No Nostradamus

I have to get this out before it rots my head.

Stuff happens.

“I don’t think anyone anticipated the breach of the levees.”
— George W. Bush, to Diane Sawyer.

It didn’t take a Nostradamus to know this could happen. National Geographic predicted the New Orleans disaster caused by Hurricane Katrina in October, 2004.

Thousands drowned in the murky brew that was soon contaminated by sewage and industrial waste. Thousands more who survived the flood later perished from dehydration and disease as they waited to be rescued. It took two months to pump the city dry, and by then the Big Easy was buried under a blanket of putrid sediment, a million people were homeless, and 50,000 were dead. It was the worst natural disaster in the history of the United States.
When did this calamity happen? It hasn’t – yet. But the doomsday scenario is not far-fetched. The Federal Emergency Management Agency lists a hurricane strike on New Orleans as one of the most dire threats to the nation, up there with a large earthquake in California or a terrorist attack on New York City. Even the Red Cross no longer opens hurricane shelters in the city, claiming the risk to its workers is too great. [Italics mine]

PBS NOW’s producers must have read Nostradamus too, according to this excellent interview from September 2002.

WALTER MAESTRI: It’s going to look like a massive shipwreck. There’s going to be – there’s going to be, you know – everything that that the water has carried in is going to be there. Alligators, moccasins, you know every kind of rodent that you could think of.
All of your sewage treatment plants are under water. And of course the material is flowing free in the community. Disease becomes a distinct possibility now. The petrochemicals that are produced all up and down the Mississippi River – much of that has floated into this bowl. I mean this has become, you know, the biggest toxic waste dump in the world now. Is the city of New Orleans because of what has happened.

Apparently Scientific American was gazing into the same crystal ball in October 2001. Scientific American: Drowning New Orleans [CIVIL ENGINEERING]

A major hurricane could swamp New Orleans under 20 feet of water, killing thousands. Human activities along the Mississippi River have dramatically increased the risk, and now only massive reengineering of southeastern Louisiana can save the city.

What is a shame is that they are laying the groundwork to blame Mayor Nagin of NO for the FEMA failure. I wouldn’t ask the head of FEMA, GOP activist and sycophant Mike Brown, to manage a horse show. Thanks to Memex1.1 for this one.

Today the New Orleans Times-Picayune published An open letter to the President. It says, in part:

State Rep. Karen Carter was right Friday when she said the city didn’t have but two urgent needs: “Buses! And gas! Every official at the Federal Emergency Management Agency should be fired, Director Michael Brown especially.
In a nationally televised interview Thursday night, he said his agency hadn’t known until that day that thousands of storm victims were stranded at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. He gave another nationally televised interview the next morning and said, “We’ve provided food to the people at the Convention Center so that they’ve gotten at least one, if not two meals, every single day.”
Lies don’t get more bald-faced than that, Mr. President.
Yet, when you met with Mr. Brown Friday morning, you told him, “You’re doing a heck of a job.”

According to this article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, while the folks were dying in New Orleans Homeland Security won’t let Red Cross deliver food.

“The Homeland Security Department has requested and continues to request that the American Red Cross not come back into New Orleans,” said Renita Hosler, spokeswoman for the Red Cross.
“Right now access is controlled by the National Guard and local authorities. We have been at the table every single day [asking for access]. We cannot get into New Orleans against their orders.”

Racial bias in reporting the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina: African-Americans “loot”, Whites “find” food and water.

Was Homeland Security doing God’s Work? In case you want to look for a hidden agenda in the poor response by the government, this press release from Repent America explains why Hurricane Katrina destroyed New Orleans.

“Although the loss of lives is deeply saddening, this act of God destroyed a wicked city,” stated Repent America director Michael Marcavage. “From Girls Gone Wild to Southern Decadence, New Orleans was a city that had its doors wide open to the public celebration of sin. From the devastation may a city full of righteousness emerge,” he continued.

Perhaps this suspiciously homophobic “In-your-face evangelist” doth protest too much.

Relevant cartoon on – Lord, I pray that you will grant me…. I think it pretty well sums it up.

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