heeded the warnings of public officials and got themselves out of harm's way as Hurricane Gustav approached. Two million people from south and central Louisiana evacuated in advance of the storm, making it the largest evacuation in the state's history. Such an exodus brings hardships all its own, as at least three deaths have been attributed to the evacuation. Staying, however, wasn't really an option. Evacuees demonstrated common sense in the face of real danger.
Gov. Bobby Jindal
took charge of the state effort during Hurricane Gustav, declaring a state of emergency on the Wednesday before the storm, calling for early evacuations, requesting federal assistance, activating 3,000 National Guard troops and giving state assistance to local evacuations. Most important, he maintained a calm-but-direct demeanor throughout the storm. He leveled with citizens about Gustav's dangers and displayed the kind of leadership that Louisianans expect during a crisis.
NOPD and the Louisiana National Guard
presented a unified front for securing the city before, during and after Hurricane Gustav. A combined force of roughly 3,000 cops and Guardsmen patrolled the streets of New Orleans to make sure that those who stayed were safe and the homes of those who evacuated were secure. Keeping a city under a dusk-to-dawn curfew is a challenge, but NOPD and the Louisiana Guard did their jobs well when we needed them most.
The national media
seemed more concerned with ginning up "live" drama than with reporting accurate news during their coverage of Hurricane Gustav. CNN's Wolf Blitzer was the most egregious of all. In one instance, he misidentified the overtopping of the Industrial Canal's floodwalls as a "breach." Now that the people of Terrebonne and Lafourche parishes need to rebuild, where are the network stories about the need to rebuild America's wetlands?