Step right up…

Have to give this FEMA guy some credit. Ahem, no one from the Army Corps of Engineers was willing.

fema dunk
(AP Photo/Cheryl Gerber)


For $5, residents on this street of flooded houses received three tennis balls _ and a chance to vent 15 months of frustration at the slow pace of rebuilding.

That’s because sitting on the miniature diving board, shivering above the icy tub was a representative of a reviled and much-lampooned organization: the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

“C’mon, the water’s warm. Let’s go!” cried out Bob Josephson, the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s director of intergovernmental affairs in Louisiana.

In less than an hour, the residents of Broadmoor, one of the city’s hardest-hit neighborhoods, had shelled out $250 to dunk him, several taking repeated turns.

Waiting their turn were members of the city council and the CEO of Entergy New Orleans, the city’s main utility, blamed for the slow pace of hookups.


No shows included City Council President Oliver Thomas, himself a resident of Broadmoor, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, in charge of fixing the city’s collapsed levees.

“Chicken,” muttered Carina Loubier, 44, whose house nearby flooded and who has been slowly rebuilding.

“If the Corps would have showed up it would have been the biggest draw of the day. If we have to blame somebody for this _ it’s them” she said, waving her hands at the neighborhood of crippled and reborn homes.

Others who took the plunge were NOLA councilwoman Stacey Head and councilwoman Shelley Midura. While the CEO of Entergy New Orleans did show and made a donation he begged off at the last minute. Nagin and Blanco were invited but declined.

4 thoughts on “Step right up…

  1. I posted on this under my other nom de blog at my home site. I appreciate the dunkees’ humility and good humor, but frankly, they have nothing to feel dour about and if this is what social justice looks like in the age of Bush, they can keep it. Real justice would have involved a vat of carbolic acid, or at least holding the dunkees under long enough that they got a taste of what drowning feels like. The fact that this was brought about because those same officials haven’t ponied up the $ necessary to rebuild the city, and that the residents have to pay for the dunking, is that much more aggravating.

  2. Not to suggest that the primal forces of the universe have an opinion in all this, but the wind started coming out of the north and the temperature dropped about 20 degrees in the hour or so before the dunking.

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