New Video Shows George W. Bush Knew Levees Would Be Breeched
This video proves that Bush was well aware of how deadly and exactly how much damage could be caused by a category 5 hurricane. At one point in the video National Hurricane Center Director Max Mayfield tells Bush that he "wants to make absolutely clear to everyone that the greatest potential for large loss of life, is still in the coastal areas from the storm surge."
National Hurricane CenterAugust 28, 2005COASTAL STORM SURGE FLOODING OF 15 TO 20 FEET ABOVE NORMAL TIDELEVELS...LOCALLY AS HIGH AS 25 FEET ALONG WITH LARGE AND DANGEROUS BATTERING WAVES...CAN BE EXPECTED NEAR AND TO THE EAST OF WHERE THE CENTER MAKES LANDFALL.HEAVY RAINS FROM KATRINA SHOULD BEGIN TO AFFECT THE CENTRAL GULFCOAST SUNDAY EVENING. RAINFALL TOTALS OF 5 TO 10 INCHES...WITH ISOLATED MAXIMUM AMOUNTS OF 15 INCHES...ARE POSSIBLE ALONG THE PATHOF KATRINA. THE HURRICANE IS STILL EXPECTED TO PRODUCE ADDITIONAL RAINFALL AMOUNTS OF 2 TO 4 INCHES OVER EXTREME WESTERN CUBA...AND 1 TO 3 INCHES OF RAINFALL IS EXPECTED OVER THE YUCATAN PENINSULA.
As you can see from this cross section diagram of the New Orleans levee system, the maximum levee height is 23 feet.
If the levees are 23 feet at their highest level and the National Hurricane Center was predicting floods of up to 25 that would put the water two feet over the top of the levees. That combined with "large battering" waves would easily top the levees."Over topping" is the action that can cause a levee to fail during a hurricane. This exactly what happened during Katrina.
The Times-Picayune January 30, 2006 Levees must be armored, corps says Katrina proved overtopping is the far more serious threat to the metro area, investigators said. Evidence clearly showed overtopping caused the Industrial Canal I-wall collapse that flooded much of the 9th Ward and parts of St. Bernard Parish. Overtopping also was the main cause of the wholesale disintegration of the Mississippi River-Gulf Outlet levee, which allowed Lake Borgne to rush over much of northern St. Bernard Parish, engineers said. Had either system stayed intact while being overtopped, the flooding would have been much reduced, because the storm surge receded below the tops of the levees and flood walls in little more than two hours, records released by the corps show. But when the levees collapsed, the water continued to pour through the breaches for hours until the lake receded to sea level or the hole was filled by the corps.
Here is my brief timeline of the first few days of Hurricane Katrina and what George W. Bush was doing. Talking Points Memo has a much more detailed timeline of what occured.
August 28, 2005 7:25 am CDT:
George W. Bush Gets Briefed on Katrina August 28, 2005
Bush is fully briefed by FEMA and the NHC at his ranch in Crawford, TX on how bad hurricane Katrina could turn out. Bush tells Brown and others "I want to assure the folks at the state level...that ah...we are fully prepared...to not only help you during the storm, but we will move in whatever resources and assets we have at our disposal after the storm to help you deal with ... ah ... ah ... with the loss of property and we pray for no loss of life, of course."
August 28, 2005 11:31 am CDT:
Bush Addresses the Nation From His Ranch in Crawford, TX.White House Prairie Chapel Ranch Crawford, Texas August 28, 2005 President Discusses Hurricane Katrina, Congratulates Iraqis on Draft Constitution THE PRESIDENT: This morning I spoke with FEMA Undersecretary Mike Brown and emergency management teams not only at the federal level but at the state level about the -- Hurricane Katrina. I've also spoken to Governor Blanco of Louisiana, Governor Barbour of Mississippi, Governor Bush of Florida, and Governor Riley of Alabama. I want to thank all the folks at the federal level and the state level and the local level who have taken this storm seriously. I appreciate the efforts of the governors to prepare their citizenry for this upcoming storm.
Yesterday, I signed a disaster declaration for the state of Louisiana, and this morning I signed a disaster declaration for the state of Mississippi. These declarations will allow federal agencies to coordinate all disaster relief efforts with state and local officials. We will do everything in our power to help the people in the communities affected by this storm.
Hurricane Katrina is now designated a category five hurricane. We cannot stress enough the danger this hurricane poses to Gulf Coast communities. I urge all citizens to put their own safety and the safety of their families first by moving to safe ground. Please listen carefully to instructions provided by state and local officials.
August 28, 2005: Bush signs a disaster declaration for Mississippi.
August 28, 2005
The President's action authorizes the Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), to coordinate all disaster relief efforts which have the purpose of alleviating the hardship and suffering caused by the emergency on the local population, and to provide appropriate assistance for required emergency measures, authorized under Title V of the Stafford Act, to save lives, protect property and public health and safety, or to lessen or avert the threat of a catastrophe in the counties of Covington, Forrest, Hancock, Harrison, Jackson, Jefferson Davis, Jones, Lamar, Marion, Pearl River, and Stone.
August 29, 2005 6:10 am CDT: Hurricane Katrina hits New Orleans as the largest hurricane in recorded history. Bush goes to Arizona to push Social Security reform and has cake with John McCain.
Bush at Naval Air Station North Island San Diego, California
August 30, 2005: New Orleans has been ravaged by Hurricane Katrina, with massive flooding throughout the city. Bush goes to San Diego, CA to compare the war Iraq to World War II and "plays" guitar with a country singer.White House
August 30, 2005
President Commemorates 60th Anniversary of V-J Day
September 1, 2005: Victims of Hurricane Katrina still have not received aid from FEMA. Hundreds of vixtims locked in the New Orleans Convetion Center, not knowing that there are 200 National Guard troops also barricaded in another area of the convention center.
George Bush states that nobody thought that the levess would break, in an interview with Diane Sawyer. George Bush does a fly over and has another photo-op to show he cares. Media Matters has the video of this interview.
ABC's Good Morning America
September 1, 2005
Sawyer: "But given the fact that everyone anticipated a hurricane five, a possible hurricane five hitting shore, are you satisfied with the pace at which this is arriving? And which it was planned to arrive?"
Bush: "Well, I fully understand people wanting things to have happened yesterday. I mean, I understand the anxiety of people on the ground. I can imagine -- I just can't imagine what it is like to be waving a sign saying 'come and get me now'. So there is frustration. But I want people to know there is a lot of help coming. I don't think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees. They did anticipate a serious storm. But these levees got breached. And as a result, much of New Orleans is flooded. And now we are having to deal with it and will."
September 15, 2005: Thousands of New Orleans victims are given one way tickets away from their homes without a way back. George Bush has generators brought in to New Orleans for a photo-op in Jackson Square, bu ttakes the generators with him when he leaves.
The most disturbing part about the reporting of this new video is that the media sat on it for 6 months. Just like the New York Times sat on the NSA wiretapping scandal for a year. It could have potetially change the outcome of the 2004 presidential election, but we will never know.
March 2, 2006
Bush Is Warned on Katrina in Video
Department briefings are routinely recorded, said [Homeland Security spokesman, Russ] Knocke, adding that Homeland Security does not know how Associated Press got the footage of the Aug. 28 briefing. It was also obtained that day or the day after by a network and a cable affiliate, but neither aired it, he said.
Here is a 3D model that shows just how big Katrina was.