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View Full Version : Steady buildup to a complete meltdown



tybee204
09-11-2005, 11:33 AM
This is a really informative article. It is 8 pages long but very much worth the read.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9286534/

Steady buildup to a complete meltdown
Confusion, bureaucracy reigned as floodwaters overtook New Orleans

Walter Maestri had dreaded this call for a decade, ever since he took over emergency management for Jefferson Parish, a marshy collection of suburbs around New Orleans. It was Friday night, Aug. 26, and his friend Max Mayfield was on the line. Mayfield is the head of the National Hurricane Center, and he wasn't calling to chat.

"Walter," Mayfield said, "get ready."

"What do you mean?" Maestri asked, though he already knew the answer.

Hurricane Katrina had barreled into the Gulf of Mexico, and Mayfield's latest forecast had it smashing into New Orleans as a Category 4 or 5 storm Monday morning. Maestri already had 10,000 body bags in his parish, in case he ever got a call like this.

"This could be the one," Mayfield told him.

Maestri heard himself gasp: "Oh, my God."