So, was it a “Doomsday Plan” or a plan for doomsday? SLABBED reports, you decide!

Intake side, pumping station at the lake, the day after Katrina -water flowing wrong way with pumps off and backflow valves not closed. (theplacewithnoname.com)

The pumping stations themselves are huge, sturdy, blockhouse-type buildings. None sustained any major damage from the winds. In fact, I received some reports that area policemen, during the height of the hurricane, actually sought refuge inside a pumping station, recognizing it as the safest place around. Sure enough, they emerged completely unscathed, as was the expensive – but completely idle – pumping station (What Aaron Broussard Didn’t Tell Us)

As it turned out, there was a lot Aaron Broussard didn’t tell – and what he did tell often conflicted with what Jefferson Parish Emergency Management Director Walter Maestri told plaintiffs’ lawyers in a deposition taken for the “pump flood” case:

Maestri said he wrote two versions of the Doomsday Plan: one in 1998, during Parish President Tim Coulon’s administration when Broussard was council chairman, and another in March 2005, a revision requested by Broussard through Tim Whitmer, his top aide who supervises department directors.

On one hand, I understand my suggestion of Hell waiting for high water was, as one reader wrote in an email, “a leap for even this avid conspiracy junkie to wrap around”. On the other, it’s a “leap” for me to think the guys were just kicking ideas around and decided the Doomsday Plan needed a revision – one that would change “the earlier version of the plan” and evacuate pump operators to distant Washington Parish rather than shelter “essential public workers at Louis Armstrong International Airport”.

However, Maestri testified that’s pretty much what happened when “Plaintiffs’ attorney Darleen Jacobs asked Maestri to describe the specific order from Whitmer, chief administrative assistant”:

“When we drafted or were instructed to modify and edit this particular plan,” Maestri answered, “Mr. Whitmer called me and said that he had discussed this — the first edition, that is, the 1998 edition of the plan — with the parish president, and in light of some data that we had received, some studies that we had received, the parish president wanted a new plan drafted, and I will quote directly, the parish president instructed the CAA that he ‘wanted no one to die on his watch.’¤”

While I doubt Mr. Whitmer accurately described what motivated the requested change, the parish president had a different problem – Broussard testified he didn’t know the Doomsday Plan called for the evacuation of pump operators!

The testimony[of Maestri] contradicts Broussard’s deposition, when Jacobs asked him to describe the plan’s inception.

“Your question says that I knew the Doomsday Plan was going to be implemented,” Broussard said. “I’ve already testified that I did not know this plan existed calling for the evacuation of the pump operators.”

Maestri’s deposition also clashes with Broussard’s account in the retelling of how involved the parish president was in Katrina preparations.

Facing answers from Broussard that he knew little to nothing of his administration’s activities in the days before the storm, Jacobs asked him whether it was his responsibility as “head of the ship” to know what type of plan the parish would implement during the impending disaster.

“I would have assumed that all directors would forward to me all information that I needed to know on a need-to-know basis,” Broussard said.

Jacobs pressed him for more details about his whereabouts as the storm approached.

“Did you make any attempt to meet with your directors or emergency management chiefs or personnel to determine what plan they had for the parish with regard to the evacuation of essential personnel, such as pump operators, prior to the arrival of Hurricane Katrina?” she asked.

“No, ma’am,” Broussard said.

Five months later, Maestri testified that Broussard was at the West Bank emergency operations center on Ames Boulevard throughout the weekend before Katrina and during an Aug. 26, 2005, meeting, three days before the storm’s landfall.

Maestri said normal procedure called for all department directors, council members and other key administration members to be briefed on the threat and discuss preparations during such a session.

“Was Aaron Broussard present at the meeting?” Jacobs asked.

“Yes, he was,” Maestri said.

“And how long did the meeting take place?” she asked.

“Again, my recollection would be 45 minutes to an hour,” he said.

Jacobs asked if the Doomsday Plan came up during the meeting. Maestri said it wasn’t specifically discussed or handed out. Then he indicated that the room of parish decision-makers never specifically broached the subject of evacuating pump operators.

“There was never any segregation of pump operators as opposed to the other 700 or 650 individuals who remained in the parish,” he said. “So the pump operators, explicitly, exclusively, no.”

