Monday, March 06, 2006

Why don't they like to tell this Katrina story?

Joe Guarino has a good post on the re-introduction of Hurricane Katrina to the top of the news cycle. Guarino sees the entire coverage skewed toward pouncing on the federal response. I agree, but I wouldn't expect it to be any other way.

A group of guys who have not received a well-deserved dose of publicity are the sportsmen of Louisiana. When it was apparent that New Orleans and the surrounding area faced the real deal, they were among the first to spring into action, throwing their fishing boats into the water and heading out to retrieve the stranded. Navigating a fishing boat in rising floodwater to rescue others is a heroic act. The sportsmen kept coming with their boats until the deteriorating security situation turned them back. Thus spake one sportsman:

“That’s just how we are in Louisiana,” Prairieville’s Ken Sherman said after spending hours Aug. 30 motoring through the Canal Boulevard area of Metairie. “The law of God is to do unto others as you would have done unto you, and if you live by that law, you have to help in situations like this.”

I really don't feel a need to jump all over any of the three levels. This is the most catastrophic natural disaster I can recall and the US government showed more than its share of ineptitude. However, the lack of preparation at the state and local levels contributed to mightily to the quagmire. As all this occurred, I chatted with a friend and co-worker about the mess. He was in the National Guard during Hurricane Floyd in '99. He said Jim Hunt had them activated before Floyd struck. The forecast predicted a bad storm packing gallons of rain would strike the big country down east. I'm sure Hunt's compotence helped make the situation more manageable even though it didn't avert all tragedies such as the washout of Princeville.

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