Sunday, September 04, 2005

From CNN.com

"On Saturday, [Homeland Security Secretary Michael] Chertoff defended the U.S. government's response to the storm, saying that planners did not predict such a disaster ever could occur. Chertoff said government officials did not expect both a powerful hurricane and a breach of levees that would flood the city of New Orleans."

In a more detailed article:

Chertoff, fielding questions from reporters, said government officials did not expect both a powerful hurricane and a breach of levees that would flood the city of New Orleans. "That 'perfect storm' of a combination of catastrophes exceeded the foresight of the planners, and maybe anybody's foresight," Chertoff said. He called the disaster "breathtaking in its surprise."

What a load of history revisionist bullshit. I'd say around 10% of the general population knows that New Orleans sits below sea level. I remember seeing several documentaries in my lifetime detailing the danger posed by a severe storm.

Hell, here's the blurb from Wikipedia:

"Hurricane and flood preparedness in New Orleans has been an issue since the city's early settlement, as the city was built on a delta marsh, many parts of New Orleans are below the level of neighboring water bodies."

"There were many predictions of hurricane risk in New Orleans before the strike of Hurricane Katrina in August 2005. Due to the city's unique geography as well as its levee system and the decrease of surrounding marshland, there have been various plans to mitigate or prevent such an event from being catastrophic, but none were carried out at the time of Katrina. Ongoing strengthening and raising of levees in the area, such as along the outer Mississippi, is primarily intended to contain river flooding."

But wait, there's more:

"A category 5 hurricane directly striking New Orleans was calculated to be a one in 500 year event by the Army Corps of Engineers [1]. The Corps of Engineers, along with Louisiana State University (LSU), and the authorities in Jefferson Parish have modeled the effects and aftermath of a Category 5 strike on New Orleans. The outcome was an unprecedented disaster, with extensive loss of life and property. The key problem is an effect called "filling the bowl", when the hurricane drives water into Lake Pontchartrain, which overwhelms weaker levees bordering Pontchartrain and canals leading to it and flows into the below-sea-level city accompanied by water overtopping the levees along the Mississippi on the south side of the city center."

And Chertoff has the nerve to say "planners did not predict such a disaster ever could occur." What FUCKING universe does the director of Homeland Security live on?

I'm going to go out on a limb and assume that members of Bush's cabinet know how to add. The levee system was designed to handle a Category 3 storm. I know this is really complex shit, Mike, but did you know that Category 4 and 5 storms exist?

Mike, are you aware that the number 5 is larger than the number 3?

I can't believe I'm even writing this post.

The second Katrina strengthened to a Category 2, Bush should have been on the horn getting people planning and getting vehicles moving.

Planners didn't predict it, Mike?

Fuck. You.

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