The Governor and Nagin were afraid they would injure the Looters. Also just think how CNN would have protested if Rasheed would have been knocked down and skinned his knee if a Tanker hosed him while he was sprinting off with a Plasma TV. I wonder when the Local N.O. authorities will start screaming at FEMA to provide additional transportation over to S.Texas so that prepositioned looters can spring into action?
Nope -just saw buildings burning out of control and newsguys saying firemen couldn't get to them because of the flooding! Just didn't make sense they weren't using tankers. THe one I remember specifically was the huge warehouse on the waterfront, where they had a single fire boat shooting water on it. Looked like a kid's water gun in relation to the size of the fire.
Sorry - wrong forum for this anyway, thought I was in the "general general" forum.
A lot of folks were ready, but what would be the point?
Air tankers lay retardant to corral or direct a fire, tie together anchor points and natural barriers to prevent fire from spreading or to allow it to burn itself out. As the city was flooded, where was the fire going to spread? Individual structures burning surrounded by...deep water. The fire department couldn't hope to do better. Most of those places are going to have to be gutted and torn down due to water damage anyway...is there much difference between it burning up, or developing mold and getting torn down?
Retardant contains arsenic, among other things, and is highly toxic to aquatic life. We have strict regulations about how close to water we can drop. Fixed wing air tankers might not be the best soloution to fires in the New Orleans area. Many of those fires are structure fires, with interior attack required. Putting retardant on the outside of the house is a little like rubbing suntan lotion on a cancer patient. The fire is already inside.
Setting up tanker bases takes time and requires equipment. Space and expense used to operate fixed wing air tankers would be counterproductive, especially in light of the need to fly supplies in and out, move people, equipment, etc. Helicopters are already present, and there are much bigger priorities than fighting individual structure fires in isolated structures surrounded by water.
Otherwise, I'd have been happy to take a tanker down there. We were standing by and available.
For any interior attack fire or structure fire, a helicopter isn't either. It becomes a matter of dancing for the media, playing off the dog against the pony.
I have gone direct on structures on urban interface and urban fires, from fixed wing tanker aircraft, but the results are less than satisfactory, and a full load from a heavy tanker can demolish a structure. Twenty seven thousand pounds at 150 knots...
They could've dropped millions of tons of Halon on that cesspool but the flames would have continued to burn courtesy of unprecedented amounts of hot air from C. Ray "Where's FEMA when I can't do my job" Nagin and Katherine "I don't have enough fingers to point" Blanco.
(Yeah, I know it's kinda hard to "drop" Halon, being a gas and all.)