FEDERALISM: Lessons of Katrina

By | September 5, 2019

ladies and gentlemen i wish i had better
news for you but we are facing a storm that most of
us have feared a mandatory evacuation or is he about called for all of the parish of all the sunday morning in new orleans the
national weather service issued a bulletin predicting a hurricane along
the gulf coast aborted cold unprecedented strengths the area will be
uninhabitable for weeks the bulletin predicted and it went on to say human suffering incredible by modern
standards the national weather service told us we’re scared for you were deeply scared for you now this
government officials they don’t use those words in the wake
of nine eleven the recreated department of homeland security had come up with a
detailed plan for responding to such disasters nearly five hundred pages long that
claimed to ensure seamless integration in the event of a national emergency of
the federal government and local and state authority we’re just or when they’re very briefly
introduce ah… michael do you have known that sunday michael brown the
director of the federal emergency management agency presided over a teleconference with
state locals and federal officials live that’s removed which we will do whatever
it takes to help disaster victims president bush drawing the briefing from
his home interactions corporation of los state level decked out we are going out there uh… dollar-yen drivers from but we
will go a long range was unnecessary disposal words like quick entrenched
resources and assets on reassuring but it now appears that officials from
president bush and down to the local level were often using words the signify different things to
different people even terms like mandatory evacuation and folks who set up morning we’ll say
it again the united talent for unity in atlanta twenty eight percent of the population of the city of new
orleans is below the poverty line and poor people tend to be less well informed men tend to be less mobile have cars to get out and so many of those who wanted to leave
norman’s protruding headed for the city’s super dome by three o’clock sunday afternoon some ten thousand people had already
gathered came out of his laptop they need a hard and i just found recruiter newsrooms early monday morning category-four hurricane with winds of up
to a hundred and twenty five americans some of his staff and set up a
command center in the hyatt hotel this side of the super only communication we had was allowed we’ve got and adam wireless broadband carter
worked all the way up into the hired seven the mayor and it’s cheap and almost
forgetting arm by information beautiful dot com find internet the goes down it was one of the misuse of
communication breakdowns that would contribute to untold suffering and still untethered number of deaths at age fourteen central time the
national weather service issued a bulletin reading flash flood warning alleging a breach occurred along the
industrial canal a tennessee script trauma most of the other comment bolton
went up a hurricane have been battling the city for hours the electricity and phones were out so most people neither sought nor heard
the warning officials in washington seemed totally
oblivious to the board all right but they didn’t need any bulletin
someone ninety more dancing promotes parish just east of the city their twenty-four williams of wardrobe
literate in most of the landscape in just a couple of hours we can project right now eleven fifty it is now left the state bubble wheezing and with the strong gone it was up to local
officials to go in assessment damage their communities have suffered for
forty eight two sixty hours after the star makes landfall each local community needs to be able to
sustain its sis to sustain itself then we can expect state and federal
resources to begin to flow in investment in the
car i do censured output to who did were among
the first to sound the alarm on a new disaster about two or three in the afternoon when
the winds were still pretty strong two of our two of my colleagues an editor anna and an art critic uh… took their bicycles and rode out
to the lake front to where they lived and witnessed firsthand the water
gushing through the breach in the levee and their own
neighborhoods filling up alike a bathtub this second breach was on the west side
of the city directly across from the eastern side where the morning breach of
been reported by the national weather service but most of the officials who were
running the relief effort were either of stock in the downtown hyatt hotel in the state capital of baton rouge or out of the state altogether the governor though was optimistic uh…
we did report object to it for swine depending on the president has
signed up all the declarations of emergency that we needed to release interpret and fifty of the federal
government to help louisiana people once the president landed beginners only
xiv mentioned the hurricane in this speech devoted to medicare but in an unfortunately wing of the
disconnected would plead the administration for the next several days he made reference to what sounded like
he totally relevant conversation here just had with is director of homeland
security i said are you working with the governor
said you bet we are that’s the most effective way to do
things is to work with the state and local authorities there are more
resources that are being available but the topic they were discussing was
immigration reform not hurricane resources everywhere the first images out did not show uh…
cities submerged storm damage lots of maybe more than usual but
nothing really remarkable except perhaps for the torn skin on the roof of the
