Friday, March 03, 2006

"First Responders" - Asleep At The Switch

(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

From Associated Press, by Lara Jakes and Margaret Ebrahim

New Video Shows Blanco Saying Levees Safe

WASHINGTON - In the hectic, confused hours after Hurricane Katrina lashed the Gulf Coast, Louisiana's governor hesitantly but mistakenly assured the Bush administration that New Orleans' protective levees were intact, according to a new video obtained by The Associated Press showing briefings that day with federal officials.


"We keep getting reports in some places that maybe water is coming over the levees," Gov. Kathleen Blanco said shortly after noon on Aug. 29, according to the video that was obtained Thursday night. "We heard a report unconfirmed, I think, we have not breached the levee. I think we have not breached the levee at this time."

In fact, the Bottom of Form
National Weather Service received a report of a levee breach and issued a flash-flood warning as early as 9:12 a.m. that day, according to the White House's formal recounting of events the day Katrina struck.

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