Wednesday, September 07, 2005

President Pleaded for mandatory Evacuation

The water hasn't receded in a few areas of New Orleans and yet the various political pundits are out and about finger pointing. Naturally, at lot of the fingers are pointed at President Bush. Some for "not caring about blacks" some for not responding quickly enough, and even some for causing the hurricane in the first place. Now, before I start, I know people are going to accuse me of being an apologist for the President. Fair enough. However, I don't think President Bush is completely blameless. That being said, lets look at this little tid bit.

Gov. Kathleen Blanco, standing beside the mayor at a news conference, said President Bush called and personally appealed for a mandatory evacuation for the low-lying city, which is prone to flooding.

Ok, that MUST have been after the Hurricane, right? Wednesday or Thursday. Nope, it was on Aug 28, two days before Katrina hit. Thus, President Bush was soooo uncaring about the people (black and poor according to some) that he actually asked Gov. Blanco to order a mandatory evacuation.

Then there is this little tid bit.

The storm surge most likely could topple the city's levee system, which protect it from surrounding waters of Lake Pontchartrain, the Mississippi River and marshes, the mayor said. The bowl-shaped city must pump water out during normal times, and the hurricane threatened pump power.

Previous hurricanes evacuations in New Orleans were always voluntary, because so many people don't have the means of getting out. Some are too poor and there is always a French Quarter full of tourists who get caught.

Uhm, I thought the hurricane took the local and state officials by surprise? Why then is the mayor of New Orleans predicting exactly what happens two days before the hurricane? And to top that off, if he knew that a lot of people wouldn't be able to make it out of the flood zone, why did he leave 600 busses to sit idle and get flooded?

Again, I think there is enough blame to go around. I expect there will be several investigations, including a Katrina Commission in the congress. I also expect that, those who are found at fault should get what is coming to them (even if, in the end, President Bush has to take some lumps). Rather than using this as a political stepping stone, lets hope that this becomes a learning opportunity so that the next big disaster to hit, won't be as bad as Katrina has been.

Hat Tips to Ace and Vodkapundit