The point is, they had days to evacuate and he starts crying for busses and supplies after he did nothing to actively evacuate people while staring into the headlights of a strong hurricane (until the final day). I don't care if 3 days before it hit it was only a CAT 2 or 3 - there was a reasonable and forseeable chance that it would hit near NO and possibly increase in strength before it hit. Why didn't he call for earlier evacuations and make the busses available for evacuating the poor?
Hawk, I'll field this one, having grown up in Florida.
Even with modern satellite imagery and computer models, they don't know where a hurricane will hit until roughly 24 hours ahead of time. (I think they have a certainty of 180 miles within that period.) So even if they evacuated 2 days ahead of time, there's 360 miles of possible variation. That's the difference between everything blown-down-gone-boom and just some rain. If you try to evacuate an area every time a hurricane MAY hit the area, you turn into Chicken Little.
Growing up in the Sunshine State, we were constantly under hurricane warnings. Most everyone I knew never ever evacuated. I remember families in my neighborhood being woken up by cops saying we were under mandatory evacuation. People still wouldn't leave. You'd put up some plywood, ensure you had plenty of bottled water, and the adults would throw a hurricane party. (And my parents/neighbors weren't poor or uneducated. Just desensitized to the monthly evacuation requests...)
Nagin (NO mayor) called for evacuations on Saturday. Most of the city that could afford to evacuate itself did. (Never once during mandatory evacuations in Florida were buses routed to pick people up for evacuation. You were responsible for getting yourself out. Unfortunately, in a very poor city, you're SOL as we are seeing in New Orleans.)
This is a widespread issue that we are starting to realize. As a country, we've been blessed that our hurricanes have not had a high cost in terms of human life. Yeah, Andrew cost a lot of money, but it didn't kill that many. Katrina is going to change the way we think about hurricanes.
Now, back to some Bush-baiting...
How 'come since 2001, 75% of FEMA's spending has been oriented towards terrorism? Did we just assume that we'd never get hurricanes, tornados, etc. again?
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