Remarks on departure for a tour of gulf coast areas damaged by Hurricane Katrina

Remarks on departure for a tour of gulf coast areas damaged by Hurricane Katrina

September 2, 2005

Secretary Chertoff and I just finished a meeting with Secretary Rumsfeld, General Myers, other members of my Cabinet, as well as General Honore, Admiral Keating, who is in charge of NORTHCOM–General Honore is our active duty general on the ground in Louisiana as well–and Mike Brown, who is the head of FEMA.

There’s a lot of aid surging toward those who have been affected, millions of gallons of water, millions of tons of food. We’re making progress about pulling people out of the Superdome. There’s an issue fight now at the convention center of New Orleans that General Honore briefed us on. We’re trying to get food and medicine to the convention center. He’s working with the Governor and the adjutant general and the mayor to deploy 600 of the newly arrived MPs to secure the site, so that the food and medicine and water can get in there.

A lot of people are working hard to help those who’ve been affected, and I want to thank the people for their efforts. The results are not acceptable. I’m headed down there right now. I’m looking forward to talking to the people on the ground. I want to assure the people of the affected areas and this country that we’ll deploy the assets necessary to get the situation under control, to get the help to the people who’ve been affected, and that we’re beginning long-term planning to help those who have been displaced, as well as long-term planning to help rebuild the communities that have been affected.

I’m looking forward to my trip down there and looking forward to thanking those on the ground and looking forward to assure people that we’ll get on top of this situation, and we’re going to help people who need help.

Thank you.

NOTE: The President spoke at 9:02 a.m. on the South Lawn at the White House. In his remarks, he referred to Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco of Louisiana; Lt. Gen. Russel L. Honore, USA, commanding general, First United States Army; Maj. Gen. Bennett C. Landreneau, Adjutant General for Louisiana; and Mayor Ray Nagin of New Orleans, LA.

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