"ALL CAPS IN DEFENSE OF LIBERTY IS NO VICE."

Saturday, September 10, 2005

MORTALITY COMPARISONS REVEAL USA RESPONSE TO KATRINA WAS EXCELLENT

Nagin - the inept and negligent and hysterical mayor of New Orleans - who bears major responsibility for the horrific conditions in the Superdome and the Convention Center (because he FAILED to evaucate his poor citizens from the city, and because he FAILED to provide security or sustenance to those who followed his advice and sought shelter where and when he advised them to, and then failed to get his governor to allow the Red Cross or the Salvation Army in to his city to replenish sustenance for his citizens) - predicted a death toll in New Orleans alone of perhaps as many as 10,000 people.

This prediction horrified the public and made people want to BLAME SOMEONE!

The current death toll from Katrina in New Orleans - and the rest of Louisiana and Mississipp and Alabama - is less than 400. This number is SURE to go up, but it is VERY UNLIKELY that it will reach 10,000 or anything near that dire and irresponsible prediction.

BY COMPARISON: the 2003 heat-wave in Europe killed 35-40,000, (14,847 in France alone; 20,000 in Italy). [More HERE.]

And Hurricane Katrina was a HUGE natural cataclysm which wreaked huge damage to 90,000 square miles! In fact, in terms of the force and breadth of the physical destruction it wreaked, Katrina was the worst natural disater to hit a developed nation in all of human history.

I think this proves that the HYSTERICAL charges by the Left and the MSM they dominate (that the Bush Administration dropped the ball) are entirely unfounded.

In fact, if you subtract the horrifying images of the Superdome and Convention Center from the "newsreels" (and your memories) there was next-to-nothing wrong with the federal response (or the federal, state and local responses in Mississippi and Alabama, whose coasts were savaged more completely by Katrina than was the city of New Orleans). And when considers the FACT that the Superdome and Convention Center debacles were strictly the result of local and state government incompetence, it means that there was absolutely NOTHING wrong with the federal response. PERIOD.

Eventually, this truth will come out. The truth always does.

In addition, when New Orleans is restored, renovated and repopulated in RECORD TIME, this will seen as a huge triumph of the federal government's wonderful efforts (huge and comprehensive efforts which went nearly completely UNREPORTED by the MSM but which are compiled HERE by RELIEFWEB, an outfit run by the UN -- hat-tip BRAINSTER).


WELCOME ROGER L. SIMON READERS! And welcome DAILY PUNDIT readers, too! Daily Pundit had made a similar comparison a few days ago - proof we should all read it EVERYDAY! Welcome Dr. Sanity readers! WELCOME WINDS OF CHANGE READERS! Welcome DAOU REPORT readers. AND WELCOME TRUTH LAID BEAR READERS! WELCOME MAXED-OUT MAMA READERS - SHE HAS MORE!

UPDATE: Here's a gem from one of my commenters:

It is disappointing that so many conservative bloggers have gotten caught up in the MSM's manipulation of emotions and have joined the hysterical cacophony denouncing Mike Brown and FEMA.

How come FEMA could get it right through 4 devastating hurricanes in Florida last years, with nobody howling for Mike Brown's head, and in New Orleans he couldn't do a damn thing right?

I'll tell you the difference -- Governor Jeb Bush vs Governor Katherine Babineaux Blanco. And with Nagin whining and screaming when he should have been providing LEADERSHIP.

The Federal system is based on subsidiarity, and it usually works well. The local and State authorities usually know what they have to do to provide the basic governmental functions known to the common law. The Federal government is a government of designated powers, and should only do what it is specifically chartered to do. When the dust settles, it will be clear that the Federal response was quick and effective, and that the problems in New Orleans were squarely the fault of the State and local governments.

For 100 years New Orleans has declined to police any neighborhood except the Quarter and the District, and like the Democrat party anywhere, they prefer their voters poor, stupid, dependent, but only if necessary dead.

UPDATE: Brown has resigned from FEMA. The Left, and the MSM they dominate, will declare this is an admission of guilt. BUT IT IS NOT. He has UNJUSTLY become a huge liability to his boss's boss, and is falling on his sword for his boss.

81 comments:

Will Franklin said...

Great point. Much of the hysteria about a "slow response" was that Bush had the deaths of tens of thousands on his hands (which would still be stupid, if that many people did die). This was an amazing response. And it saved a lot of lives.

Gandalin said...

Excellent and timely post. It is disappointing that so many conservative bloggers have gotten caught up in the MSM's manipulation of emotions and have joined the hysterical cacophony denouncing Mike Brown and FEMA. How come FEMA could get it right through 4 devastating hurricanes in Florida last years, with nobody howling for Mike Brown's head, and in New Orleans he couldn't do a damn thing right? I'll tell you the difference -- Governor Jeb Bush vs Governor Katherine Babineaux Blanco. And with Nagin whining and screaming when he should have been providing LEADERSHIP. The Federal system is based on subsidiarity, and it usually works well. The local and State authorities usually know what they have to do to provide the basic governmental functions known to the common law. The Federal government is a government of designated powers, and should only do what it is specifically chartered to do. When the dust settles, it will be clear that the Federal response was quick and effective, and that the problems in New Orleans were squarely the fault of the State and local governments. For 100 years New Orleans has declined to police any neighborhood except the Quarter and the District, and like the Democrat party anywhere, they prefer their voters poor, stupid, dependent, but only if necessary dead.

reliapundit said...

thanks will and gandalin!

gandalin: your points regarding the wholesale disregard the dems of nola have ACTUALLY had for their poor is RIGHT ON.

the laissez faire attitude doesn;t end with thje cops; it PERMEATES the whole city. it's like this:

i remember a few weeks back, somebeody somehwere published results of an experiment in which they fired 700 rounds of blanks in bad nola neighborhoods to see how many calls the NOPD would get about gunfire.

they got NONE. bupkus. Zilch. nada.

this says a few things: (1) the people in these criminal infested neighborhoods have (a) no faith in their police, and (b)they have stopped fighting back, and (2) these are PROBABLY the SAME people from the same neighborhoods who "acted out" so badly in the Superdome and Convention Center.

