Someone just told me there was fighting going on in the NOLA Superdome. #shocked
— Michael D Brown (@MichaelBrownUSA) February 4, 2013
During Sunday’s Super Bowl, the moment that generated the biggest peak of Twitter conversations happened during the blackout. The power outage sparked 231,500 tweets per minute.
Among those tweeting during the power outage was Michael D. Brown, the former director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) who was in office when Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans.
"Someone just told me there was fighting going on in the NOLA Superdome," Brown tweeted, adding the hashtag "#shocked."
An estimated 15,000 to 20,000 New Orleans residents took refuge in the Superdome and were stuck there with no power or running water for days. At the time, The New York Times reported there were at least two rapes and several deaths including some that were result of violence:
It is a fact that many died at the convention center and Superdome (7 and 10 respectively, according to the most recent reports from the coroner), but according to a Sept. 15 report in The Chicago Tribune, it was mostly from neglect rather than overt violence. According to the Tribune article, which quoted Capt. Jeffery Winn, the head of the city’s SWAT team, one person at the convention center died from multiple stab wounds and one National Guardsman was shot in the leg.
Yahoo News’ Dylan Stableford points out Brown’s comments drew criticism but Brown stood by his tweet:
"Come see the water line marks on the street signs by my church and see how funny Katrina/Dome tweets are," Twitter user Duris Holmes wrote.
"I saw them," Brown replied. "Blanco Nagin refused to look"–a reference to former Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco and former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin.
"Screen shots on iPad," he later tweeted. "Great for capturing vitriol that’s later deleted from Twitter feed."
Brown added: "Blocking is quite useful, too."