On Tuesday's NBC Nightly News, reporter Martin Savidge in New Orleans highlighted a complaint from environmentalists about the impact of the contaminated water being pumped out of the city, but reporter Lisa Myers, in a story on “missed opportunities,” also gave broadcast network air time to showing an aerial view of some of the hundreds of flooded school buses the city government abandoned: “Some two hundred New Orleans school buses sit underwater, unused, enough to have evacuated 13,000 people. Why weren't those buses sent street by street to pick up people before the storm?” The rest of Myers' take on the buses follows.
Savidge wrapped up a piece on the flooding and all the E. Coli in the water: “There are some ecological concerns, especially as they begin pumping that filthy water out of New Orleans into either Lake Pontchartrain or the Gulf of Mexico. Environmentalists wonder, well what happens after that? City leaders simply say, one problem at a time.”
Myers, in a story which also aired on MSNBC's Countdown, began her “missed opportunities” story with a local government fiasco: “Some 200 New Orleans school buses sit underwater, unused, enough to have evacuated 13,000 people. Why weren't those buses sent street by street to pick up people before the storm?”
Man: “We stranded! Where we going to go? They ain't letting us, we ain't got no ride!”
Myers: “This draft emergency plan, obtained by NBC News, calls for 400 buses to be prepared to evacuate victims, yet some 200 buses were left abandoned in Katrina's path.”
Greg Shaw, disaster management expert: “That's a real tragedy, that these resources weren't employed, because it would have been good to get those people out of the city.”
Myers: “Today, the Mayor would not comment.”
Myers didn't address the lack of use of the city's regular transit buses before she moved on to looking at what caused delays in the arrival of the armed forces.