By acting out I mean, defecating and throeing their garbage AT THEIR OWN FEET and complaining about theb lack of paternalism - instead of establishing whatever order they could overe themselves by themselves.

It was like LORD OF THE FLIES meets NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD.

Don't get me wrong: it was the mayor's fault for not having enough cops there, and the governor's fault for not allowing these two shelters to be resupplied.

BUT NEITHER THE MAYOR OR THE GOVERNOR FORCED MOST THE PEOPLE THERE TO BEHAVE SO BADLY.

Most of the folks who behaved badly (NOT MOST OF NEW ORLEANIANS! - AND NOT MOST OF THE CITY'S BLACKS -- FAR FROM IT!) have been raised in a sub-culture (REPEAT SUB-CULTURE)of corruption, neglect,
and distintegrated familes.

Up from the flood must rise a new committment by and for these people; we must end the neglect that allows a high drop out rate, high teen pregnancy, high single-motherhood, low employment, and high crime.

And we can begin by tearing down the projects and the 9th Ward and redesigning public/low income housing that is safe, clean, pro-family and law-abiding.

THE FIRST STEP TOWARD ACCOMPLISHING THIS IS ACCOUNTABILITY OF THE LOCAL AND STATE POLITICIANS.

The New Orleans and Louisiana voters should toss out the old machine politicians - like Blanco and Landrieu and Nagin - and bring in honest Giuliani-like no-nonsense technocrats who will make the city as safe as it is diverse and charming and flavorful and historic...

I believe that New Orleans will come back - MO' BETTER THAN EVER - and faster than anyone now expects.

But to this they will have to clean their political house FIRST.

BLANCO AND NAGIN SHOULD RESIGN AT ONCE.

reliapundit said...

the fact that blanco blocked the resupply of those two shelters in nawlins is a scandal and it's called BLANCOGATE!

DoubleD said...

You have GOT to be kidding. You folks are truly pathetic excuses for human beings. Hope God forgives you some day because I sure won't.

Anonymous said...

Yes, and let's not forget that our troops are being greeted daily with showers of flower petals and chocolate bars in Iraq. That the insurgents are in their dying throes. That freedom is on the march. That Our Leader is Bold and Resolute in the face of all challenges. That no one could ever have imagined the levees breaking or anyone flying a plane into a building. That Brownie is doing a heck of a job. That Democrats hate freedom.

Yes, we must parrot back the party line that no Republican can ever be responsible for anything that goes wrong anywhere in the world.

That's why Republicans are so great -- because they're the responsibility party!

Anonymous said...

Just so I understand your concept, since the tragedy is not of historic proportions, the "few" that did die would not have fared any better by a response that was a couple of days quicker.

Nice relative morality you play with at this blog.

reliapundit said...

to anonymous #1 - here's how lefties like you argue: ignore the facts and attack me.

to anonyomoyus #2 - iraq is a HUGE victory for democracy and human rights. belittling it only makes you - and the rest of the anachronistic left - look like the "tyrant tolerators" you have always been.

#3 - every death is a tragedy, some deaths are unavoidable.

the true human tragedy of Katrina was not the amount of deaths (in louisiana or mississippi or alabama) but the suffering of people at the superdome and the convention center who were abandoned by the mayor and the governor.

BTW: the senior senator from Louisiana is mary landireu - daughter of the former mayor and sister of the lieutenant givernor.
and an important cog in the inept corrupt democratic machine that runs new orleans and the state.
they are to blame for the superdome and convention center tragegy..

that's my point.

it's based on FACST.

it's a simple point.

only leftists committed to hating bush above all else - including the truth and a committment to human rights - ignore the facts and simple truth.

any fact which doesn't fit into a BDS story template is ignored - liek the red cross and salvation army blaming blanco, and not FEMA.

but ignoring a fact doesn't mean the fact isn't true. it means your version of events/narratives are false!

ALSO: BROWN RESIGNED FROM FEMA. Which is like a coach being fired from a championship team becasue of some scandal some player is involved in. It happens every year. He is falling on the sword for his boss. LOYALTY.

Anonymous said...

the army corps link doesn't refute much of anything. mushy spin-talk when it comes to the funding cut/levee break link. good ol' reliable wishful thinking ...

reliapundit said...

the army corps link is to the presser in which the head of the army corps states that the CANAL which broke was NEW (JUST FINISHED IN FCAT) and completely up to standard, and that NEITHER any lack of funding or any funding cuts had or could have had ANYTHING to do with the flooding of New Orleans.

which is what many on the Left argue.

i wish you lefties would READ mo' better.

Anonymous said...

your analysis is laughable. now leaving your echo chamber in peace, have fun talking to yourself.

metasailor said...

Sigh.

Let's look at the record.

http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/features/2005/0509.franklin.html

Under Bush Sr., and his political hack FEMA appointee:

"On August 24, 1992, Hurricane Andrew leveled a 50-mile swath across southern Florida, leaving nearly 200,000 residents homeless and 1.3 million without electricity. Food, clean water, shelter, and medical assistance were scarce. Yet, for the first three days...(FEMA), which is responsible for coordinating federal disaster relief, was nowhere to be found. And when FEMA did finally arrive, its incompetence further delayed relief efforts. "

Under Clinton, and his experienced, qualified, and proven competent FEMA appointee Witt:

"[S]ummer of 1993: Weeks of unrelenting rainfall had driven the level of the Mississippi River and its tributaries far beyond the previous records...Iowa was declared a federal disaster area, as were portions of eight other states in the river basin. But this time, FEMA's response earned nothing but praise."

Then Bush comes into office. He fires Witt, and replaces him with a crony, and then a worse crony, Brown.

Results: no FEMA in New Orleans until days after the disaster occurred - with two days lead time before the hurricane!!

People DIE in the Superdome, because Brown doesn't find out they're running out of supplies until he sees it on cable news!!!

