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Open Discussion Discuss Katrina commander: Federal response to Harvey is 'amateur hour' at the General Forum; Former Joint Task Force Katrina Commander Russel Honore said Wednesday the military's rescue efforts in states affected by Hurricane Harvey ...

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Old 09-28-2017, 11:18 PM
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Default Katrina commander: Federal response to Harvey is 'amateur hour'

Former Joint Task Force Katrina Commander Russel Honore said Wednesday the military's rescue efforts in states affected by Hurricane Harvey resembles "amateur hour" because the federal government lacks a strategy for how to respond to large-scale natural disasters.

"The American people have put too much confidence in us," Honore told CNN host Erin Burnett. "We have been too successful overseas to come out in amateur hour and incrementally deploy the force."

The retired Army lieutenant general said the federal government should have "come in big" and arrived at the "edge of the storm" so that rescue efforts could begin immediately after it passes.

"We don't have 100 helicopters here as of last night," said Honore, who handled the response in New Orleans to Hurricane Katrina 12 years ago.

Despite an extensive study by the Army Corps of Engineers on how to handle these types of disasters, Honore said the government has left it to the states to create and carry out their own responses.

"The problem is we have 50 different solutions," Honore added. "The federal government took their hand off it and went off to fight terrorism and each time we have a Sandy or Harvey, the solution is different ... It's cooked up locally by the state."

Katrina commander: Federal response to Harvey is 'amateur hour'
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Old 11-16-2017, 01:34 AM
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Unhappy Re: Katrina commander: Federal response to Harvey is 'amateur hour'

Houston's Poorest Face Long, Uncertain Post-Harvey Recovery...

Houston's Poorest Face Long, Uncertain Post-Harvey Recovery
November 15, 2017 | NOTE TO READERS: This is the first of a three-part series on Houston's recovery.
Quote:
Beside a black spore-infested mobile home in east Houston, Valerie Van Note lays the seats flat in the back of a Lincoln Navigator one lent to her by a friend and pats the bags of blankets and pillows she keeps neatly folded. "These are some of my dog beds I got to save," Van Note's gray eyes fill with tears as she remembers her three dogs that drowned in Hurricane Harvey's record floods in August. "I washed them, and I use them as a mattress." On August 26-30, the hurricane-turned-tropical storm Harvey stalled over southeast Texas, dumping a five-day total of 114 centimeters of water over parts of Houston.


Andrew Saldivar, left, removes a car battery given to him by a neighbor, which he later installed on a boat to save Houstonians still stranded by the floods.

Roughly 25 percent to 30 percent of Houston's Harris County became submerged, running up a tab of $190 billion in losses the costliest storm in U.S. history. Were it not for a floating spare tire, the five-day downpour might have taken Van Note's life, as it did that of at least 75 other Texans, 50 of whom drowned. But on the second day of heavy rain a Sunday morning Van Note paddled the tire past her porch and across the street with one hand, holding a small bag with some cash savings and prescription medicine in the other. She grabbed onto a pole where a neighbor would eventually see her and come to her rescue by boat.

Survivors, left behind

More than two months since the storm passed, the sports utility vehicle where Van Note sleeps at night is a temporary solution in a permanent struggle to find affordable housing and work. Like her neighbors, a mix of native-born and mixed-immigration status Houstonians, she finds every day a struggle in one of Houston's worst inundated areas which had no luxuries to begin with. Within the circle of trailer homes on Spicewood Lane, residents feel the city has claimed recovery and moved on without ever checking on them. So they persevere on their own.


The trailer where Valerie Van Note once lived is uninhabitable since Hurricane Harvey hit Houston two months ago. Van Note how sleeps in a friend's sports utility vehicle, which is parked next to the trailer.

During the day, Van Note collects scrap metal, but can't afford the gas required to transport and sell it. Between payments on a small storage unit and insurance on the Navigator part of the deal with her friend she exhausts $113 a month. With her Lone Star food stamps and some savings, Van Note has managed "just to survive," a common narrative in Houston's poorest residential areas by the Greens Bayou. She mostly stays put, keeping her neighbors' pets fed in the shade of the yard, next to the trailer where she previously lived, in case its 73-year-old owner with whom she stayed as a companion were to return.

"[Recovery is] going to take a long, long, long time," Van Note said.

"Months?"

"Years."

'Nothing is normal'
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Old 11-16-2017, 04:40 AM
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Default Re: Katrina commander: Federal response to Harvey is 'amateur hour'

Andrew Saldivar, left, removes a car battery given to him by a neighbor, which he later installed on a boat to save Houstonians still stranded by the floods.

No wonder he is stealing a car battery in a flood. He is on the left.
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