Here's what Nagin had to say on Meet the Press:I've been wondering what Mayor Nagin would have to say about that ever since I saw the picture of buses sitting around leaking petroleum products into the floodwaters. It's a better answer than I expected, but it's still not very good.Sure, here was lots of buses out there. But guess what? You can't find drivers that would stay behind with a Category 5 hurricane, you know, pending down on New Orleans.The second point is that during the evacuation the highways were all running both sides out of town (technical term, "contra-flow"). The buses might have been able to ferry about 10,000 people out of town with appropriate drivers, but they couldn't come back. More than 30k people were stranded at the Superdome, 25k at the Convention Center, and more around town.
I think sending the buses out of town with people in them would have been a good idea even if the buses couldn't come back and even if there were some people the buses couldn't take. I think the kid who stole a bus to get people out deserves a medal.
It's sickening that the buses were sitting there when they could have saved people.