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How not to evacuate a city…

How not to evacuate a city…

Being a fan of apocalyptic movies where major cities need to be evacuated before a meterorite / nuclear bomb / Godzilla strikes, I had assumed that governments usually had good evacuation plans that tended to involve commandeering all available transport to get people out of Dodge City. Aside from an amusing moment in a film (I think it’s Meteor) where it’s revealed that the evacuation plans for New York City were drawn up in the 1950s, and would take 11 days.

But it would seem that my notions about carefully-laid plans to get everyone out of a major city were just fantasies. The city of New Orleans (one I’ve had some good times in) issued an evacuation order – but it doesn’t seem like the governments did anything aside from opening up some traffic lanes, and requistioning some key buildings to act as a shelter.

10,000 people – whose only crime seems to be that they don’t have a car and can’t pay for a bus – were forced to shelter at the Superdome. For goodness’ sake, couldn’t a government have requistioned some school/army buses and gotten them out of New Orleans, or something?

Then again, of course, all the roads seemed to be blocked or moving out very slowly. There could be planes, but it appears that most airlines stopped all services – to save money. After all, no-one’s going to want to fly into New Orleans, so they’d be flying empty planes – which won’t make anyone any money…

Amazing. Insane.

Update: As a rescue worker from New Orleans says:

“The poorest 20% … of the city was left behind to drown. This was the plan.”


  • whirdly

    Regarding youy comment on BoingBoing from yesterday regarding phony aid sites: “Now while I don’t doubt that the sites being mentioned are terrible scams perpetuated by evil people, just because someone happens to have a non-white-American name like Moon doesn’t imply that people who are not white americans won’t care about what’s happening, and wouldn’t want to help in any way they could.” I think you missed the point. It’s not the name “Moon” that aroused supision, but the name “Demon” this might have been a give-away. Would you give money to someone named “Demon?”

  • Oh, unless I was just lucky enough to catch old footage before those other lanes were opened so I could make some stupid comment about it. =)

  • Skarlett

    I've always wondered why flood and hurricane reigons don't have rescue boats on stand by like ambulances?
    It's not like these areas are not hit on a regular basis.
    And nevermind that the city of New Orleans was built below sea level.

  • Just out of interest… how did New Orleans vote in the election? Just wondering if that had bearing. Mind, they're all bible-bashers down there so they'll accept it all as an act of god and their own fault for not bowing and scraping enough. Or something.

  • As I watched the news and saw all the vehicles pouring out of New Orleans, driving right by at least three lanes of an EMPTY highway (since no one in their right mind would be going to New Orleans), why the other lanes weren't opened up for those trying to get out. Any ideas?

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