Lott: ‘I Am Demanding Help for Mississippi'

[Sept. 5, 2005/verbatim statement] POPLARVILLE, Mississippi – U.S. Senator Trent Lott of Mississippi emerged from a one-on-one meeting with President Bush today in Poplarville asserting, "I am demanding help for the people of Mississippi to recover from the devastation of Hurricane Katrina."

Lott who has been battling the bureaucracy of FEMA and MEMA jurisdictional squabbles called on the President to authorize the immediate transport of 20,000 trailers, now sitting idle in Atlanta, to the Mississippi coast to provide housing for the tens of thousands of Mississippians now homeless. FEMA has refused to ship the trailers until contracts are signed specifying their exact locations in Mississippi.

"Mississippians are homeless, hungry and hurting," Lott said. "FEMA and MEMA need to be saying 'yes' to Mississippi's needs, not 'no.'"

Lott thanked the President for his relief and recovery efforts, but in addition to briefing the President on Mississippi's specific commodity and cash needs, he re-emphasized the need to curtail bureaucratic red tape as the relief process continues.

"This is an emergency situation without peer, like nothing our generation has ever encountered," Lott said. "If suffering people along the Gulf Coast from Mobile to New Orleans are going to recover as soon as possible, we'll need an unprecedented public and private effort that can't be hampered by a process geared toward much lesser disasters.

"The President understands this, and I am optimistic we're seeing a dramatic improvement in the relief effort and in the lives of Gulf Coast residents. We've got a long way to go, and that's the very reason we must remain focused solely on helping people now."

Lott said his paramount concern is the distribution of fuel to emergency vehicles key to the immediate relief and economic recovery efforts. The Senator has reached out to every major oil executive and is receiving regular status reports on the pipeline restoration process.

"Fuel shortages will continue as 95 percent of Gulf crude oil and 88 percent of natural gas production have been idled by Katrina," Lott said. "Nine refineries, including Chevron Pascagoula, the nation's second-largest refinery, have been shut down. That's about 25 percent of America's entire oil and gas production. But the pipelines carrying energy sources are close to 100 percent restored which means we can expect to see additional gasoline stations open throughout the state. I urge Mississippians to conserve as much fuel as possible while the shortages persist, and we'll continue working toward full restoration of our production and refining capacity."

- 30 -

Previous Comments

ID
134281
Comment

Lott v. FEMA; this is an interesting part of that release: Lott who has been battling the bureaucracy of FEMA and MEMA jurisdictional squabbles called on the President to authorize the immediate transport of 20,000 trailers, now sitting idle in Atlanta, to the Mississippi coast to provide housing for the tens of thousands of Mississippians now homeless. FEMA has refused to ship the trailers until contracts are signed specifying their exact locations in Mississippi. Ship the damn trailors.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-09-05T15:42:12-06:00
ID
134282
Comment

The FEMA director (Michael Brown) dropped the ball big time. But then again what else would you expect from a man who was fired from his last job overseeing horseshows because of incompetence? www.magnoliapolitics.blogspot.com

Author
JoeJ
Date
2005-09-06T04:51:53-06:00
ID
134283
Comment

RE: red tape, check this out: Within hours of Katrina blowing through south LA, MS, and AL, Walmart had a convoy going south on I-55 from their distribution center in Brookhaven, MS with water, food, clothes. At the FEMA checkpoint into LA, the convoy was turned back because FEMA didn't have its sh*t together! Many people saw this convoy and were amazed when it was rejected. At the very least, FEMA should have asked them to drop the trailers at this checkpoint for distribution when they were ready. Kudos to Walmart for the quick action. BOO-dos to FEMA for not having sense enough to accept the aid.

