Deteriorating Situation in New Orleans

picard

picard

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I wouldn't live there nor visit that city even when the gov't restore service. It is high risk disaster area and high crime area too.
 
Empath

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That's a worthwhile read, Silviron.

It wouldn't have a copyright, unless the DOD contracted with a private citizen to write it. It would be a bit lengthy to post, though.

I appreciated the commentary on the show of force needed to desegregate the "thugs" intermingled with the more "innocent" citizens. It will at least offer some reasoning in the wait. Whether a factual reason or not, at least it's a stated rational that was unavailable earlier.
 
Tom_Dunn

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Two weeks food and water stashed would have made a world of difference to many thousands of these folks, and two weeks stuff is not a very difficult goal to acheive. Four-5 gallon jugs of water and a couple-three Tupperwate totes with MRE's, candles, batteries, small radio ect is "do-able" in most any situation. While many would have lost their stores regardless, many more would have been much better prepared to hunker down and await rescue.
PS-If you have critters, don't forget to stash some chow for them as well!
 
J

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Bmccue1964 said:
- Why wasn't a mandatory evac order in place?

I heard that there was a mandatory evac ordered, why the state or national government didn't make sure that everyone was evacuated I have no ides.
 
NikolaTesla

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I was there twice in my career running projects onsite in the NO area before and later, after the hurricanes. My customer's advised me to leave (Not ordered) the area. I being somewhat of sound mind, took there advice and left while the leaving was good. I think maybe the people that stayed should have left. Also the local govt rejected the Presidents suggestion that a pre storm evacuation take place. Those that stayed to face Mother nature's fury have no further than the nearest mirror to look for whose fault their present condition has been made by. No power on earth could stop the physical devastation but heading good advise could have prevented the tragidy that they now are playing the key parts in. Obviously the level of people that remained have little reguard for authority or their fellow man. There present actions are proof enough. Do they deserve the world's symapathy? You tell me.:huh:
 
Empath

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NikolaTesla said:
Do they deserve the world's symapathy? You tell me.:huh:

Deserved sympathy? The concept of expressing deserved sympathy, or earning sympathy doesn't have a genuine feel to me.
The rebellious attitude you describe is but a segment of those that were left. There were also those without means, physical difficulties, perceived responsibilities to others, or community responsibility. I've heard of the hospice there that was abandoned, but I doubt that everyone in NO ignored their responsibilities.

A serious order to evacuate should be accompanied by the means to do so.
 
McGizmo

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Hi guys,

I am not sure which NO thread this post should go in but this one seemed a likely spot. Alerted by another CPFer about SteveC being in the area, I sent off an E-mail to him last week to see how he was fairing. I got a response this AM and you will see, in the text, that it was OK to post here.

Thanks, Don. We're pretty wrapped up here; this is the first time I've gotten back to my office since August 27. I've been moved back to our command post here on our compound, so I will be able to periodically access e-mail, etc. The response from other states/agencies has been spectacular; help is pouring in, so I may get a few days off here soon.

You cannot imagine the carnage down there. The news coverage doesn't BEGIN to show the magnitude of this disaster. Of course, its not like we didn't know it was coming one day. This is like the big earthquake that everyone knows is going to wreck California; you know it is coming, but hope it doesn't. Well, we ran out of hope.

As a point of interest to CPF'ers, I have put my meager collection of lights to good use during the past 10 days. Lots of interest from other cops, National Guardsmen, civilian relief workers, etc., in the Arc AAA, the QIII, and especially the A2. Many of those who would have, two weeks ago, snorted in derision when told the cost of an A2, have contacted their wives/etc. and told them to get one and have it sent down to them, along with a supply of batteries. A castastrophe like this makes believers out of the worst of the penny-pinchers...<BFG>

While the A2 has gotten the biggerst work-out, the QIII has provided yeoman service as well. Since I was one for 20 years, and trained many of the current crop, I still have connections to our SWAT guys, who have plenty of 123s for their gun lights. We're going through them like water, but that's the nature of the beast.

Anyway, thanks for the inquiry. Feel free to post this on the forum, as I'm sure the guys are interested in what's going on. Just don't believe most of what's on the news; it is much worse. They are NOT reporting much of the darker happenings. We're starting to get a handle on things; but it will be months before any sort of serious reconstruction can begin, and years before a return to normalcy.

One last thing. The media is having a field day with slamming the government for its "slow response". That is absolute crap. Those morons apparently think a relief effort of this enormous magnitude can be mounted and running in a few hours. Rest assured that the government is here in force; they were here less than a day after the storm doing assessments and mobilizing assets, and they are doing what needs to be done. For a brilliantly-written treatise on why anarchy reigned in New Orleans, go to <www.runryder.com> in the Off Topics Forum under the"Au Revoir New Orleans" thread. Re-printed there is an article by a guy named Trascinski or something that sums up EXACTLY why the project denizens acted the way they they did. This is heavy stuff, and something you won't see in the mainstream media. But it is dead-on the money.


