Need busses for New Orleans? Here's 255 of them

Only problem - they’re a little wet.

and commentary

I suppose that would have been a great idea if they evacuation plan THEY DIDN’T FUCKING HAVE existed. Which they paid some company to develop, who appears to have ran off with the money or something.

Good point about the busses. Don’t much care for the glowing Christopher Hitchens Iraq review at the bottom.

Do you really need an ‘official evacuation plan’ to make that call?

Even forgiving the N.O. mayor the belated realization (not until Saturday night) that the city had to be evacuated (and he didn’t issue the order until Sunday morning), he certainly knows that many of his constituents lack cars, therefore busses are the best alternative, and the two main sources of busses are commercial busses (which he could ‘conscript’), and school busses, which are already under his authority (or at least the authority of someone very close to him whose arm he could bend).

You don’t need a $5 million consultant’s report to tell you that your school bus fleet can haul tens of thousands of people to safety…

Oh, and using the school busses was already in their official plan anyways
From the first link, near the top:

They just didn’t follow it. So they were planning to fail. By “they,” I mean pretty much every government official in Louisiana, and by “plan,” I mean a signed-off set of procedures they were supposed to follow in the event of a catastrophic hurricane. You know, like the one that just hit. And by “fail” I mean complete catastrophic failure.

Here’s the southeast Louisiana evac plan supplement, most recently revised in 2000. Go to page 13, read paragraph 5. It states:

5. The primary means of hurricane evacuation will be personal vehicles. School and municipal buses, government-owned vehicles and vehicles provided by volunteer agencies may be used to provide transportation for individuals who lack transportation and require assistance in evacuating.

I’m not impressed with the mayor. To leave an incredible asset like this sitting in a parking lot when you’ve ordered evacuation is horrible. Response from the government at all levels has been bad, with a few glowing exceptions like the Coast Guard helilift.

  1. Note that the private company was supposed to come up with a better one last year.
  2. Who the hell is responsible for implementing it?
  3. Why did they ignore the plan and cram everyone in the superdome then?

Yes, it sounds like every single politican there fucked up, but you shouldn’t fall for this right-wing pin it on the mayor stuff they’re cooking up.

Ultimately, a mayor is responsible for city assets. I’m not “falling” for anything, Jason. As I’ve said in many other posts, I feel rage towards every single short sighted politician in the region who failed to strengthen the levees. I feel the same rage for the ridiculous pap being shoveled out by FEMA and the Bush team, and for the abyssmal performance of the Mayor and the Governor.

Unlike you, I have no party or left-wing/right-wing affiliation. My anger is impartial. You’re the one who’s falling for propaganda–left wing propaganda–if you think the Mayor is blameless.

In case you guys haven’t heard, there are still people dying.

Did I say the mayor was blameless? I said don’t fall for the campaign to pin the whole thing on him.

Wow, that’s just sad.

There’s a lot of talk right now from FEMA and others spinning this as a purely natural disaster, but everywhere I look, there are signs of poor planning, poor reactions and poor execution. This disaster appears as much man-made as natural.

Did I say the Mayor was responsible for everything? Reread my posts in the main “Goodbye New Orleans” thread for plenty of examples of my anger at other officials.

Who was going to drive those buses, though?

By late Saturday afternoon, it looked to me (from my vantage point near Louis Armstrong airport) like the police and local National Guard were all involved in moving traffic out of the city. This was a major task, since half of the evacuating traffic had to use offramps to get onto the Interstate. Every on/off ramp in the city had at least 2 police or guardsmen, I’d guess. Plus, there was still a need for police to do the actual policing of the city.

Meanwhile, the rest of NO’s manpower was involved in shipping people to the shelters. This work would have been done even if the buses were used, because you’d still need to congregate everybody at pickup points. And the main thoroughfares were packed Saturday night and Sunday morning. As it is, I think they worked right up to Monday morning just getting people collected into shelters.

Those buses probably could have been used in some way, absolutely. But it’s very ignorant to think NO was sitting on its hands in the final 48 hours before landfall, or that there was all the time in the world to get 200 buses fueled, staffed, filled with refugees and on the road.

Plenty of blame to go around. I think this isn’t nearly enough to get FEMA or the DHS off the hook, though.

[size=2]Edit: fixed spelling before DennyA gives me the smackdown.[/size]

How about this guy?

Seen it. Brave kid, and I hope he’s off the hook. Maybe we should blame the victims some more for not having more kids like him?

Remember kids: Jesus loves republicians. Jesus hates Democrats. So when there is a wrong it must be due to Democrats as Jesus taught in the Bible.

Pay no mind that Nagin is talking about the response to the problem when moving the poor out of the city before the levees actually broke would have been a logistical nightmate and he would have been crucified had they not actually failed. It would have been retarded. OTOH a swift response would have been much apprciated by the thousands in the superdome.

Remember: Jesus loves it when you change the topic from reponse to action before the fact. I love Jesus so much.

Get real. I’m an agnostic who hates both parties equally. Nagin made some big mistakes. So did Bush, FEMA, every mayor New Orleans has had for a generation, the governor, and so on. If you think I’m bashing Nagin because I’m a Bush Bot, go read my other posts.

It seems obvious that the plan was “let’s ride out the storm as best we can and clean up the mess tomorrow.”

Moving all those people to the Superdome and convention center would have been fine had the city not flooded. The next day, the Red Cross would have busted in, set up a bunch of temporary shelters, and everyone would have dispersed.

Of course the city did flood, and of course everyone and their mother knew that it was very possible they would.

Evacuating an entire city is really really hard. Even today, now that the full force of the federal government is in, it’s still going to take a good 48 hours to get everyone out of the Superdome and the convention center, not to mention those who are still showing up from their houses or wherever.

Of course that doesn’t excuse the mayor for yelling “everyone out!” then running for the hills without even a thought for those who couldn’t get out. Something should have at least been attempted. Some busses should have at least been sent to the Superdome to get people out.

Everyone up and down the chain failed on this one. Nagin for not thinking ahead, the governor of LA for not taking charge, FEMA for waiting too long and then not taking charge, and the President for completely underestimating the potential damage.

You want finger pointing and blame and you’re going to get it. As soon as everyone is out of New Orleans you’re going to get Congressional hearings. Questions are going to be asked, tough answers are going to be given, and a report will be issued just after the mid-term elections and quietly swept under the rug, with nobody learning anything afterwards. It’s the American way.

To lay down a marker, “hard” or not, it was doable. The Netherlands evacuated 250k in 3 days. I remember seeing that the total evacuation number in all countries was like 500k, but can’t find a source.

Actually, Brendan Loy, it’s buses, stupid.

Busses are kisses. You drive buses.

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