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Ray Nagin buys Dallas house, moves

According to this interview:

Mayor Ray Nagin has purchased a home for his family in Dallas and enrolled his young daughter in school there. ...[he] said he planned to return to New Orleans on Saturday. He said he will remain in the Crescent City while his family lives for the next six months in Dallas, making occasional visits to his family when possible. It's not clear where Nagin will be living: His home along Bayou St. John suffered massive flooding, the mayor said, although he has not inspected it...

UPDATE: NOLA has since issued a correction: "Nagin renting Dallas condo, did not buy house".

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A flashback to just before landfall

The AP story "Monstrous Hurricane Heads for New Orleans" has a date of Monday, August 29, 2005; 2:50 AM, although what timezone and whether that's accurate is not known. It's also available here under the title "New Orleans flees as Katrina approaches Gulf Coast" and with a date of 8/28/2005 8:02 AM, although I'm pretty sure that's either a mistake or it refers to what used to be at that URL. But, if someone can find exactly when the article was written that would be helpful.
I'm going to try to split it into categories, with the most important item first:
Terry Ebbert:

Terry Ebbert, New Orleans director of homeland security, said more than 4,000 National Guardsmen were mobilizing in Memphis and will help police New Orleans streets.

So, what happened to those troops? Under whose command were they? Presumably the state of Tennessee, but you never know.
Aaron Broussard:

The head of Jefferson Parish, which includes major suburbs and juts all the way to the storm-vulnerable coast, said some residents who stayed would be fortunate to survive. "I'm expecting that some people who are die-hards will die hard," said parish council President Aaron Broussard.

Nagin:

Mayor Ray Nagin said he believed 80 percent of the city's 480,000 residents had heeded an unprecedented mandatory evacuation as Katrina threatened to become the most powerful storm ever to slam the city... Nagin said he expected the pumping system to fail during the height of the storm. The mayor said the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was standing by to get the system running, but water levels must fall first. "We are facing a storm that most of us have long feared," he said. "This is a once-in-a-lifetime event."

Superdome:

The Louisiana Superdome, normally home of professional football's Saints, became the shelter of last resort Sunday for thousands of the area's poor, homeless and frail. Among those who lined up for blocks as National Guardsmen searched them for guns, knives and drugs were residents who hobbled to safety on crutches, canes and stretchers.

(Remember when the "liberals" were complaining about those searches? Oh, those were the days.)
Holding their breath:

By early Monday, there was little more anyone could do but hope. City streets were empty and bars were closed as gusts up to 55 mph were felt. Landfall of the eye was expected around 8 a.m. at Grand Isle, about 60 miles south of New Orleans.

The first devastating effects of the storm were felt in New Orleans around 8AM CDT.
What might happen:

By 1 a.m. EDT, Katrina's eye was 170 miles south-southeast of New Orleans. A hurricane warning was in effect for the north-central Gulf Coast from Morgan City, La., to the Alabama-Florida line. The storm held a potential surge of 18 to 28 feet that would easily top New Orleans' hurricane protection levees, as well as bigger waves and as much as 15 inches of rain... For years, forecasters have warned of the nightmare scenario a big storm could bring to New Orleans, a bowl of a city that's up to 10 feet below sea level in spots and dependent on a network of levees, canals and pumps to keep dry from the Mississippi River on one side, Lake Pontchartrain on the other. ...The fear is that flooding could overrun the levees and turn New Orleans into a toxic lake filled with chemicals and petroleum from refineries, as well as waste from ruined septic systems.

Driving out:

Major highways in New Orleans cleared out late Sunday after more than 24 hours of jammed traffic as people headed inland. At the peak of the evacuation, 18,000 people an hour were streaming out of southeastern Louisiana, state police said... On inland highways in Louisiana and Mississippi, heavy traffic remained the rule into the night as the last evacuees tried to reach safety. In Orange, Texas, Janie Johnson of the American Red Cross described it as a "river of headlights."

