Friday, September 09, 2005

The smoking gun in the Gulf Coast wreckage

A must read article . Read the snippet and click on the link for the full piece.
"The Times" -- -- IF THERE is a smoking gun in the Gulf Coast wreckage, it is the hurricane warning issued by the New Orleans office of the US National Weather Service soon after 10am on August 28, the eve of Katrina’s arrival.
“Devastating damage expected,” the warning stated. “Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks . . . All gabled roofs will fail . . . All wood-framed low rising apartment buildings will be destroyed . . . Power outages will last for weeks . . . Water shortages will make human suffering incredible by modern standards . . . Trees will be snapped or uprooted. Only the heartiest will remain standing.” Another forecast, issued six hours later by the National Hurricane Centre in Florida, said that the levees in New Orleans could be “overtopped”, and predicted the precise depth of flooding that would result. A day later the city drowned. Hundreds, if not thousands, have died in the chaos. Some casualties were inevitable but many were not, and this much is clear about those in authority who might have minimised the losses: they had been warned. Of all the warnings issued on Katrina, the National Weather Service bulletin of the August 28 was uniquely detailed and strongly worded. Why?

2 Comments:

Blogger G_in_AL said...

I remember watching the weather channel and seeing these same type warnings. i think everyone knew the storm would be bad, but I am guessing that disater prep folks underestimated the things that would happen AFTER the storm. Flooding killed a ton of people almost a full day after the storm had passed. Folks looked outside after the storm, saw their house was ok, went to bed, and then woke up to water creeping up their front doors.

September 09, 2005 5:57 pm  
Blogger _H_ said...

but G , the report cleary says "that the levees in New Orleans could be “overtopped”," , it is ok for me and you to think "phew , they are all safe" but the emergancy response people have no excuse to think that , this is their job ! , the report was there

many things are unlikely but you expect authorities to be prepared for them

what if something silly like mexico attacked the US tomorrow ? would it be ok not to repel the attack as we all thought it would be ok

same point i often mention , this is why you pay your taxes , there is NO excuse

September 09, 2005 7:43 pm  

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