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Katrina Chronology

September 2, 2005

Monday Aug 29

Hurricane Bears Down on Gulf Coast

Hurricane Katrina, one of the strongest storms ever to threaten the United States, carved a path toward the Gulf Coast yesterday, packing 165-mph winds and forcing the evacuation of hundreds of thousands of residents of New Orleans and the region.

All lanes on interstate highways in the New Orleans area were given over to outbound traffic, as people made a last-ditch attempt to escape the massive Category 5 hurricane. Traffic was bumper-to-bumper as far away as Jackson, Miss., more than 180 miles to the north. Thousands of people who could not get out of town lined up outside the 70,000-seat Superdome, hoping to take refuge in the home of the New Orleans Saints professional football club.

Bush to tout drug plan in Valley

The State Health Insurance Assistance Program, which counsels Medicare beneficiaries, said it has given 130 presentations statewide since April about the drug plan.

Now, it’s Bush’s turn to promote the plan.

He will be here today, at the Pueblo El Mirage RV and Golf Resort in El Mirage, to discuss the new drug-benefit plan in round-table style with about 400 invitees.

Tuesday Aug 30

New Orleans shelters to be evacuated

The death toll from the storm so far is estimated at 70 — mostly in Mississippi. Officials stressed that the number is uncertain and likely to be much higher.

. . .

Nagin said that as of late Tuesday “a significant amount of water” is flowing into the bowl-shaped city and sections of the city now dry could be under 9 or 10 feet of water within hours.

“The bowl is filling up,” he said.


Bush rallies troops in Coronado speech

In the final leg of a three-city tour to boost support for the war in Iraq, President Bush on Tuesday compared that conflict to the nation’s fight against the Japanese in World War II.

Against a backdrop of World War II-era fighter planes and aircraft assault boats, Bush addressed a crowd of thousands of Navy sailors, Marines and World War II veterans at North Island Naval Air Station in Coronado.

Wednesday Aug 31

Officials Helpless Against Looters

Amid the chaos Wednesday, thieves commandeered a forklift and used it to push up the storm shutters and break the glass of a pharmacy. The crowd stormed the store, carrying out so much ice, water and food that it dropped from their arms as they ran. The street was littered with packages of ramen noodles and other items.

President takes steps to ease shortage of oil

The Bush administration agreed Wednesday to release oil from emergency stockpiles to help Gulf Coast refiners hobbled by a loss of shipments because of Hurricane Katrina. The administration also moved to temporarily ease some pollution standards on gasoline and diesel fuel to avert shortages.

The actions were announced as President Bush returned to Washington from his Texas ranch to oversee federal relief efforts.

Thursday Sep 1

Hurricane Katrina – Evacuation disrupted by gunshot report

While refugees waited for a ride to Houston, the air ambulance service in charge of taking the sick and injured from the Superdome suspended flights after a shot was reported fired at a military helicopter.

After a traffic jam kept buses from arriving at the Superdome for nearly four hours, a near-riot broke out in the scramble to get on the buses that finally showed up. A fire erupted in a trash chute inside the dome, but it did not affect the evacuation.

Bush plans visit to Katrina-hit area

“This is an agonizing time for the people of the Gulf Coast,” Bush said Thursday as he stood with the two former presidents in the White House and urged patience, saying relief is on the way.

He asked Americans to be prudent in their consumption of energy, but called the hurricane a “temporary disruption” to gasoline supplies. “Don’t buy gas if you don’t need it,” the president said.

Friday Sep 2

Guardsmen Greeted With Applause, Anger

Four days after Hurricane Katrina struck, the National Guard arrived in force Friday with food, water and weapons, churning through the floodwaters in a vast truck convoy with orders to retake the streets and bring relief to the suffering.

“The cavalry is and will continue to arrive,” said Lt. Gen. Steven Blum of the National Guard.

Admitting relief’s troubles, Bush tours Gulf region

Inspecting the disaster scene from the air and on the ground, Bush said the damage was “worse than imaginable” as he traveled through Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana. He consoled weeping women and praised Coast Guard teams that pulled stranded people from the roofs of flooded homes.

Here are some other quotes from Our Fearless Leader today:

  • On attempts to restore order in New Orleans: “The results are not enough[.]”
  • “Where it’s not working right, we’re going to make it right . . . Where it is working right, we’re going to duplicate it elsewhere.”
  • What did he mean by ‘unacceptable’ results? “Well, I’m talking about the fact that we don’t have enough security in New Orleans yet . . . They need to stabilize that situation . . . They need to make sure that the food and medicine that is in place is given to the people that need the food and medicine.”
  • Before departing: “I’m not looking forward to this trip . . . It’s as if the entire Gulf Coast were obliterated by the worst kind of weapon you can imagine.”
  • Responding to a woman who told him her child lacked clothes and that she had nothing: “I understand that… [you can get help from the Salvation Army.] …Hang in there[.]”
  • Why can’t the richest country in the world take care of its own? “I am satisfied with the response. I am not satisfied with all the results.”
  • Can we afford relief and Iraq? “We’ll do both. We’ve got plenty of resources to do both[.]”

Thats some pretty anemic and fatuous stuff. More on this in the coming days.

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3 Comments
  1. September 4, 2005 7:14 PM

    Truly impressive. I was also moved by Lauran Bush’s comments from her “press conference at a sparkling clean and orderly refugee center” in Lafayette, La. From Tim Grieve at Salon.com: “What about the people still stuck in New Orleans? Bush was asked about the fact that most of them are poor and black. That’s just the way it is, she said. “This is what happens when there’s a natural disaster of this scope,” Bush said. “The poorer people are usually in the neighborhoods that are the lowest or the most exposed or the most vulnerable. Their housing is the most vulnerable to natural disaster. And that is just always what happens.”

    Oh well.
    And just for fun, a photo.

  2. September 6, 2005 1:28 PM

    Perhaps it’s true when they say some men marry their mother. Here is what the presidential mom had to say about the po’ folks from New Orleans being sheltered in Houston: “And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this — this [she chuckles slightly] is working very well for them.” (Got that quote here.)

    Yeah, Barb, it’s always been my dream to live in a fucking sports arena in the most polluted city in the nation. Thanks!

    For fun, an only tangentially related photo: `http://fearofclowns.com/gfx/schiavi_barbara_bush_sons.jpg` (Copy and paste if it doesn’t work.)

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