Thursday, July 14, 2005

No harm, no foul …

In an AP story that we picked up from Acadiana’s KATC-3, we read about a political hurricane accompanying Hurricane Dennis.

On Friday morning, Dennis was forecast to hit around the Florida-Alabama state line Sunday evening but the New Orleans area was still in the margin of forecast error. Jefferson Parish President Aaron Broussard held a late morning news conference saying he had asked the state to implement contra-flow at midday and that the state had refused. He called for a voluntary evacuation of all of Jefferson Parish beginning at noon.

Broussard wore the “leader under hurricane conditions” uniform of slicker and baseball cap. He was rather light-hearted about the voluntary call, suggesting that residents turn it into a mini-vacation. It was the request of the state police that ruffled feathers around the metro area.

Broussard was criticized on several fronts for calling for contra-flow before conditions in a multi-parish plan were met. Broussard sent a letter to Governor Blanco saying that following the state plan would have meant a late-night evacuation for many of his residents. Broussard said he let leaders of other parishes know of his plan in advance and none of them objected at the time.

Tempest in a teapot? Broussard tried to deviate from the plan, but the system worked. The state police did what they were supposed to do in refusing his request. Did he earn political capital in Jefferson for trying to save his constituents a good night’s sleep? It’s hard to say.

Is it time to drop the whole thing? Well there are lessons to be learned on any “dry run.” Perhaps we will be better coordinated for the next time a storm approaches.

I'm encouraged. How about you?


jbv's Competitive Edge 


Blogger oyster said...

I think you're being pretty charitable. I agree with James Gill's scathing piece on Broussard titled: "An island of nerves in a sea of calm"

2:50 PM  
Blogger jiri said...

Cool Blog, I never really thought about it that way.

I have a Hurricane Katrina blog. It pretty much covers hurricane related stuff.

Thank you - and keep up the thoughts!

10:36 PM  

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