Monday, September 05, 2005[posted by jaed at 12:44 AM]
The ghosts of storms past
Those who had the money to flee Hurricane Ivan ran into hours-long traffic jams. Those too poor to leave the city had to find their own shelter - a policy that was eventually reversed, but only a few hours before the deadly storm struck land.Check the date of the article: September 19, 2004.
New Orleans dodged the knockout punch many feared from the hurricane, but the storm exposed what some say are significant flaws in the Big Easy's civil disaster plans.[...] Residents with cars took to the highways. Others wondered what to do.
'They say evacuate, but they don't say how I'm supposed to do that,' Latonya Hill, 57, said at the time. 'If I can't walk it or get there on the bus, I don't go. I don't got a car. My daughter don't either.'
'We did the compassionate thing by opening the shelter,' Nagin said. 'We wanted to make sure we didn't have a repeat performance of what happened before. We didn't want to see people cooped up in the Superdome for days.'Some people, yes. Those who couldn't leave, well, too bad for them... akthough the mayor will "compassionately" let them into the Superdome. Evacuate them? Moi?
When another dangerous hurricane, Georges, appeared headed for the city in 1998, the Superdome was opened as a shelter and an estimated 14,000 people poured in. But there were problems, including theft and vandalism.
'We were able to get people out,' state Commissioner of Administration Jerry Luke LeBlanc said. 'It was successful. There was frustration, yes. But we got people out of harm's way.'
It's starting to look like a mystery to me, not how this could have happened, but why it took so long. The city government of New Orleans can't say it didn't know there was a need to evacuate people in case of a hurricane. And it can't say it wasn't warned.