Other precautions:

In Washington, D.C., the Nuclear Regulatory Commission said it has been advised that the Waterford nuclear plant about 20 miles west of New Orleans has been shut down as a precautionary measure.

Other areas:

Evacuation orders also were posted all along the Mississippi coast, and the area's casinos, built on barges, were closed early Saturday. Bands of wind-whipped rain increased Sunday night and roads in some low areas were beginning to flood... Alabama officials issued mandatory evacuation orders for low-lying coastal areas. Mobile Mayor Michael C. Dow said flooding could be worse than the 9-foot surge that soaked downtown during Hurricane Georges in 1998. Residents of several barrier islands in the western Florida Panhandle were also urged to evacuate.

Ray Nagin: "We" told people the Crescent City Connection was open

In the EMT's report they say a police commander told them there were buses at the bridge:

...the police commander came across the street to address our group. He told us he had a solution: we should walk to the Pontchartrain Expressway and cross the greater New Orleans Bridge where the police had buses lined up to take us out of the City. The crowed cheered and began to move. We called everyone back and explained to the commander that there had been lots of misinformation and wrong information and was he sure that there were buses waiting for us. The commander turned to the crowd and stated emphatically, "I swear to you that the buses are there."

But, ABC's Nightline interviewed Ray Nagin on Sep. 4. A transcript is here or here, or below. Among the race-baiting by Jesse Jackson and ABC, and the first fragile attempts at race-baiting by Nagin, note what Nagin says about sending people to the Crescent City Connection:

JOHN DONOVAN, ABC NEWS: The last thing I want to ask you about is the race question.
So, I'm out at the highway - it was last Thursday - huge number of people stuck in the middle of nowhere. Jesse Jackson comes in, looks at the scene, and says it looks like the scene of a, from a slave ship. And I said, "Reverand Jackson,, the imagery suggests you're saying this is about race." And he didn't answer directly, he said, "Take a look at it, what do you think it's about?"
What's your response to that?
RAY NAGIN, MAYOR OF NEW ORLEANS: (Sighs) You know, I haven't really thought much about the race issue. I will tell you this. I think it's, it could be, but it's a class issue for sure. Because I don't think this type of response would have happened if this was Orange County, California. This response definitely wouldn't have happened if it was Manhattan, New York. And I don't know if it's color or class.
DONOVAN: In some way, you think that New Orleans got second-class treatment.
NAGIN: I can't explain the response. And here's what else I can't explain: We are basically, almost surrounded by water. To the east, the bridge is out, you can't escape. Going west, you can't escape because the bridge is under water. We found one evacuation route, to walk across the Crescent City Connection, on the overpass, down Highway 90 to 310 to I10, to go get relief.
People got restless and there was overcrowding at the convention center. They asked us, "Is there any other option?" We said, "Well, if you want to walk, across the Crescent City Connection, there's buses coming, you may be able to find some relief." They started marching. At the parish line, the county line of Gretna, they were met with attack dogs and police officers with machine guns saying "You have to turn back..."
DONOVAN: Go back.
NAGIN: "...because a looter got in a shopping center and set it afire and we want to protect the property in this area."
DONOVAN: And what does that say to you?
NAGIN: That says that's a bunch of bull. That says that people value their property, and were protecting property, over human life.
And look, I was not suggesting, or suggesting to the people that they walk down into those neighborhoods. All I wanted them to do and I suggested: walk on the Interstate. And we called FEMA and we said "Drop them water and supplies as they march." They weren't gonna go into those doggone neighborhoods. They weren't going to impact those neighborhoods. Those people were looking to escape, and they cut off the last available exit route out of New Orleans.
DONOVAN: And was that race? Was that class?
NAGIN: I don't know. You're going to have to go ask them. But those questions need to be answered. And I'm pissed about it. And I don't know how many people died as a result of that.

