To quote the Sept 3 Sun Times,
A visibly angry Mayor Daley said the city had offered emergency, medical and technical help to the federal government as early as Sunday to assist people in the areas stricken by Hurricane Katrina, but as of Friday, the only things the feds said they wanted was a single tank truck.
"We are ready to provide more help than they have requested. We are just waiting for their call," said Daley, adding that he was "shocked" that no one seemed to want the help.
Daley said the city offered 36 members of the firefighters' technical rescue teams, eight emergency medical technicians, search-and-rescue equipment, more than 100 police officers as well as police vehicles and two boats, 29 clinical and 117 non-clinical health workers, a mobile clinic and eight trained personnel, 140 Streets and Sanitation workers and 29 trucks, plus other supplies. City personnel are willing to operate self-sufficiently and would not depend on local authorities for food, water, shelter and other supplies, he said.
It looks like the mayor of Chicago should have been talking to the New Orleans Mayor, not the feds. It's not like you have to have federal approval to drive across state lines. Then again, who knows if the NO mayor would have accepted help. Word is he had a flotilla of busses he didn't bring to bear for evacuation, basically ignoring the city hurricane response plan.
All around there are crazy stories. Reports of civilian relief efforts being turned away by the department of fish and wildlife. Of army resources not used because the head of the National Guard claimed to have a handle on the situation. Lots of reports discuss an apparent power struggle between local, state, and federal powers. People were having turf wars while other people were dying.