Sunday, September 25, 2005
Hurricanes vs floods
The US is pretty good at handling hurricanes, Katrina notwithstanding. The hurricane effects of Katrina were fairly minimal. The problem in New Orleans was the flood that started after Katrina had passed. Yes, the flood was caused by Katrina, but as the details slowly emerge, it seems like the levees were designed to withstand a Katrina-like hurricane. They just weren't maintained well enough.
US should not make too many wholesale changes to disaster response plans. The role of the military should be clarified, not necessarily expanded. DHS should be sorted out before it becomes a joke among the public.
Katrina has revealed the deadly nature of urban poverty, and the utter incompetence of politicians at every level of government (mayor of New Orleans, governor of Louisiana, Bush, ...). Can America do anything about it? Will they?