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Should residents be able to return to New Orleans despite the approaching tropical storm?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on September 20, 2005

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Photo of Josh Tollie

“That all depends on the people. If they want to return home, then they should be able to.”

Photo of Wendy Arent

“No. They don’t even have food and water down there. If it floods again, they’ll just have to re-evacuate them all again. I’d wait a little longer.”

Photo of Patrick Cleary

“Definitely not. The government should make the call and do what’s best for them.”

Photo of Sarah Shik

“No. I think it’s better to act rationally than in haste.”

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Hong_Kong_Phooey 12 years, 9 months ago

Frankly, I think it's ridiculous that people would be allowed to return to New Orleans now - especially with another storm possibly bearing down on them. It's incredibly selfish of people to say, "Well, New Orleans is my home and I'm not leaving no matter what." And then expect police/firefighters/National Guard to come risk their lives to rescue you.

If you are physically unable to leave, that's different.

gccs14r 12 years, 9 months ago

The problem is that the longer the people stay away, the easier it will be for predatory developers to steal their property for Disney-by-the-Bayou.

l_eustacy 12 years, 9 months ago

Can the city services protect these people?

Who is the mayor going to blame when the crime & disease rises?

What an idiot.

neopolss 12 years, 9 months ago

Most of the people who were refusing to leave didn't even want rescuers. So I guess if they want to stay and protect their toxic mudhole, power to them. For the rest, I don't see too many really wanting to stay considering the damage. But I guess I can understand. I know I would at least want to see my home after three weeks just to see if there is anything left.

Bowhunter99, Bush does bear some responsibility by his policies and appointments. He did assign the head of FEMA, FEMA does report to the president, and the president's policies determine the amount of money that FEMA has to work with. Let's not forget, the president has admitted this. To this I was very happy to see, someone who wasn't willing to pass the blame around. The mayor of NO is definately a passionate man who was speaking for what many people were thinking. It wasn't a smart move by any means, but I do have to admire his fire.

trinity 12 years, 9 months ago

^5 to jane-"...cull the herd a little more". that made me smile, so did e_m's comment about busing back from the astrodome, hah.

the folk should stay out of no for awhile.

on another track-i didn't know leavenworth had a meat department! is that city sponsored/sanctioned/supported? i've heard of city parks departments, water departments, sanitation departments-but never meat departments! lucky dogs.

Topside 12 years, 9 months ago

Your house, your the captain, you should be able to go down with the ship if you want to.

lunacydetector 12 years, 9 months ago

pehaps mayor nagin was in denial (by letting the people return) just like he was in denial that a hurricane was approaching the first time thus letting thousands of buses sit in wait for the flood waters.

that place is nothing but corruption. 60 years of democratic control speaks volumes.

ms_canada 12 years, 9 months ago

I would not go back into that city for all the tea in China. With no sewage disposal, think of the disease carrying quality of that flood water. I does not bear thinking about. How could you want to live in a house that has been standing in that putrid water for all these weeks. Yes, I know, it is their home, but what a home. If you ask me, the whole city should be razed to the water line and the whole population relocated. Yes, I agree, mine is a ridiculous idea. What a shame, NO was a beautiful city with a character all it's own. Could it ever be the same?

beatrice 12 years, 9 months ago

First, the right-leaning Supreme Court sides with government seizure of land, then the Republican hurricane Katrina hits, and President Bush and the feds send billions of dollars to Reno-ize the city. The feds are now going to claim the land for themselves, kick the Democrats out and turn the place into a playground for bloated politicians and their families. Those devilish Republicans had it planned all along I tell ya.

jonas 12 years, 9 months ago

O-bob: Hmmm. . . I smell conspiracy. Perhaps Bush and Nagin have been working together this whole time (sure, you can say it seems unlikely but that's the whole ADVANTAGE) to turn NO into the 1st New Millenium city this side of the ocean.

Halliburtropolis. . . has a ring to it, don't you think?

By the way, blue harley: "Round a boats?"!DVVc3BQngJWKnPfyYMVrtJAg50tdPzhkLlbs!9fMLYrz68R!0W7b7aKwrwSQaNADCHLAO!gqaDtaIH3SCKxgAcCsY/vash%20laughing.gif?dc=4675401830455813961

sunflower_sue 12 years, 9 months ago

I can't believe that going back is even an option. I don't want to pay for the hospital care of these people when they come down with a nasty case of typhoid! I'll gladly throw in some $ to relocate them. Going back is just asinine.