"Disarray Marked the Path From Hurricane to Anarchy"

Could someone kindly look through this long NYT article and dig out the juicy bits? I stopped when I got to the second paragraph:

Ms. Blanco burst into the state's emergency center in Baton Rouge. "Does anybody in this building know anything about buses?" she recalled crying out.

UPDATE: This story is now called "Breakdowns Marked Path From Hurricane to Anarchy".
Here's some text from Page 2:

Colonel Ebbert decided to make the Superdome the city's lone shelter, assuming the city would only have to shelter people in the arena for 48 hours, until the storm passed or the federal government came and rescued people.
As early as Friday, Aug. 26, as Hurricane Katrina moved across the Gulf of Mexico, officials in the watch center at FEMA headquarters in Washington discussed the need for buses.
Someone said, "We should be getting buses and getting people out of there," recalled Leo V. Bosner, an emergency management specialist with 26 years at FEMA and president of an employees' union. Others nodded in agreement, he said.
"We could all see it coming, like a guided missile," Mr. Bosner said of the storm. "We, as staff members at the agency, felt helpless. We knew that major steps needed to be taken fast, but, for whatever reasons, they were not taken."

MSM says it might ask tough questions of Nagin, but doesn't

The WaPo article "New Orleans Mayor Faces Tough Questions" has a few questions for Nagin, but it doesn't appear to have asked him or his associates to answer them. Perhaps they're just trying to give him a heads up. The WaPo does, however, show that they're "down":

Until Nagin spoke out, Yancy Brown, a native of the Big Easy, had little respect for the mayor, whom he considered too corporate and too disconnected from the black community. "He wasn't acting like a brother," said Brown, 60, a former member of the Black Panther organization. But after Nagin defiantly told the feds -- and indirectly President Bush -- to get off their "asses" and do some work, Brown became a fan.

Here are some of the questions the WaPo mentions, but doesn't say whether they asked:

Should there have been a better plan to evacuate those without cars? Was his police force up to the task? Why weren't there supplies for the legions of people directed to the Superdome? Why were all those city buses left in low-lying areas? Why did so many of his officers leave their posts as the city descended into a chaos that left many residents afraid that either thugs or the elements would kill them?

Further:

His officials said they did everything they could. Joseph R. Matthews, the city's director of emergency operations, said the city went on alert the afternoon of Friday, Aug. 26, even though a full evacuation was not ordered until Sunday. It became clear then that New Orleans would not be spared at least some of Katrina's wrath when the storm came ashore on Monday. The Superdome was opened as a shelter of last resort, though it was quickly overwhelmed and those who sought refuge there did not have food and water.
"Nothing prepared us for this," he said. "It was just too much."

And, as far as being an opponent of the Bush apparatus is concerned:

...But [Robert Hogan, an associate professor of political science at Louisiana State University] said it would be unwise for [Aaron Broussard, St. Bernard Parish officials, and "especially Nagin"] to keep the fight going.
"The Bush administration has the upper hand because they have the apparatus in place to come up with fingers to point," he said. "They have surrogates. They have a huge network that can help them through talk radio and national radio. They have talking points. State and local governments in Louisiana aren't in the propaganda mode. They don't have the ability to fight back. They are in the rescue and rebuilding mode."

Ray Nagin: "I think it's more a class issue than race"

From this Sep. 4 post:

Some observers have said that because the majority of storm evacuees are black, the lethargic disaster response has a racist component. But Nagin cast the color issue in another light. "I think it's more a class issue than race," he said. "The Superdome had mostly poor people in distress. The rich have resources the poor don't. The Convention Center was different. There the poor were mixed with people from hotels and predators. You had blacks, Hispanics, Asians. The predators in there didn't care. When those stories come out, like children raped, with their throats cut, then somebody's got to answer."

A Snopes timeline

Snopes says this is false:

New Orleans mayor Ray Nagin and Louisiana governor Kathleen Blanco refused President Bush's pleas to declare an emergency in Louisiana before Hurricane Katrina struck.