Jacobs responded: “Was the evacuation of essential personnel discussed?”

“Yes,” Maestri said.

In the next series of questions, Maestri admitted that contrary to his previous statement, the Doomsday Plan was, in fact, discussed during the meeting that Broussard attended.

“And what was the gist of that discussion?” Jacobs asked.

“Depending upon the reports received from the National Hurricane Center and the National Weather Service, it was possible that Annex E, Appendix 10 might be activated,” Maestri said.

“And that is the Doomsday Plan?” she asked.

“That’s correct,” he said.

What a plan!  After they “discovered [sic]  no building in the parish could stand up to a Category 4 or 5 hurricane”, it was decided “everyone, except some select administrators, plus police and fire first responders, would be evacuated in the face of such a storm…”  However:

“Providing an exception to Jefferson Parish President Aaron Broussard’s unyielding stance that he evacuated all rank-and-file government workers before Hurricane Katrina to protect their lives…Walter Maestri, Broussard’s emergency management chief, said this week that he authorized the workers — nine on the West Bank and six in East Jefferson — to ride out Katrina inside water treatment plants so they could maintain potable water for thousands of patients who could not leave local hospitals because of fragile health…

Broussard has maintained with fervor that, acting as Jefferson’s legally designated authority under an emergency declaration, he sent all public employees except 11 top directors into exile because he valued their lives above the loss of private property to flooding or other forces. Maestri, however, said Broussard knew at the time about his decision to keep water department workers at their posts and did not overrule it.

If only the often conflicting and confusing information ended there, it might be possible to sort out what actually happened – but, alas, it does not.

Broussard and Maestri said they never considered assigning essential employees, including the pump operators, to ride out the storm at three Jefferson hospitals — West Jefferson Medical Center, East Jefferson General Hospital or Ochsner Clinic Foundation — that operated without pause during Katrina.

‘That’s not the plan”.

Maestri developed the original 1998 plan while working for former parish president Tim Coulon.  In December 2003, Coulon was awarded the prestigious Bronze Order of the de Fleury Medal by the United States Army Corps of Engineers in December 2003:

During the past eight years, Coulon led Jefferson Parish in a partnership with the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers which has resulted in over $400 million in flood improvements being designed and constructed in Jefferson Parish.

Say what? Yeah, $400 million and the result was:

Jefferson Parish committed far more resources to emergency management than Orleans Parish. It has a Director, Walter Maestri, who has served in that position for nine years, and 11 permanent staff .   During times of emergency, the staff swells to more than 100.  Prior to Katrina, the EOC had approximately 80 land lines into the building, with two high-capacity T-1 data-transmission lines that connected to all of the office’s data systems.  The Parish had its own 800 megahertz system for first responders and public works, together with an 800 megahertz system provided by the state.  The Parish had a 911 call center, with the calls being routed to four operational units – police, fire, emergency medical, or public works. The Jefferson Parish Emergency Operations Plan was one of only two EOPs in the State of Louisiana that had been officially approved by FEMA. The other was St. Tammany Parish.

What is known as the Doomsday plan was “Just three pages long, never before used until the head of the National Hurricane Center called with the news” that Katrina was a big one – three pages, “Annex E, Appendix 10” to a comprehensive plan for responding to more than just weather emergencies.

Three pages that caught the eye of Aaron Broussard and Tim Whitmer some six months plus before Katrina.  Three pages revised in March 2005 on order of  Broussard via Whitmer.

So, was it a “Doomsday Plan” or a plan for doomsday? Learn more in the follow-up to this post and as SLABBED reports, you decide!

15 thoughts on “So, was it a “Doomsday Plan” or a plan for doomsday? SLABBED reports, you decide!”

  1. These “lying pieces of shit”! Let them identify for us by producing a roster of all individuals who were inside the “Emergency Operations Center” between midnight on Saturday 8/27-28/05 and midnight on Monday 8/29-30/05. Then I’d like to see a list of EVERYONE who was exempted from the Parish “Emergency Operations Order”. We have already been told that patients (and presumably their caregivers) in Hospitals were exempted. Who else was exempted? And what happened to these people when the power went out and the flooding (that YOU caused) started? I’d also like to know precisely WHO among the pump workers received the order to shut down the pumps and move his people to Washington Parish. This person must have a name. He must know what he was told, by whom, and why. Ashton O’Dwyer a/k/a “The WHITE Henry Glover”.

