Another man who knew
For those who still require convincing evidence that the Katrina tragedy could have been avoided comes this episode of PBS's Nova, called Storm That Drowned a City.
Among several faces that became familiar to the American public during the height of the storm coverage is that of Ivor van Heerden, a hurricane expert at Louisiana State University. Like AFGE's Leo Bosner, president of the Local at FEMA headquarters, van Heerden tried to alert any official he could reach to the tragedy that awaited New Orleaneans who remained in the city after the storm hit.
In numerous television appearances during the storm and its immediate aftermath, van Heerden reservedly explained, with scientific precision, what he knew about the storm and its wrath. Here, before Nova's cameras, however, he sheds tears over the lost opportunity to alert those in the Ninth Ward that the flood was headed their way:
The biggest failing in all of this was we should have warned everybody. We could have told the media on Monday night. The levees apparently broke Monday afternoon—the ones that really flooded the main city of New Orleans. We could have got to the media. We could have had vehicles driving on the interstates with bullhorns, telling people. We even could have used helicopters with bullhorns. We could have warned the people, "A big flood's coming, take evasive action." We didn't.