Tuesday, September 06, 2005

It's all about the buses

Remember my post here about the failures of the local governments in Louisiana? Well, here's probably the best example: Priority Evac: The Hyatt.

Conservatively, these 400 buses could have transported 25,000 people out of the city in one trip. If evacuations had begun on Saturday, when Bush "pre-declared" the disaster area, these buses could have made three trips to Houston before the hurricane hit and more to nearer locations.

Hard to find that many drivers? Maybe, if you didn't bother to plan to use these buses. But at a minimum, couldn't a few of these buses have been turned over to corrections personnel, with orders to transport the jail inmates elsewhere, instead of just unlocking the doors and turning them loose to prey on the helpless people left behind?

And on Tuesday, when the levees broke, couldn't volunteers have been found to drive as many buses as possible the short distance to the Superdome or the elevated portion of I-10 so they wouldn't be lost to the floodwaters?

As JunkyardBlog notes, it's not as if they didn't have a plan, and it's not as if these buses weren't a vital component of that plan:

Here's the southeast Louisiana evac plan supplement, most recently revised in 2000. Go to page 13, read paragraph 5. It states:

5. The primary means of hurricane evacuation will be personal vehicles. School and municipal buses, government-owned vehicles and vehicles provided by volunteer agencies may be used to provide transportation for individuals who lack transportation and require assistance in evacuating.

Well, well. Can you say "smoking gun," Mr. Mayor? Mr. Ebbert? How about a smoking arsenal? I guess whether or not you decide to act is based on how you define "school and municipal buses" and "staging area." Or "hurricane." Or "mandatory," as in "mandatory evacuation."

Read it and understand.


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06 September, 2005 20:02  

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