Chevaliers de l'Ouragan
September 3, 2008 4:53 PM   Subscribe

The Gulf Coast has just witnessed what's being called the "the largest evacuation in US history", but let's hear from those hardy souls who stuck around NOLA to ride it out, shall we? Hey, where else are you gonna see National Guardsmen (charged with the task of enforcing curfew) put down their rifles and take the stage at a local bar for a little blues jam? And be sure to watch the video that accompanies the article: immensely entertaining!
posted by flapjax at midnite (16 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
And some Guardsmen were shot at by possible looters.
posted by Frank Grimes at 5:02 PM on September 3, 2008


the "the largest..."

Heh. Well, The The was always one of my favorite band names...
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:05 PM on September 3, 2008


"The Mother of all storms"... I understand why they had to say that, but... Next time: Bit of a cry wolf thing?
posted by Dumsnill at 5:58 PM on September 3, 2008


Ville Platte is just up the road, and is known as a regional center of knuckleheadedness, but there is no way in hell anybody there is exchanging shots with the National Guard. It's not Somalia.

Probably some guard guys got really spooked in the middle of the night and opened up at something like a barn owl, then had to find a justification.
posted by atchafalaya at 6:28 PM on September 3, 2008


Save me some Dixie beer I'll be down to see y'all before to long.
posted by nola at 6:33 PM on September 3, 2008


Dumsnill, that is kind of the way it goes with weather prediction, even hurricane prediction. Nobody knew for sure that Katrina was going to be as bad as it was, which is why many people rode it out. After a lifetime of scares, they figured "How bad it could be?" And people who stayed didn't expect the levees to break.

Gustav looked like it was going to be on the level of Katrina, or worse, and people were spooked by the levees. Do you really think Nagin & Co. wanted to take any chances?
posted by schroedinger at 7:57 PM on September 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


When the wolf has already killed 1,800, if you see a tuft of hair you start shouting.
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:22 PM on September 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


The Iliad: "One guy telling another guy a really interesting story about what happened to him."
posted by turgid dahlia at 8:23 PM on September 3, 2008


Ville Platte is just up the road, and is known as a regional center of knuckleheadedness, but there is no way in hell anybody there is exchanging shots with the National Guard. It's not Somalia.

I used to know a girl who did her residency at Grady Memorial in Atlanta and moved to NO to do her surgical fellowship. This is in the early 1990s. After six months, she's back in Atlanta on a visit looking a bit shellshocked. "So how's it been?" I asked.

"In Atlanta, they just shoot each other," she says, "in New Orleans, they use machine guns." And then she went on to describe some of her more harrowing ER experiences.

Not Somalia, but judging from some of the comments in that video, those who stayed behind were heavily armed and ready to shoot at anything that moved which would be reason enough for me to want to evacuate.
posted by three blind mice at 12:57 AM on September 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


Do you really think Nagin & Co. wanted to take any chances?

When the wolf has already killed 1,800, if you see a tuft of hair you start shouting.

Sure. "I understand why they had to say that".

But if they start saying that every time a major storm approaches the southern US coast, people might get a tad blasé about it. Which might not be so good.
posted by Dumsnill at 2:17 AM on September 4, 2008


But Dumsnill, they did think Gustav was going to be worse than Katrina, and there were serious worries about the levees in that case.
posted by schroedinger at 8:09 AM on September 4, 2008


But Dumsnill, they did think Gustav was going to be worse than Katrina, and there were serious worries about the levees in that case.

So they kept telling us. For about five days.

Now I live in Europe, so I'm not in any way attacking the American media here. Over here there was wall-to-wall coverage of this for days on end in/on every major European newsmedia. Meanwhile, 1,2 million Indians lost their homes in a very real flood. This was barely mentioned.

"Welcome to our round-the-clock coverage of what might turn out to be the storm of the century, but probably not...(Oh, and by the way, 1,2 million Indians lost their homes in a flood)... now, back to the storm that might, but probably won't, turn out to be rather spectacular. This storm is looking a bit dull now. But we have a lot of reporters there. So, Bob?: - Yeah, it's windy here. There's a bit of rain. I have my raincoat on. The raincoat with the CNN/FOX/SKY/BBC logo on it."
posted by Dumsnill at 8:53 AM on September 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


Circumstances would not have had to be very different for Gustav to have been Katrina all over again. Had Cuba not torn it up quite so much, or had a small bit less dry air been entrained into the system as it approached, it would have been significantly stronger at landfall and would have had more surge behind it.

As it was, waves were breaking over many of the levees in the region and several nearly failed. It wouldn't have taken very much more to cause another disaster of epic proportions.

Not that we shouldn't care about floods in India, and you'd certainly think that floods in India would rate more coverage in Europe, where there wasn't an imminent disaster that turned out to fizzle, as many Gulf of Mexico hurricanes do.

Statistics were against a weakening, btw. We just got lucky.
posted by wierdo at 1:49 PM on September 4, 2008


Statistics were against a weakening, btw

No, they were not. CNN and FOX kept on saying they were for more than a day after serious meteorological institutes had brushed it off. (Because "Insane Storm" attracts more viewers than "Mild Breeze".)
posted by Dumsnill at 2:35 PM on September 4, 2008


"In Atlanta, they just shoot each other," she says, "in New Orleans, they use machine guns." And then she went on to describe some of her more harrowing ER experiences.

New Orleans is a world away from Ville Platte, where the incident supposedly happened. Ville Platte is a rural town where you can still buy turtle in some seafood stores. Nobody there is wielding a machine gun in any direction, at any time.
posted by atchafalaya at 4:10 PM on September 4, 2008


That they all ended up jamming at a bar restores my faith in humanity a bit.

Meanwhile, 1,2 million Indians lost their homes in a very real flood.

To be fair, I saw plenty of news coverage on that and there were lots of places soliciting donations here in the US.
posted by fshgrl at 7:56 PM on September 4, 2008


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