My sister and my brother both live in hurricane zones. Anywhere you live, the first thing you learn after a heavy storm is that, once the storm hits, you can’t get there from here, or from anywhere. If you live in a hurricane zone, you learn that, plus the fact that low-lying areas flood. When the weather bureau says that people in low-lying areas should evacuate, if you’re in a low-lying area you leave. Once the hurricane gets there you’re only seeing the start of your troubles.
I’m sure we can all agree that New Orleans was in a low-lying area.
I say was because what we knew as New Orleans is no longer. Still, twelve feet below sea level is a low-lying area.
The Anchoress points out that, at 66 people per bus, 13,530 people could be carried to safety in ONE trip using only the busses shown in that picture. Add to that the 364 buses New Orleans Regional Transportation Authority operated prior to the disaster, which were never put to use in the evacuation.
Jonah Goldberg spells out the rather obvious,
But it seems to me if people have been talking about these levees breaking for decades, and if you know that they can only withstand a cat 3 hurricane, you might have an evacuation plan at the ready which calls for moving vehicles to high ground or putting them in parking structures above the likely flood level or something like that. Again, as I said, Jeb Bush did this sort of thing routinely in Florida. Has there been any evidence that local authorities acted on anything like a serious emergency plan? In other words, maybe some other buses were set aside and I simply haven’t heard about it?
JunkJardBlog points out the school buses are a mile or two away from the Superdome.
Speaking of buses, last night on TV Greta VanSusteren was interviewing a guy that got a hold of a school bus in New Orleans, loaded up eighty people and drove them to safety in Houston. He had never driven a school bus before.
Update His name’s Jabbar Gibson and he’s still in his teens:
The group of mostly teenagers and young adults pooled what little money they had to buy diapers for the babies and fuel for the bus.
Young Mr. Gibson did what needed to be done.
Update 2: More at Michelle‘s.
On a different subject, in all the 24/7 coverage, no one seems to be amazed at how well prepared and able to cope Texas, and especially Houston has been, taking in thousands of people hour after hour.