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Using the Superdome as a shelter....

Natural Disasters Hurricane Katrina 2005 New Orleans Superdome Shelter

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#1 Peridot

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Posted 03 September 2005 - 02:38 PM

I don't want to be needlessly critical of someone, even an elected official who is no doubt used to that kind of thing.

But I am just honestly puzzled as to why the Superdome was used as a shelter in the first place.  Not just because of how it's all turned out;  I wondered about the wisdom of it when I saw the first info last Sunday, before the hurricane hit. :confused:

I live in a state that gets very little impact from hurricanes, weatherwise, but we do get tornadoes.  And in terms of a tornado shelter, the last thing you want is something with a huge, wide roof that could be lifted off and then come crashing down.   And hurricanes do often produce tornadoes....as well as the basic hurricane force winds.

There's a lot about this I just have trouble comprehending.  :blink:  There really does not appear to have been anything resembling an adequate plan to get people out of the city.  It looks to me like enormous negligence on the part of the city officials, but I don't know enough about New Orleans to know if there's something I'm missing. :eh:

I don't think I'm generally naive, but there's a lot here that I just find mind-boggling. :wacko:

I'd be interested in hearing other people's thoughts on this, both on using the Superdome, and on the evacuation issue in general.

Peridot

#2 Tom Sawyer

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Posted 03 September 2005 - 02:42 PM

Well, it seemed like a good idea at the time.

They had to put several thousand people somewhere, and I think the general idea was that the city could keep the place supplied, but fate intervened on that one.
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#3 Psyche

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Posted 03 September 2005 - 02:46 PM

Yeah they needed a place that was big enough for all those people and the Superdome was it.

Its also supposed to be able to withstand anything. Not so much, but nice theory.

#4 Tom Sawyer

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Posted 03 September 2005 - 02:49 PM

Yeah, Palo Mayombe's Gumbo Emporium probably couldn't have held all those people, so the SD was a logical choice.

The roof fared well...some sections came off, but not as bad as one might think.  Other than the lack of sanitation, water, lights, food, fresh air, privacy, and security, it wasn't a bad choice.
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#5 Psyche

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Posted 03 September 2005 - 02:51 PM

^ If Katrina had gone on the path they forecasted, the damage would have been worse... but it happened how it happened, and no point dwelling on what could have happened.

#6 Lord of the Sword

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Posted 03 September 2005 - 03:51 PM

The Masked Coyote, on Sep 3 2005, 02:42 PM, said:

Well, it seemed like a good idea at the time.

They had to put several thousand people somewhere, and I think the general idea was that the city could keep the place supplied, but fate intervened on that one.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Guess putting them in another city wasn't an option then? Course not! Because doing that would actually make sense. And if something makes sense, government officials usually do the exact opposite.
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#7 HubcapDave

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Posted 03 September 2005 - 03:59 PM

LORD of the SWORD, on Sep 3 2005, 01:51 PM, said:

The Masked Coyote, on Sep 3 2005, 02:42 PM, said:

Well, it seemed like a good idea at the time.

They had to put several thousand people somewhere, and I think the general idea was that the city could keep the place supplied, but fate intervened on that one.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Guess putting them in another city wasn't an option then? Course not! Because doing that would actually make sense. And if something makes sense, government officials usually do the exact opposite.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Remember, these were the folks that didn't have transportation, or were otherwise too stubborn to leave.

Tht being said, I'm sure those school buses sitting under 20 feet of water could have been put to better use.

#8 Tricia

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Posted 03 September 2005 - 04:13 PM

^^^^Have to agree about those school buses.

Amazing that as soon as they decided to send the big buses to start loading out people that they suddenly remembered to get the New Orleans school buses out and take them to Houston.

How hard would it be to make school buses, city buses, or tour buses into a method of evacuating those without transportation or funds who DO want to leave?
Before the hurricane hits....

All I can say is I hope that everyone involved in planning for emergency situations remembers the buses in the future.

Telling the public to take care of each other just doesn't work...making an alternate means of transportation available to those who don't have cars or funds would be better

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#9 offworlder

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Posted 03 September 2005 - 04:16 PM

well, there's a couple things on that,
it was decided for shelter before they realized, of course they should have thought it's a 50/50 chance but, that the levies would bust and the city flood thus cutting off the dome from exit or helpers .... but it would have been a far better choice if those people who are now complaining they were dumped there with no officials or helpers at all and just left alone: would have arrived to find a dozen EMTs with more promised, and a dozen officials with carry bags full of bottled water, and maybe a few crates of cereal or something? plus two dozen fully armed and vested Swat equipped police with major firepower to deter the crimes of gangs we hear about, people victimized in a lawless waterless sewerpit .... but hey, did the LA gov think of that on Monday?