Contrast that, once again, with another Clinton-era FEMA response:

"It was 9:02 a.m. when a truck bomb ripped through the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Office Building in downtown Oklahoma City. At 9:30, Feuerborne placed a phone call to FEMA's headquarters in Washington. At 2:05, FEMA's advance team arrived, complete with damage assessors and members of Witt's staff. Six hours later, at 8:10 that evening, Witt himself arrived to be briefed on the situation. By 2:30 a.m. April 20, the first of FEMA's search and rescue teams had arrived to supplement the efforts of the Oklahoma City fire department. Says Feuerborne, "My office is very happy with the quick response of FEMA." '

Imagine that. An 18-hour response time, from notification to FEMA employees on the ground taking ordered action. Contrast that with a 3-day response time AFTER the hurricane, with a two-day warning BEFORE the hurricane - and after Bush had, at Blanco's request, already designated LA a disaster area, and authorized FEMA into action!!

How is this acceptable to you?

Do you as a conservative and a Republican **really** stand for accountability - or does accountability only apply to Democrats?

reliapundit said...

matasailor -

you wrote:
"after Bush had, at Blanco's request, already designated LA a disaster area"

this is a LIE.

Yiou can ggogle "blanco" at my blog and get a hit for HER PRESSER in which SHE SAID that BUSH INMPORED HER to declare an emergency.

HER WORDS.

Sheesh.

the rest of your compariusons are silly.

FEMA did a splendid job in Florida last year (the worst hurricane year they ever had), and in Mississippi and Alabama this year.

The ONLY place where the emergency repsonse was BAD was NEW ORLEANS - and that means it is ILLOGICAL to blame the feds or FEMA; it is LOGICAL to blame the most corrupt and inept state and local govts in the USA.

I know; I lived there!

BTW: Maty Landrieu is the daughter of a fgforemer mayor and her bro is the LT Guv.

That should clue you in in how pervasive the corrupt machine is down there.

SO: it is logiccal to blame the DICTINCTIVE feature - the guv and the nayor.

AND THE FACTS BEAR THIS OUT.

I got some advice for you: let go fo the BDS. Bush won in 2000. And he won in 2004.

AHHHHHHH! Don't you feel better?!

buh-BYEE!

Anonymous said...

There was massive FEMA fraud in Florida in 2004, did you not see the indictments?

Just askin'.

http://tinyurl.com/dq37l

reliapundit said...

the fruad in FLA was TOOOOOOO MUCH FEMA $$$ was given out.

Not that they did not do enough.

That means Brown was TOO GENEROUS AND LAX in controlling spending.

NOT THA T HE WAS HOLDING BACK.

That's a little different that what has been charged (by the BDS Left) he did in Louisiana. (And curiously not in Mississippi or Alabama.)

if he was incompetent, then NOTHING would've gone well. MOST DID.

therefore there MSUT be another explanation., a simpler one.

and the blanco/landrieu/nagin crowd is it.

Jon Parker said...

So what you're saying is that the federal government did as they should: came through and helped all the poor people.

Exactly what does it mean to be a conservative these days? Is there any ideological basis, or is it just hating Democrats the way I hate the New York Yankees?

Anonymous said...

Right, so FEMA under Brown was incompetent in giving out money, fraudulently, in Florida. It did not "go well" in Florida in 2004 as you claimed. Thank you for at least admitting it.

You might want to check out the slams by local officials in Alabama and Mississippi where FEMA did not respond adequately and people died as a result:

"Clearly the FEMA response has been slow," Matthew Avara, mayor of Pascagoula, Mississippi, told CNN Saturday night.

"We got a lot of good people on the ground here that are with FEMA and with the state agencies," he said. "They wear their badges, and they look good. But unfortunately, we just not have seen all the assets and all the resources that we need in our city."

***

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- About 200 tractor-trailer trucks with ice and water for victims of Hurricane Katrina took a convoluted, weeklong trip to a storage depot in Memphis, partly because of what the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers called "miscommunication."

The drivers were sent to cities that didn't end up needing water or ice and were final directed to Memphis, said Corps spokesman Bob Anderson.

***

Gulfport --- After four days struggling to find food and water, and avoid roving looters, the family managed to take shelter with relatives in Jackson, the state capital. There, they face a new ordeal: Two weeks after Katrina struck on Aug. 29, federal disaster aid has yet to reach the Beverlys and other evacuees in Jackson.

Their frustrated search for assistance mirrors the predicament of thousands of poor families after the costliest natural disaster in U.S. history.

``We have to start from scratch,'' Shannyake says. ``We've got nothing. Destiny doesn't even have shoes.''

Shannyake, a single mother who is separated from the children's father and has no savings, says she hasn't been able to obtain food stamps or financial assistance.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, which is responsible for coordinating the recovery effort, hasn't yet sent representatives to Jackson. At the state fairground, where the American Red Cross and other private and local agencies are attempting to aid evacuees, FEMA hasn't set up a table.

***

Just sayin'

Anonymous said...

Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin told the Atlanta Journal–Constitution, she was “outraged and horrified at the level of response. . . . I'm not really sure what we're waiting for. Are we waiting for everyone to die?”

***

After the authorities in Baton Rouge had prepared a field hospital for victims of the storm, Fema sent its first batch of supplies, all of which were designed for use against chemical attack, including drugs such as Cipro, which is designed for use against anthrax. "We called them up and asked them: 'Why did you send that, and they said that's what it says in the book'," said a Baton Rouge official.

***

BILOXI, Miss. - (KRT) - Authorities faced a deteriorating and disturbing public health crisis from Hurricane Katrina on Saturday as bodies continued to wash ashore after five days at sea and a possible dysentery outbreak shut down a shelter for hundreds.

Fuel shortages are hampering supply efforts and causing a breeding ground for disease. There is no working sewage system. Portable toilets are scarce. People are trying to live in damaged homes, finding refuge in their vehicles and in some cases living with strangers.

In other developments Saturday:

_A suspected dysentery outbreak resulted in the evacuation of an American Red Cross Shelter on Irish Hill Road across the street from Keesler Air Force Base.

_Fear of a cholera outbreak caused emergency officials to order that areas south of the CSX Railroad in Long Beach and Pass Christian be evacuated.

_The American Red Cross was running low on fuel for its relief efforts.

