Monday, September 19, 2005

Allen's no "Chicken Little"

Vice Admiral Allen has been all over the news. On CNN Daybreak this morning, they asked for viewers to comment on the disagreement between Allen and the mayor; the mayor says, "Come on home." Allen doesn't agree.

Said one viewer, "Listen to Admiral Allen. He's no Chicken Little. If he says to stay away, then stay away."

((Don't be content with only a teaser of this post;
read more of this musing.))


Okay, that was me. I was surprised they read my email on air, but they did. Peter from Virginia and no one on watch thought it might be me.

Anyway, Allen was on Meet the Press yesterday. Here's the transcript.
Well, Tim, as I was assigned the larger responsibilities for the principal federal official for the entire Gulf response a week ago, I've been consulting with FEMA and other agencies. We have some significant challenges ahead of us. One of them is that, with the evacuation of New Orleans and the surrounding parishes, these folks went to a lot of different areas. And trying to reach out and find out where they're at, touch them and give them individual assistance is becoming a challenge because of the broad geographical area that's been covered.

Additionally, because of the wide swath that the storm cut, our ability to put disaster recovery centers out there has been somewhat limited. In some cases, we do not have a permissive environment to operate in. Until yesterday, general re-entry into St. Bernard's Parish, for example, is not possible.

So what we are doing is looking at where we have infrastructure, where we can get leased space to put our disaster recovery centers in there and we're working at best speed. I've consulted with David Paulison, who's the acting director of FEMA, and have asked that all available FEMA employees that are not otherwise engaged, that are capable of this type of activity, are trained in it, be sent this direction.
In the mean time, no 911 service; no potable water; no public services. Yeh, it's not quite time to return to the Big Easy yet.

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