This completely unconfirmed post says that FEMA and the DHS might have been looking at different weather forecasts: one from the National Weather Service, and the other from Accuweather. Developing:
The Senate Commerce Committee held hearings this afternoon on Katrina. The House Science Committee will be holding hearing Wednesday morning (9/21). Sen. Ben Nelson (Florida) asked Max Mayfield whether it was true that Secretary Chertoff (the head of homeland security) & Department of Homeland Security (DHS) used Accuweather for hurricane forecasts of Katrina and he confirmed it. The National Infrastructure Command Center in DHS prepared an "overnight summary" for Secretary Chertoff on Katrina that was based on Accuweather hurricane predictions rather than hurricane forecast information from the National Hurricane Center. This dates from when former PA. Governor Ridge was Secretary of homeland security.
What's even most shocking is that the "NOAA Desk" in the DHS Ops Center, staffed by a primary & two backup NWS meteorologists, prepared forecasts for Secretary Chertoff based on the National Hurricane Center; however, it is unsure that this ever made it to the Secretary. To make matters worse & even more confusing, FEMA relies solely on NWS products, which includes those issued by the National Hurricane Center. So FEMA (which only uses NWS) and the DHS (which uses Accuweather) are not even looking at the same forecasts! The NWS NHC's track for Katrina was significantly different & more accurate than Accuweather's. Just recently, Accuweather's track for Ophelia brought it across Florida & into the Gulf. In both cases, Accuweather's forecast was dead wrong. The end result is that the head of homeland security & DHS & FEMA received conflicting forecasts.
Sen. Bill Nelson also asked Max Mayfield about consolidation and downsizing of WFOs and Max Mayfield unequivocally said it was a very bad idea, and that he hopes that it doesn't happen and that the local WFOs are an essential part of NWS. Senator Nelson also trashed Accuweather and, without naming Santorum, blasted those who would try to take NWS off the air and off the internet to help commercial interests.
Uh - I have video tape of night's news on CNN between 6pm ET and 12am ET from Wed before the storm hit through Wed after the storm hit. Are people saying that AccuWeather or the DHS got this wrong?
They were BEGGING people to leave N.O. and the Gulf area beginning on Wed night. Its right there on the video tape. And yet, the morning after the first PLEA by Chertoff to leave N.O. comes on the GOVERNOR or L.A. telling people to stay put and "hang tight" because there is NO MANDATORY EVACUATION PLAN IN EFFECT.
...No one, NO ONE but those two dimwit twits (mayor and governor) are to blame for all those deaths.
Will investigate and report...