NYT reported The governor of Louisiana was "blistering mad." It was the third night after Hurricane Katrina drowned New Orleans, and Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco needed buses to rescue thousands of people from the fetid Superdome and convention center. But only a fraction of the 500 vehicles promised by federal authorities had arrived. Ms. Blanco burst into the state's emergency center in Baton Rouge. "Does anybody in this building know anything about buses?" she recalled crying out.
About 600 of them were under water, where the Mayor of New Orleans left them. Had they been used to evacuate the people when a manditory evacuation was first declared, and as called for in the New Orleans plan here, and the State of Louisiana plan here and here they would be dry, and on the way back for another load.They were an obvious linchpin for evacuating a city where nearly 100,000 people had no cars. Yet the federal, state and local officials who had failed to round up buses in advance were now in a frantic hunt. It would be two more days before they found enough to empty the shelters.... Instead, the crisis in New Orleans deepened because of a virtual standoff between hesitant federal officials and besieged authorities in Louisiana, interviews with dozens of officials show.
The Governor wanted the feds to send in what she wanted, but she was not willing to officially request it, lest she be revealed as not in control.Federal Emergency Management Agency officials expected the state and city to direct their own efforts and ask for help as needed. Leaders in Louisiana and New Orleans, though, were so overwhelmed by the scale of the storm that they were not only unable to manage the crisis, but they were not always exactly sure what they needed. While local officials assumed that Washington would provide rapid and considerable aid,
Just be a sugar daddy sending down things the locals should have had in place, based on their own disaster plans.federal officials, weighing legalities and logistics, proceeded at a deliberate pace.