  2. Really, what the hell…

    “””””””””” Engaging in the first public battle in what had been a mostly composed government reaction to Hurricane Katrina, Jefferson Parish Councilman-at-large John Young and Parish President Aaron Broussard traded verbal blows Wednesday over the decision to evacuate local pump operators to Washington Parish and to return them only after thousands of homes had flooded.

    Young, who said he bore no responsibility for evacuating pump personnel Aug. 28, called for a policy change that would keep those workers inside Jefferson Parish during powerful hurricanes rather than shipping them 110 miles north to Mount Hermon, where some 200 operators rode out Katrina. They returned Aug. 29 about 7 p.m. — about nine hours after the storm made landfall — to find many neighborhoods inundated.

    “Whatever we do in the future, I think it is imperative that we have the pump operators remain in Jefferson Parish,” Young said, suggesting the workers be assigned to West Jefferson Medical Center and East Jefferson General Hospital, where thousands of patients and medical staff — along with Broussard, Young and Councilman Byron Lee — weathered Katrina. “”””””””””””””””

    “””””””Broussard, at times roaring his response, derided Young’s recommendation as a ***”death sentence” for pump workers forced to stay in Jefferson, where no building is certified to withstand a Category 4 or 5 storm, including the public hospitals. He further called Young’s comments at Wednesday’s council meeting a ***”sanctimoniously hypocritical” maneuver to gain political favor that *******contrasted with Young’s silence Aug. 28 as Broussard decided to evacuate pump station staff.

    ******”At no time do I remember you telling me that we should not send the pump operators away,” Boussard said. ********”I think you’re politically perfect. . . . However, in an emergency situation, you were invisible.

    “It will be a rainy day in hell . . . before I tell a pump operator that they will stay in any structure . . . during a Category 4 or 5 storm,” Broussard said. “You say you’re sensitive to life. I say you’re full of s- – -.” “”””””””

    “”””””””””The exchange, which drew gasps from an audience accustomed to civility in the council chambers, cast wide open the growing public debate over ********why the parish’s “doomsday” plan calls for pump operators to retreat to Mount Hermon, near the Mississippi border, and whether their protracted return after Katrina exacerbated house flooding and jeopardized the lives of residents who did not evacuate.

    In pitting two of the parish’s most powerful elected leaders, it *****also raised the question of who was in charge as Katrina hurtled toward Jefferson Parish and how information about the status of canals and pump stations was gathered as winds strengthened and water levels in canals and Lake Pontchartrain rose before the storm.

    During major storm events, ******Broussard generally has stationed himself at the parish’s Emergency Operations Center in Marrero, assuming additional executive authority granted by law during a declared emergency such as Katrina. Meanwhile, he has assigned the council’s seven members to monitor conditions inside the parish or supervise satellite government operations elsewhere in case Jefferson is washed away.

    ********Broussard said Wednesday that in the hours leading up to Katrina, he *****relied on Young to provide status reports on levees and ****pump stations in East Jefferson. Broussard said he assumed that responsibility himself on the West Bank. ********Young, however, disputed the point and said Wednesday was the first time Broussard had buttonholed him to that task.

    “You know very well that you did not assign me to the pump stations during this hurricane,” Young said.

    “You are a liar, sir,” Broussard replied.

    Later, Young said he was based in East Jefferson to provide updates at Broussard’s request, eventually hunkering down at East Jefferson General Hospital. “””””””””””

    http://www.theplacewithnoname.com/blogs/k/p/051013.htm

    **********

    More from Broussard:

    “Bureaucracy has committed murder here in the greater New Orleans area, and bureaucracy has to stand trial before Congress now.”

    “Forget about the property. We can rebuild the property. It’s got to be able to come in and save lives. We need strong leadership at the top of America right now in order to accomplish this … .”

    “I just repaired a breach on my side of the 17th Street canal that the secretary didn’t foresee, ******a 300-foot breach. I just completed it yesterday with convoys of National Guard and local parish workers and levee board people. It took us two and a half days working 24/7. ****I just closed it.”

