Yet More New Orleans School Buses

Wizbang’s Paul, a New Orleans resident who lost most of his worldly possessions to [experienced] Katrina[‘s devastation firsthand], made a disturbing discovery using GoogleMaps: Some dry school buses in New Orleans that apparently went unused during the height of the crisis.

On the left is the Superdome. On the right is the OTHER Orleans Parish bus barn (the Algiers Bus Barn at 801 Patterson Ave. ), less than 5 miles from the Superdome. These buses never flooded and the route from there to the Convention Center and the Superdome was open the whole time. The hurricane blew in Monday morning and this picture was not taken until Wednesday. They did not finish evacuating the Superdome until Saturday.

To put a fine point on it… These were not private buses. They did not belong to a neighboring parish. These buses belonged to Mayor Ray Nagin. He could have used them at any time. He didn’t.

Your count may vary, but I counted roughly 60 buses in the yard and presumably they filled the bus barns with buses to protect as many as possible. The 2 buildings could have held probably another 50 buses. But for the sake of argument let’s say both buildings were empty. 60 buses X 75 people per bus is 4500 people per load. (you could put 100 per bus, but I’ll be generous)

From the Superdome to Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, is about an hour with no traffic. They could have moved 4500 people every 3 hours. (time to load and unload) Or in other words, they could have had the Dome empty by sundown the day after the storm.

Tragic, if true. But, sadly, not surprising.

Correction: The original lead-in overstated the nature of Paul’s losses. See the first comment below for further clarification.

Update: Rusty Shackleford has a higher resolution photograph. His research reveals that the buses were eventually used to evacuate people but, after several back-and-forths with Paul, agrees that they would have been much more helpful before Katrina hit than after.

Rusty concludes, “So, in summation, Nagin is an idiot. That is all.” This is just further proof of what my old Con Law professor, Dr. Hope Davis, used to tell me about academic research: You spend a lot of effort proving what anybody with any common sense already knew.

FILED UNDER: Uncategorized, ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Paul says:

    Nope James, I am one of the very lucky ones. We have probably over 10K in damages but to say I ” lost most of his worldly possessions” is to dramatically over-sell it.

  2. James Joyner says:

    Paul: Good to hear. I understood that you had lost your business and just presumed the worst.

  3. Sherri says:
  4. LJD says:

    I’ll save you all a trip to Sherri’s link:

    “Now, for the first time, Revolution newspaper brings you the whole story, as told by ONE (emphasis mine) of the drivers:”

    -Revolution newspaper, no agenda there.

    “U.S. military soldiers with automatic weapons(!), fixed bayonets(!), and camouflage paint on their faces detained them for hours and then forced(!) them to transport soldiers, supplies (Supplies? I thought there weren’t any supplies?), and ammunition.”

    -No hype there.

    “Some of these Army guys were real assholes. They were gung-ho types who’d been to Iraq, done their share of killing over there.”

    -Of course. You think all “Army guys” are assholes. After all, they’ve “done their share of killing”.

    What a fruitcake. It pains me to think this nutcase actually lives within our borders. Muerte a La Revolucion!

  5. McGehee says:

    Now I understand why Sherri raised the spectre of a Bush coup in an earlier OTB thread.