Evacuation plans for inauguration lacking

Dec. 12, 2008 at 11:46 AM
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WASHINGTON, Dec. 12 (UPI) -- The evacuation plans for the upcoming inauguration ceremony in Washington for U.S. President-elect Barack Obama are still incomplete, an official says.

Secret Service spokesman Malcolm Wiley said emergency plans regarding the National Mall event on Jan. 20, have yet to be finalized by federal and local officials, The Hill said Friday.

"We do not have the entire picture today," Wiley said. "The entire plan is not completed as of yet."

"I believe one of our agency counterparts, the D.C. Fire Department, is working on a mass evacuation plan," he added. "We're still working on that. We've got six weeks to go."

Meanwhile, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority spokeswoman Lisa Farbstein told The Hill there were questions whether the transport system would be capable of serving the millions of people expected to attend the presidential event.

"We're not going to be able to carry 2 (million) or 3 million people," she said. "We figure that we can carry approximately 120,000 people an hour max, on the rail system. That assumes best-case scenario that at 4 a.m. (when the Metro starts service) there are 120,000 people lined up ready to come in."

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