Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Katrina timeline:

Bush / White House Chertoff / DHA Brown / FEMA Blanco / Louisiana & Mississippi Nagin / New Orleans government action


cite "Before Hurricane Katrina slammed into Louisana and Mississippi"
SeattleTimes DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff listened in on electronic briefings by the National Hurricane Center warning of a storm surge capable of overtopping levees in New Orleans
SeattleTimes FEMA Director Mike Brown listened in on electronic briefings given by the National Hurricane Center warning of a storm surge capable of overtopping levees in New Orleans
  Fri 26 Aug
CNN 4 p.m.: The National Hurricane Center warns that Katrina is expected to reach dangerous Category 4 intensity before making landfall in Mississippi or Louisiana.
CNN hours later: Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour and Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco declare states of emergency.
  Sat 27 Aug
CNN 5 a.m.: Katrina is upgraded to a Category 3, or major hurricane, with the Gulf Coast in its path.
White House "The President today declared an emergency exists in the State of Louisiana and ordered Federal aid to supplement state and local response efforts in the parishes located in the path of Hurricane Katrina beginning on August 26, 2005, and continuing. The President's action authorizes the Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), to coordinate all disaster relief efforts which have the purpose of alleviating the hardship and suffering caused by the emergency on the local population, and to provide appropriate assistance for required emergency measures"
CNN During the day, residents of Louisiana's low-lying areas are told they must evacuate; residents in other low-lying areas are urgently advised to do so.
AP evening: Mayor C. Ray Nagin was visiting New Orleans television stations and urging people to leave
StPTimes night: Natl. Hurricane Ctr. head Mayfield calls Nagin
StPTimes night: Natl. Hurricane Ctr. head Mayfield calls governors of Louisiana and Mississippi
  Sun 28 Aug
CNN 2 a.m.: Katrina escalates to Category 4 strength, heading for the Gulf Coast.
CNN 7 a.m.: Hurricane Katrina intensifies to Category 5
CNN 10 a.m.: New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin orders mandatory evacuations
StPTimes Natl. Hurricane Ctr. head Mayfield videoconference with Bush
White House "The President today declared an emergency exists in the State of Mississippi"
White House "The President today declared an emergency exists in the State of Alabama"
  Mon 29 Aug
FT FedEx said it began airfreighting 120,000lbs of water and telecoms equipment on behalf of the Red Cross before the hurricane hit.
CBReport Northcom started planning before the storm even hit. The USS Bataan was sailing almost behind the hurricane so once the hurricane made landfall, its search and rescue helicopters could be available almost immediately. Authorization was given in a timely manner. [NOTE: Early reports were that authorization was not given.]
CNN 4 a.m.: Hurricane Katrina is downgraded to a strong Category 4
AP FEMA head Michael Brown told NBC's "Today" show that his agency had "planned for this kind of disaster for many years"
7 a.m.: Katrina makes landfall on the Louisiana coast
AFP New Orleans area residents, seeking refuge from Hurricane Katrina wait to get inside the Superdome
White House President discusses Medicare in Arizona
AP noon: FEMA head Brown requests dispatch of 1,000 DHS employees to the region, giving them two days to arrive.
AP FEMA head Brown urged local fire and rescue departments outside Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi not to send trucks or emergency workers into disaster areas without an explicit request for help from state or local governments
Two major flood-control levees are breached, and the National Weather Service reports "total structural failure" in parts of New Orleans.
AP A section of the roof of the Superdome, where 10,000 people are taking refuge, opens.
  Tue 30 Aug
MSNBC Beginning early in the week a strange paralysis set in. For days, Bush's top advisers argued over legal niceties about who was in charge, according to three White House officials
Meet the Press DHS SEC'Y CHERTOFF: Well, I think if you look at what actually happened, I remember on Tuesday morning picking up newspapers and I saw headlines, "New Orleans Dodged The Bullet" ... It was on Tuesday that the levee--may have been overnight Monday to Tuesday--that the levee started to break. And it was midday Tuesday that I became aware of the fact that there was no possibility of plugging the gap ... [cf. Wonkette]
CNN New Orleans is left with no power, no drinking water, dwindling food supplies, widespread looting, fires -- and steadily rising waters from major levee breaches. Authorities try evacuating the thousands of people at city shelters.
CNN The U.S. military starts to move ships and helicopters to the region at the request of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
White House President gives speech about V-J day in San Diego
AP Plays a guitar presented to him following his visit to Naval Base Coronado
NYTimes Many refugees said they had come [to the convention center] after hearing directives on the radio that they do so, because the Superdome and other shelters were already filled. But Kenya Smith, head of intergovernmental relations for New Orleans, said Friday that the convention center was never designated an official shelter. At the convention center, he said, the refugees were told - he was not sure by whom - that FEMA would send buses to take them from the city.
  Wed 31 Aug
White House Returning to Washington DC, the president flies over affected area
CNN Evacuations from the Louisiana Superdome to the Houston Astrodome begin.
White House Bush gives 'laundry list' speech about hurricane relief efforts
  Thu 1 Sep
  New York Times editorial: Waiting for a Leader "George W. Bush gave one of the worst speeches of his life yesterday, especially given the level of national distress and the need for words of consolation and wisdom. ... He advised the public that anybody who wanted to help should send cash, grinned, and promised that everything would work out in the end."
AP Victims of Katrina outside the Superdome as they wait for evacuation
White House President Asks Bush and Clinton to Assist in Hurricane Relief Efforts
WaPo Bush in interview on ABC's Good Morning America: ""I don't think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees."
  Photo in several newspapers showing the situation Thursday
TPM FEMA page for Katrina-related giving had Pat Robertson's Operation Blessing listed second (since then the page has been reformatted)
CNN Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff announces that 4,200 National Guard troops trained as military police will be deployed to New Orleans over the next three days.
CNN Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco requests the mobilization of 40,000 National Guard troops.
CNN Mayor to feds: 'Get off your asses'
Reuters Dorothy Divic, 89, is surrounded by onlookers trying to keep her alive on a street outside the convention center
News Hour FEMA head Brown: "with regard to the ... the convention center ... They've had meals every day that they've been there."
NY Times FEMA head Brown told network television interviewers on Thursday night that federal officials had learned about the [convention center] refugees just that day.
  Fri 2 Sep
White House 9 am: President Heads to Hurricane Katrina Affected Areas "The results are not acceptable."
White House President arrives in Alabama, Briefed on hurricane Katrina
Local (Los Angeles) FOX anchor and Chris Wallace agree that Bush looked bored and uninterested.

