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HURRICANE KATRINA: Indexed Quotations etc. | September 5, 2005

Scope | FEMA | Security | Flood Prevention | Political/Economic Fallout



Researched by Douglas Drenkow, "Progressive Thinking"

"Who on earth could have known that Osama bin Laden wanted to attack us by flying planes into buildings? Any official who bothered to read the trellis of pre-9/11 intelligence briefs. Who on earth could have known that an American invasion of Iraq would spawn a brutal insurgency, terrorist recruiting boom and possible civil war? Any official who bothered to read the C.I.A.'s prewar reports. Who on earth could have known that New Orleans's sinking levees were at risk from a strong hurricane? Anybody who bothered to read the endless warnings over the years about the Big Easy's uneasy fishbowl." -- Maureen Dowd

"Our friends at the Center for American Progress note the Office of Technology Assessment used to produce forward-thinking plans such as 'Floods: A National Policy Concern' and 'A Framework for Flood Hazards Management.' Unfortunately, the office was targeted by Newt Gingrich and the Republican right, and gutted years ago." -- Molly Ivins

"The president's declaration that 'I don't think anyone anticipated the breach of the levees' has instantly achieved the notoriety of Condoleezza Rice's 'I don't think anybody could have predicted that these people would take an airplane and slam it into the World Trade Center.'" -- Frank Rich

"In 2004, Mr. Brown led FEMA's thousands of dedicated disaster workers during the most active hurricane season in over 100 years, as FEMA delivered aid more quickly and more efficiently than ever before." -- Official White House Biography of Michael D. Brown, Under Secretary of Homeland Security for Emergency Preparedness and Response

"Thousands drowned in the murky brew that was soon contaminated by sewage and industrial waste. Thousands more who survived the flood later perished from dehydration and disease as they waited to be rescued." -- National Geographic Magazine October, 2004, in an eerily prescient hypothetical worst-case scenario

"Since 2001, the Louisiana Congressional delegation had pushed for far more money for storm protection than the Bush administration has accepted." -- New York Times

"It would take $2.5 billion to build a Category 5 protection system, and we're talking about tens of billions in losses, all that lost productivity, and so many lost lives and injuries and personal trauma you'll never get over. People will be scarred for life by this event." -- Alfred C. Naomi, a senior project manager of the Army Corps of Engineers for New Orleans flood control

"It appears that the money has been moved in the president's budget to handle homeland security and the war in Iraq, and I suppose that's the price we pay. Nobody locally is happy that the levees can't be finished, and we are doing everything we can to make the case that this is a security issue for us." -- Walter Maestri, emergency management chief for Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, June 2004

"'The corps,'" an Editor and Publisher article says, citing a series of articles in The Times-Picayune in New Orleans, 'never tried to hide the fact that the spending pressures of the war in Iraq, as well as homeland security -- coming at the same time as federal tax cuts -- was the reason for the strain.' In 2002 the corps' chief resigned, reportedly under threat of being fired, after he criticized the administration's proposed cuts in the corps' budget, including flood-control spending." -- Paul Krugman

"Just plain political bad luck that, in June [2005], Bush took his little ax and chopped $71.2 million from the budget of the New Orleans Corps of Engineers, a 44 percent reduction...that meant 'major hurricane and flood projects will not be awarded to local engineering firms. Also, a study to determine ways to protect the region from a Category 5 hurricane has been shelved for now.'" -- Molly Ivins

"The coastal wetlands erode at a rate of 24 square miles a year and expose south Louisiana to increasing danger...efforts to squeeze coastal protection money out of Washington have met with resistance. The Louisiana congressional delegation urged Congress earlier this year to dedicate a stream of federal money to Louisiana's coast, only to be opposed by the White House. Ultimately a deal was struck to steer $540 million to the state over four years. The total coast of coastal repair work is estimated to be $14 billion...the Bush administration also had proposed a significant reduction in funding for southeast Louisiana's chief hurricane protection project. Bush proposed $10.4 million, a sixth of what local officials say they need." -- The Times-Picayune

"...the Clinton administration set some tough policies on wetlands, and...the Bush administration repealed those policies -- ordering federal agencies to stop protecting as many as 20 million acres of wetlands. Last year...the Bush administration's policies had allowed developers to drain thousands of acres of wetlands." -- Molly Ivins

"When unbridled commercial development of delicately balanced environments like the Mississippi Delta is bruited 'at the table', whose voice is heard? ...the only voice that matters is that of the developers themselves, and the elite investors who stand behind them." -- Chris Floyd

"This may well be one of the most active Atlantic hurricane seasons on record." -- NOAA director David Johnson, earlier this year

"Katrina is the 11th named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season, which began June 1. That's seven more than typically has [sic] formed by now in the Atlantic, Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico..." -- CBS News (Saturday, Aug. 27, 2005)

"Meteorologists think a decade-long trend of active Atlantic hurricane seasons will continue this summer...During the 2004 season four hurricanes battered Florida in the space of about six weeks, and another hurricane lashed North Carolina's Outer Banks. The 45 billion dollars (U.S.) in damages done by these storms makes the 2004 season the most expensive on record. And that figure doesn't include millions of dollars in lost income for businesses forced to close because of the hurricanes." -- National Geographic News (June 1, 2005)

"The strongest hurricanes in the present climate may be upstaged by even more intense hurricanes over the next century as the earth's climate is warmed by increasing levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Although we cannot say at present whether more or fewer hurricane will occur in the future with global warming, the hurricanes that do occur near the end of the 21st century are expected to be stronger and have significantly more intense rainfall than under present day climate conditions." -- The Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory of NOAA

Scope | FEMA | Security | Flood Prevention | Political/Economic Fallout

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