“Good afternoon…there is a desperate, desperate race to try to save those who made it through the storm, but may not survive the aftermath. This may be one of the saddest spectacles I have ever seen.” – Shepard Smith, Fox News Channel
I’m not in New Orleans nor the Gulf Coast. I only know what I see on television and read in the newspaper. I am not happy with what I’m seeing.
Wednesday, August 31, 2005
Looting on Tchoupitoulas Avenue
By Michael Perlstein
Looting in New Orleans was so widespread Wednesday that police were forced to prioritize their overwhelmed enforcement effort.
The officers were rushing to a break-in next door at the Sports Authority, desperate to secure the store’s stockpile of guns and ammunition.
“I think we ran them off before they got any of it,” said the commanding officer at the scene. The cops secured the store with heavy plywood before moving on to other emergencies.
There’s more, but it’s too depressing.
Where is FEMA? Where is Homeland Security? Where is the National Guard? Where are tents and cots and kitchens?
Why on Wednesday is this first being announced by President Bush¹?
That Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast was no surprise. It was well forecast, both intensity and track. The predictions from the Hurricane Center were dire with some of the strongest cautionary language I’ve ever read relating to weather.
Wasn’t anything brought in to be ready?
As we have a moment to step back from this tragedy, maybe it’s time to question how the resources allocated for emergency services are deployed. If I were in New Orleans or the Mississippi and Alabama coastal towns, I’d be more than steaming right now. I’d want answers.
¹ – Though President Bush is ‘in charge’, operational decisions should have been made at lower governmental levels.