Friday, August 25, 2006

Katrina one year anniversary:

Here is the timeline posted back then for the week when the disaster unfolded -

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)

And another thing ...

This is a subsequent post from early this year (March) when the videoconference was released:

Look closely at the clip from the hurricane Katrina video conference that had Bush saying little except empty promises.
It's a guy taking pictures of Bush. That's important. Why bother with additional staff who could be involved with the federal response to the crisis? Far better to have pictures of the president looking good.

By the way, is Bush the Clarence Thomas of the executive branch? Both apparently don't ask any questions when important subjects are debated. Perhaps it's because they don't have much of an ability to be engaged with anything complex.

UPDATE: The cameraman appears to be using a still-shot camera (not a videocamera) and almost certainly took this picture (below) which was released by the White House to show Bush fully engaged.


A shocking scandal! Not only does it turn out that a photograph was taken of Bush, but now it turns out that THERE WAS A PHOTOGRAPHER TAKING THE PICTURE!!!

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8/26/2006 10:27 AM  

Thank you! This timeline is a powerful inditement of the most incompetent US president ever to hold the office. Truly, Bush "fiddled" while New Orleans, one of our most important ports, drowned. And the destruction along the Miss. coast is still almost untouched. And other areas are still sufferring because of Rita.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8/27/2006 9:09 AM  

Speaking of timelines...Mother Jones Magazine has a nice one out on the run-up to the war. Just before the first aniversary of 911 top admin spinners met. Sept. 8, 2002 they all launched into the Saddam is gonna kill us theme - the theme that rushed us to pre-emptive war.

I was reading about trama. It said we were all traumatized by 911. This is very effective marketing, hitting a tramatized nation over the head every September with fear of more death. It works well in getting votes, as well as starting wars.

Now on the anniversary of another communal trama we are going to get another large dose of spin. I can not see how it will work for them this time. You never know, everyone seemed to enjoy Rockey's heartwarming story..

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8/27/2006 2:50 PM  

I'm with 'anonymous' -- you're just out to get Bush, who at least had the sense to know that he is more important than a hurricane. Or a city. Hey, where can I watch that video?

By Blogger brainhell, at 8/27/2006 3:04 PM  

Anonymous and brainhell:

I think the point here is that at a supposedly working meeting, there was only one other attendee besides Bush. (Two others, counting the photographer.)

That's remarkably few attendees for a working meeting, wouldn't you say?

Leading to the conclusion that--gasp--the only purpose for the "meeting" was to set up a photo-op for Bush so he could look "presidential."

Does this help?

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8/29/2006 8:33 AM  

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