Thanks Steve and be well. The "article" Steve referenced is HERE.
 
zespectre

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McGizmo said:
I believe the book was Thor's Hammer but in it was a quote about no where in the civilized world are we more than 24 hours away from total anarchy and complete disregard for the laws of society. ---->snip<---

I'm pretty sure the book you are referring to is "Lucifers Hammer" by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle. (I consider it to be one of their best works ever).

As far as I know the origional quote is Plato - "Any given society is just a few meals away from barbarism". But a similar quote is often attributed to Chairman Mao - "No people are more than three meals away from a revolution".
 
zespectre

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Bmccue1964 said:
I think when this is (someday) all over and done with, we must ask ourselves the following questions:
- Why wasn't a mandatory evac order in place?
- Why weren't the 300+ school buses used to shuttle those without means of transportation out?
- Why was a better emergency plan not put in place with continued emphasis upon being self sufficent for 72 hours?
- Why was the place built below sea level in the first damn place!

I don't live in NO, but I, and many others, have these same questions.

Oh yeah, does anyone realize that other places were destroyed too like the previous poster said?

Add to that... what the hell is "Homeland Security" doing? Wasn't part of their mandate to have evacuation plans in place? (Okay it was a natural disaster not terrorists but my point is that if terrorists had blown up a levee or two you wouldn't even have had a couple of days warning)!
 
gadget_lover

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It's just my opinion, but I'm pretty sure that people ignored the evacuation order for the same reasons they always do;

a) At least once in the past there was a false alarm
b) Fears that looters will steal their belongings
c) The belief that they are more capable than average.


Here in CA we have a large part of the central valley that is normally flood plains. A system of levies has kept them (mostly) dry, so communities have sprung up. Every 7 to 10 years the levies fail and they have thousands of square miles flooded. Pleople keep rebuilding, since it has "only happened once in the 10 years I've lived here". That's a quote from a survivor.

The situations I don't understand are the ones that know there's a problem, but don't take measures. In San Francisco, every building built of masonry has been rebuilt to withstand a heavy earthquake. There are steel I-beams cutting through offfice space, but they will not colapse.. In Galveston Texas, the whole town was raised to bring it above sea level so the next hurricane will not wash away the town again.

Yet we have houses built on the beach in Malibu, unprotected from storms and wildfires. They are devestated every few years. In Florida there are houses and other buildings built on the beaches where hurricanes hit frequently. Thoughout the US we have cities built up next to rivers that flood, although it may take a 50 or 100 year storm to do wash those towns away.

I'd like to suggest that if MY tax dollars go into rebuilding N.O., the very least they should do is build up the grade, steet by street so that it won't repeat in a few years when a cat 5 hurricane comes through. It's a lot of work, and it's expensive, but it's possible. faiuling that, they should condemn the flooded areas, clean them out and rebuild elsewhere. I know that it won't happen.
 
H

HWilliam

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"c) The belief that they are more capable than average."

and

d) The belief that they are less capable than average.

There were plenty of oldsters there too, and some don't think like younger people might.

My mother is 85, her husband is 90, and they don't move at all well or quickly. Neither one of them is going to evacuate to a shelter if a hurricane hits their part of Florida, they always say they will prepare as best they can and live or die as the cards are dealt for them.
 
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jtr1962

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gadget_lover has it right. A lot fewer people would be dead or injured if their homes were built better. In areas which are regularly hit by hurricanes reinforced concrete construction should be mandated if the state wishes to remain eligible for disaster aid. It's one thing to help people hit with a once in several hundred years anomaly (that's the very purpose of disaster relief, in fact), and quite another to rebuild people's homes every ten or fifteen years because they refuse to build them better. Some of those homes down there look like they were made of matchsticks. I hate to say it but grass huts probably would have fared better.

I'm not even going to go into building on a known flood plain other than to use the words "at your own risk and own expense".
 
idleprocess

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gadget_lover said:
I'd like to suggest that if MY tax dollars go into rebuilding N.O., the very least they should do is build up the grade, steet by street so that it won't repeat in a few years when a cat 5 hurricane comes through. It's a lot of work, and it's expensive, but it's possible. faiuling that, they should condemn the flooded areas, clean them out and rebuild elsewhere. I know that it won't happen.
There is a huge, fundamental problem with New Orleans and southern Louisiana that can't be addressed by massive floodwalls, the Coast 2050 plan (might not work, try googling for it or look at the google cache), or even "filling" the city to make it above sea level.

Southeastern Lousiana is sinking (or "subsiding"). It's sinking because its soils are composed of sediment deposited by the Mississippi river over eons as it changed course numerous times, building up the coastline. If there is no new sediment flow to build up the land, it eventually sinks into the ocean.

In the case of New Orleans, most of the city is already below sea level and the Mississippi river. Build levees, floodwalls, pumping stations, stilts, whatnot all you like... it will just keep sinking. It might be within the grasp of civil engineering to somehow slow the sink rate, but the cost would likely be staggering - nevermind the cost-benefits analysis. In fact, the very pumps that keep New Orleans from slowly filling with water due to seepage make the subsidence problem worse.