Manson 12 years, 9 months ago

People going back to their homes should be an option on the surface. But when the people that choose to stay the first time whine and moan about how slow the recovery efferts are going and have the aduacity to demand drive up delivery aid when the placement of the masses is more of a priority I think that these people returning home are just a liability. If they return and get wiped out by Hurricane #2 I won't have an ounce of sympathy. How many times do you have to have to tell the children that the stove is hot?

craigers 12 years, 9 months ago

If these people go back home, then they should definitely sign the contract that Original Bob came up with. There should also be a clause that states if they leave to go back to NO, then they should give up the future aid that they might be entitled to. It is only going to cost more money to rescue these people the second time around, and why leave the people that are feeding you and taking care of you? These people are nuts. However, it would be fun to be able to use a jet ski to go from store to store and shop.

avhjmlk 12 years, 9 months ago

OMB--thanks so much for forcing that truly disturbing mental image into my head...! Are you just trying to spread the pain?

italianprincess 12 years, 9 months ago


DId you get my post last night?

Party America had Abba Zabbas bite size last time I was there. Call them and see if they still have them.

Coming from the west coast, my son loves them and we pick some up when we are there.

I will answer the question of the day during my lunch break.

Have a great day everyone.

blessed3x 12 years, 9 months ago

I'm shocked that no one else has figured out the real reason that Nagin wants people back in NO as soon as possible. HE'S LOSING HIS VOTING BASE!! The longer people stay away the more likely that they won't come back at all.

710kcmo reported the other day that the vast majority of the 900 displaced families in the KC Metro area had decided to stay here and not return to NO. Poor families suddenly given a taste of a life in another city where, at least for now, freebies are raining down on their head are probably loathe to return to a house in shambles that's been marinating in ocean water, feces, fuel, etc. for the last few weeks just so they can live under an incredibly corrupt local government.

I'd stay away, too.

kansaskev61 12 years, 9 months ago

Nagin and Bush2 as conspirators. Hum, that's almost as strange as Clinton and Bush1 as fund raisers. If Rita causes more death and damage, Nagin is gonna have a hard time blaming it on the Feds. The liberal media will give it their best shot, but it will be hard. The Boog/Nagin swap is a good idea. Boog can go down there and get Marijuana legalized and then everyone will be too stoned to give a crap about leaky levees, hurricanes, killer mold, disease or a stupid corrupt mayor. What a minute, if we swapped nothing would really change at either location.

Topside 12 years, 9 months ago

IP-Yes I did. I have seen them there and purchased them a time or two, but they are incredibly expensive for the single "bite-size" version. ALso, they just don't taste as good as the origional bar. Its like those snickers or butterfinger bites. THey give you a taste but they aren't as good as the origional. Thanks, a million though.

bankboy119 12 years, 9 months ago

Yeah I'm going to have to agree that I'm all for freewill but just because you're an idiot doesn't mean you're going to get free handouts. If they want to return the aid needs to stop.

Dani Davey 12 years, 9 months ago

"Humans are a terrible animal and I think the Earth's immune system is trying to get rid of us." ~Kurt Vonnegut

rhd99 12 years, 9 months ago

The residents of New Orleans should be able to make their own decisions on whether or not they want to return. I really think, though, that for safety reasons, they would not want to return, but to only recover what they can & then leave. Personally, if I was a resident of that city, I would not want to return, primarily because of that Mayor & city council's ineptness & irresponsible practice of blowing money on stuff they should NOT have. If I remember right, they were given ALL this money for levee repairs, & the result; What we see on t.v. & hear on the radio. Nagin better use his NOGGIN more than his rhetoric against FEMA & the Federal government. Yeah, I know the saying, whatever falls from the top hits the bottom. Well, the bottom is where the blame begins in this case.

Manson 12 years, 9 months ago

"The residents of New Orleans should be able to make their own decisions"-rhd99

I wold love to support that idea rhd but look what happened when they were allowed to "make their own decision" the first time the Hurricane hit. In my opinion many of those people have lost the ability to think for themselves. it's just a shame that those people that put their own lives in danger as well as their families aren't being held accountable for draining the rescue/sid resources. In stead they are getting a free ride on Our tax dollar and balmeing everyone but themselves with free food in their mouths and full bellies.

Aiko 12 years, 9 months ago

If they stay and something horrible happens as expected they will blame the government for not assisting them. It is a lose-lose situation for many of these people that just feel better when they can put blame on someone else. Any weather related problems will now always be Goerge Bush's fault! Until someone takes his place and then it will fall on their shoulders.

rhd99 12 years, 9 months ago

Manson, you're absolutely right about the people themselves, but you do have to admit that the mayor himself & his city council COULD have taken action with the levee given the dollars they received from the Army's Corps of Engineers. Am I right or am I missing something from this scenario? Aiko, as I said before the blame needs to be on the mayor himself & that STUPID council, but as Manson said, these people were stubborn & didn't take heed of the warnings. Now, look where we are. It's just one fine mess, isn't it?

Manson 12 years, 9 months ago

I agree that yes much of the preventative measures were in the hands of 1.) the people to get out of the way of impending Death. 2.) the Mayor for not doing his part i.e. providing the 200k buses available to bus people out. 3.) the govenor for not overseeing the mayor and the state.

The funds set asside for the levee's well thats a diffrent story. I listened to the army core of engineers on NPR and their assessment of the funding matter was this....

