Tag: Mayor Nagin

The Schoolbuses of Katrina


While we are still chattering about Hurricane Harvey and keeping an eye on Hurricane Irma, I saw a couple of comments that are worth a follow-up post of its own.

You all remember how we watched the flooding in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, and how we all saw the fleet of schoolbuses that were inundated instead of serving to evacuate the City. Evidently, those pictures were very memorable, but not nearly as memorable as the actual narrative of events. There is plenty to fault the City of New Orleans for, and especially there fault to be laid at the feet of Mayor Nagin and Governor Blanco, but I do not fault them for the schoolbuses.

Evacuating a big city is a huge problem. Especially so for New Orleans, since there are not many highway evacuation routes available. The likelihood is that an evacuation would cause lots of traffic crash deaths and lead to a politician becoming a laughingstock if the hurricane does not turn out to be so damaging as the weather forecasters had made it out to be. Everyone over 50 on the coast remembers occasions when they were told to evacuate, decided not to, and then experienced a bad storm that had not warranted evacuation.