Sunday, August 31, 2008

Flip a coin.

Have they learned anything, or not?

Hurricaine Gustav is headed straight for Louisiana. Right straight at New Orleans. On the one hand, it appears that Louisiana, and New Orleans has learned a few things. On the other hand, it could be argued that New Orleans, at least, hasn't really learned anything at all.

Let's start with the idea that there have been at least a few lessons learned.

First of all, this time, the President is advising people to leave, and releasing computer generated damage estimates.

This time, Mayor Nagin, who screwed up so spectacularly with Katrina, ordered manditory evacuation, starting with the lowest-lying areas, on Sunday. People started moving sooner than that.

A dawn-to-dusk curfew has been announced. It's also been announced that looters will be jailed.

This time, there will be no shelter of last resort. No Superdome. No hotels. Nothing but the houses of those who decide to stay.

The governor of Louisiana has gotten legislation passed to prevent the 2nd ammendment violations that happened during Katrina.

However, despite all of what's looking up, there are a few down sides.

Despite all the warnings, there are still people staying. While the city government is saying evacuation is mandatory, they're not forcing it, and making it so. No one has any guesses how many people will stay, or who they will all be, or how good the curfew will be, or how prompt response to looters will be.

The rebuilt leves probably won't hold. Major flooding has been predicted.

Flip a coin. Has Louisiana learned enough to prevent tragedy? Has New Orleans? Or will we have another Katrina style disaster in human life?

Update: I can't speak to whether the government agencies, city and state, have really learned anything, but the people have, at least. Best estimates say that, by the time Gustav made landfall, there were 10,000 or fewer left in New Orleans.

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