From today’s Washington Post:
An Aug. 28 report by the department’s National Infrastructure Simulation and Analysis Center concluded that a Category 4 or 5 hurricane would cause severe damage in the city (New Orleans–ed.), including power outages and a direct economic hit of up to $10 billion for the first week.
“Overall, the impacts described herein are conservative,” stated the report, which was sent to Homeland Security’s office for infrastructure protection.
“Any storm rated Category 4 or greater … will likely lead to severe flooding and/or levee breaching, leaving the New Orleans metro area submerged for weeks or months,” said the report.
The documents are the latest indication that the federal government knew beforehand of the catastrophic damage that a storm of Katrina’s magnitude could cause. The Bush administration has been lambasted for its lackluster response to Katrina and its aftermath, including criticism that the government should have known a hurricane of that strength posed a danger to the area’s levees and was unprepared to cope with it.
But the incompetence is not in preventing the effects of Katrina. With such short notice, or even with the notice provided by the Pam exercise, it is unlikely anyone could have done that.
Here is the incompetence:
And Bush, in his now almost legendary comment:
Now, let us look at this:
Chertoff is the head of the agency that produced this report two days before the hurricane hit.
And Bush is his boss.
They don’t even read their mail.
Would you trust either of these men to mail a letter for you?