Monday, November 9, 2009

Pre-Katrina Revisited

If you ever hear any politicians tell you that they had no idea such a thing as Hurricane Katrina could happen, please wave the bullshit flag. Here is an All Things Considered broadcast from 3 YEARS BEFORE Katrina hit that warned about the real possibility of a big storm hitting New Orleans and overwhelming the levees. Numerous experts are interviewed, even some from the Army Corps of Engineers, who were sending up reports warning of the increasing danger to the dilapidated levee system.

I know it's a bizarro world notion, but somehow I got the idea that our political leaders are supposed to be looking ahead and trying their best to protect the people from just exactly this kind of very foreseeable disaster. If an asteroid comes out of nowhere, or a solar storm flares up and grills the Earth, I will give them a pass. But for something that was so predictable, the lack of readiness is unforgivable. I realize that books full of outrage over this sad episode have already been published, but it still bears remembering, don't you think?


Vincent said...

That's a very interesting find, Patrick: the kind of thing the professional journalists would write long involved articles about, because that is what they are paid to do.

Here in the voluntary sector, all we have to do is spread the news. I hope what you have said spreads, and does its work.

Alicia Michele Benjamin said...

It's enough to make you want to hit somebody. Sadly, before Katrina, I knew nothing about the Levees in New Orleans and the dangers that a serious hurricane would pose to the city.
This is a travesty. More investigations should be held...books written. And shouldn't somebody go to jail?

PatricktheRogue said...

Well, as far as jail goes, from what I know of New Orleans, most everyone in any government position should go to jail, since it is well-known as the most corrupt city in the US. But I wouldn't blame anyone too harshly for the levee situation - it seems to be the human condition to put off preparing for the uncertain threat of someday for the certain concerns of the moment. Still, it was a monumental travesty at so many levels.