super dome was just on passing on one meeting nobody was let out of the don’t feel
they were still had had to stay within the dome areas anywhere you the parts of the city of
course were floating and feedback you we use from the rising water headed to the
only building that had been designated to show proof last resort the super dome deputy police superintendent loneliness
where you spent monday the following six days there on all of
our own warning us polarizing dole retinoid carolina lighting uh… i wearing a in a long or eleanor
leona a email over one dent restate and federal officials have been
watching the storm from the safety of the state emergency operations center
they were cautiously optimistic the recovery would be on track but as even fill according to our office
governor one court told the president i need everything you’ve got deck about i hope he will tell president
that’s how much we appreciate it the fifteen th of the times that really
count to know that our federal government will step in and give us the
kind of assistance that we need and that arent in desperate need for uh… what
i’ve seen your to those of the military target working closely with your work all being very professional within a month or more pain than making
the right calls the federal government to was waiting for a specific requests
from the storm front by asking for everything you’ve got
governor blanco was provided no guidance whatsoever another breakdown in communication since then we don’t know if anything that were trapped and now retract hundreds of cell towers a goner nobel no we didn’t do anything about it that’s what people were missing and they
kept thinking someone health was going to come we no that power no no that underwater and when the first aerial showing a much
more expansive view of the area came in that evening the devastation was quite
visible to anyone who was watching that actual downtown area and i think
that it would only writing well-regarded eating later but it was again or you got
it working twelve from downtown ed norton what modern trade it got actually
working it was very frustrating and no but we knew see that the story wasn’t getting told
to the nation into the world and it’s a good belair of up on it the list of but he did less so she’s in a remote location and
uh… good communication between the state and local levels were not what
they should have been and what about those for the room at the national government from what i can see was oblivious the airport was closed those with cars had already left the city needed bosons hundreds sums in the surplus or you’re not asking or a transcript pacbell also on unknown videoconference wins the most
state officials requested five hundred bosses that request was eventually upped to in lebanon i had seventy thousand people in the
city who needed buses to get out this was not
the time you can contract anything with time demobilize and it didn’t happen it was about the same time that the
president on a trip to san diego to commemorate the sixtieth anniversary of
v_ j_ day this message to capri ms victims the federal state local governments
working side by side to do all we can they’ll people get back on their feet partisan equipment or place ever get beginning to move and the help
that people need with the wasted away he goes a limited number of coast guard and
national guard helicopter crews performed here or two plucking stranded survivors off rooftops
one-by-one but with some since of people prepping
for on their houses it would take days to finish the job a lot i’ll book the create what i thought that rules an
audit log cannot routing out there is because the school i think that the
other city officials in those parts of the city where heavy
vehicles could still pass louisiana national guard had a handful
of trucks collecting people in the streets but there were far too few vehicles to
begin within as we would later find out their remaining for us or under water everyone continued to be either drop at
or directed toward the super dome those of us intro to pick him up in the
back but look and bring them over to the zoo at this point we’ve reviewed with the burden pacifica in every models that you could add ten
thousand people gardening we’re article missus over thirty
thousand and we’re still falling many people tried to walk out of the
city over the one bridge still accessible by foot but over the next three days people
reported being turned away by police from the neighboring parish harris liar account and they will net whether tak dull and police officers witnessing saying you have to unloaded back in the shop instead as set it afire and we want to protect the property in this area meanwhile the city and there was still
struggling to get word to outside official on a night a complete and either i’ve got thirty thousand people a super
down i’ve got no food and water no power
anywhere every at that point we had just focused on getting that s_o_s_ it’s a very tough tough situation plans will unravel fema is here the
federal government i’m sure will spare no expense that the plans are not firm yet but
working with fema we are grateful that delays by our side and then an extraordinary statement for
the femur coordinator who insisted on and don’t claim to rising water and i’ve
been involved in area in general you you should majority of the areas it’s not a rising
at all it’s the same or it may be lower and i
believe in some parts of new orleans because of
the seventeen th street preach it may be roslyn and that seemed to be the case in
parts of downtown but at one oh one everybody that in on the world is filling up like
abortions not happen to understand the extent of the