The big question is: if you don't pick the dome, just where do you tell the people who chose not to leave or couldn't leave... to try to head over to? eh? they couldn't go south into the devastation, they couldn't go north into the Lake... and they by events wound up cut off from going west toward Metarie ... so where could they pick besides the dome? They just should have had people there even if they couldn't get supplies, and plan (where were all the plans from all the years along knowing that this would come eventually?) for chopper airlifts for support.

{edit: I'm now reading reports (need more corroberation?) of children raped and murdered by gangs of young men just going around at night victimizing}

Edited by offworlder, 03 September 2005 - 04:19 PM.

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#10 Solovet

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Posted 03 September 2005 - 05:35 PM

Quote

How hard would it be to make school buses, city buses, or tour buses into a method of evacuating those without transportation or funds who DO want to leave?
Yup, apparently there were hundreds of buses just standing around in NO while this all happened.  :Oo:

http://junkyardblog...._28.html#004749

#11 Shalamar

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Posted 03 September 2005 - 05:52 PM

Thank you Solovet for posting that link, it is a fascinating read, and I agree- the local politicians and bureaucrats ought to come up on criminal charges.
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#12 HubcapDave

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Posted 03 September 2005 - 06:19 PM

There is one downside to those buses. Since they're used mainly for short haul work, they don't have the restroom facilities a Greyhound-style bus does. but I think many of those people would have gladly traded having to tie a knot in it for a couple of hours for what they've had to endure!

#13 Natolii

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Posted 03 September 2005 - 06:20 PM

Okay,

Show of hands

How many here know how to even drive a bus?

I'm willing to bet those bus drivers evacuated when they could as well.

Hindsight is 20/20 and you are asking people to run in the face of a hurricane that took 6 to 7 hours to jump from a catagory 3 to a catagory 5.

Let's be realistic... They were caught off guard, they did not take the hurricane Pam simulation seriously and there were no buses by the time the evacuation orders came down...

I'm watching people too old and infirm to even climb the stairs of a bus. School buses on average do not have the Hydraulic chair lifts...

So you wanted them to pull a major miracle out of their arses without the resources to do so? Okay, so they have buses, did they have 2 other key elements, Fuel and the lugnut behind the wheel to drive them out...

Odds on bet the answer is no...
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#14 HubcapDave

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Posted 03 September 2005 - 06:38 PM

Quote

Okay,

Show of hands

How many here know how to even drive a bus?

I could probably pull it off if I had to. It not like it's a completely different operating system than a car!

Quote

I'm willing to bet those bus drivers evacuated when they could as well.

Hindsight is 20/20 and you are asking people to run in the face of a hurricane that took 6 to 7 hours to jump from a catagory 3 to a catagory 5.

Let's be realistic... They were caught off guard, they did not take the hurricane Pam simulation seriously and there were no buses by the time the evacuation orders came down...

They still had a couple of days notice. That's enough time to get at least one load of people out of town on the buses.


Quote

I'm watching people too old and infirm to even climb the stairs of a bus. School buses on average do not have the Hydraulic chair lifts...

But public transportation buses do. Or, at the very least they can "kneel down" to make the step up easier.

Quote

So you wanted them to pull a major miracle out of their arses without the resources to do so? Okay, so they have buses, did they have 2 other key elements, Fuel and the lugnut behind the wheel to drive them out...

Odds on bet the answer is no...

It's been known for decades that this could happen to NO, so I'm amazed that using public transportation vehicles to help evacuate the city was not part of the plan. Are you telling me that the school district and the public bus depot doesn't have gas for their buses? And considering that the drivers would be considered city employees (at least the school bus drivers), I would think that it would be mandatory for them to show up to drive just for this sort of occasion.

#15 eloisel

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Posted 03 September 2005 - 07:38 PM

Is the City and the School District the same thing in NO?  It isn't here and everywhere else I know of but it could be different in NO.

Still, there appears to have been no shortage of large transportation vehicles.  Why they weren't implemented is a good question that deserves an answer.

#16 Natolii

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Posted 04 September 2005 - 08:31 AM

HubcapDave, on Sep 3 2005, 07:38 PM, said:

Quote

Okay,

Show of hands

How many here know how to even drive a bus?

I could probably pull it off if I had to. It not like it's a completely different operating system than a car!