The timeline they provide... isn't in temporal order, so I've corrected the below (assuming they have their facts correct that is):

- On Friday (26 August), Governor Blanco did indeed declare a state of emergency for the state of Louisiana in advance of Katrina's making landfall in the Gulf Coast.
- On Saturday (27 August), Governor Blanco asked President Bush to declare a state of emergency at the federal level for the state of Louisiana.
- The White House responded to Governor Blanco's request that same day (Saturday) by declaring the emergency and authorizing FEMA "to identify, mobilize, and provide at its discretion, equipment and resources necessary to alleviate the impacts of the emergency."
- According to the St. Petersberg Times, Max Mayfield of the National Hurricane Center contacted government officials in Louisiana and Mississippi on Saturday night (27 August), not Friday night. [he apparently requested a mandatory evacuation due to Katrina's strength]
- According to the New Orleans Time-Picayune, President Bush's first communication with Louisiana governor Kathleen Blanco occurred on Sunday morning (August 28), just before a 9:30 AM press conference called by Governor Blanco and Mayor Nagin to announce the latter's mandatory evacuation order for New Orleans.

They have links at their page, so feel free to put any corrections or additional information in the comments.
9/19/05 UPDATE: Unfortunately, I didn't save off Snopes' page when I posted this, since it seems to have changed.
The current version has this as the assertion:

Louisiana governor Kathleen Blanco refused President Bush's pleas to declare an emergency before Hurricane Katrina struck.

Note that Nagin has been removed from what's above. And, note that the file was originally called "nagin.asp" but now it's "blanco.asp." They also appear to have added some text to the end.
There are copies of the original version here and here if anyone would care to do a diff. Note that the current version says its mod date is 9/9, but the first has a 9/8 mod date at the end of the excerpt.

Nagin on schoolbuses vs. Greyhound

NewsMax reminds us of this bit from mayor Ray Nagin's impassioned 9/1 interview on WWL radio:

"I need 500 buses, man," he told WWL. "One of the briefings we had they were talking about getting, you know, public school bus drivers to come down here and bus people out of here."
Nagin described his response:
"I'm like - you've got to be kidding me. This is a natural disaster. Get every doggone Greyhound bus line in the country and get their asses moving to New Orleans."
While Nagin was waiting for his Greyhound fleet, Katrina's floodwaters swamped his school buses, rendering them unusable.

Ray Nagin audio clips

For those who can't get enough of New Orleans' oft-wacky mayor, there's a collection of his hits here.

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"Bumblers, Not Bigots: The post-Katrina racism bunk"

Deroy Murdock has a long discussion of the race-baiting coming from "liberals", starting with Randall Robinson's infamous cannibalism post:

...Like New Orleans Mayor C. Ray Nagin, Louisiana Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco, and FEMA director Michael Brown, President Bush must explain why, for three to four days, no one could manage at least to air drop bottled water and granola bars on thousands of Katrina survivors who baked under temperatures exceeding 90 degrees at the Crescent City's Superdome, its convention center, and freeway overpasses in the central business district.
While he must answer for that and other badly dropped balls, Bush need not apologize for being fueled by bigotry during last week's "inadequate" federal response, as he described it.
This charge crumbles on first inspection.
George W. Bush is a politician with a very ambitious agenda. Does Randall Robinson really believe that Bush thinks it would be easier to persuade Congress to reform Social Security if he merely arranged to deny poor, beleaguered blacks food and water for over half a week?
Does Elijah Cummings truly believe that Bush thinks it would encourage the Senate to confirm his judicial appointees if he ordered FEMA to conduct slow-motion rescues of elderly black ladies from their attics?
Does Kanye West actually believe that Bush eagerly anticipated televised images of parched, screaming black babies as a public-diplomacy tool to boost European and Middle Eastern support for U.S. policy in Iraq and the Arab world?...

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