PolySciFi Blog

Tuesday, September 06, 2005


Thank God These Guys Weren't Around For Dunkirk

Here's a specific example of the kind of incompetence that characterized FEMA's response to the destruction of New Orleans. They turned away a convoy of 500 evacuation boats last Wednesday, when virtually no one still stuck in the city had been evacuated.
On Wednesday morning a group of approximately 1,000 citizens pulling 500 boats left the Acadiana Mall in Lafayette in the early morning and headed to New Orleans with a police escort from the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Department. The flotillia of trucks pulling boats stretched over FIVE miles. This citizen rescue group was organized by La. State Senator, Nick Gautreaux from Vermilion Parish. The group was comprised of experienced boaters, licensed fishermen and hunters, people who have spent their entire adult life and teenage years on the waterways of Louisiana.
They then specifically asked the DWF agent that they (and other citizens in the flotillia) be allowed to go to the hospitals and help evacuate the sick and the doctors and nurses stranded there. They offered to bring these people back to Lafayette, in our own vehicles, in order to ensure that they received proper and prompt medical care.
The DWF agent did not want to hear this and ordered them home -- ALL FIVE HUNDRED BOATS.

It seems that in many cases New Orleans would have been better if FEMA had never showed up; here's a roundup of other cases of FEMA either missing opportunities or actively interfering with other rescuers. The "blame game" that McClellan seemed so eager to postpone in his press conference today is not, or should not be, a partisan issue. Providing for the common defence is one of the reasons a national government exists. If expecting basic competence from the federal government in this area is partisan, it's difficult to imagine what a non-partisan issue would look like.


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