Tuesday, September 13, 2005

"We didn't expect any breaches." Again!!!!

You'd think someone would have learned something in the last four years since 9/11 -- expect the worst!!! Harry Shearer catches a nice bit of clarification/cya.

Now They Tell Us, A Little
Not all the way through all the Sunday-length post-mortems on the Katrina disaster, but the question I've been bleating about for weeks now--why did the Corps of Engineers apparently promise Gov. Blanco and Mayor Nagin on Tuesday morning that sandbagging of the levee breaches would begin immediately, and then not start the process in earnest for at least 36 more hours?--has an answer. A one-paragraph answer in a million-paragraph Washington Post takeout, but an answer nonetheless:

Army Corps officials were trying to close the gaps in the levees, but their hurried efforts to stem the flow were hampered by a lack
of supplies. They could not find 10-ton sandbags or the slings they needed to drop the bags from helicopters; most of their personnel had evacuated, and so had their local contractors. "We didn't expect any breaches," Dan Hitchings of the agency's Mississippi Valley Division later explained. "We didn't think we were going to have a wall down." The corps tried to drop smaller sandbags into the 17th Street breach, but they simply floated away with the current.

We didn't expect any breaches? Wasn't any prediction of a Cat 4/5 storm accompanied by predictions of levee breaches?

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