_No federal or private relief agency had erected tents or other temporary housing for the homeless.

_City and county officials across the Coast criticized the Federal Emergency Management Agency and Keesler Air Force Base for not doing enough.

Hmmmmmmmm.

A Fascist's Worst Nightmare said...

"How come FEMA could get it right through 4 devastating hurricanes in Florida last years, with nobody howling for Mike Brown's head, and in New Orleans he couldn't do a damn thing right?"

3 words. Florida's electoral votes.

The New Orleans disaster was alot like 9/11. Bush is claiming that nobody could have forseen a levee break just like Condaleeza claimed no one could have predicted terrorists using planes as weapons. The problem is, in both cases these possibilities were known in advance in great detail and the Bush people just sat on their hands. Am I playing the blame game? Well, I wouldn't call it that. Bush is a miserable failure on all counts and needs to be held accountable.

reliapundit said...

some leftie wrote:
"Clearly the FEMA response has been slow," Matthew Avara

ONE PROBLEM: the FEMA respoionse was within the time-frame of all previous hurricane responses, and Katrina was a WORSE hurricane than any before.

Avara and the lefties are holding FEMA to an unrealistic standard, namely: IMMEDIATE RESPONSE. that is ridiculous. AND: it goes against ALL FEMA directives to states (which I have linked to) which instruict thgem to be able to hold the fort for the first 96 hours.

but that's just reality babay, something the Left has no use for.

MOST of the other stuff you posted in your comment were lefties EXAGGERATING the porblems and blaming the GOP.

with NO support, no facts. Just partisan assertions.

which proves it's BS.some othe rleftie asshole commenter wrote this:

"3 words. Florida's electoral votes"

oh yeah sure, so the prez says: hold on brownie boy, let;s let the poor black democrats in louisiana die 'cause they don't vote for us. and tell the USG not to save them, and keep food from them!

sheesh: you guys are NUTS!

first off: louisiana just elected a GOP senator, and JUST BARELY missed electing a GOP guv. so the reasoning is WARPED. bush wants to carry louisiana, not discard it.

the real reason florida was handled better weas that the governor was better.

jeb is no blanco. thank god.

second, the army corps said that the DID NOT FORESEE A LEVVE BREAK.

all that ANYOBODY ever forsaw was an OVERTOPPING of the water. NOT a breach.

in fact: not a single LEVEE was breached. a CANAL broke.

a canal that WAS BRAND NEW AND UP TO SNUFF.

so your comments are based on FICTION.


and just accept the facts: by any rational historical standards bush is a fanatstic president: he has passed more major bills and fought 2 wars and cut taxes and instituted the LARGEST domstic spending program since 1965!

he's done more - and more good - in 5 years than clinton did in 8.

BESIDES THAT: we were attacked OVER AND OVER AND OVER AGAIN by the jihadists durting the clinton years and all he ever did was tuck tail, and/or send in the FBI, (and INVITE ARAFAT to the oval office AGAIN AND AGAIN!) as if jihadoterror was a law enforcement issue.

sheesh!

buh-byee!

tgusa said...

Actually, the Federal government is going to look like a bunch of criminals after people go back to New Orleans too early.

The Feds will surely blame Mayor Nagin and Governor Blanco when everyone gets cancer from the crap that's been sloshing around the city, but in reality, it'll be the Feds who are to blame.

Just like in NYC after 9/11, the EPA isn't testing the environment like it should. There's a 95 acre Superfund site in New Orleans that probably spewed its contents all over the city. That's deadly.
(read this: http://www.villagevoice.com/news/0536,lombardi,67520,5.html),

Worst of all, the Bush Administration is covering the whole thing up. (read this:
http://news.independent.co.uk/world/americas/article311818.ece)

In reality, "Toxic chemicals in the New Orleans flood waters will make the city unsafe for full human habitation for a decade, a US government official has told The Independent on Sunday."

The Federal government did a terrible, terrible job managing this tragedy, and is still doing a terrible, terrible job.

tgusa said...

Woops, sorry, to read about the Superfund site in N.O. check out http://www.solidwastemag.com/article.asp?id=47051&issue=09012005

I don't read Solid Waste and Recycling Magazine very often, but this is a VERY interesting article.

FarmerDell said...

Uh, don't look now... Bush is claiming rsponsibility in response. Maybe it's response to the non-partisan Congressional Research Service's findings.

Or maybe because everyone... everyone... including the governor, the Army Corps of Engineers and the Administration, knows that a levy breach has been predicted with this type of storm for many many years.

FEMA responded slowly. They had 3 days notice from the federal government before the hurricane even hit. Bush declared a state of emergency on August 27. Don't beleive me? Here is the White House press release. It specifically calls on FEMA to manage the relief effort.

Nagin and Blanco knew that their own resources would be too small to handle this disaster, especially with significant portions Mississippi's and Louisiana's National Guard in Iraq. National Guard Chief Lt. Gen. Steven Blum said, "Had that (Mississippi and Louisiana) brigade been at home and not in Iraq, their expertise and capabilities could have been brought to bear."

The local authorities did what they needed, asked for assistance, and didn't get it. Blanco in particular asked Bush again on the 28th and the 29th.
Nagin used the entire city bus system to evacuate people; the Louisana national guard asked for 700 more buses. They sent 100.

Also, since you seem confused, a levee did breech. It was holding in the canal. The one that had $250million dollars in 'crucial' projects remaining. The money wasn't there becuase funds have been diverted oversees.

I look forward to your response when you try to refute cited and evidenced fact.

reliapundit said...

(1) nagin didn't use any buses to bus anyone. 600 buses were even left in low-lyinh areas and got flooded.

(2) after testing, the epa said the worst log-lasting thing in the water is the salt.

(3) NO ONE presidted a breach of the leveees.

(4) in fact the levees HELD, (5)CANALS broke, and NO ONE predicted the canals would break. (6) the CANALS THAT BROKE were brand new.

