They got there four days before the hurricane hit?

Canadians Arrived In New Orleans Five Days Before The U.S. Military

This headline underscores the shameful performance of the federal response to Katrina. Five days before the US military reached New Orleans, the Canadians were there saving the day:

The forty-six member Vancouver-based Urban Search and Rescue Team arrived in the St. Bernard Parish which lies east of New Orleans a full 5 days before American rescue units, and the volunteers worked 18-hour days rescuing 119 people in total.

The team worked closely with the Louisiana state police who provided an armed escort throughout the rescue mission because of the increasing violence in the area. A St. Bernard official offered sincere gratitude and told the team that the Canadian rescuers were their first sign of relief.

St. Bernard Parish was home to 68,000 people but was virtually forgotten by U.S. officials who were concentrating their search and rescue efforts on New Orleans which is only a few kilometers away.

That’s great, and well done. As an American I thank the Vancouver-based Urban Search and Rescue Team.

But I’m wondering if the article has any information about the Canadians who arrived in New Orleans five days before the US military. Here’s St. Bernard, LA:

If they’re not careful, that headline might confuse some people. And there’s enough confusion already, thank-you very much.

Also in the article:

Although little mention has been given to aid and assistance pouring in from around the world, four Canadian ships, three navy and one ice breaker all laden with essential supplies are heading toward the Gulf and expect to arrive by later Thursday or Friday.

They obviously haven’t been reading MO. I noted Operation Union on Saturday and scored an Instalanche for Winds of Change. (via FR)


  1. Not to take anything away from the much appreciated help from Canada, but helicopter squadrons from the USS Bataan were conducting relief missions in New Orleans on Tuesday, August 30 – the same day the levee broke. So this story is not accurate. The Bataan was prepositioned by the feds to come in behind the storm to conduct relief efforts and has been doing so since day one.

  2. It’s good to see the Canadians could send someone all the way to the United States. After the tsunami, they were embarrassed by their lack of emergency equipment. Eleven days after the tsunami, the Canadians had to rent two Russian planes to get help to Sri Lanka. And as Daniel points out, they didn’t get to New Orleans five days before the U.S. armed forces. The New York Times reported on a few National Guardsmen at the Superdome on Wednesday, Aug. 31, and published photos of them. Coast Guard helicopters were picking up flood victims by Thursday. The Army Corps of Engineers (do they count?) were in by Wednesday, and dropping giant sandbags into the broken levees by Thursday. And by the way, note that the Canadians might have landed in New Orleans, but they did all their work on dry land in neighboring St. Bernard Parish.