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Katrina Timeline - First installment

By Teresa Harvey La Loggia

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Contributor Teresa Harvey La Loggia has completed the first installment (approximately 400 entries) of the Hurricane Katrina Timeline. This installment focuses primarily on pre-Katrina events, up through the evening of August 29th.

A note about our methodology:

Pre-Katrina Events (pre-August 24, 2005): This first installment relies quite heavily on August-September 2005 news reports for our “pre-Katrina” information, and is therefore incomplete, and quite possibly, skewed. Understandably, the current reporting has tended to report pre-Katrina information from a 20/20 hindsight perspective, and it appears that at least some reports “cherry picked” information in order to demonstrate a particular viewpoint or to support a particular criticism. This appears especially true with respect to reporting on Army Corps projects (both funding and implementation), as well as FEMA/federal policy regarding flood insurance and disaster mitigation. In future installments, we will supplement the pre-Katrina information based on primary, contemporaneous reports of particular events, in order to, hopefully, provide a more complete “picture” of the events leading up to this disaster.

Katrina Events (August 24-August 29): Our methodology for the “during Katrina” events is as follows: Our principle focus was on (1) government documents; (2) local, contemporaneous reporting (primarily from the local Times-Picayune and WWLTV blogs and websites); and (3) transcripts from TV news programs (i.e., CNN, MSNBC, Fox, NBC, ABC, and CBS). We then supplemented this contemporaneous reporting and/or official record with newspaper and other mainstream media sources. Where reports of a particular event conflicted, and/or where government documents conflicted with news reports, we have sought to explain, in notes, the conflicting information and, where possible, which reported information appears more likely than not to be accurate.

We are currently working on additional installments, which focus primarily on:

  • The hour-by-hour events for August 30-September 4, 2005.
  • The aftermath of Katrina (post-September 4).
  • The history of New Orleans’ hurricane plans pre-Katrina (i.e., significant expansion of materials included in this installment).
  • The various Army Corps projects (funding and work) in Southeastern Louisiana (i.e., significant expansion of materials included in this installment).
  • The history of FEMA/US policy related to flood insurance and disaster mitigation (i.e., significant expansion of materials included in this installment).

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