communications breakdown listened to the statement by the secretary of homeland
security made at the end of the week closed that was
on tuesday that’s already maven overnight monday to tuesday but the levee started to break batteries
mid-day tuesday i became aware the fact that there was no possibility of
plugging the gap and that essentially the lake was gonna start to break into
the city remember the national weather service has issued
a bulletin that the first lady had broken at eight fourteen monday morning not tuesday and the second level you have broken by
two p_m_ monday afternoon late tuesday afternoon with thousands
still stranded by the water local officials called for anyone with a boat
to help with the rescue effort by the end of that day the super dome
was surrounded by two to three feet of water in the population had exploded at ten fifteen tuesday evening governor blanco ordered an evacuation of
the stadium but people’s immune to gesture there was
no timetable no destination and most of all no trucks no buses people were known desperately searching
for an alternative that one area at the together terry important ones homeland
security director says he began directing evacuees the city’s
convention center the well-intentioned order would lead to
some of the darkest moments of the catastrophe governor blanco finally spoke to the
president two forty eight pm she has thirty thousand troops will request for buses a little after five p and the president
spoke from the rose garden our first priority is to save lives where assisting local officials in new
orleans in effect you waiting any remaining citizens from the affected
area in some cases people was simply being
moved from one hell hole to another as night fell over crowded field of
finance school really and frustrated the elderly in safely on cops in the
open doctor set up a triage system and do
their best to evacuate the worst cases going and you remained were forced to list on the
ground amid the garment they needed faucets and there were no scope location might not missus dole
catholic there’s nothing on the displaced just before midnight several buses did
or off they loaded up and headed for houston
surface was the last of the buses until morning you can’t do a pro life forms saint of the contract buses and and this he can do it the governor was supportive
tend to be tough for me and they’ve got down rather than by the mob come in here and asked me what i mean i don’t know what i need a cat you know i got it sedentary there was one success story bank at the
high at the mare was able to make and receive phone calls on his homemade
phone network late that night he got his call air force one calls and says college back in his number and name days mr mayor here’s our number although there is no communication serves to with the the bleakest a year it’s been three days since the levees
broke president bush gave his first television
interview of the week to diane sawyer battling anybody anticipated breach of
the levees they did dissipated serious storm these ladies get breached and as a
result much in new orleans is flooded and that we’re having to deal with it as
well the president is correct nobody did enters a plea the breach of
the levees but they did predict that the levees would be flooded kept rural hospital ten patients have
died overnight there was only one working telephone in
the entire hospital and the small stuff which was low on supplies they were forced to make some very tough
choices correspondent bob woodward was there how are we doing today is the positions
of iron evaluating every haitian advocates say their name we give you an idea that they are quite rejecting anticipated mathis what if
they can say that i’m electoral i think the sedona firebombed if we don’t get help say well done it’s not that means that instead because
i really don’t amenable period here on the roof their services patient considered and portraits of the
cancer then going places disgusting federal state and local agencies are also cooperate to sustain life in these cases and war too to those who were stranded medical personnel local officials are
helping hospital patients as people gathered in the super dome to evacuate four days later and restore more than
twenty thousand people of the super dome waiting in the heat for buses that are supposed to take them
to houston’s astrodome powerful perfect fixated here you can see that the buses were coming and going since
wednesday night albeit slower and by late thursday an additional ten
thousand people showed up desperate to leave the city from washington soothing reassuring cell michael church also ahead of the
department of homeland security told the american public things were under control saqi matters to seek perjury secure everybody’s contradict have you believe maintain order as is
committed to continuing to do so finish at the factory should have a rich
strictly enforced dole reliably where they were great there was an ultimate and symbols to wait there was more confusion at the city’s conventions for many americans these scenes of people thousands of people begging for help in front of television
cameras for the first tangible indication but just how dreadful conditions were
yet k the no police no national guard fuel red cross no
blossom just desperate people when they waited
for transportation anywhere else we can take three dash
three people with weapons inside the convention
center city times mormons police want to use it
at the center thirty times police superintendent
compass told me a they were driven back by gunfire the single where you have a greater concentration redifmail the super bowl none of the conventions nor the boy’s together thirty two
