10 years ago, Hurricane Katrina wreaked havoc on the Gulf Coast, becoming the deadliest natural disaster to ever hit the US, killing 1,833 people across five states. It was also the most expensive disaster, costing tax payers $108 BILLION in damages. Usually, a category 3 hurricane wouldn’t be so devastating, but with Katrina there was one fuck up after another. Let’s look back at 5 key players and how see how they responded…
George W. Bush
The hurricane came on Monday, while Bush was on vacation in Texas. He stayed on vacation till Wednesday afternoon, only to leave after the country asked what the hell the President was doing in response to the disaster. He originally claimed that he had no idea the inadequate levee system would break. Although this was proven to be bullshit after a video leaked showing a top-level briefing before the storm where he was told just that. Nearly 20,000 people were crammed into the Superdome where they were subjected to rape, murder and chaos. Bush’s mother, Barbra Bush, claimed that they were “better off” there because the (mostly poor and black) evacuees were “underprivileged anyway.”
In the chaos that followed Katrina, Vice President Dick Cheney wasted no time bringing relief… to an oil pipeline. He personally ordered power crews, who were in the process of restoring power to two local hospitals, to stop doing that and work on electrical substations that were essential to the Colonial Pipeline. That pipeline carries gasoline and diesel fuel from Texas to the Northeast. It took 6 days for those hospitals to get power restored. He also transferred crews to the pipeline who were trying to restore power to rural water systems in areas hit. It’s all about priorities.
New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin
Worried about Hotels losing money, Mayor Nagin refused to order a “mandatory” evacuation of New Orleans, and instead ordered a “volentary” evacuation. He told people if they didn’t evacuate that, “We will take care of you.” LOL. It was also his idea to put people in the Superdome, which was never designed nor tested to be an emergency shelter. This would explain why part of the roof peeled off and rain pissed down on everyone. In the aftermath of Katrina, he got so caught up in money laundering, filing false tax returns, bribery, wire fraud, etc., that he now lives in a prison in Texas.
FEMA director Michael Brown
George W. Bush made his buddy Michael Brown director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), even though the guy had no idea how to do the job. Immediately after Katrina hit, his emails show that he was looking for a dog sitter, talking about going shopping, and showing concern about his clothing during interviews. As the hurricane raged on, he asked a FEMA public affairs official, “Can I quit now? Can I go home?” And he told CNN that he did not know about victims being stranded at the New Orleans Convention Center- even though it was being reported about for days.
He was later shot dead by a police officer in Ferguson Missouri.
Actor Sean Penn showed up way too late to help out. Even worse, he came in a tiny little boat with an entourage that included a personal photographer to capture him being a hero. And since he forgot to plug the bottom of his boat, it began filling up with water as soon as he launched. Photographs showed Penn frantically bailing water out of the vessel with a red plastic cup before getting the fuck out of there. Oh well, it was the thought that counts.