Breakdowns Marked Path From Hurricane to Anarchy

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At www.nytimes.com

The governor of Louisiana was 'blistering mad.' It was the third night after Hurricane Katrina drowned New Orleans, and Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco needed buses to rescue thousands of people from the fetid Superdome and convention center. But only a fraction of the 500 vehicles promised by federal authorities had arrived. Ms. Blanco burst into the state's emergency center in Baton Rouge. 'Does anybody in this building know anything about buses?' she recalled crying out. They were an obvious linchpin for evacuating a city where nearly 100,000 people had no cars. Yet the federal, state and local officials who had failed to round up buses in advance were now in a frantic hunt. It would be two more days before they found enough to empty the shelters.

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