thousand people almost all forced labor so well yet but what about the conditions that
we have about levels of the communication we didn’t have a tactical commanders
that you were present nobody let me see note people didn’t know people in the fourth enough well sort of pettino na na na give us a
little you get to agriculture where they’d take control these limit over thirty thousand all the little firefight were also killed so it’s important to us the first for the we sort of a bizarre stroll aired on a
business trip program about a marine all my life fell about misery there’s as well as same misery and i can
assure you that wednesday and thursday i’d never seen such suffering was very difficult to to deal with it
costs us two of our police officers flies by suicide there was a serious disconnect between
local and federal officials at this point it was early thursday evening new
orleans may make an issue with a desperate as so s currently said the convention center is on the sanitary
and on the safe and we’re running out of supplies was
brown are famous mike brown appeared on nightline don’t you guys watch television don’t
you guys listen to the radio we’ve been so focused on doing rescue and
lifesaving mission to get back to when people from the super bowl that we first learned about of course
but first demonstration instinct was get somebody in their get me truth on
the ground let me know because if it’s true we’ve got a helpful speed the people the convention center of this
error the people on the bridges with all due
respect sir i think one of the people in the convention center and not being fair our borders of the people that the people the super dome i’m sorry
you’re absolutely correct a frustrated man megan had reached his limit he called a local radio station we’re hearing then state fourteen thousand national
guard people on the bar about to be on the ground with a
keralite no they’re not you see as he starts finally hitting the
real version out of what was happening you feel his heart breaking and you feel the anger daya here me had it’s nine p_m_ here in washington president
bush’s blues and people in our dream now but no one really an impartial seldom
had originally included a national disgrace outfit but the reality kalpana calphalon ha the results are not acceptable at nine oh two friday a somber president
bush faced reporters on the south lawn of the white house but when he touched down just before
eleven he was joined by a few minutes cheese
mike rock and ready to go ahead favorite directors the femur in general mike brown in
particular in increasingly the president himself were
being the unit as not having done i have a job title
font there had not been the single please and
warns that he was appropriately stock to review the children in care for the
families in suburban kiwis was the city’s free trying to sell the house dave got by on the mobsters coming leta with any of the he harjeet not trying to get into it the freemen was responsible before providing those buses he’d failed
miserably but neither the state nor the city of
new orleans had any viable baker planned for evacuation either when this convoy of buses finally
arrived at the super dome some parents was sold this group paper just sick infants over the crowd begging the groomsmen to take them collapsed and had to be carried out ten blocks away nightline correspondent
chris beary was at the convention center it is not afternoon thousands of people remain trapped
inside this convention center and there is no sign of any bus or anything that
might suggest an evacuation is being planned or imminent in any way and after
five days without running water sanitation medicine the stench inside this building is
almost unbearable sprawled on the new york in a minute
we’ll be seeing each other which need to get out of it with lodi consistent with that many did done at the convention center
that body is simply covered with sheets here police superintendent iti compass
bridled at the suggestion that he and his men could have done more to bring border which i think dot blotting windshield
that but what the building we will like the how will i there was no plan in order no cohesion we did not ever have the capability these people out the only one organization the united
states become respond uh… upon anything of this magnitude
militarism military and we’ve got to have them upfront rather than a mirror three or four or
five days down the line they know how to do these things consume from at the same day the military turned full-size poured into the city and for the first time military convoy
is loaded with food water and supplies rolled up to the convention center all aa leaving the cavalry was lieutenant
colonel connery’s cigar smoking three-star veteran don’t the john wayne do by the mayor dot t_ o_ narasimha having heard reports of guns in the
science one deans and the military weapons law on the perspective of those stranded
inside the rescuers look more like men prepared to put down
a prison life delays to report at the convention center is secure one of the objectives that we had today is to move in and secure that convention
center it would be one more day before the bolsa spinal u_k_ flavier not watching all of it i’m not forget what i say understands the devastation requires then one day six days it had to be an intensely sobering
experience for the president for five days america’s first responder
to the world’s emergencies and a leader in communication failed to communicate
and was agonizingly slow to respond with song people in distress

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