(7) in fact the MTP/MSNBC link one of you idiotarian lefties provided says this - QUOTE: "... that they were looking at a `significant event' with waves washing over levees in central New Orleans."

that's OVERTOPPING not breach.

so the chimpingsmirkBusHitler was right and you knee-jerk leftie BDS afflicted morons ARE WRONG! and proven wrong by your own link.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA!

buh-BYEE!

reliapundit said...

Mystery surrounds floodwall breaches

Could a structural flaw be to blame?

By John McQuaid
Staff writer

One of the central mysteries emerging in the Hurricane Katrina disaster is why concrete floodwalls in three canals breached during the storm, causing much of the catastrophic flooding, while earthen hurricane levees surrounding the city remained intact.

It probably will take months to investigate and make a conclusive determination about what happened, according to the Army Corps of Engineers. But two Louisiana State University scientists who have examined the breaches suggest that a structural flaw in the floodwalls might be to blame.

"Why did we have no hurricane levee failures but five separate places with floodwall failures?" asked Joseph Suhayda, a retired LSU coastal engineer who examined the breaches last week. "That suggests there may be something about floodwalls that makes them more susceptible to failure. Did (the storm) exceed design conditions? What were the conditions? What about the construction?"

Ivor Van Heerden, who uses computer models to study storm-surge dynamics for the LSU Hurricane Center, has said that fragmentary initial data indicate that Katrina's storm-surge heights in Lake Pontchartrain would not have been high enough to top the canal walls and that a "catastrophic structural failure" occurred in the floodwalls.

Corps project manager Al Naomi said that the Corps' working theory is that the floodwalls were well-constructed, but once topped they gave way after water scoured their interior sides, wearing away their earth-packed bases. But he said some other problem could have caused the breaches.

"They could have been overtopped. There could have been some structural failure. They could have been impacted by some type of debris," Naomi said. "I don't think it's right to make some type of judgment now. It's like presuming the reason for a plane crash without recovering the black box."

Officials long had warned about the danger of levees being topped by high water from a storm surge. Absent topping, floodwalls are supposed to remain intact.

The floodwalls lining New Orleans canals consist of concrete sections attached to steel sheet pile drilled deep into the earth, fortified by a concrete and earthen base. The sections are joined with a flexible, waterproof substance.

Floodwalls were breached in the 17th Street Canal, at two places in the London Avenue Canal, and at two places in the Industrial Canal, Suhayda said. Naomi said last week that one of the Industrial Canal breaches likely was caused by a loose barge that broke through it.

Suhayda said that his inspection of the debris from the 17th Street Canal breach suggests the wall simply gave way. "It looks to have been laterally pushed, not scoured in back with dirt being removed in pieces," he said. "You can see levee material, some distance pushed inside the floodwall area, like a bulldozer pushed it."

He suggested that because the walls failed in a few spots, the flaw may not be in the design but in the construction or materials.

"Those sections in the rest of the wall should have been subjected to the same forces as that section that failed," he said. "Why did one side fail, not the other side?"

Drainage canals typically are lined with floodwalls instead of the wider earthen levees that protect the lakefront because of a lack of space, engineers say.

"It's a right-of-way issue," Naomi said. "Usually, there are homes right up against the canal. You have to relocate five miles of homes (to build a levee), or you can build a floodwall."

Constructing a more expensive earthen levee also would require building farther out into the canal itself, reducing the size of the canal - and the volume of water it could handle.

Naomi said that an earthen levee also could have been breached if the surge had pushed water over the top. "A levee failure might be more gradual than with a floodwall," he said. "It means you may have flooded a little slower."

The central question for engineers investigating the breaches will be whether the floodwalls were topped - and that's still unclear.

The levee system, floodwalls included, is designed to protect against an average storm surge of 11.5 feet above sea level. The Corps adds several more feet of "freeboard" to account for waves and other dynamics.

Naomi said the Industrial Canal floodwalls were topped by water coming in from the east. But scientists don't yet know exactly whether Katrina's Lake Pontchartrain surge was high enough to go over the wall in the two other canals.

Many storm surge gauges stopped functioning during the storm, LSU climatologist Barry Keim, though initial data point to a mi-lake height of eight or nine feet. Heights typically are higher at the Lakefront area because wind pushes water higher against the levees.

Suhayda said the debris line on the lakefront levee adjacent to the canal was "several feet" below the top. The levees are 17 or 18 feet high in that area. The canal levees, however, average only 14 feet. Storm surges have waves and other dynamics that push water still higher than the average height.

"There are big implications for as little as a one-foot change in elevation" of the storm surge, Suhayda said.

If the water did not top the levees, the breaches could prove more mysterious. Typically, the pounding of wave action would be the most likely way to cause a breach, scientists say. But there isn't much wave action in canals.

"Waves constantly breaking on the structure start to erode it and make it become unstable," said LSU coastal geologist Greg Stone, who studies storm-surge dynamics. "But I don't think that was a major factor in the canals. You just don't have the (open area) to allow wave growth to occur."

Times-Pic/NOLA.COM

FactsPlease said...

Reliapundit's opinions are so wrong in so many places is difficult to know where to begin. No levees breached? He obviously hasn't been watching or listening to the news. I guess I imagined watching on TV those helicopters dropping sandbags on top of the levee breach.

If he finds it so easy to dismiss widely known facts with his faith-based opinion, it is not surprising he thinks nothing was wrong with the Feds' response to the catastrophe. Reliapundit will be soon saying that in fact, New Orleans was not flooded.

Just out of curiosity, I Googled "new orleans levee breach" to get some results. I got 231,000 hits. Here's one:

"No quick fix for New Orleans' breached levees" --> http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9130254/

Complete with a map of the New Orleans and the breached levees.

On second thought, maybe this and the others are news fabricated by the US-hating liberal media, right?

Reliapundit has proven himself not to be very "thoughtful" or "astute".

tgusa said...

You say, "after testing, the epa said the worst log-lasting thing in the water is the salt"

That's total crap. Show me where they said that. Even if they did, is it true? How much testing have they REALLY done? Ask the people of New York City.

http://www.villagevoice.com/news/0536,lombardi,67520,5.html

reliapundit said...

tgusa -
thanks for commenting - and debating. that;s good.

sorry to say: your points are wrong.

