THe US military has a lot of blackhawks. The port of New Orleans is a vital part of our economic infrastructure. Everyone saw the levee was broken yesterday morning, but it seems we didn't mount an operation to stop the breach due to a lack of equipment.
Considering the importance of the city, that is hard to imagine.
We should have had blackhawks and the Navy in the area immediately afterwards, once we knew a Cat 4-5 was going to hit.
I don't want to complain and be a 2nd-guesser. I am just saying this is potentially a bigger disaster than 911 and needs to be treated as such.
I think Randman is generalizing "blackhawks" as any kind of helicopter.
I agree, where's the equipment. Even if we don't have a lot of "blackhawks", we have a lot of other kinds of helicopters -- (This is where I show my massive knowledge of helicopters) -- like those big ones, or the ones with the front and back spinny things, or the ones that look like mosquitos kind of and were in MASH.
I agree, where's the equipment. Even if we don't have a lot of "blackhawks", we have a lot of other kinds of helicopters
I expect that it isn't very safe flying helicopters during a hurricane. Because of that, they probably couldn't do anything about the initial levee breach. By the time the storm has subsided enough to allow helicopters to be used, it was probably too late to control the flooding.
I don't think its a matter of not having equipment. Its a matter of scope of the problem. I have relatives in the area and the word I received is that some of the levee breaches are several hundred feet long.
Yesterday they were using helicopters to drop 3,000 lb bags of sand into the breach, but those just got washed away immediately. They can't establish a foundation with which to build up. They were even dropping old cars and trucks into the breach to try and build a foundation, but those got washed away also.
I think you underestimate what is going to be involved.
First there are tens of thousands of refugees to be evacuated, 30,000 plus from the Superdome alone. If a helicopter could land there, and if it could hold 20 people, then you are looking at 1500 trips. If each round trip including loading and offloading, refueling and maintenance takes one hour, then you are looking at 62 days to get everyone out of the Superdome. If you could devote twenty helicopters to the task then you are still looking at over three days of round the clock transportation.
Closing the breach in the levies will take longer. In the final analysis they will probably have to expand the exiting structure to where it is wide enough and sturdy enough to drive on to get the fill material there. That will likely take several weeks at a minimum to months as a realistic schedule.
Once the breaches are closed, pumping the water out will likely take weeks. Only then can the detox process begin. In all you are looking at a year or two for recovery.
This is yet another example of what I've been talking about in relation to the Iraq War drawing off resources needed for national security.
That's to be expected. Once the water rises to equilibrium it will stay the same.
The problem is getting the folk from their current location to the buses. Boats, helicopters and any other means will be used, but the sheer magnitude of the evacuation is daunting. Just to put it in perspective, the average city bus will hold 45 sitting passengers and is about 36 feet long. That means if you lined them suckers up the line of buses would be over three miles long.
There is a lot of work that needs to be done. If you can carry 45 people on each bus, and have 450 buses, it would still mean two trips for each bus just to handle the folk from the Superdome.
Sounds like they could use the assistance of maybe a few thousand regular people with small boats. Ferry out there and pick up a few people each, and then bring them back to load up on buses, and we could get the job done.
I've seriously thought about driving down there with a friend I fish with and a small boat in tow, but I'm not sure they will let private citizens just come in and help like that.
The Army Corps of Engineers said it planned to use heavy-duty Chinook helicopters to drop 20,000-pound sandbags Wednesday into the 500-foot gap in the failed floodwall. But the agency said it was having trouble getting the sandbags and dozens of 15-foot highway barriers to the site because the city's waterways were blocked by loose barges, boats and large debris.
Officials said they were also looking at a more audacious plan: finding a barge to plug the 500-foot hole