Author
Steph
Date
2005-09-06T08:05:39-06:00
ID
134284
Comment

Yes, you don't hear me say this often, but kudos to Wal-Mart. Also, any want to make "Fire Brownie" buttons? Bet they'd sell like hotcakes.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-09-06T10:08:06-06:00
ID
134285
Comment

I second that kudo to Wal-Mart. Ladd, I'd buy about 20 of those buttons! www.magnoliapolitics.blogspot.com

Author
JoeJ
Date
2005-09-06T10:17:40-06:00
ID
134286
Comment

"Lott who has been battling the bureaucracy of FEMA and MEMA jurisdictional squabbles called on the President to authorize the immediate transport of 20,000 trailers, now sitting idle in Atlanta, to the Mississippi coast to provide housing for the tens of thousands of Mississippians now homeless. FEMA has refused to ship the trailers until contracts are signed specifying their exact locations in Mississippi" Are you kidding me? Can I sign the contracts and assign locations? My best good friend in Hattiesburg can help direct me to some places I don't know that well, like Waveland and Poplarville.

Author
Melissa
Date
2005-09-06T11:51:25-06:00
ID
134287
Comment

Don't know if it is true or not, but I read on another message board that Gene Taylor was doing an interview on NPR. He told of a National Guard convoy that was turned away by FEMA because they didn't have a National Guard escort for protection- they ended up returning to their base (I am assuming Camp Shelby), loaded everything on helocopters, and flew *over* the FEMA roadblock to get to the devastated area! Added about a million dollars and many hours to the shipping, but what do you expect? But as they say on Faux News, "its too early to start blaming people- lets fix the problem first..."

Author
Rico
Date
2005-09-06T12:39:45-06:00
ID
134288
Comment

It's funny how it's "blame" when it's pointed toward their folks, but "accountability" when pointed at people they don't like. I think we have to see where the problems are asap, in order to fix them and be ready for another one that could happen anytime. Let the chips fall where they friggin' may. This ain't about protecting some political party's reputation or someone's feelings. I LOVE the idea that the National Guard flew the hell over FEMA to get where they needed to be, if that's what happened. But the cost of doing that is indefensible.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-09-06T12:47:01-06:00
ID
134289
Comment

From Lott today/verbatim: Navy Hospital Ship ëCOMFORTí To Arrive on Mississippi Coast This Week ñ Capacity increased from 250 to 1,000 beds ñ < PASCAGOULA, Mississippi ñ The U.S. Navy hospital ship ìCOMFORTî (T-AH-20) will moor at Pascagoula within the week to bring much-needed medical assistance and supplies to the hurricane-battered Mississippi Gulf Coast region, U.S. Senator Trent Lott said today. ìThe threat of disease is a serious challenge we face in the coming days,î Senator Lott said. ìWith virtually no power or running water, and decaying debris all along the coast, we must quickly maximize the medical presence throughout the stricken region. We must curtail the threat of sickness to prevent massive amounts of infections and other illnesses.î The ship normally has a 250-bed capacity, but in response to the coastís burgeoning medical needs, the Navy is working to temporarily increase that capacity to about 1,000 beds. It contains one of the nationís largest trauma facilities and includes 270 personnel who operate the shipís hospital facilities. ìIn a situation as unprecedented and disastrous as Katrina, illnesses normally relegated to history books are back among us, and these threats must be dealt with swiftly,î Lott said. ìUSNS COMFORT will help restore to South Mississippians a full-array of 21st century medical assets.î The 894-foot ship now is in Mayport, Florida. ìMississippians are very grateful for the multiple roles Americaís sailors are contributing to this relief effort,î Lott said. ìI hope every Mississippian personally will thank a soldier, sailor, airman, marine, guardsman, and anyone in uniform serving South Mississippiís communities today. The herculean effort of these dedicated men and women is the thread holding together whatís left of our communities, and theyíll be the first in line to build a new and stronger gulf coast.î USNS COMFORT joins two other Navy Ships, USS HARRY S. TRUMAN and USS BATAAN, in assisting the Katrina relief effort along the Mississippi coast. - 30 -

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-09-06T16:31:27-06:00
ID
134290
Comment

