Tornadoes Blow Through New Orleans - Tornadoes early Thursday tore through New Orleans neighborhoods that were hit hard by Hurricane Katrina just five months earlier, ...
Michael Brown asks White House if they want him to stay quiet
Governors in states that accepted Katrina evacuees are being urged to locate about 2,000
registered sex offenders who fled the Gulf region during the hurricane's mayhem and
may have vanished from legally required track
It turns out the August 29th storm hit the Gulf Coast as a Category Three hurricane, not a Category Four as first thought.
There is the number 11 again
''What are these guys doing? All of this housing is available now.''
TOP officials who managed US reconstruction projects in Iraq have been hired by some of the same big companies that received those contracts and which are now involved in a rush of deals to rebuild after Hurricane Katrina.
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — More than 9,000 mobile homes and campers meant for the victims of Hurricane Katrina are sitting unused at government staging areas while displaced families continue to live out of tents and shelters.
FEMA twice failed to give Congress plan to evacuate New Orleans
September 18, 2005, CNN/Associated Press
Eight years ago Congress...set aside $500,000 for FEMA to create "a comprehensive analysis and plan of all evacuation alternatives for the New Orleans metropolitan area." Frustrated two years later that no study had materialized, Congress strengthened its directive. This time it ordered "an evacuation plan for a Category 3 or greater storm, a levee break, flood or other natural disaster for the New Orleans area." The $500,000 that Congress appropriated for the evacuation plan went to a commission that studied future options for the 24-mile bridge over Lake Pontchartrain.
Going (Down) by the Book
September 17, 2005, New York Times
When the Federal Emergency Management Agency's paperwork slowed the evacuation of patients from the airport, Acadian's frustrated medics waited with empty helicopters. "At one point I had 10 helicopters on the ground waiting to go," said Marc Creswell, an Acadian medic, "but FEMA kept stonewalling us with paperwork. Meanwhile, every 30 or 40 minutes someone was dying." The company sent in outside doctors and nurses. FEMA rejected the help because the doctors and nurses weren't certified members of a National Disaster Medical Team. "When the doctors asked why they couldn't help these critically ill people lying there unattended," Mr. Creswell recalled, "the FEMA people kept saying, 'You're not federalized.' "
Frustrated: Fire crews to hand out fliers for FEMA
September 6, 2005, Salt Lake Tribune
Not long after some 1,000 firefighters sat down for eight hours of training, the whispering began: "What are we doing here?" As New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin pleaded on national television for firefighters...a battalion of highly trained men and women sat idle Sunday [less than a week after landfall] in a muggy Sheraton Hotel conference room in Atlanta. Many of the firefighters, assembled from Utah and throughout the United States by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, thought they were going to be deployed as emergency workers. Instead, they have learned they are going...to disseminate fliers and a phone number: 1-800-621-FEMA. On Monday, some firefighters stuck in the staging area at the Sheraton peeled off their FEMA-issued shirts and stuffed them in backpacks, saying they refuse to represent the federal agency.
A Quick Compilation of FEMA's Rejections of Qualified Help
FEMA refuses hundreds of personnel, dozens of vehicles - Chicago Tribune, 9/2/05
FEMA won't let Red Cross deliver food - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 9/3/05
FEMA fails to utilize Navy ship with 600-bed hospital on board - Chicago Tribune, 9/4/05
FEMA turns away state-of-the-art mobile hospital from Univ. of North Carolina - CNN, 9/5/05
FEMA won't accept Amtrak's help in evacuations - Financial Times, 9/5/05
FEMA turns back Wal-Mart supply trucks - New York Times, 9/6/05
FEMA prevents Coast Guard from delivering diesel fuel - New York Times, 9/6/05
FEMA blocks 500-boat citizen flotilla from delivering aid - News Sentinel, 9/8/05
FEMA asks media not to take pictures of dead - Washington Post, 9/8/05
FEMA turns back German government plane loaded with 15 tons of food - Spiegel, 9/12/05
FEMA: "First Responders Urged Not To Respond" Unless Dispatched - FEMA's own website
Finally fooling none of the people
September 13, 2005, Los Angeles Times
The Federal Emergency Management Agency is now run by political hacks appointed by Bush who know zilch about disaster relief. "Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job," the president said to Michael Brown a few days before the FEMA chief was relieved of his oversight of the relief efforts. Brown, who reportedly doctored his unimpressive resume and didn't have a background in emergency management, resigned Monday. He had secured this plum job because he was a college buddy of his predecessor, Joe Allbaugh, who managed Bush's 2000 presidential campaign.
Bush allies getting Katrina work
September 13, 2005, CNN
Companies with ties to the Bush White House and the former head of FEMA are clinching some of the administration's first disaster relief and reconstruction contracts in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. At least two major corporate clients of lobbyist Joe Allbaugh, President Bush's former campaign manager and a former head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, have already been tapped to start recovery work along the battered Gulf Coast. One is...Halliburton Co. (Research) subsidiary Kellogg Brown and Root. Vice President Dick Cheney is a former head of Halliburton. Allbaugh formally registered as a lobbyist for Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg Brown and Root in February. Allbaugh is also a friend of Michael Brown, director of FEMA who was removed as head of Katrina disaster relief and sent back to Washington amid allegations he had padded his resume. Halliburton continues to be a source of income for Cheney, who served as its chief executive officer from 1995 until 2000. According to tax filings released in April, Cheney's income included $194,852 in deferred pay from the company.
