Sunday, December 04, 2005

Louisiana documents events surrounding Hurricane Katrina

Documents recently released by Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco confirm that the catastrophe of Hurricane Katrina was also taking a toll on the state's political infrastructure.

According to the report, "Three days after the storm, Blanco wrote Bush asking that the 256th Louisiana National Guard Brigade be sent home from Iraq to help. The governor also asked for more generators, medicine, health care workers and mortuaries."

I'm not sure why Gov. Blanco was asking for the 256th to come home from Iraq since the state had a steady supply of guardsmen and reservists on hand. Not to mention the offers from such states as New Mexico to send their guardsmen to help out in New Orleans and surrounding areas.

"The stack of documents also includes a timeline put together by Blanco's staff detailing the state response; notes expressing frustration about missing items such as a communications center for police and rescuers promised by the Federal Emergency Management Agency; and e-mails working out logistics for New Orleans visits from Bush and cabinet members," the report continues.

All Gov. Blanco, New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin and other state agencies and politicians had to do is read the New Orleans Emergency Preparedness Management Plan. It details how everything should have been handled before and after the storm.

As I've written before, Nagin and Blanco never had a clue as to how to respond to such an event as post-Hurricane Katrina. Their lack of coordination and confidence (including that of the state's local and federal politicians) diminished any hope of saving lives and minimizing damage to the city.

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