I’ve been asking why, on Wednesday (Aug. 31) and Thursday (Sept. 1), as it became clear that food was not making its way into New Orleans, the city’s residents were not allowed to leave.
News reporters were telling us late Thursday night that people were trying to leave New Orleans, but the police were stopping them from using the main bridge out across the Mississippi River.
It turns out, it was true! The police chief of the City of Gretna, Louisiana, ordered his officers to seal off Gretna, blocking the Crescent City Connection out of New Orleans!
New Orleans locked shut. The emergency response to Hurricane Katrina and the flood that followed has been excellent, except for the mysterious mandatory evacuation that didn’t happen Saturday and Sunday (before Katrina), the mysterious absence of food Wednesday night and Thursday, and to top it all, that mysterious Thursday night blockade.
Apparently, Gretna’s police chief, Arthur Lawson, feared looting and pillaging of his little evacuated town. Screw him. You don’t close off an evacuation route from a flooded city. This is a scandal.