October 04, 2005
Images Show Busses Evacuating New Orleans, More Questions than Answers
Scroll down for high resolution photos.
Update: Paul from Wizbang and I essentially agree and the photos really tell the same story: Nagin is an idiot, he just thinks Nagin is a bigger idiot than me.
Something odd struck me about the photo posted by Paul at Wizbang this morning. It occured to me that this photo couldn't be accurate, since I didn't see any flooding. So I did a quick search and came up with an even higher resolution photo of the Algiers Bus Depot. What do you know, I found one. Paul's photo is correct, but another photo shows that the busses were eventually used to help evacuate the city.
This one was taken by the NOAA on August 31st of this year. It was done as part of an aeriel assesment of hurricane damage. You can see the original photo here to verify its accuracy. Compare it to the one that Paul has up, and you'll notice that it is the same depot by the large water stain. I'll assume he and Kevin are calling it the Algiers Bus Depot correctly.
Update: Paul tells me his photo was taken about 10:00 a.m., meaning my photo was taken sometime later that afternoon. So, just to be clear, some time after 10:00 a.m., somebody had the brilliant idea of taking a bunch of unused parked busses and gettting people out of Dodge on them. Yet, for some unknown reason, no one thinks to drive a couple of miles and start picking up people in desperate need and who's plight is all over the airwaves? Brilliant.
To put that date into perspective, Hurrican Katrina hit in the wee hours of August 29th (Monday morning) and the levies began to break at 11:00 that morning. This photo, then, was taken on Wednesday afternoon, 48 hours after the hurricane hit and smack in the middle of when news reports were coming out about the horrible conditions in the Superdome. Click below for larger version.
Now look at the photo. Carefully. Notice something about the busses? They are moving. It looks like three police vehicles are waiting to escort them. In the upper left corner you can see one police vehicle already moving. [Update: To put this into context this means that these busses were fully functional and could have been used at any time to help start the evacuations.] But do they go to the Superdome to help evacuate people? No. Then where are they moving to? Let's look at another piece of this very large photo. Click for larger image.
Yes, those are the missing busses from the photo. Yes, that is a large group of people getting on the busses.
Clearly, the busses were being used to evacuate people from Algiers.
If you can positively identify this location, please e-mail me. I am told, and I have no reason to doubt, that this is Algiers Landing. Gentle reminder to Paul and Kevin: There were refugees all over the city. It's possible, and indeed highly likely in light of this photographic evidence, that busses were evacuating people from Algiers at least. To where? I've no idea.
Update: On further reflection, where were these busses going and why did they not come back for those stuck in the Superdome?
Update II: It's important to realize, too, that the photos posted at Wizbang from the same day show a clear road between the Algiers bus depot and the Superdome. The busses could easily have driven to it.
So, on the one hand we know that busses were being used to evacuate people. On the other hand, why were these same busses not being used to evacuate everybody? Remember, this photo was taken on Wednesday and the Superdome was not evacuated until Friday. So, regardless if the effort was being coordinated properly, there were efforts to get people out of harms way.
If you have the time, now go to the NOAA photos of New Orleans here. How much flooding do you really see? What's really amazing about these photos is just how little flooding actually occured. From what I had gathered from TV reports, the entire city was flooded. Not so. Click around some.
In fact, my first impression was that I must have this wrong. That the dates must be wrong. But:
The date of the photography can be derived from the first 3 characters of the image name. Image names beginning with 243 were acquired Aug 30, 2005, those beginning with 244 were acquired Aug 31, and so on.The date of our two photos above? The original is named 24428420.jpg, in other words August 31st!
Where is all the freaking flooding?!?!! From the news it seemed as if the entire city was under water. That maybe a few places here or there escaped the rising waters, but the majority of the city was under water. Where is it all?
Was there flooding? Of course, pictures don't lie. Here is a picture of a flooded downtown, but that's one of a hundred or more. Others in the vicinity show some neighborhoods flooded, and others on the same street with almost no damage
Pictures do tell a distorted view of reality. Geraldo Rivera on a deserted street is not headline news. Geraldo Rivera floating down a street is. So, if you're a producer you find the areas of worst damage and then show those pictures. You don't show images of the other 75% of the city that wasn't damaged near as much.
And while most of the city was busy getting out, reporters were camped out broadcasting the worst images and the people in the worst conditions and acting as if it was a typical experience.
So, is Roy Nagin to blame as we earlier asserted? Yes, a little. Maybe even more than most. As I said before, New Orleans might be the worst run city in the worst run state of the Union. But, regardless of its lack of leadership it seems that somebody thought to get those busses moving. Perhaps the reason we didn't hear massive complaints coming from this neighborhood is that they got out, on busses.
UPDATE: After going back and forth with Paul, you know, I think he's right. If someone thought to use these busses two days after the storm hit, then why did no one think to use them the day before the storm hit? And why were these busses not used to evacuate the people out of the Superdome?
So, in summation, Nagin is an idiot. That is all.
PS-And I'm spent......