Gentilly Girl- a part of the 99%

August 7, 2006

From Facing South- Katrina: The Latest on the Failed Response

Filed under: Corps of Engineers,FEMA,Levees,New Orleans — Tags: , , , — Morwen Madrigal @ 4:10 pm

Facing South is doing a series of reports on the response to Katrina’s effects on the Gulf Coast. Here’s and excerpt from today’s report:

Katrina: The latest on the failed response

The following continues our special coverage of the one year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, which will be marked on August 29, 2006.

“Volumes have been written on “what went wrong” in the federal government’s response to Hurricane Katrina in August/September 2005. As we approach the one-year anniversary, there will be a host of retrospectives that try to capture the full story, of which much more is now known than came out after the storms.

For example, Wall Street Journal reporters Christopher Cooper and Robert Block, in their new book “Disaster,” give a thorough accounting of the information available and decisions made that led to federal inaction. One is that federal leaders ignored information being sent their way, as this excerpt from the book, which appeared on the WSJ website last week, reveals:

In the days after Katrina’s landfall, Secretary Chertoff, President Bush and others would justify the slow federal response by claiming that the breaching of the levees was “a second catastrophe” that occurred long after Katrina passed. But this simply wasn’t true. A subsequent investigation by the Army Corps of Engineers found that in some cases, breached levees began flooding New Orleans even before Katrina made landfall.

Indeed, news of the levee breaches came as early as 7:30 a.m. on the Monday Katrina hit, when the city’s disaster chief, Terry Ebbert, told Washington officials in a phone conversation that the storm “came up and breached the levee system in the canal,” according to Senate documents gathered afterward. A half hour later, the Transportation Security Administration made a written report directly to HSOC, confirming that the Industrial Canal levee adjacent to the Lower Ninth Ward had been breached and that floodwaters “have already intruded on the first stories of some houses.” Fifteen minutes after that, the National Weather Service issued its own levee-breach warning, advising retreating residents to take an ax with them to their attics so they could chop their way out if the waters rose.

One also learns of a new character who has escaped much public scrutiny, but who likely bears more responsibility than anyone else in the slow response: Matthew Broderick, the director of the Homeland Security Operations Center.”

This moron ignored emails and phone calls most of Deluge Monday concerning conditions in New Orleans. He seemed to be relying on CNN reports showing people celebrating their surviving of the storm. This cannot stand: he is guilty of negligent homocide, period.
Where does the Administration find these idiots? (Oh yeah, start from the top down… Fuck!)


1 Comment »

  1. Our digital archive–the Hurricane Digital Memory Bank (–is full of stories that provide first-hand evidence of what this book describes. We’re working hard to preserve the history of both Katrina and Rita–the history that the average citizen creates, as opposed to the bits and pieces available from the mainstream news media or the sanitized version from various official groups. We’ve already archived more than 3,000 digital objects–stories, images, files, blog posts, etc., and will be giving them permanent home at the Center for History and New Media at George Mason University ( I hope you’ll take a minute or two to poke around in the archive (more than 1,000 objects are already available for searching) and leave your own story. All the best, Mills Kelly, Assistant Professor, Department of History, George Mason University (

    Comment by Mills — August 10, 2006 @ 1:24 pm

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