At conclusion of briefing, Bush said of FEMA head, "Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job"
White House President arrives in New Orleans, tours area. [cf. Sen. Landrieu the next day: "yesterday we witnessed a hastily prepared stage set for a Presidential photo opportunity"
CNN Members of the Congressional Black Caucus criticize the pace of relief efforts
  Sat 3 Sep
CNN The Army Corps of Engineers brings in pumps and generators to help get New Orleans pumps back on line
NYTimes FEMA cuts Jefferson Parish's emergency communications line
  Sun 4 Sep
  Mon 5 Sep
White House Bush returns to areas affected by hurricane
SaltLTrib 50 firefighters sent to Louisiana with first assignment to stand beside Bush as he toured devastated areas.
  Between Monday (29 Aug) and Sunday (4 Sep)
NYTimes FEMA turns away three trailer trucks from Wal-Mart loaded with water
NYTimes FEMA prevented the Coast Guard from delivering 1,000 gallons of diesel fue
Post-Gazette Red Cross officials said that FEMA would not allow them to deliver food to New Orleans
Chi-Tribune FEMA accepts only one truck from Chicago
SaltLTrib FEMA issues call "for two-person fire teams to do community relations"
  Tue 6 Sep
AP Criticized for its sluggish response to Hurricane Katrina, the White House said Tuesday that "we're not going to engage in the blame game"
White House BUSH: "What I intend to do is lead an investigation to find out what went right and what went wrong."
NOLA Bodies found piled in freezer at Convention Center. "It's not on, but at least you can shut the door."
Daniel Martinez, a spokesman for FEMA said plans for body recovery "are not being released yet."

(subject to updates)

A big Thank You to the Daily Kos website, which was the starting point for many of these entries.

UPDATE: There is another timeline over at Nobody Knows Anything, which contains a different mix and goes back further to when FEMA was reorganized and levee projects and funding were decided upon.

UPDATE2: There is a very detailed timeline over at the dKospedia that covers (for the most part and currently) the period between Aug 26 to Sep 1.

UPDATE3: Additional timelines: a very extensive and well-sourced one at Right Wing Nut House (right-leaning, but the timeline is unbiased), and the BBC (thinner, but with some pictures)

COMMENT: It's getting to the point where there are so many events to chronicle, that separate per-department_of_government timelines may be needed. But that practically takes us to the point where we're writing up a report of the kind an investigating committee would produce. Here at uggabugga, we'll probably stick to what we see as key events and topics of debate (e.g. when various authorizations were made). We don't envision, say, including stuff like when Shepard Smith cussed out Hannity or when a private citizen was stopped at a checkpoint - it's overload.


Did anything happen on Monday? Thanks for this. I am so upset about this whole thing i do not know how to direct it. Too far away and unable to do anything constructive but so very angry.

By Blogger Anna in PDX, at 9/06/2005 4:43 AM  

Q --

This is awesome work. Thanks!

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9/06/2005 8:09 AM  

Please keep the timeline updated, Quiditty.

It's going to keep being weird, and its good to be able to document the atrocities.

Is it possible what we really have here is an effective pogrom of negligence to allow a blue city to die to enable a red political machine to gain control?

By Blogger kelley b., at 9/06/2005 9:07 AM  

Thanks for the useful timeline.

But you forgot to show where Bill Clinton is to blame. ;-)

By Blogger brainhell, at 9/06/2005 9:18 AM  

brainhell: I'll add that later.

By Blogger Quiddity, at 9/06/2005 9:20 AM  

I still have yet to hear who cancelled all public transportation and when and why it was cancelled. Seems like a critical detail.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9/06/2005 10:12 AM  

Just a minor point - the Superdome roof has never "been shredded."