Another from/verbatim: U.S. Senate Passes Resolution Sending Nationís Condolences to Hurricane Katrina Victims ñ Commits to Stand by Them in Relief, Recovery Efforts ñ < WASHINGTON, D.C. ñ The U.S. Senate Tuesday night in a 94-0 unanimous vote of solidarity adopted a Sense of the Senate Resolution expressing the condolences of the nation to the victims of Hurricane Katrina, commending the resiliency of the people of the States of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, and committing to stand by them in the relief and recovery efforts. Three hours earlier, U.S. Senator Trent Lott of Mississippi returned to Washington and came straight to the Capitol to make an impassioned appeal on the Senate floor for help for Mississippians. Lott said he knew that the Senate will ìmake sure that the full force of the federal government is used, and where we need changes and where we need help, we will work together to put those in place.î ìIíve seen hurricanes of all kinds, and Iíve seen tornadoes and the devastation of ice storms and floods,î Lott said on the Senate floor. ìWeíve had everything in Mississippi but locusts, and I expect them to show up really soon. This is a disaster of Biblical proportions, and I just want the people to understand that. Weíre still looking for people we havenít been able to find. You canít even really comprehend the loss of life. The spirit of Mississippians has been indomitable. Weíll come back. Weíre going to rebuild, and weíll be bigger and better and stronger for it all. I just want to make sure the American people know that.î The text of S.Res. 233, the Senate-passed Resolution follows: Resolution Expressing the condolences of the Nation to the victims of Hurricane Katrina, commending the resiliency of the people of the States of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, and committing to stand by them in the relief and recovery efforts. ñ more ñ Senate Resolution ñ Add One Tuesday, September 6, 2005 Whereas, on August 28, 2005, Hurricane Katrina reached landfall devastating the Gulf coast states; Whereas there has yet to be a full accounting for all our citizens whose lives were tragically lost; Whereas the cost in human suffering is ongoing for hundreds of thousands of people who have lost loved ones, homes, and livelihoods; Whereas immediate humanitarian aid is still critically needed in many of the devastated regions; Whereas the devastation on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi, Louisiana, and Alabama is catastrophic; Whereas the City of New Orleans is tragically flooded and the surrounding communities of St. Bernard and Plaquemines parishes are devastated; Whereas every city on the Mississippi Gulf Coast is severely damaged or destroyed, including Waveland, Bay St. Louis, Pass Christian, Long Beach, Gulfport, Biloxi, Ocean Springs, Moss Point and Pascagoula; Whereas the States of Florida, Texas, and Georgia, also sustained damage; Whereas Coast Guard search and rescue teams, police, firefighters, and the National Guard have risked their lives to save others; Whereas doctors, nurses, and medical personnel worked expeditiously to ensure that hospitals, medical centers, and triage units provided needed care; Whereas the American Red Cross, the Salvation Army, and other volunteer organizations and charities are supplying hurricane victims with food, water, and shelter; Whereas the State of Texas has welcomed tens of thousands of victims from Louisiana, and other States are following its lead; Whereas the Army Corps of Engineers has worked to reinforce levees in Louisiana; and Whereas thousands of volunteers and government employees have committed time and resources to help with recovery efforts: Now, therefore, be it ñ more ñ Senate Resolution ñ Add Two Tuesday, September 6, 2005 Resolved, That the Senate ñ (1) expresses the condolences of the Nation to the victims of Hurricane Katrina; (2) commends the resiliency of the people of the States of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama; and (3) commits to stand by the people of the States of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama in the relief and recovery efforts. - 30 -

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-09-06T17:47:14-06:00
ID
134291
Comment

Another from Lott/verbatim: Trailers for Katrina Victims Enroute to South Mississippi, FEMA Tells Lott ñ Senator Grateful, Hopeful for Much Larger Second Wave ñ < JACKSON, Mississippi ñ U.S. Senator Trent Lott of Mississippi Tuesday said he has been notified by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) that some 300 travel trailers and 100 mobile homes now staged in Selma, Alabama, are being moved to South Mississippi for Hurricane Katrina victims who have lost their homes. Lott said he has been advised that FEMA plans to start processing applicants for the temporary homes as early as Wednesday, September 7. The announcement follows the Senatorís Monday appeal to President Bush to authorize the immediate transport of available trailers staged outside the Katrina disaster area. ìMississippians who have been without roofs over their heads for more than a week are grateful to the President, the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) and FEMA that this first installment of shelter is on the way, and weíre hopeful that a much larger wave will be close behind,î Lott said. - 30 -

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-09-06T17:58:45-06:00

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