231,000 hits at google mean 231,000 folks are WRONG.

the 127th canal is a canal not a levee.

i do not care how many people call it a levee; it is still not a levee.

besides: it wasn;t OVERTOPPED; it was breached; a totally UNEXPECTED event.

and it was BRAND NEW.

the levee/canal issue reminds me of a stiry about abe lincoln - remeber him?

he was a GOP president (who had the lowest contemporaneopus popularty of any presifewnt in history. he was called a warmonger by MOST Americans.)

well one day abe asked his son: "If you call a dog's tail a leg, then how many legs does a dog have?"

his son answered: "Five."

abe said: "WRONG! Just because you call a tail a leg doesn;t make it a leg."

everyone can call the 17th street canal a levvee. That don.t make it a levee.

and DITTO overtop versus breach. They just ain;t the same things.

NO ONE expected a breach.

Overtopping was expected fopr a category 4+.

What happened was UNEXPECTED.

Bush was RIGHT.

reliapundit said...

Contamination little threat to humans, but could detroy lawns

By Mark Schleifstein
Staff writer NOLA TImes-Pic

New test results released by the federal Environmental Protection Agency Sunday evening confirm that toxic chemicals contained in floodwaters in New Orleans and Metairie are in concentrations too small to be an immediate threat to humans.

But so much saltwater has entered the city that it could be very difficult to grow a lawn for a very long time, according to Wilma Subra, an independent chemist from New Iberia who often advises environmental groups.

The federal agency collected water samples from six locations on the east bank of Orleans and Jefferson parishes on Sept. 3, five days after Hurricane Katrina decimated the area.

As it reported last Wednesday, EPA found very high levels of lead in water sampled at the North Claiborne Avenue exit off Interstate 10 in New Orleans. The 846 parts per billion of lead far exceeds the agency’s 15 ppb standard for drinking water.

On Saturday, the agency announced it found as many as 2,400 colonies of E. coli bacteria in water samples in the city, far above EPA’s 200-colony limit for human contact. Presence of the bacteria is an indicator of human and animal waste in water, which pose a risk of illness or infection.

The chemical samples make it clear that the water has been contaminated with wastes washed out of several sewage treatment plants.

Several of the samples contain high levels of chemicals often associated with treatment plants, including magnesium, manganese, caffeine, aluminum and potassium.

At the Claiborne Avenue sample location where high levels of lead were found, the water also contained measurable amounts of chromium and copper and high levels of zinc and iron, which could indicate that wastes from a metal plating business were mixed in the water, Subra said. It also contained chemicals used as flocculants in sewage treatment plants to cause solids in wastewater to stick together.

That sample also contained 1.06 parts per billion of mercury, below EPA’s 2 ppb limit.

Several of the samples also contained small amounts of 2,4-D, atrazine and herbicides that may have come from yards or roadways, and small amounts of Endrin and Dieldrin, both long-banned pesticides.

Subra said that while the small amounts of toxic chemicals might pose no immediate risk, lengthy exposure could be a problem. And she said the test results could be an indicator that much higher amounts of some of the chemicals that don’t mix well with water could be found in the muddy remains when the floodwaters are pumped out of the city.

Homeowners, however, may find the effects of the brackish water from Lake Pontchartrain to be their biggest long-term problem. The test results show levels of sodium in New Orleans between 1.7 million parts per billion and 2.6 million parts per billion.

The lowest level, 337,000 parts per billion, was found at the intersection of Airline Highway and Causeway Boulevard.

EPA and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials have urged people to avoid contact with the floodwaters because of both the bacterial threat and the high levels of lead.

The lead levels are of concern if a child ingests large amounts of the contaminated water.

EPA and the state Department of Environmental Quality are continuing to sample the floodwaters at various locations in the city, even as the water is being pumped out.

FarmerDell said...

Did you bother to read the article you posted? It mentions E.Coli, lead and sewage as major contaminants. According to the article, "While the small amounts of toxic chemicals might pose no immediate risk, lengthy exposure could be a problem." Lengthy exposure...for instance: if you lived there. High salt levels are not the most significant worry.

I think I see the source of your confusion in regards to the canal. You confuse 'canal' with 'levee'. In this instance, the canal did break, as you claim... but the part of the structure that held in the canal did break. It was was the 'floodwall' a term that is used interchangably (somewhat incorrectly) with 'levee'. A 'canal' is 'an artifical navigable body of water used for travel, shipping, or irrigation' accoring to my dictionary. It is quite impossible for a body of water to 'break', as you claim. A floodwall can break (and did) and a levee can break, but a canal can not- it can merely flow through the break.

You claim that no one expected a breach, and supply evidence that they merely expected the floodwall to be topped (in the article you cited). So then, if they expected them to be topped, why was the federal response not ready? Remember, the city and governor demanded federal help days before the hurricane came because they knew that they could not handle to impending disaster.

Topping of a floodwall will erode the base and lead to a breach. This is cited in your articles and on the Army Corps of Engineers website.

Current evidence is showing that there was indeed a break, not an topping. From your own posted article: "Suhayda said that his inspection of the debris from the 17th Street Canal breach suggests the wall simply gave way. 'It looks to have been laterally pushed, not scoured in back with dirt being removed in pieces,' he said. 'You can see levee material, some distance pushed inside the floodwall area, like a bulldozer pushed it.'"

I enjoyed your story of such a proud liberal like Abraham Lincoln. I'm sure that you realize that the Republican Party used to be America's liberal party. They were anti-slavery, pro-immigration, federalist, constitionalist, and in some ways populist. Thank you for reminding me of my political roots.

I hope that you have enjoyed your learning experience. If you have any further questions or comments, I encourage you to mention them.

reliapundit said...

farmer dell wrote:

(with regard to EPA report which said that there is NO serious short term health danger from the flood waters)

[BUT] Lengthy exposure...for instance: if you lived there.

RELIAPUNDIT:

Farmer budddy ol' boy: the flood waters will be GOINE; they're being PUMPED AWAY! The oil residue and other chemicals will be washed away and scraped away and swept away and trucked away. Some might seep into the water table - (water NO ONE drinks, anyway!)- and from there it wil seep back into the gulf.

