Getting Candid with the Mayor

I read about an interview that Ray Nagin did with Times-Picayune reporter Gordon Russell over at BuzzMachine. Rather than blog it myself, I thought I’d just leave it to Jeff Jarvis. But, there is this about the buses:

Federal officials have also faulted Nagin’s administration for not marshaling its own buses and those of the School Board to start ferrying the tens of thousands of evacuees stranded at the Superdome and the Convention Center out of town.

Nagin said perhaps some of the criticism is fair. But he said there were various logistical hurdles that made it hard to use that equipment, and the buses would have hardly created a dent in the size of the crowds anyway.

“It’s up for analysis,” he said. “But we didn’t have enough buses. I don’t control the school buses, and the RTA (Regional Transit Authority) buses as far as I know were positioned high and dry. But 80 percent of the city was not high and dry. Where would we have staged them? And who was going to drive them even if we commandeered them? If I’d have marshaled 50 RTA buses, and a few school buses, it still wouldn’t have been nearly enough. We didn’t get food, water and ice in this place, and that’s way above the local level.

“Our plan was always to use the buses to evacuate to the Dome as a shelter of last resort, and from there, rely on state and federal resources.”

Those resources took way too long to arrive, Nagin said – in fact, much of the help didn’t arrive until after the mass evacuations from the Dome and the Convention Center had occurred.

Not enough buses? Gimme a break.

Oh, and Roy, it’s not about what happened after. It’s what didn’t happened BEFORE the hurricane! 

Why didn’t he organize bus transportation out of New Orleans on Sunday, the day before Katrina hit? BEFORE THE FLOOD? He could have ordered the buses to be lined up at the Superdome. When he made the mandatory evacuation announcement he could have also said that buses were ready to take people who did not have their own transportation out of the city.

But, he didn’t. And we know what happened.

Related: Delusional, Dysfunctional, Divisive, and Defiant


  1. Do they pay you guys to repeat this stuff over and over again? Reality land is 250 school busses at 40 people a pop could evacuate 10,000 people. Only 1 1/2 hours to Baton Rouge. 3 hours roundtrip. With gridlock allow an extra hour for the roundtrip. Why that is 80,000 people in 24 hours! They could have been dropped off at the Greyhound bus station and Greyhound could have whisked them all away before the hurricane hit Baton Rouge.

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