Katrina blows government away

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Areandon
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Katrina blows government away

Postby Areandon » Fri Sep 02, 2005 11:29 am

I've watched the events unfolding in New Orleans with some amazement. It was known several days in advance that this was going to happen, I read comments in the paper from the mayor and governer describing what they thought would happen. And it happened.

And nothing is being done...One would expect that they would have put emergency help in place, military aid, food and shelters and that kind of stuff. But nothing of that kind. The president is on vacation and can't be bothered to return until after the scale of the disaster has become clear. And the governer is asking for all kinds of help now, maybe he should have anticipated that something would go wrong and start ahead?

What kind of government sees a disaster coming, does nothing and starts panicing after the fact. The administration says that everything is going well and everybody is doing a great job, while people are starving amidst floating corpses. If I didn't see the headlines, I would not have believed this happened in the United States, but in some obsure 3rd world country.

Maybe that is the biggest disaster.
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Postby Ragorn » Fri Sep 02, 2005 1:16 pm

What are you talking about? Do you even read or watch the news? Or do you get all of your news from Dateline?
- Ragorn
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Postby Areandon » Fri Sep 02, 2005 1:47 pm

Obviously not the same ones as you. Some quotes:

CNN wrote:NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana (CNN) -- President Bush told reporters on Friday that millions of tons of food and water are on the way to the people stranded in the wake of Hurricane Katrina -- but he said the results of the relief effort "are not acceptable.
...
The president's visit Friday also was aimed at tamping down the ever-angrier criticism that he has engineered a too-little, too-late response.

President Bush, facing blistering criticism for his administration's response to Hurricane Katrina, said Friday "the results are not acceptable" and pledged to bolster relief efforts with a personal trip to the Gulf Coast.



Wasington Post wrote:New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin lashed out at state and federal officials saying they were "thinking small" in the face of the massive crisis.

...

Nagin said he needs military troops to provide security and 500 buses to take people stranded by Hurricane Katrina out of the city. (See video on the military response -- 2:40)

So far, he said, the promises are unfulfilled.

"I keep hearing that it's coming. This is coming. That is coming. My answer to that is B.S. Where is the beef?"

Nagin called for a moratorium on press conferences "until the resources are in this city."

"They're feeding the people a line of bull, and they are spinning and people are dying," he said.




New York Times wrote:Large numbers of National Guard troops should have been deployed on flooded streets early in the disaster to keep order, the critics said. And some questioned whether the federal government's intense focus on terrorism had distracted from planning practical steps to cope with a major natural disaster.


Fox News wrote:After being forced from their homes by flooding caused by Hurricane Katrina (search), refugees have witnessed corpses rotted along flooded sidewalks and bands of armed thugs thwarting fitful rescue efforts. After days of being near-stranded at the Superdome, waiting for food, water and rescue, evacuees are clinging to hope.
teflor the ranger
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Postby teflor the ranger » Fri Sep 02, 2005 2:30 pm

Umm. You realize there is only about 20,000 people left in New Orleans, a city that once held half a million plus?

You do also realize this means that the government which you denouce as being so ineffective has hauled over 95% of the population out of there in about a week's time?

On the flip side, the reason why they're not getting relief is that people are shooting US soldiers, relief workers, doctors, aid helicoptors, and transport trucks (Americans on US Soil).

Last night they trucked in food and water to the Superdome. They've been ready to deliver supplies all day long, but they had to wait until midnight to make the delivery so that people wouldn't kill them for trying to help.

It was a category 5 hurricane. It made landfall near a city that is below sea level. This is no suprise.

The government is not 'doing nothing'. This has been one of the best coordinated relief efforts in the history of natrual disasters.

'The Disaster' in the Netherlands (yes, I can see that's your stated location) was a very similar disaster where your own government was unable to provide relief and over 1,800 civilians died. In the United States, roughly 7,000 people die every day. People are dumb enough to die on their own every day - when a Cat 5 rolls through your back yard and turns it into a lake, people are _still_ going to die.

It's not like natural disaster can make victims any more invincible.
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Postby Corth » Fri Sep 02, 2005 2:52 pm

Me and Teflor debated this on OOC the other day.

I believe the government response (on all levels) has been abysmal. This situation was entirely foreseeable. FEMA has conducted studies and models of what would happen if New Orleans was hit with a major hurricane. What is completely unacceptable is that 4-5 days after the hurricane hit, they were getting hardly any food or water into the city. More people are going to end up dying from dehydration than from the hurricane itself. It does not take a lot of resources to airdrop these essential supplies.

Other major failures:

5 Days after the hurricane, they still have not established an effective means of getting information to the people in the city. They have no idea where to go for food, water, and transportation out of the city. They are being told different things by different people, and relying upon rumours that don't pan out.

Not enough boots on the ground immediately after the incident. We knew this was a big deal on Monday evening when the city was being flooded through the levee breach in the canal. I don't understand why we don't yet have a substantial military and national guard presence. They are promising 30,000 national guard troops in the city, and I expect that will materialize today and tomorrow... almost a week after the hurricane hit.