Actually, yes it is. That is why there is more training when it comes to buses and even trucks.

Quote

Quote

I'm willing to bet those bus drivers evacuated when they could as well.

Hindsight is 20/20 and you are asking people to run in the face of a hurricane that took 6 to 7 hours to jump from a catagory 3 to a catagory 5.

Let's be realistic... They were caught off guard, they did not take the hurricane Pam simulation seriously and there were no buses by the time the evacuation orders came down...

They still had a couple of days notice. That's enough time to get at least one load of people out of town on the buses.

By the time the storm's course became apparent, it was still a Catagory 3. By the time it became a Catagory 5, less than 24 hrs.


Quote

Quote

I'm watching people too old and infirm to even climb the stairs of a bus. School buses on average do not have the Hydraulic chair lifts...

But public transportation buses do. Or, at the very least they can "kneel down" to make the step up easier.

Okay, back to drivers...

Quote

Quote

So you wanted them to pull a major miracle out of their arses without the resources to do so? Okay, so they have buses, did they have 2 other key elements, Fuel and the lugnut behind the wheel to drive them out...

Odds on bet the answer is no...

It's been known for decades that this could happen to NO, so I'm amazed that using public transportation vehicles to help evacuate the city was not part of the plan. Are you telling me that the school district and the public bus depot doesn't have gas for their buses? And considering that the drivers would be considered city employees (at least the school bus drivers), I would think that it would be mandatory for them to show up to drive just for this sort of occasion.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


That's if you are expecting people to be altruistic in the face of a storm. At this point, anyone who could get out of the city, did... We are talking about 80% of the population. This leaves the very people you expected to help to operate said buses. Keep in mind the highways were already jammed up with evacuees on Saturday...

So that still leaves the people to operate said buses... And National Guard was mobilizing at this time, so they could not be in place at all. Some had an 8 hr drive ahead of them.
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#17 Lord of the Sword

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Posted 04 September 2005 - 08:42 AM

Natolii, on Sep 4 2005, 08:31 AM, said:

By the time the storm's course became apparent, it was still a Catagory 3. By the time it became a Catagory 5, less than 24 hrs.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


True. But even when it was still a catagory 3 the MSNBC meteorologists were saying it "could" strengthen to cat 4 or 5. They KNEW it was a very real possibility. The fact that they waited until the last minute is BS.

And they were warned what would happen by experts. The fact that they laughed and giggled at the hurricane PAM model is their own fault.
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#18 HubcapDave

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Posted 04 September 2005 - 01:16 PM

Quote

Actually, yes it is. That is why there is more training when it comes to buses and even trucks.

More training mainly has to do with being able to manuver, not because they operate differently than a regular car. The main difficulty I would see is knowing the turning radius. Once you get the feel for that, you could probably drive it well enough to get some people out of Dodge and to the next safe town. It's not like you'd need to back the thing up to a loading dock!


Quote

By the time the storm's course became apparent, it was still a Catagory 3. By the time it became a Catagory 5, less than 24 hrs.

At least two days before the storm hit, the NO mayor was saying to the people "This is the storm we've all feared was coming"(or something to that effect). So they did have warning (granted two days is not much warning, but it's still warning).

Quote

That's if you are expecting people to be altruistic in the face of a storm. At this point, anyone who could get out of the city, did... We are talking about 80% of the population. This leaves the very people you expected to help to operate said buses. Keep in mind the highways were already jammed up with evacuees on Saturday...

I wouldn't expect them to be altruistic. Were I the mayor of NO, I'd see to it that part of their employment contracts state they are expected to do this duty in case of an emergency.

#19 Anarch

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Posted 04 September 2005 - 01:19 PM

Quote

Actually, yes it is. That is why there is more training when it comes to buses and even trucks.

Tell it to Jabbor Gibson.

#20 HubcapDave

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Posted 04 September 2005 - 01:21 PM

Anarch, on Sep 4 2005, 11:19 AM, said:

Quote

Actually, yes it is. That is why there is more training when it comes to buses and even trucks.

Tell it to Jabbor Gibson.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


That's the kid who grabbed a bus and drove his family to Houston, right?

EDITED TO ADD: Just watched the news coverage: the kid gathered over 100 people and hauled them to the Astrodome.

If an 18 year old kid can drive a school bus 7 hours to Houston, it shouldn't be too hard to find drivers for those buses even if you couldn't get the drivers to drive them!

Edited by HubcapDave, 04 September 2005 - 01:43 PM.




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