There's some sort of "skin" on top that WAS shredded, but the basic structure of the roof is intact. Something like six smallish sections blew out during the hurricane, which let in some water and wind.

Otherwise, this is a GREAT timeline and I'm glad you did it.

By Blogger Laurie Mann, at 9/06/2005 10:17 AM  

aenematron: If I find it, I'll put it in.

I've been surprised at how difficult it has been to find precise times and dates for key events. And it gets harder with each passing day. I've been scouring all the major media and searching Yahoo and other websites as part of the process. Even the CNN Timeline they had on their website (which I used) was incomplete.

laurie: wording has already changed (due to a slight reorg). Thanks for the tip.

By Blogger Quiddity, at 9/06/2005 10:24 AM  

RE 2 September Photo Op:

Seems absolutely critical that we should remember and share that "Bush grounds Coast Guard helicopters and pulls servicemembers from duty to stand as backdrops to one of his photo ops".

As far as I've been able to tell,

Each USCG helicopter was averaging about 40 rescues / day by last Friday.

Secret Service required these helicopters to be in place hours before the President's arrival. They were 'out of operations' for over five hours, each, prior to and during Bush's photo op.

As rescues were principally "day light", if one is generous, the two five hours equals 10 hours of daylight operations or roughly 80 percent of a full day's helicopter operations.

If 40 people were rescued per helicopter day, then the photo operation locking up the two Coast Guard helicopters preempted the rescue of approximately 32 people.

Thus, yet again, the Bush Administration believes that Photo Ops before People!!

--- By the way, while I despise Bush, he had a real 'photo op' opportunity here. What if he'd arrived, seen the heloes there and said: "What are you doing standing there at attention? Aren't there people waiting to be rescued? Let me get out of the way for a few minutes so that you can get back to the business of rescuing our fellow Americans. Good luck and God speed." Now that would have been leadership ... something the WPE (Worst President Ever) is incapable of ...

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9/06/2005 2:04 PM  

Great work.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9/06/2005 2:11 PM  

Great job.

Tuesday's events should have Bush returning to Crawford for a final night of vacation before going to Washington.

By Blogger Luke Francl, at 9/06/2005 2:12 PM  

Great. I started a timeline at dKosopedia with links to supporting new stories and documents if you want to contribute to it.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9/06/2005 2:29 PM  

From Harry Shearer

according to Mayor Ray Nagin's serially angrier interviews a week ago today (Tues) on local WWL-TV, WDSU-TV and WWL radio, the Army Corps of Engineers assured him and Gov. Blanco that morning that sandbagging to heal the breach in the 17th St. Canal floodwall would begin immediately.

As readers of this site may recall, Mike Dumstein of the Corps said on CNN mid-day Wednesday, "we're filling sandbags now." The actual operation to drop sandbags and heal the breach didn't begin until Thursday, by which time flooding had reached its peak.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9/06/2005 2:39 PM  

Have we finally reached a point where the gloves are off and if we criticize this administration of incompetent bunglers we will no longer be called "unpatriotic"? What spin do you think the administration will use to quiet the angry, teeming masses of Americans (Democratic and Republican) who see the bungled events starting with pre-9/11 intelligence, squandered good will of nations, squandered budget surpluses, blundered pre-invasion of Iraq intelligence, a hugely bungled war with enormous loss of life and limb, and now THIS?
INCOMPETENCE in the dictionary should list the Bush Administration First.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9/06/2005 4:08 PM  

Don't forget to include "Bush heads probe into what went wrong". Am I the only one that sees the irony in this? Sort of like the baseball,football and basketball leagues investigating the use of steroids by their own players.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9/06/2005 4:17 PM  

"Have we finally reached a point where the gloves are off and if we criticize this administration of incompetent bunglers we will no longer be called "unpatriotic"?"


By Blogger Riggsveda, at 9/06/2005 4:33 PM  

reddan: Feel free to use anything you find on this blog. However, if you choose to use images, please copy them and host them on your own server.

That goes for anybody else.

By Blogger Quiddity, at 9/06/2005 7:28 PM  

totally awesome

great job!

By Blogger you know, at 9/06/2005 8:12 PM  

Thank you, Q.

By Blogger Riggsveda, at 9/07/2005 5:42 AM  

Where in here was Mr. Bush enjoying cake with Senator McCain?

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9/07/2005 11:10 AM  

Bush will look into "what went right and what went wrong."

Q: What went "right"?!?!?!

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9/07/2005 12:17 PM  

This is from a friend who lives in Monroe, LA. Has to do with the state of disaster link. cj

Ok, CJ, I have to weigh in on this one. Half of the
parishes in the list are north Louisiana parishes,
which were not affected or even predicted to be by the
hurricane, while some of the most hard hit parishes
are not even on it, you have to really question the
accuracy/authenticity of such a report - Lisa

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9/07/2005 1:22 PM  

I appreciate your establishment of the timeline and your sharing it.
One good addition would be that Gov. KB Blanco requested President Bush to declare a federal state of emergency for LA noting that the emergency was beyond state and local capabilities. A link for this is

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9/15/2005 2:09 PM  

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