water can be so polluted with toxic chemicals. Everyone knows that diluting chemicals in water reduces their potency and their effect on materials. To say that the city is toxic is ridiculous - there would have to be more chemicals in the water.....than there was water in the city. And since we all know that probably 80 to 90 percent of what is in the city is water.....the toxic idea is absurd. More hype and misinformation.Well, another basic thing about chemistry though is that water evaporates at a lower temperature than a lot of chemicals...leaving the chemicals and sewage behind...unless I'm misunderstanding something from my chemistry course.

cboard_member
09-03-2005, 02:02 AM
This is getting tiring ILV, all your posts are succeeding in doing at this point are causing unneeded unrest. Have some common decency for the people here who have actually been affected by this event.

It's quite sad when someone resorts to flaming people who have just been personally affected by a tragedy. :(

Yes in case I didn't mention it before, my heart goes out to those who lost somebody in the devastation. I hope all the given aid it working out and this tragedy can be resolved soon.

nvoigt
09-03-2005, 05:46 AM
the post in your words, i would liek to contain harassing things about the people hit by katrina, now i dont really feel thsi way but the moderators family is there and im trying to make it feel liek he gettign kicked in the balls, so the more vulger but point making you can be the better, if you dont feel liek thinking that hard i will come up with somethign and you can change it to suit your writing type
the harrassing things shoudl be somewhere aobut hwo you think the people should die and what not, and how shiutty it is to be waisting our money on them

You don't even make sense any more. I know it must be in the middle of the night in New Jersey, so go to bed and get a full night of sleep. Opening up a new account is not only against the board rules, but also pretty fruitless because I can close it in a simple two-click procedure. You are wasting more time creating an account than it takes me to ban it.

You are not banned for your oppinion, although I don't think it is an oppinion backed up by facts and thoughts. You are banned for calling moderators names and violating the board guidelines despite warnings, more warnings, more warnings and a final warning. 7 times and counting. I don't think you will get your account back, Richard.

Jaqui
09-03-2005, 07:18 AM
~snip~ I mean, how many cities in the world are designed to withstand a direct hit from a category five hurricane? I imagine it would be something of an engineering marvel and, I hope, something of an inspiration for future generations.

one.
the design for a city, capable of withstanding a 150' tsunami.
the"Mega Pyramid City" that has been designed to house 500,000.
placed in Tokyo bay.

carbon nanotube supports.
the cg models suggest that this structure would even save tokyo itself from a huge amount of damage from said tsunami.

estimated date of construction:

none.

it's designed, the construction details worked out.
but no real plans for building it, yet. ( to costly )


as far as the original subject of this thread is concerned.
the Federal Government made some mistakes.
The State Government made some.
and the City Government made some.

those that have been stranded by the storm, if they could have left and didn't, made a mistake.

human nature, we make mistakes.

I hope that the mistakes are corrected completely, and any exsiting plans for dealing with this type of emergency are updated to take into account what has been learned.
( I'm not going to hold my breath though, human nature is to ignore possibilities until to late )

I know that England has already started with gathering supplies for assisting, I'm sure that Canada is also.

The only thing I have taken offense to in reguards to this natural disaster, is the attitudes of some American Citizens with respect to International aide efforts.
( on a few other fora there have been extremely negative threads about a lack of International Aide )

webmaster
09-03-2005, 07:32 AM
This just a note that I've cleaned up most of the nonsense from ILV and some of the aftermath--don't worry if your post was deleted and you were not one of his dopplegangers.

jverkoey
09-03-2005, 02:05 PM
This just a note that I've cleaned up most of the nonsense from ILV and some of the aftermath--don't worry if your post was deleted and you were not one of his dopplegangers.
Understandable, thanks for getting rid of that garbage.

Rouss
09-03-2005, 05:17 PM
I live in Baton Rouge and am currently housing friends from NO. I have a friend that lives around the Mandeville area. He and I went to Northshore Wednesday to take pictures of his house and houses people had requested pictures for. We have about 100 pictures over all.
http://cct.lsu.edu/~afrench/northshore
It is a really sad situation down here. Not so much in Baton Rouge, besides the lack of gas, lines for whatever gas we do have, and the multitude of paranoid rumors floating around. But in New Orleans, I understand people are dying, and angry that they aren't being helped as much as they should be. I know a lot of people couldn't get out during the mandatory evacuation for some reason or another. But the mayor did have many buses going around different neighbors to pick people up for evacuation, and some people (a lot) refused to get on the buses. So I don't feel it is right for some people to blame the government for them being stuck there. I agree that maybe the government could be doing more, but the people doing the rescuing are in a lot of danger. They had to scale back helicoptor rescues because of people shooting at the helicoptors. People were shooting at the rescuers that were working to evacuate the hospitals where people are dying. How can you expect them to evacuate you when armed gangs are roaming the streets shooting at the people trying to save you? I have a friend that is a firefighter who is home for the first time since the hurricane. He said they have finally given the firefighters guns, because every time they go to put out a fire or rescue someone, they get shot at. There was the police officer that was shot in the back of the neck by looters. There was the MP that was shot in the leg during a struggle for a gun in the dark of night. There is no reason for that kind of ......... I don't blame the rescuers for not wanting to risk being shot. Even in the Superdome, people are beating and raping others. Where is the outrage from the citizens? There are/were thousands of people in the Superdome. Couldn't the majority (at least some) of upright citizens keep the minority from doing this.

I don't mean to be callous. I don't want to be labeled a troll. But if you really want to rescue the people who need it in NO, something is going to have to be done about the people shooting at the rescuers. They have no respect for life (the rescuers or the rescuees), so why should any be given to theirs. They are threats to the rescue which I believe should be eliminated. And there are people looting (not talking about taking food) and destroying buildings. Some people (if you can call them that) broke into one of the malls and set it on fire. What kind of person does that? Two people were arrested trying to leave New Orleans in stolen cars packed full of loot.

I can't even begin to imagine how this people are feeling in these conditions. But the government (who ARE helping inspite of all the danger) is the last place I think the blame should be pointed.

For everyone on this board that is from or has family from that area, I hope that you are all safe and hope that everything works out as well as it can for you.