George W. Bush, Visiting New Orleans, Praises School Progress Since Katrina

29 Aug 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Former FEMA chief Michael Brown: Stop blaming me for Katrina.

George W Bush said being president is “not a hard job” as he re-visited New Orleans, the scene of what was regarded as one of the greatest failures of his time in the White House.Ten years after the costliest and most memorable hurricane in America’s history, the former chief of the Federal Emergency Management Agency is speaking out again about the responsibilities that he and many other government officials were supposed to have shared.

Bush’s trip to New Orleans and Gulfport, Mississippi, to commemorate the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina (all times local): Former President George W. Mr Bush has long been vilified over his administration’s lacklustre response to Hurricane Katrina, which killed more than 1,800 people and left 80 per cent of the city underwater in 2005. In a four-page testament, Brown tells Politico Magazine his side of the story, setting the record straight and explaining how other entities messed up, failed to help or didn’t hold their weight. Bush has arrived in Gulfport, Mississippi, where hundreds of people gathered in a beachside park to salute emergency responders who worked during and after Hurricane Katrina.

A decade later resentment lingers over his decision at the time to view the damage from Air Force One, rather than landing and meeting victims, as does an accusation that he “did not care about black people”. Bush says that during Katrina and its aftermath, there was “an impressive display of leadership down here on the Gulf Coast.” He called off the names of those were then the mayors of Mississippi Coast cities and the supervisors of its counties. During the 2004 hurricane season, FEMA’s response efforts to hurricanes Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne in Florida were “excellent” and “widely praised.” He says state and local governments, which are outlined in the Constitution as autonomous governmental entities, have first responders that are expected to respond to crises before federal government gets involved. Plus, he says, even if the federal had had the power to order citizens to leave New Orleans, it didn’t have enough planes, helicopters and other modes of transportation to execute an effective evacuation of so many people.

McMurray, who was stationed in Gulfport during the storm, said on Friday that the first few days of recovery were “organized chaos.” Republican Haley Barbour, Mississippi’s governor during Katrina, thanked hundreds of thousands of volunteers who helped people in the state rebuild. With the success of schools like this you have given all Americans reason to believe that New Orleans is back and better than ever. “On this anniversary the work of making a stronger New Orleans goes on. He asked the former National Hurricane Center director to explain the potential dangers of failure to evacuate to Governor Kathleen Blanco and Mayor Ray Nagin. The black population has dropped from nearly 67 percent in 2000 to 59 percent today; whites, once about one-quarter of residents, now account for nearly a third. “The people who have not returned have been disproportionately African-American, renters, low-income, single mothers and persons with disabilities,” says Lori Peek, an associate professor of sociology at Colorado State University and co-editor, with University of South Carolina psychologist Lynn Weber, of the book, “Displaced: Life in the Katrina Diaspora.” Following Katrina, officials demolished four of the city’s notorious projects, vowing to replace them with modern, mixed-income developments. Brown says, “The mayor’s incompetence cost lives.” Brown was embarrassed when the president publicly praised him for his work in the city before knowing the details of the mess that was really going on.

Trent Lott of Mississippi and Secretary Michael Chertoff of the Department of Homeland Security overrode that order and kept the ship in Mississippi for what Brown claims were “purely political reasons.” The lack of this ship meant lack of aid given to many stranded survivors. On her porch next to the school Kindrell Herbert, 35, and her friends were not even aware of Mr Bush’s arrival, and showed little interest in seeing him. Cooper’s public rescue of a family that had yet to be found later called attention to a potentially inefficient and unproductive rescue plan devised by officials. A refrigerator and her grandson’s basinet swirled up toward her, “like trying to see who was going to get up the stairs first.” The Washingtons managed to find space in the hometown Saints’ end zone. Somebody broke a food machine and I survived on a pack of Skittles.” Mr Bush’s connection with Warren Easton Charter high school began after it appealed to his wife Laura Bush, a former school librarian, to help replace 10,000 books lost in Katrina.

He claims he dealt with questions and other discussions in person and over the phone, or he decided not to answer emails after issues outlined in them had already been addressed or resolved. One such study conducted in July 2005, the month before Katrina hit, tested what would happen in the event that a Category 5 hurricane struck landfall. They could see it on TV, but you couldn’t really get a feel for it unless you were here.” Mr Bush told emergency workers: “Most Americans can’t really get a feel of the courage, perseverance and dedication of the thousands who rushed into harm’s way. Chevelle talked of a friend who moved her family back — only to have three of her boys killed in a drive-by shooting, victims of apparent mistaken identity.

Brown says that the exercise was revealing but too short notice to allow time to request funding, distribute grants, and exercise and train personnel. “The American public needs to learn not to rely on the government to save them when a crisis hits. It’s not that life in Houston was horrible, says Chevelle’s son Steven, who lives in a one-story apartment complex halfway between Treasure and Abundance streets in New Orleans. But off the field, it seemed he was forever trying to dodge tensions — like the taunt “N-O!” that the Houston kids would shout whenever New Orleans refugees passed in the hallways. Centralized disaster response at the national level would destroy the inherent close relationship between citizens and those who save their lives and protect their property in times of everyday disasters.”

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