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Monday, September 19, 2005

Empty Amtrak

--posted by Tony Garcia on 9/19/2005

I admit, I did not read as many articles about Katrina as were written on my regular blogs. I did not really see much in the mainstream media that would have had the following information.

I was going through my FactCheck.org e-mail updates. There was one titled "Katrina: What Happened When". I wanted to find out about the buses that just sat throughout the city instead of being used by the Mayor to help with the evacuation. Instead I came across this one:
Sunday, Aug. 28 2005 - 1 Day Prior
8:30 p.m. - An empty Amtrak train leaves New Orleans, with room for thousands of potential evacuees. "We offered the city the opportunity to take evacuees out of harm's way…The city declined," said Amtrak spokesman Cliff Black. The train left New Orleans no passengers on board.

—Susan Glasser, "The Steady Buildup to a City's Chaos," The Washington Post , 11 Sep 2005.

Two weeks later, Nagin denies on NBC's Meet the Press that Amtrak offered their services. "Amtrak never contacted me to make that offer," the mayor tells host Tim Russert. "I have never gotten that call, Tim, and I would love to have had that call. But it never happened."

—"Interview with Mayor Nagin," Meet the Press, NBC, 11 Sep 2005.

Sorry, Nagin, I'm gonna take Amtrak's word on this one.

Still, the point is that while so many have been rushing to blame Bush since Day 1 the proper amount of scorn has not been directed to the IDIOTS that were running the city and the state.

What was their plan in the event of a major hurricane? Panic.


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