This EPA analysis - that the water is not as bad as once thought - is being broadcast on CNN; the water (overall) is NOT as bad as it was thought. PERIOD. That is a fact.

SURE: there's sewage in it. That is NOT a longterm problem either.

MARK MY WORDS: Nola will be cleaned up VERY VERY quickly. With a month. Before Turkeyday the city will be back (except for buildings which need to be demolished and rebulit; GOOD RIDDANCXE TRO SOME OF THEM: the projects; the slums...). Mardi Gars and the next Jazz fest will take Place - TRIUMPHANTLY.

And the Leftie naysayers and gloom-and-doom-sayers will have been proved wrong ONCE AGAIN!

farmer dell ALSO wrote:

"You claim that no one expected a breach, and supply evidence that they merely expected the floodwall to be topped (in the article you cited). So then, if they expected them to be topped, why was the federal response not ready?"

RELIAPUNDIT:

Over-topping would NOT have allowed as much water into N.O. nor would it have been as sudden/rapid. IOW: it would have been AN ENTIRELY DIFFERENT TYPOE OF EVENT.

Is that too much for your pea-sized brain to comprehend!?

farmer dell ALSO wrote:

"Topping of a floodwall will erode the base and lead to a breach."

RELIAPUNDIT:

This is a NEW surmise based on THIS EVENT - and event which NEVER OCCURRED BEFORE AND WHICH WAS NOT EXPECTED!

The article I posted CLEARLY states this; some of the experts say it mioght have been bad materials or a design which was flawed in it's very conception due to a lack of undestanding about the potential event.

farmer dell ALSO wrote:

"Current evidence is showing that there was indeed a break, not an topping. From your own posted article: "Suhayda said that his inspection of the debris from the 17th Street Canal breach suggests the wall simply gave way. 'It looks to have been laterally pushed, not scoured in back with dirt being removed in pieces,' he said. 'You can see levee material, some distance pushed inside the floodwall area, like a bulldozer pushed it.'"

RELIAPUNDIT:

IT WAS A BREAK, NOT OVERTOPPING! NO ONE EXPECTED IT TO BREAK: not the Army Corps, not the governor - NOBODY. Which is why BOTH Landrieu and Blanco PRAISED BROWN AND FEMA on MONDSAY AFTER Katrina passed BUT BEFORE THE CANAL BROKE.(this was in the NTIMES!)

And a canal is not a levee. It is PART of the "levee-system" but a part that was BRAND NEW AND UP TO 2005 designs standards (and budget cuts DID NOT effect it's design or construction -- ACCORDING TO THE ARMY CORPS).

NO LEVEES broke or were breached. the ENITERE Mississippi River levees HELD and ALL the Lake Levees HELD.

The CANAL broke.

A levee holds back water; a canal transports water from one place, to another.

THEY ARE ENTIRELY DIFFERENT ENGINEERING CREATIONS.

BOTTOM-LINE: anyone who days that Bush is asmirkingchimp DOPE because he said "no one expected the canal to break," IS WRONG..

NO ONE EXPECTED IT! They only expected overtopping, and flooding from overtopping - overtopping from a PROLONGED SURGE of water -- lake and river water.

That never happened.
PERIOD.

buh-byee!

reliapundit said...

FROM CAPTS Q'S:

http://www.captainsquartersblog.com/mt/archives/005447.php

'Toxic' Flood Another Example Of Katrina Hysteria

The Washington Post debunks another part of the media hysteria that has surrounded the Hurricane Katrina devastation -- the myth of the supertoxic flood. We have heard over and over how the raw sewage and chemical brew unleashed by the levee break made the flood so toxic that mere skin exposure put people at extraordinary risk for major illnesses. Test, however, show nothing unusual about the flood water:

Early tests on the floodwater that covered most of this city do not suggest it will leave a permanent toxic residue or render residential areas uninhabitable for more than a short time, officials of both state and federal environmental agencies said yesterday.
The pollution consists primarily of fecal matter and slightly elevated concentrations of metals such as lead and chromium that were in the city's soil before Hurricane Katrina. There are also trace amounts of many petroleum-based chemicals and some pesticides.

Despite descriptions of the floodwater as a "toxic soup" and a "witch's brew" of contaminants, the preliminary tests reveal it contains little that is different from what has been seen after past floods in other cities and here.


The only exceptions to this come from localized contamination that will require spot abatements. Seven oil spills, including a significant one in the suburb of Mereaux, account for most of that damage. Another could well be the bus storage yard, where diesel fuel from the buses left a surface plume easily seen with overhead photography -- another good reason to get them to high ground in the face of a Category 4 hurricane bearing down on the city.

Other than the localized points, the water from the flood poses no special threat. The main problem for residents will not arise from a toxic exposure or contamination of buildings, but instead merely from the damage done by the water itself to the buildings. That, of course, will provide enough problems of its own without adding the media hysteria of Katrina coverage to the dread New Orleans residents face in getting their city back on its feet.

How did the "toxic soup" story start, anyway? So far we have heard ridiculous stories pushed over and over again by the national media that sounded just good enough to be true. The floods supposedly killed 10,000 people; now it looks like the casualties might not reach 1,000, still devastating but a completely different scale. Survivors supposedly resorted to cannibalism of corpses, according to civil-rights activist Randall Robinson, who later withdrew the story after the media spread it like wildfire.

Plenty of people want some accountability for government officials for their miscues during the response to Katrina. The Exempt Media has led that charge. If they want to see that, we should also demand an independent commission into the reporting that crossed over into hysteria and mythology, spreading falsehoods that unnecessarily have added to the burdens of Katrina victims from New Orleans.

Posted by Captain Ed at 05:19 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

FarmerDell said...

Well, seeing as you've been reduced to claiming simply that the disaster isn't as bad as it could have been--my work here is done. Good luck trying to spin this further. Maybe a few other people will stop by your little echo chamber here and listen for a moment, if only for a good laugh.

