Monday, I posted about my Louisiana roots and how Hurricane Katrina blew me to North Texas.
I have been extremely frustrated with the New Orleans mayor and other local officials for downplaying (in my opinion) the need for people in the area to evacuate. If you follow me on twitter or friend me on facebook, then you know what I am talking about.
Another frustration of mine is with the Army Corps of Engineers. I could blog about days on this topic but just say they are not in my "favorable" category. The 2 frustrations are linked as I believe that the reason the New Orleans mayor gave people an exaggerated sense of security is that he and the Corps are gambling with their lives.
As with most things, this comes down to money. Money, money, and more money. You see, the United States has invested (rightly so in my opinion) billions of dollars to build the best flood walls and pumping stations they can. Of course they want to be able to say (and they will, no matter what) "The levees, flood walls, and pumps did what they were designed to do." Trust me, I will link back to this post when they do.
Fact is, they could have told people to get out because it is better to be safe than sorry. Frankly, I am shocked at the level of "security" that many (including friends and family) have expressed. If I keep going on about this, you'll stop reading, so I will just get to it.
Last night, the river was rising dangerously high in Plaquemines Parish. (Plaquemines is outside of the federal protected area and not part of the rebuilding that I mentioned.) Sometime (my brain is on overdrive) between 10pm and 1am this morning, the Corps said that the "threat to Plaquemines Parish is over" (referring to the aforementioned rising water). At 5am this morning, I learned that the water did indeed spill over the levees in Plaquemines, and that there was up to 12 feet of water in homes.
Here's video of a man calling in to WWL in New Orleans to say that he, his baby, and father are trapped in their attic. For him, the threat is certainly not over. Pump station operators are trapped as well.
Here's the video of Mayor Landrieu telling locals to "shelter in place" instead of "Play it safe, and leave."