La. governor blasts Brown criticism

Sept. 16, 2005 at 6:45 AM
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BATON ROUGE, La., Sept. 16 (UPI) -- Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco has sharply disputed criticism of her state's post-Katrina response.

Her target was former Federal Emergency Management Agency chief Michael Brown, who said Blanco and her staff were incapable of mounting an effective response when the agency came to help with Hurricane Katrina's unfolding disaster.

"The simple fact is that we needed something as simple and basic as buses delivered in a timely fashion from FEMA in order to save lives. They didn't do that," Blanco said in a written statement.

"The president addressed that issue when he removed Mr. Brown, and I thank him for that," she said.

Blanco has repeatedly sparred with FEMA over storm-response issues, New Orleans newspaper The Times-Picayune said Friday. She has questioned the pace of certain activities and recently said the effort to recover bodies from the disaster area has been too sluggish. Brown resigned earlier this week after being removed from on-site control of the hurricane aftermath.

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