First - my heart and prayers go out to the folks in California who have lost their houses to the fires. We will continue to keep them in our prayers and hope for a quick recovery.
But (there's always a but!) I think there's some perspective required here. Bush, CNN, et. al, have commented that 'we've learned our lesson from Katrina.' That's great and everything, but I think there's some perspective needed here:
"It makes a big difference when you have someone in the statehouse willing to take the lead," Bush said, in an apparent dig at Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco, a Democrat.
I don't like Blanco at all, but that's the biggest load of garbage. It makes me sick that our 'leader' would even think it, much less say it.
|The Superdome was surrounded by water.||Qualcomm Stadium was surrounded by SUVs.|
|Katrina forced the evacuation of 1.2 million+ people -- 500,000 remained displaced after four months.||500,000 evacuated from their homes in California.|
|The Superdome and Convention Center had no power, no utilities, and no security.||Qualcomm Stadium had beer and hot dogs for everyone.|
|350,000 homes were destroyed.||1800 homes were destroyed.|
|Perhaps 400,000 people left Louisiana because of Katrina - forever.||Don't think 9% of California will be bailing.|
|All utilities, communciations, and services were cut to the Gulf Coast. The main offices for the fire department, police, etc. were useless and non-operational.||All utilities, communciations, and services were cut to some suburbs. The main offices for the fire department, police, etc. were intact and fully operational.|
|FEMA held real press conferences to talk about fake aid for New Orleans||FEMA held a mock press conference to talk about real aid for California.|
|Many Gulf Coast residents could not return to (what was left of) their homes for 2 months.||Many California residents could not return to (what was left of) their homes for 2 days.|
|Katrina hit a 90,000-square-mile swath of the Gulf Coast, an area twice the size of the entire state of New York.||By Friday, the fires had burned about a half-million acres, an area twice the size of New York City.|
|2,000+ dead||7 dead|
|Roads in and out of the Gulf region were impassable. Many supplies and support personnel had to be airlifted into the city by military aircraft, many of which did not arrive until well after the disaster.||Some highways have been closed, but the city's main interstate arteries and airport have remained open. The main San Diego airport is operating normally. Amtrak and regional commuter train service was restored on Thursday.|
Please, don't believe the Feds when they say they've learned. The Federal Flood of 2005 exposed many issues with our emergency response system. In large part, they have not been fixed.
UPDATE: I can't readily find comparable satellite images of California, but we can just go with the famous before and after of the Gulf Coast:
Craig Wiseman October 29th, 2007 10:26:37 PM