Friday, September 30, 2005

A Study in Contrasts

This is from a retired Air Force Colonel, who brilliantly summarizes the difference between Texas and Louisiana in responding to natural disasters:

Things I have noticed while watching media coverage of the recent hurricanes.

1. Texas: Productive industrious state run by Republicans.
Louisiana: Government-dependent welfare state run by Democrats.

2. Texas: Residents take responsibility to protect and evacuate themselves.
Louisiana: Residents wait for government to protect and evacuate them.

3. Texas: Local and state officials take responsibility for protecting their citizens and property.
Louisiana: Local and state officials blame federal government for not protecting their citizens
and property.

4. Texas: Command and control remains in place to preserve order.
Louisiana: Command and control collapses allowing lawlessness.

5. Texas: Law enforcement officers remain on duty to protect city.
Louisiana: Law enforcement officers desert their posts to protect themselves.

6. Texas: Local police watch for looting.
Louisiana: Local police participate in looting.

7. Texas: Law and order remains in control, 8 looters tried it, 8 looters arrested.
Louisiana: Anarchy and lawlessness breaks out, looters take over city, no arrests, criminals
with guns have to be shot by federal troops.

8. Texas: Considerable damage caused by hurricane.
Louisiana: Considerable damage caused by looters.

9. Texas: Flood barriers hold preventing cities from flooding.
Louisiana: Flood barriers fail due to lack of maintenance allowing city to flood.

10. Texas: Orderly evacuation away from threatened areas, few remain.
Louisiana: 25,000 fail to evacuate, are relocated to another flooded area.

11. Texas: Citizens evacuate with personal 3 day supply of food and water.
Louisiana: Citizens fail to evacuate with 3 day supply of food and water, do without it for
the next 4 days.

12. Texas: FEMA brings in tons of food and water for evacuees. State officials provide
accessible distribution points.
Louisiana: FEMA brings in tons of food and water for evacuees. State officials prevent
citizens from reaching distribution points and vice versa.

13. Texas: Media can’t find poor blacks in need of assistance, looking for something else to
blame on Bush.
Louisiana: Media focuses on poor blacks in need of assistance, blames Bush.

14. Texas: Coastal cities suffer some infrastructure damage, Mayors tell residents to stay away
until ready for repopulation, no interference from federal officials.
Louisiana: New Orleans is destroyed, Mayor asks residents to return home as another
hurricane approaches, has to be overruled by federal officials.

15. Texas: 24 killed in bus accident on highway during evacuation, no storm related deaths.
Louisiana: Over 400 killed by storm, flooding and crime.

16. Texas: Jailed prisoners are relocated to other detention facilities outside the storm area.
Louisiana: Jailed prisoners are set free to prey on city shops, residents, and homes.

17. Texas: Local and state officials work with FEMA and Red Cross in recovery operations.
Louisiana: Local and state officials obstruct FEMA and Red Cross from aiding in recovery

18. Texas: Local and state officials demonstrate leadership in managing disaster areas.
Louisiana: Local and state officials fail to demonstrate leadership, require federal
government to manage disaster areas.

19. Texas: Fuel deliveries can't keep up with demand, some run out of gas on highway, need
help from fuel tankers before storm arrives.
Louisiana: Motorists wait till storm hits and electrical power fails. Cars run out of gas at gas
stations that can‘t pump gas. Gas in underground tanks mixes with flood waters.

20. Texas: Mayors move citizens out of danger.
Louisiana: Mayor moves himself and family to Dallas.

21. Texas: Mayors continue public service announcements and updates on television with
Governor's backing and support.
Louisiana: Mayor cusses, governor cries, senator threatens president with violence; none of
them have a clue what went wrong or who‘s REALLY responsible.

22. Texas: Republican Senator says "when you call 911, the phone doesn't ring in Washington,
it rings here at the local responders".
Louisiana: Democratic Senator says FEMA was slow in responding to 911 calls from
Louisiana citizens


CoastingThroughTheSouth said...

you confuse the state of Louisiana with the City of New Orleans/Orleans Parish (Proper). In fact most everything you describe is specific to New Orleans, or even certain neigborhoods in NOLA.

CoastingThroughTheSouth said...

Other Notes
1. The Mayor of New Orleans (not Louisiana, which is a state and thus has a governor) did NOT move to dallas. He has lived in a powerless hotel, and now a ship on the river.
2. The "Flood Barriers" failed due to the funding cut to the US Army Corps of Engineers. Texas also didn't have to deal with as intense a storm moving in the "worst case scenario" path.
3. Many of those who relocated to another flood-prone areaqs were actually in Texas.
4. Mayor Nagin was NOT forced by federal officals to cancle the return. He chose that himself. As someone who had an apartment in Orleans Parish, I wish I could have been back sooner. had I been back even a week sooner, I might have been able to save something... anythign at all.
5.Red Cross REFUSED to enter the nearlyempty Jefferson Parish because of the fear of the criminals in Orleans Parish. Armed guards blocke ANYONE from crossing the parish line.

sorry about the length of the comment, but it could have been longer

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