Allowing a sense of lawlessness to infilitrate the city. By ignoring the first looters, the local government gave the people a green light to escalate their lawlessness. Now we are seeing rapes, murders, and unprovoked attacks again rescue workers... which of course is slowing down the rescue. This would NOT have been allowed if Guiliani was mayor. If they need to shoot people in the streets to maintain order, then it should be done. Allowing people to loot in broad daylight right under the noses of the authorities is about the stupidest precedent you can set.

Corth
Having said all that, the situation has been handled, so this thread is pretty much at an end. -Kossuth

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teflor the ranger
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Postby teflor the ranger » Fri Sep 02, 2005 3:18 pm

One I will hand to Corth is that this 'incident' was forseeable and indeed forseen.

I remember as far back as '98 watching a TV program about how screwed New Orleans was if anything above a category 3 hurricane came through the area.


One thing I have to criticize Corth on is that 9/11 was a MUCH simpler situation to handle. Two buildings, as opposed to full regional devestation (thousands of square miles). If the government has made any mistake, it's that they didn't think they'd need security while working on US soil with US civilians.

That was a poor assumption. And really they should pay me to consult.
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Areandon
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Postby Areandon » Fri Sep 02, 2005 4:31 pm

I'm glad to see you're up on your history Tef :) But the disaster you speak of happened in 1953 and a lot has happened since then. (For the record about 80% of the Netherlands is below sealevel). The same flashfloods happened in 1995 en 2000 and about 2 people people died each time because we were prepared. We learned from the first time and had enough soldiers around to rescue and evacuate people and to keep order. The US has the capability and the experience from other disasters to act accordingly, I mean Corth is spot on in his reasoning. Why didn't they have a plan in place?

Oh Tef, there were 20000 people in the Superbowl stadium, they estimate that there were about 100.000 people left at the time the hurricane hit. Stil 80% evacuated is stil impressive, but that's people driving out. The people that were unable to get out themselves are still in. If you were hospitalized you were out of luck, if you didn't have a means of transportation you were out of luck.
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Postby teflor the ranger » Fri Sep 02, 2005 4:46 pm

Areandon wrote:I'm glad to see you're up on your history Tef :) But the disaster you speak of happened in 1953 and a lot has happened since then. (For the record about 80% of the Netherlands is below sealevel). The same flashfloods happened in 1995 en 2000 and about 2 people people died each time because we were prepared. We learned from the first time and had enough soldiers around to rescue and evacuate people and to keep order. The US has the capability and the experience from other disasters to act accordingly, I mean Corth is spot on in his reasoning. Why didn't they have a plan in place?

Oh Tef, there were 20000 people in the Superbowl stadium, they estimate that there were about 100.000 people left at the time the hurricane hit. Stil 80% evacuated is stil impressive, but that's people driving out. The people that were unable to get out themselves are still in. If you were hospitalized you were out of luck, if you didn't have a means of transportation you were out of luck.



Actually, Areandon, currently there are only 10,000 people at the superdome. Half have been evacuated.

Secondly, the Netherlands built a 40 foot high steel sea wall around the country at a cost of approximately $4 billion. Much of the improvement in disaster response in the Netherlands has not been because of better coordination of rescue efforts, but because of the great wall of NL :P
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Areandon
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Postby Areandon » Fri Sep 02, 2005 5:16 pm

The steel wall covers about 20 kms :P I've walked on it a few months ago. But we have good PR :P
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Postby Llaaldara » Fri Sep 02, 2005 5:17 pm

Is Louisiana a Dem or Rep state?

I heard that LA requested 109 million before Katrina hit, and they were only given 20 million because Bush said "Why spend money on something that might or might not happen?"

Paraphrasing here no doubt, this is just word of mouth. So wondering how much of this is true?

Also, going by what some of the stories from people who've made it out are saying, it's sounding like scenes from War of the Worlds going on over there (with all the crime and swarms of people trying to get out). :\
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Postby Corth » Fri Sep 02, 2005 5:46 pm

I'm not sure that typically money is simply given to a state on an emergency basis to prepare for a disaster. A state has its own revenue. 109 million dollars is not a lot for the state of louisiana to spend providing an essential service to their constitutents. I am wondering if this is a rumor because I would be very surprised to hear about a state asking for money (rather than resources) prior to a hurricane even hitting. If resources were requested that were denied, that would be a big story, imho. Money doesn't get you very far before or immediately after a disaster. You need equipment, food, water, and people. The money can follow.

The more on point thing to bring up is how for years they have been requesting federal monetary assistance to increase the size of the levee system. This goes back 40 years or so. Somehow this little essential thing was overlooked amid all of the pork projects that federal money gets spent on.

Corth
Having said all that, the situation has been handled, so this thread is pretty much at an end. -Kossuth



Goddamned slippery mage.
teflor the ranger
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Postby teflor the ranger » Fri Sep 02, 2005 8:43 pm

Areandon wrote:The steel wall covers about 20 kms :P I've walked on it a few months ago. But we have good PR :P


That's not the only segment. The Delta Project was one among many others.
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