The White House Lied While New Orleans Died

· Edgewise, Katrina, Paleoblogs

“FYI from FEMA” said the e-mail to Homeland Security on the night the 17th Street Canal levee broke. The White House knew of flooding, stranded people and fires in the Crescent City by midnight. Then they all went about their business as if nothing had happened. Meanwhile the City of New Orleans fought it’s greatest battle – with the elements – and lost.
Today, the streets of New Orleans are broken, empty, filled with debris. A thousand or more are dead. Hundreds of thousands are “missing” and may never return to their homes. Their homes are gone. Of the 21,000 requests from New Orleaneans for FEMA trailers, only 3,000 have gotten them–more than five months after the hurricane and flood.
That FEMA e-mail said the situation in New Orleans was, “…far more serious…” than the media were reporting. The media had not seen what the FEMA staff had seen, flying over the 17th Street canal in a Coast Guard helicopter. What happened between that e-mail message and the vacationing president’s sigh of relief that the stricken city had “dodged the bullet”? Somebody lied.