If one reads the FactCheck.Org timeline carefully, it becomes obvious very soon that it was a failure of imagination again to the fullest - from local to the state to the federal level.
In the mix, the poor and the powerless got really shafted.............However, one thing they have is the infinite power of resiliency. The FactCheck.org analysis:
Katrina: What Happened When
It will take months to get the full story, but meanwhile here are some of the key facts about what happened and when officials acted.
September 16, 2005
Modified:September 16, 2005
Multiple investigations are likely into the response by federal, state, and local officials to the disastrous flooding of New Orleans from Hurricane Katrina. New facts are still emerging, and we expect it will be months or years before a full picture can be properly assessed.
In response to numerous requests, we present here a brief timeline of events, as best as we can document them from public records and the best news reporting from the scene. We do not blame or excuse anyone, and leave it to others to judge what, if anything, could or should have been done differently. All times are converted to Central Daylight Time.
July 23, 2004 - 13 Months Before Katrina
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) conducts "Hurricane Pam" exercise to assess results of a theoretical Category 3 hurricane. It assumes that a storm with 120-mph winds would force Lake Pontchartrain's waters over the tops of the New Orleans' 17.5-foot levees and through a gap in the levee system would flood major portions of the city and would damage up to 87 percent of the city's homes. The Times-Picayune reports that officials expect up to half the city's residents won't evacuate and that many will be trapped in attics, on rooftops, and in makeshift shelters for days.
—"In Case of Emergency," New Orleans Times-Picayune, as posted on the website of the Louisiana Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness, 20 Jul 2004. [Continue]