Wednesday, September 07, 2005

But of Course They Weren't Prepared. No One Could Have Predicted How Bad It Would Be.

A friend just forwarded me a link to this National Geographic article. Familiar stuff:
...[T]he storm gathered steam and drew a bead on the city. As the whirling maelstrom approached the coast, more than a million people evacuated to higher ground. Some 200,000 remained, however—the car-less, the homeless, the aged and infirm, and those die-hard New Orleanians who look for any excuse to throw a party....

Thousands drowned in the murky brew that was soon contaminated by sewage and industrial waste. Thousands more who survived the flood later perished from dehydration and disease as they waited to be rescued... It was the worst natural disaster in the history of the United States.
So, what's interesting about this? It was published last October. Yeah. Eleven months ago. The next paragraph starts with:
When did this calamity happen? It hasn't—yet. But the doomsday scenario is not far-fetched. The Federal Emergency Management Agency lists a hurricane strike on New Orleans as one of the most dire threats to the nation, up there with a large earthquake in California or a terrorist attack on New York City.
Well, we're up to two out of three. Here's hoping California has better luck, because if I were them I wouldn't exactly count on a prompt, competent response when that quake hits.

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