    {What? WHERE was this 300 foot breach on the JP side that Broussard personally {“I” once, “I” again, and “I” a third time} repaired???}

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9179790/ns/meet_the_press/

    ***************

    Four separate occasions:

    1. Young confronts him on the Doomsday plan: Broussard blows up, calls Young a liar.

    2. Russerts confronts him on tv re: who is responsible for evacuating or not evacuating: Broussard disintegrates.

    3. Russerts confronts Broussard again about whether the local governments had any responsibility: Broussard responds by describing such people who questions his own personal evacuation story about Thomas Rodrigue’s mother dying as “black-hearted people” and then proceeds to again fly off at the very pursuit of questioning about local governments’ management or lack thereof.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9438988/ns/meet_the_press/

    4. Val Bracy confronts Broussard on his Nova Scotia holdings and the machinations and self-dealings of those in his administration: Broussard simpers on air, says he has no idea what she’s talking about and then quits the next day.

    Can you imagine this guy with a Cat 5 Katrina bearing down on his wigless pate?

  3. No, with or without wig, he obviously wigs out! By the way, I’ve yet to find the three-page “Doomsday Plan” – amazing considering all the coverage given the “pump flood”.

  4. Here we are over 6-years post-KATRINA, and we’re still talking about the so-called “Doomsday Plan for Jefferson Parish. Frankly, I’m fed up with “talking”. Broussard, and Maestri and Whitmer, and anyone else who had anything to do with shutting down the pumps and sending the pump workers some 200 miles away, should be CRUCIFIED (with railroad spikes, not “nails”), and their bodies left to rot on their gibbets until and after they die, as a deterent to others who might betray the public trust and contemplate committing malfeasance in office. Parenthetically, although I stand to be corrected (I think Broussard’s deposition was posted on SLABBED some time ago, but I can’t seem to find it at present – but Maestri’s and Whitmer’s depositions have not been posted, to my knowledge, nor have the depositions of the pump-worker Supervisors who received the evacuation order been posted), we STILL DON’T KNOW WHO GAVE THE ORDER OR WHO RECEIVED THE ORDER. There were “beaucoup” people who remained in Jefferson Parish during the storm, who didn’t die. There were “beaucoup” people in Parish Government who remained in Jefferson Parish during the storm, who didn’t die. At least two locales that housed these individuals were the Parish Emergency Operations Center in Marrero and West Jefferson General Hospital. To have shut down the pumps and to have sent the pump workers 200 miles away to Washington Parish at the very time they were needed the most in recorded history was TOTAL FOLLY, particularly when there were NUMEROUS safe places of refuge within the Parish. And of course the resuly was billions of dollars in property damage. Last point: I have averred that the lawyers who are “mis-handling” the Broussard Flood litigation for the plaintiffs’ side are INCOMPETENT. They also have DONE NOTHING to disqualify and recuse the presiding Judge (named “Peytavin”) whose son (also named “Peytavin”) has earned MILLIONS from the Parish of Jefferson over the years, and hundreds of thousands of dollars since KATRINA, while “Daddy” was presiding over the Broussard Flood litigation, with NO DISCLOSURE by “Daddy the Judge” or by “Sonny Boy, the Parish Lawyer in numerous cases before and during the pendancy of the Broussard Flood litigation”). And bear this in mind: A Judgment against Broussard, Maestri, Whitmer or others in Jefferson Parish Government, or againsr the Parish, is REALLY a Judgment against the State of Louisiana. Now ask the plaintiffs’ lawyers in the Broussard Flood litigation how they intend to collect any Judgment, assuming aruumentatively that they ever get one from “Daddy Judge Peytaviv”? Ashton O’Dwyer.

  5. To ZFB: I have read the book, and continue to be perplexed over the publicity that Mr. Zeitoun, a Member of a Minority Group, received, when contrasted with the LACK of publicity my case received. Whilr Mr. Zeitoun was held in custody much, much longer than I was, he was NOT BRUTALIZRD and TORTURED like I was. Bottom line: If Ashton O’Dwyer had been a Negro pimp or drug addict, then “The Lame Stream Media” would have been ALL OVER my case. And now a question: “What does thsi have to do with the Broussard Flood?” Thank you. Ashton O’Dwyer, who has the Constitutional to be “prejudiced” and to HATE whomever he wants to HATE.

