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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000522.txt from 2005/08

From: "kevin fay" <kevinfay@-----.com>
Subj: RE: [kl] BRSO Auditions 2nd Clarinet Tenure Position...
Date: Wed, 31 Aug 2005 23:22:25 -0400

Dee Flint wrote:

<<<[Folks in New Orleans] were all warned with plenty of time to evacuate
and were advised to do so. Many chose not to and thought they could ride it
out.>>>

. . and Joseph Wakeling replied:

<<<Not good enough IMO. The authorities *have* to take direct
responsibility for people's safety in a situation like this. It's not good
enough to simply leave each private individual to do things for themselves.
To what extent was there an official evacuation plan and facilities put in
place to facilitate people leaving? To what extent was the city capable of
dealing with eleventh-hour evacuations for people who changed their minds at
the last minute? To what extent did the authorities recognise the
seriousness of the threat enough to understand that in such circumstances it
would be reasonable to *oblige*, rather than advise, people to evacuate?>>>

Joseph - have you ever *been* to New Orleans? Folks down there have a bit
of an independent streak. They were given *plenty* of notice that this was
The Big One. Emergency plans for a Category 3 hurricane have been in place
for decades. Unfortunately, this was a Category 5. (The wind force was
less than that when it came ashore, but the storm surge was the largest in
Louisianan history).

I don't understand your use of the term "oblige." You can't "make" anyone
leave their home if they do not choose to do so. It's a free country -
people make their own decisions, often the wrong ones. They were told that
if they didn't leave they were gonna die. Astonishingly, some dudes
actually tried to *surf* in it - Darwin proven again.

Others weren't stupid, just incapable of leaving because of health or other
issues. There are only so many buses.

The local government in New Orleans and parts thereabouts has the reputation
of being somewhat corrupt and not particularly effective. Even the most
effective government, however, won't change the geography. New Orleans is
basically a bowl cut out of a swamp, most of the city several feet below sea
level. It's surrounded by the largest river on the continent and a big
lake. Levees (similar to the dikes in The Netherlands) are the only thing
that keeps the land dry. (Well, damp).

Most everyone who lives or has ever been to New Orleans knows about the
water everywhere. There are no burials there, as the coffins would float up
- all get cremated or above-ground mausoleums. There are no high-rises
downtown, since the whole city is built on mud. Why anyone would live there
is beyond me.

. . except for the culture, the jazz, and the food of course.

This was one heck of a storm. In Biloxi, entire casinos were carried over
freeway overpasses and carefully placed on top of hotels. New Orleans is a
much older, poorer city. I'm not sure that there's very much that could
have been done.

Let's hope this never happens to Amsterdam.

kjf

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