Much of the funding that is needed is to provide studies for the land. These studies are CRUCIAL to implementing a Successful flood protection plan. Theese studies take many years to complete. For the public to fully understand we would have to give a course on civil engineering. This is just not possible. I think when it comes to the expendature of the funds we need to be careful on criticism and very curious to see how it was used. Untill i see any evidence of miss appropriated funds ill assume that the city/state/engeneers were doing their jobs.

One thing I will mention is I had the privilage of speaking with an individual that worked as a nurse in one of the area hospitals and was there during the storm and the aftermath. Her eye witness account is one that I hold a lot of credibility to. I asked her had there been more preperation would.......before I even finished she said NO! Her feeling was that there was no ammount of preperation that could have expidited the rescue of the hurricane hold outs. When you think about it all roads were impassable and the hold outs were only reachable by boat or helicopter. The state dosn't have an armada of john boats does it ? Nor does the government. The victim I talked to said that it was just mother nature and she was just too powerful. An opinion i share with her. The rescue efforts were hamstrung by the nature of the beast plain and simple. Unless we had a specialized armada designed for this specific disaster NO was just $h!t out of luck. Which brings me back to the original responsibility of the people that had the keys to survival themselves....the people that lived there. Staying in the path of the hurricane was an at your own risk situation no one else to blame but your self ultimately.

GreenEyedBlues 12 years, 9 months ago

OMG! I think the names are Shem, Ham, and Japeth. That was total Ned Flanders trivia. Am I right? Judges? Enochville? Liberty? What do I win?

avhjmlk 12 years, 9 months ago

A new one for the day: avhamshemjapethmlk

Sigmund 12 years, 9 months ago

I didnt feel New Orleans was fit to live in PRIOR to the hurricane....If they want to go back, let them. If they want to smoke in the bars, now that is a different story! If you proudly sport a T-Shirt that says "My body, my rules" and yet are thrilled about the anti-smoking might be from Lawrence.

BunE 12 years, 9 months ago

Manson, There were 200,000 buses available? Thats like 1 bus for every 2 people.

I like how you neglected to note the massive failure of the federal government. I guess when the president declares a disaster area before a storm even hits you can't trust him to follow through. He even had a written request that Friday. It must have been in the in-box while he was on vacation.

I like how you use the anecdotal comments from the nurse you were "honored" to speak with. She seems like a real expert. It sort of makes you sound like one too.

I hope that when you are old and infirm or just poor with no cash, that you have access to transportation out of a disaster zone.

The army Corps of Engineers is a pretty good outfit, but lets face it, they caused half the trouble by allowing the degradation of the wetlands. I hope that the re-building plan includes wetland reconstruction. This buffer could have really come in handy this time. But hey, we are MAN and nature is ours for the molding.

Except when it isn't...

Anyway. While I understand that people want to check out their property and interstate travel is guranteed by the Constitution, Nagin needs to start thinking before he talks. He is under a great deal of pressure to open the place up for business, but jeez, its still hurricane season.

Ceallach 12 years, 9 months ago

Soooo, I seem to be hearing that some people want to go home, others wanted to stay and both groups think it is their right to do so.

Talk about the inmates taking over the asylum!

We haven't even started paying for the rescue efforts of those unable, for whatever reason, to leave the city. Then there is the cost and risk involved trying to "help" some who decided to take the thanks but no thanks road and stay in their homes.

Let them go back, let them stay -- you cannot help someone who does not want to be helped. However, I agree with previous posters that "we the people" should not pay for their short-sightedness. Not by security, medical, supplies, pest control, etc. They want to be their own little country, fine, just don't let them apply for foreign aid.

btw, I hope those relocated to the midwest area are able to find opportunities for success.

Jane, I agree with your comment about Darwin, were he able to cull, he most certainly would have started with the poor, black population.

italianprincess 12 years, 9 months ago

If these residents have decided to head back home........they are now ordered to leave once more. I would take what is important and get out ASAP.

Hurricane Rita is going to hit hard like Katrina did, so our benefit has changed its course here to assist in efforts to help out any person effected by both hurricanes.

Rita is a Cat 2 now and will most likely become a Cat 4 by the time she gets to Texas. Makes living by the beautiful coast anywhere kind of seem a bit scary these days.

smartypants 12 years, 9 months ago

Might be a silly question, but what are Abba Zabbas???

italianprincess 12 years, 9 months ago

Taffy with peanut butter inside

click on the Abba Zabba

beatrice 12 years, 9 months ago

Ask yourself, if this were me and this was my home would I want to return as soon as humanly possible, or would I wait until a federal agent tells me I can return? Would I have a desire to retrieve any personal items, like photos, that somehow still might be saved, or just let it all get bulldozed? That anyone would even consider returning to such a pitiful and ravaged place so soon is an indication of how strong the desire to go "home" truly is, where ever home might be. Home is, afterall, where the heart is. Please keep this in mind when considering "those" people.

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