Cheney orders rural electric crews to work on oil pipeline from Texas
September 11, 2005, WKYC (Ohio NBC affiliate)
Shortly after Hurricane Katrina roared through South Mississippi knocking out electricity and communication systems, the White House ordered power restored to a pipeline that sends fuel to the Northeast. That order...delayed efforts by at least 24 hours to restore power to two rural hospitals and a number of water systems. Mississippi Public Service Commissioner Mike Callahan said the U.S. Department of Energy called him [stating that] opening the fuel line was a national priority. Manager Dan Jordan said Vice President Dick Cheney’s office called and left voice mails twice shortly after the storm struck, saying the Collins substations needed power restored immediately. Callahan said energy officials told him gasoline and diesel fuel needed to flow through the pipeline to avert a national crisis from the inability to meet fuel needs in the Northeast. “Our concern was that...it would be a national crisis for Mississippi,“ Callahan said.
Intricate Flood Protection Long a Focus of Dispute
September 1, 2005, New York Times
The 17th Street levee that gave way and led to the flooding of New Orleans was part of an intricate, aging system of barriers and pumps that was so chronically underfinanced that senior regional officials of the Army Corps of Engineers complained about it publicly for years. Often leading the chorus was Alfred C. Naomi, a senior project manager for the corps. Mr. Naomi grew particularly frustrated this year as the Gulf Coast braced for what forecasters said would be an intense hurricane season and a nearly simultaneous $71 million cut was announced in the New Orleans district budget to guard against such storms.
Chertoff: Katrina scenario did not exist
September 5, 2005, CNN
Defending the U.S. government's response to Hurricane Katrina, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff argued...that government planners did not predict such a disaster ever could occur. But in fact, government officials, scientists and journalists have warned of such a scenario for years. Chertoff...said government officials did not expect both a powerful hurricane and a breach of levees that would flood the city of New Orleans. As far back as Friday, August 26 [three days before landfall], the National Hurricane Center was predicting the storm could be a Category 4 hurricane at landfall, with New Orleans directly in its path. The National Weather Service prediction proved almost perfect.
Gone With the Water (Hurricane Predicted Again One Year Ago)
October 2004, National Geographic
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. 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. When did this calamity happen? It hasn't—yet. But the doomsday scenario is not far-fetched. "It's not if it will happen," says University of New Orleans geologist Shea Penland. "It's when."
New Orleans is Sinking (Hurricane predicted on 9/11!!!)
September 11, 2001, Popular Mechanics (Note the date of this article)
Emergency planners believe that it is a foregone conclusion that the Big Easy someday will be hit by a scouring storm surge. This watery "big one" will produce a staggering amount of damage. Yet, this doesn't necessarily mean that there will be a massive loss of lives. The key is a new emergency warning system developed by...Louisiana State University. Within 30 minutes to an hour after raw data is collected from monitoring stations in the Gulf, an assessment of storm-surge damage would be available to emergency planners. Disaster relief agencies then would be able to mobilize resources.
Experts blame flooding on faulty levees
September 21, 2005, MSNBC/Washington Post
Louisiana's top hurricane experts have rejected the official explanations for the floodwall collapses that inundated much of New Orleans, concluding that Hurricane Katrina's storm surges were much smaller than authorities have suggested and that the city's flood-protection system should have kept most of the city dry. If Katrina did not exceed the design capacity of the New Orleans levees, the federal government may bear ultimate responsibility for this disaster.
When sluggishness isn't OK
September 4, 2005, Chicago Tribune
E-mailers sent me copies of two news photos that revealed an apparent double standard regarding black and white flood victims in New Orleans. One of the images, shot by photographer Dave Martin for The Associated Press, shows a young black man wading through chest-deep waters after "looting" a grocery store, according to the caption. In the other, taken by photographer Chris Graythen for AFP/Getty Images, a white man and a similarly light-skinned woman also waded through chest-deep water after "finding" goods that included bread and soda in a local grocery store, according to the caption. Apparently, quipped a cynical blogger at Daily Kos, " It's not looting if you're white."
Third World Scenes
September 5, 2005, Washington Post
Mullen has a schoolteacher's kindly demeanor, so it was jarring to hear him say he suspected that the levee breaks had somehow been engineered to keep the wealthy French Quarter and Garden District dry at the expense of poor black neighborhoods...a suspicion I heard from many other black survivors. And it was surprising to hear Mullen's gentle voice turn bitter as he described the scene at the convention center, when helicopters bringing food didn't even land and the soldiers "just pushed the food out like we were in the Third World." I literally stumbled into the Rev. Jesse Jackson. He looked genuinely shaken, [saying] "this looks like the hold of a slave ship."
Intricate Flood Protection Long a Focus of Dispute
September 1, 2005, New York Times
No one expected that weak spot to be on a canal that...had received more attention and shoring up than many other spots in the region. It did not have broad berms, but it did have strong concrete walls. Shea Penland, director of the Pontchartrain Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of New Orleans, said that was particularly surprising because the break was "along a section that was just upgraded. It did not have an earthen levee," Dr. Penland said. "It had a vertical concrete wall several feel thick."
Earwitness says explosives blew Industrial Canal levee (Video Clip)
September 11, 2005, ABC
DAVID MUIR, ABC NEWS: This is the actual levee that runs along the canal on the eastern side of the city. You can see the massive breach here and...what the water did to the Lower Ninth Ward. It completely destroyed neighborhoods. JOE EDWARDS, JR., 9TH WARD RESIDENT: I heard something go "boom"!!! MUIR: Joe Edwards rushed to get himself and as many neighbors as possible into his truck. They drove to this bridge, where they've been living ever since. Was it solely the water that broke the levee, or was it the force of this barge? Joe Edwards says neither. People...in this neighborhood...actually think the city did it, blowing up the levee to save richer neighborhoods like the French Quarter. MUIR: So you're convinced... EDWARDS: I know this happened! MUIR: They broke the levee on purpose? EDWARDS: They blew it.
Bush lifts wage rules for Katrina
September 9, 2005, CNN/Reuters