I especially like the quote from such a reliable source as CQ. The first line talks about how the media is taking responsibility and correcting itself. (The article in the Post is interesting, by the way. You should read it.) Everyone knows the media sensationalizes. The right, the left, the libertarians, the authoritarians all know this. They always have and always will. But remember, they have to evenually come clean or else they lose their journalistic reputation. That is the one thing stopping blogs (Yours, mine, Kos, Powerline, etc) from become reliable sources of news. A blogger can say anything and never have to correct it or retract it.

I hope that the toxic residue isn't as bad as the EPA is expecting and that they do a better job than after 9/11. But I won't be hanging on every media report that says "its bad, but not catastrophic." I will be waiting for the report coming out by Tulane, by LSU and by the EPA. Then, when I have scientific evidence by a reputable source (no, the Times-Picayune and the WaPo are not reliable scientific sources), then I will make up my mind. You seem to have already decided in absence of fact. That's fine, I enjoy my life as part of the reality-based community.

I'm reminded of a story by Abraham Lincoln, remember him, an excellent liberal president? Paraphrasing, he said that just because you call a dog's tail a leg doesn't make it so. Likewise, just because you call yourself "relia"pundit and an "astute"blogger in a "no-nuance" zone, doesn't mean its make it so.

And to repeat a phrase that's all the rage these days: "Buh-BYE!"

reliapundit said...

farner dell:

you wrote:

"I hope that the toxic residue isn't as bad as the EPA is expecting ..."

YOU MEANS "WAS." Test show that it IS NOT that bad and they DO NOT expect long-term problems.

Much of what I psoted in the above commetn was a DIRECT QUOTE from the WASHPOST. If you have a preoblem with that, don;t pick on me or CQ, talk to the WSHPOST and the EPA.

ANOHTER TYHING: don;t you find it interesting how the MSM bias is ALWYSD ANTI-BUSH!? Or do ypou deny that!?

If you deny it, then I challenge you to show me some examples of pro-Bush bias.

you wrote:

"... when I have scientific evidence by a reputable source (no, the Times-Picayune and the WaPo are not reliable scientific sources), then I will make up my mind."

Er um: the WASHPOST WAS QUOTING THE EPA. That is a reputable outfit.

I trust them, and belive the report they issued. that is the basis for my FACT-BASED opinion.
(My opinuion was NOT decided IN THE ABSENCE OF FACT>" as you argued. By arguiong that way you merely prove that you are an ASS.

If you are intellectually honest - and (from hiow you have argued with me, I doubt you are) - yopu will admit that the original way the floodwaters were described was WAY OVER THE TOP.

And you will admit that the WASHPOST article relates FACTS which DISPROVE the hysterical warnings of the MSM.

Warnings which made the catastriophe seem much worse than IT ACTUALLY IS IN FACT.

Just like the oft repeated "10,ooo DEAD!!!" charge.

These BOGUS charges made the nations initla response tpo the relief/recovery effort WORSE - becasue people felt (BASED ON WHAT THE MSM WAS TELLING THEM!) that HORRIFYING results had occured, and which should NEVER have happened in the USA.

Well: THEY DIDN'T HAPPEN! NOT AT ALL!

That's why - when I argue: that if you SUBTRACT the horrifying images of the Superdome and the Convention Center debacles from your memory, the overall response effort was NOT BAD, NOT BAD AT ALL.

LOOKIT FARMER DELL, BUDDY:

There was NOTHING ANYONE COULD HAVE DONE TO STOP THE HURRICANE,. OR KEEP IT FROM DESTROYING THE HOMES IT DID.

But the horrifying scenes at the 'Dome and CC WERE ENTIRELY PREVENTABLE.

If those people had been EVACUATED (as the city and state emergency plans said they SHOULD HAVE BEEN --- AND AS THEY COULD HAVE BEEN, if Nagin has used the 594 buses he had access to, OR****** if Blanco had allowed ther red Cross and the Salvation Army into the city to resupply the emergency shelters ---AND THE CHIEFS OF BOTH ORGS SAY THAT IT WAS BLANCO/the state WHO/which PREVENTED THEM FROM GOING INTO THE CITY!) ---

then those horrifying scenes would HAVE NEVER TAKEN PLACE.

Those scenes weere NOT the fault of FEMA or the FEDS. Theyb were NOT the result of anything the feds or FEMA did, or didn't do.

Or the USG - who saved tens of thosuands of people - many AMNY poor, many MANY blacks.

I suggest you get off your 'i'm a reasonable moderate" pedestal and get out of your "i'm a moderate" "cone of silence" and accept reality, baby:

The flood was NOT as bad as the MSM said (nor was it related to any Bush budget cuts, or "KYOTO. man-made global warmng"; the FEMA/fed response was good; the shelter debacles were caused by local and state incomepetence.

buh-byee.

(BTW: imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. you imitated me, thanks!)

reliapundit said...

WASH POST:

[QUOTE]

Early tests on the floodwater that covered most of this city do not suggest it will leave a permanent toxic residue or render residential areas uninhabitable for more than a short time, officials of both state and federal environmental agencies said yesterday.
The pollution consists primarily of fecal matter and slightly elevated concentrations of metals such as lead and chromium that were in the city's soil before Hurricane Katrina. There are also trace amounts of many petroleum-based chemicals and some pesticides.

Despite descriptions of the floodwater as a "toxic soup" and a "witch's brew" of contaminants, the preliminary tests reveal it contains little that is different from what has been seen after past floods in other cities and here.
__________________________

farner dell: dat ain't CQ talkin'; dat wuz da WASHPO/EPA.

wake up and smell reality!

reliapundit said...

i hope all you knee-jerk leftie BDS afflicted dems accept now that the 17th CANAL wasn't OVERTOPPED, don't you!?

ALL the water went through the breach and east. NONE went over (OVERTOPPED) the opposite side of the CANAL.

and the ONLY component of the flood protection system which failed was the CANAL component.

no LEVEES breached.

the CANAL BREACH was UNFORESEEN by EVERYONE.

please apologize for ever saying/thinking/wishing that Bush made a HUGE FAUX PAS when he said that the breach/failure was unexpected.

Bush was right. again.

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