Hurricane Gustav hit New Orleans yesterday and, once again, the damages are expected to be in the billions. And once again, the American taxpayers are picking up the tab.
We picked up the bill for Katrina back in 2005. We saw FEMA utterly fail in the preparation department, and we've been picking up the pieces ever since. We were assured that New Orleans was prepared this time around, and the initial signs were there. They evacuated over 2 million residents in plenty of time to get to safety before the storm. The levies held, if just barely.
But now we're hearing that much of it was luck. The coverage I saw on the news showed the levies being almost over run. Water was pouring over them with each wave. But the storm hit almost 80 miles from New Orleans, as a Category 2 storm. The forecasts expected a Cat 3 storm just 30 miles from the city. The storm surge only reached about 9-10 feet, instead of the predicted 16-18 feet. So what happens when a real Cat 3 storm, or another Katrina at Cat 4 or 5, hits New Orleans head on? Did they really rebuild for just a Cat 2 Hurricane in the aftermath of a Cat 5?
I think another good question the American taxpayers should be asking is why should we throw more money at a city that sits in a swamp below sea level when their disaster preparations are so obviously half-assed? I say, let it sink.