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January 24, 2006

What President Bush Knew About Katrina

By Phillip Martin

An article in today's Washington Post uncovers a report the White House received two Days prior to the landfall of Hurricane Katrina. The report, issued by FEMA, warned the intensity of Katrina could cause significant levee damage, displace over a million Louisiana residents, and require one of the largest search and rescue operations in United States history.

From the Washington Post:

A computer slide presentation by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, prepared for a 9 a.m. meeting on Aug. 27, two days before Katrina made landfall, compared Katrina's likely impact to that of "Hurricane Pam," a fictional Category 3 storm used in a series of FEMA disaster-preparedness exercises simulating the effects of a major hurricane striking New Orleans. But Katrina, the report warned, could be worse.

The hurricane's Category 4 storm surge "could greatly overtop levees and protective systems" and destroy nearly 90 percent of city structures, the FEMA report said. It further predicted "incredible search and rescue needs (60,000-plus)" and the displacement of more than a million residents.

The NISAC analysis accurately predicted the collapse of floodwalls along New Orleans's Lake Pontchartrain shoreline, an event that the report described as "the greatest concern." The breach of two canal floodwalls near the lake was the key failure that left much of central New Orleans underwater and accounted for the bulk of Louisiana's 1,100 Katrina-related deaths.

The article went on to note that President Bush -- despite notice of the storm's impact two days before landfall -- insisted, immediately following the storm, that no one could have expected what happened.

President Bush, in a televised interview three days after Katrina hit, suggested that the scale of the flooding in New Orleans was unexpected. "I don't think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees. They did anticipate a serious storm," Bush said in a Sept. 1 interview on ABC's "Good Morning America."

President Bush has since apologized for "the extent that the federal government didn't fully do its job right," going on to say that he wanted to "know what went right and what went wrong."

It seems that at least one thing that went wrong was a failure to listen.

Posted by Phillip Martin at January 24, 2006 12:09 AM | TrackBack


Bush is all about agenda. Wiping out New Orleans was part of his agenda. Wiping us all off the face of the earth apparently is part of his agenda as well. He reads a report warning of an impending disaster or an impending terrorist attack and he gets a rush and remembers the thrill of sticking firecrackers into the mouths of frogs when he was a teenager and lighting the firecrackers and tossing the frogs into the air and watching them explode. The man is truly scary. As are those who support him.

Posted by: Baby Snooks at January 24, 2006 01:30 AM

How quickly we forget that Bush was busy peeking out the blinds at that annoying Cindy Sheehan woman, wishing she'd go away so he could get back to some serious vacationeering! Who's got time to read government reports or daily briefings under such conditions?

Posted by: Dave In A Cave at January 24, 2006 07:54 AM

...or who can forget Bush's reaction in the first minutes and hours after the 9-11 attack itself, long before Rove could reassure him it would become his singular political refuge? Note that Karl again outlined using the "war on terror" for political gain when speaking last week to the Republican National Committee. And Osama is still free to make threatening videos, but that's bound to be the Clinton's fault...

Of course, one can't declare war on a Hurricane Rita to make up for the epic Katrina failure, so the manly man act didn't help last year. Call it "deja vu all over again," and he has 3 more years.

Posted by: 3 more years at January 24, 2006 08:37 AM

"Wiping out New Orleans was part of his agenda. Wiping us all off the face of the earth apparently is part of his agenda as well."

Yeah, so that's a bit hyperbolic. Ah well, at least I know you'll soon be wiped off the face of the earth. There's comfort in that.

Posted by: Joe at January 24, 2006 11:22 AM

Give the man a break. This is hard work! He already had to interupt his spring break to get back to DC to sign legislation to force feed a brain-dead Teri Schiavo.

Posted by: merci_me at January 24, 2006 01:14 PM

I don't think it's hyperbole at all and if you look at his "policy" in the Middle East, based solely on oil interests rather than any real security interests, it seems guaranteed to start a nuclear war at some point.

Osama bin Laden was and supposedly still is in Afghanistan and was assumed to be connected to the Taliban and yet he openly espoused the ideology of Khomeini and Iran in fact refused to turn over any al Queda operatives. If any country should have been "next" after Afghanistan, it should have been Iran, not Iraq. We were told we were "liberating" Iraq, establishing democracy to replace a dictator who had weapons of mass destruction and who was an "accomplice" of bin Laden's on 9/11 when in fact bin Laden had openly called for the removal of Saddam Hussein prior to 9/11. When all that in the end didn't really fly with the American people, he stuck with the "establishing democracy." In reality, Bush doesn't care about democracy in any country. Including our own. In case you hadn't noticed.

Posted by: Baby Snooks at January 24, 2006 01:27 PM

How many adminsitrations in a row have adopted the policy of preventing hostile powers from controlling oil in the Middle East?

Posted by: snrub at January 24, 2006 05:32 PM

And where was Clinton when the Sudanese government offered him custody of Osama bin Laden four times? Fighting Microsoft and Ken Starr. And you extreme libs call Clinton the "best president ever."
With this kind of logic you libs love to espouse, I'm expecting, for some reason, to see you guys inviting Harry Belafonte (Hugo Chavez's new friend) to one of your Texas Dem Party fundraisers...

Posted by: Trey at January 24, 2006 07:39 PM

You idiots think a story that a report TWO days before landfall was significant? How braindead can you get. The responsibility to take care of the levees doesn't *start* with the President, fools, and even with the report, what was he supposed to do in two days? Rebuild the entire levee system? Does your brain actually function?

What a bunch of lame idiots.

Posted by: Gary Sellars at January 29, 2006 11:25 PM
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