Katrina recovery chief wants unity

Sept. 11, 2005 at 8:18 PM
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NEW ORLEANS, Sept. 11 (UPI) -- President Bush flew to New Orleans Sunday for his third visit to the areas on the Gulf Coast ravaged by Hurricane Katrina.

The president planned to spend the night on the USS Iwo Jima, an amphibious assault ship anchored at New Orleans to serve as a command and control center. On Monday, he is scheduled to meet officials working on the scene and tour parts of New Orleans and Mississippi before returning to Washington, CNN reported.

The president was greeted on arrival by New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin.

On "Meet The Press" Sunday morning, Nagin ducked a chance to criticize the president's response to Katrina, saying that after every face-to-face meeting Bush "acted and made things happen."

"I think the president, for some reason, probably did not understand the full magnitude of this catastrophe on the front end," said Nagin. "I think he was probably getting advice from some of his key advisers or some low-level folk that had been on the ground that this was serious, but not as serious as it ended up being."

The flood waters were slowly receding Sunday in New Orleans as pumps came back on line. But Coast Guard Vice Admiral Thad Allen, who now heads the federal effort in the area, said some houses in nearby St. Bernard Parish are still flooded "to the eaves."

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