I realize there is a great deal of infrastructure dependent on New Orleans and the sourrunding areas - it's a busy port and there's no small amount of oil & gas infrastructure flowing through the region... but it's terribly vulnerable. There's also the chance that the Army Corps of Engineers will lose the fight to maintain the Mississippi river at the Old River Control Structure, which would turn the Mississippi through southeast Louisiana into a short-lived salt water estuary - not good for shipping or the local economy.

Would a signifigantly improved levee system work against some monster hurricane? Sure... for a while. Eventually the city will sink to the point that your impressive "Catgory 5" safety factor has slipped to less than the current system's fast-moving "Category 3" safety factor. And then we get to play the game all over again in 20, 50, 100 years - take a guess!

If anyone thinks there's a pragmatic solution to rebuilding on the present site that takes into account the fundamental problem with subsidence, I'd like to hear it. From what I've gathered, there's no easy way to protect a rebuilt New Orleans for the long haul.
 
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I've heard the exact same thing, idleprocess. Given that there is probably no long term fix, let alone a cost effective one, it really seems pointless to rebuild the flooded areas. All the more so because at this point there doesn't seem to be much worth salvaging. If you're going to rebuild, then rebuild in an area where this won't happen again.

On a similar note, I'm hearing more and more that NYC, especially Manhattan, is very vulnerable to similar flooding from a storm surge should a strong hurricane hit (and yes, historically NYC has experienced category 5 storms, just not since it's been a metropolis). Since Manhattan isn't sinking (indeed, Manhattan exists precisely because it's on very stable bedrock which allows huge buildings) and because the infrastructure is easily valued in the trillions of dollars, it might make sense to build a 40-foot seawall around the island, and also around other built-up areas bordering the oceans. It's not a question of if this will eventually happen, but when. I brought this up because if our tax dollars must be spent protecting places, then I'd rather they be spent protecting areas with the most infrastructure and people, and also areas which have no long term problems like New Orleans. New Orleans will be claimed by the sea regardless of what we do. When do we give up? When it's 17 feet under sea level as now, or do we build more levees at great expense and wait until it's 50 feet below sea level? At least this time when the levees gave way most people were able to take refuge on their roofs. There will be no such chance if the city sinks so deep that the next big hurricane puts it under 50 feet of water.
 
idleprocess

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Manhattan / NYC are solidly above sea level. After the storm surge, it will continue to be above sea level. Some heavy-duty pumps could evacuate the subways, corridors, tunnels, etc, in a hurry if they flooded.
 
KC2IXE

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jtr1962 said:
...snip...
On a similar note, I'm hearing more and more that NYC, especially Manhattan, is very vulnerable to similar flooding from a storm surge should a strong hurricane hit (and yes, historically NYC has experienced category 5 storms, just not since it's been a metropolis). ...snip...

Not QUITE that bad with Manhattan - the biggest storm surge we can reasonably expect is about 28 ft, in a cat-5 "NY Bight" scenario, at lunar high tide

Manhattan is also NOT the big worry - believe it or not, it's Brooklyn and Queens, and there is a MAJOR problem in the Bronx with Co-op city

if you want to see the expected flooding, look at

http://www.nyc.gov/html/oem/pdf/hurricane_map_english.pdf

and look at what they call "Zone C"

Zone A will be evaced for a Cat 1, and maybe a low grade 2
Zone B is Cat2
Zone C is Cat3 or more

They realisticlly do NOT expect for a cat-5 to ever strike NYC - but they DO plan on "strong Cat-4s" (not a heck of a lot of difference anyway)


NY Bight scenario, worst case - is a cat4-5 coming up the shore, and the western edge of the eyewall makes landfall in NNJ, and the eastern edge goes right up NY harbor, at astronomical high tide

That throws some real interesting problems - huge floods in PA, NJ, NYC, Westchester and Nassau - with lesser problems in Suffolk, Orange, Rockland etc

Think it's hard to move 500k people who are at leat somewhat hurricane aware? Try evacuating 1 million in NYC alone, and another 2+ million in the surrounding areas
 
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Interesting map. My brother is in zone A unfortunately on the Rockaway Peninsula but since we're not in any zone he can evacuate to us in the event the big one hits. I used to have a relative on City Island (also zone A). I'm really surprised more of Manhattan wouldn't get flooded in a major hurricane.
 
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revolvergeek

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picard said:
We are only hearing CNN news. What about BBC news and other international news organizations? Is there some kind of news blackout? CNN is a notorious for inflating the news to get ratings.

BBC News was at our taskforce command center in Gonzales, La. yesterday. We have also kind of adopted a female Washington Post reporter the last couple days and keeping her fed.

The gangs were not only firing on helos, they have been firing on anybody that looks official. Our search and rescue boats were pulled out of the water at onepoint because of people shooting at them and trying to jack them for the boats. People fired on our guys the next day when they went down there and tried to find a place to launch the boats.
 

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