A number of our readers have been highly critical of state and local authorities in Louisiana. However, it must be acknowledged that they did one important thing that saved countless lives: they ordered the mandatory evacuation on Sunday that caused most people to leave the city. This mandatory evacuation order was a departure from past practice, when evacuations in the face of approaching hurricanes have always been voluntary.
So what prompted the order that prevented Hurricane Katrina from being a natural disaster of unprecedented magnitude?
The mayor called the order unprecedented and said anyone who could leave the city should.
Gov. Kathleen Blanco, standing beside the mayor at a news conference, said President Bush called and personally appealed for a mandatory evacuation for the low-lying city, which is prone to flooding.
The City of New Orleans and its residents owe the President a profound debt of gratitude.
Thanks to reader Debbie Eberts.