  6. What is pathetic about the Jefferson flood case (much like all the other flood cases) is that the kleptocrat scum in charge do not face individual liability, Broussard being the rare exception in the Jefferson case. Even so, the scum fall all over themselves to conjure up lies – why, one asks, given the fact that , courtesy of the gangsters in Baton Rouge in Huey Long’s Memorial, the kleptos are immunized and “your” government gets to injure you and damage your property without having to compensate you for it. Essentially the kleptos can face off the serfs with the middle finger salute and face no consequences.

    The idea is tantamount to enjoying self-flagellation, I can’t come up with a better comparison given the large number of sheeple who heartily endorse government injuring and victimizing you without compensation, amounting to a perverse rewriting of the U.S. and Louisiana Constitution.

    I trust those serfs who visit this board who reside in Jefferson Parish ask of their elected rulers at least to obtain sufficient insurance to cover the next round of injury and damages which the kleptos will mete out to the serfs. After all, it is a “win-win” situation, for the kleptos can enrich their insurance “friends and family” associates, the serfs may get a McDonald coupon (hey, anything is better than nothing, right?) and since it is money from a far-off land, the klepots can look good to the serfs.

    I would trust the Jefferson Parish serfs here will scratch their chins long and hard as to why an enterprise, albeit criminal in nature, worth in the hundreds of millions of dollars (Jefferson Parish Government) has insurance of only six million or so. If that was private enterprise, no doubt the federal fascistii would have the corporate directors incarcerated on some nonsense after the shareholders skin them alive for corporare mismanagement. Too bad this is not the fate for our kleptos!

    Kameraden, I submit to you the situation is so nastily perverse that a defense counsel, representing an insurer which is part of the AIG insurance syndicate, told me with a straight face that the problem is not found in compensation but in the ballottbox. With no respect whatsoever, a ballot won’t fix the roof, or populate your pocketbook, and at best might fill in a hole in the wall or suffice as toiletpaper.

    1. Broussard should be water boarded during his upcoming deposition in North Carolina with water flown in from Lake Pontchartrain until he breaks and tells the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

  7. Meanwhile, in an adjacent parish where the hurricane actually crossed, pumping station employees were riding out the supposed Cat 4-/5 hurricane in a building which was close to 70 years long in tooth, with nary a scratch, and went out the afternoon after passage to their stations.

  8. consider,among so many many more egregious “sins” of the pillaging leaders; that the direction of the pump station sub department of Public Works was at the time in question led by cabal of drunkards and drug dealing bikers more the strereotypical Hells Angels (or galloping gooses) than any sane person’s image of “public servant”. Understand of course, that such an image does not of itself portend incompetence or indifference (my belief is to the contrary): it is only by way of suggesting that getting believable and reliable answers to “who told who what” is to be a pointless form of self abuse. As is IMHO the whole damn silly lawsuit. Pursued by the same publicly active deep pockets who have not resisted re-installing the same old council thieves as their musical chair council. Methinks they seek not in their tiny little hearts to castigate Aaron, so much as to vindicate themselves and their puppets. Henry Shane, Jack Stumpf, James Hudson, Laurecella et al……..where were y’all?

  9. Did I reed where LaGASSEOUS cut a brain fart and testiculfied at da’ flood trial dat he done lost only one shingle from da’ storm ?

    http://www.nola.com/politics/index.ssf/2014/01/in_jefferson_parishs_katrina_f_1.html

    Bro’ , if you did heard him try to conduct a parliamentarian Council meeting last week on impotent hospital leases you done knew dat he lost mo’ den one shingle . Da’ bro’ wants to pass Council gas and flush every resolution fo’ da’ public chance to object.. Even Roberts , who had a inhouse Council toilet trip emergency, commented on LaGASSEOUS’ odorous performance.

    Da’ bro needs a cerious head amendment and Council needed to past a resolution prohibiting LaGASSEOUS emissions wild in session. Tanks fo’ da’ soapbox.

    1. Empire: Da’ way LargeASS is pushin’ supahard fo’ immediate Council colonic enemas and massive passage fo’ Children’s Hospital suggests once he vacates his Councilman- at -LargeASS position he bees overdue fo’ his bigA$$ SHOT at da’ Children’s West Jefferson Hospital.

      Maybe as a paid parpissapant in da’ Human Douche’ Brain Research Dept..

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