Brown faults locals on Katrina

March 5, 2006 at 8:33 PM

WASHINGTON, March 5 (UPI) -- The former head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency said the Hurricane Katrina response was 70 percent the fault of state and local government.

Speaking on "Fox News Sunday," Michael Brown called for FEMA to be pulled out of the Department of Homeland Security and made an independent agency.

Brown, however, said the federal government response to Katrina was inadequate.

"I think that we had dropped the ball long before Katrina hit in not doing the kind of catastrophic disaster planning that the federal government should have been doing," he said.

Brown said the government knew how bad the storm would be but for some reason didn't act.

"And that's one of the things that I think we need to go back and find out, because I was sounding those alarm bells, and to this day I'm incredibly frustrated that we didn't move and could not move things faster," Brown said.

He also blamed Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff for interfering and giving mixed signals to people in Washington, D.C., and on the ground in the Katrina-affected areas.

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