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FEMA in Florida as Rhode Island Deals With Worst Flooding in 200 Years, Obama Flies Over Flood Disaster and goes to Maine Talking Healthcare

 
Cyndexia
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04/02/2010 01:39 PM
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FEMA in Florida as Rhode Island Deals With Worst Flooding in 200 Years, Obama Flies Over Flood Disaster and goes to Maine Talking Healthcare
(CNSNews.com) – On Wednesday, one day after President Barack Obama issued an emergency declaration for flood-stricken Rhode Island authorizing the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency “to coordinate all disaster relief efforts” for the state, FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate was in sunny Orlando, Fla., giving a speech.

FEMA on Thursday told CNSNews.com that Fugate had been in Florida this week, attending a hurricane preparation conference, but despite repeated inquiries from CNSNews.com, administration spokesmen would not say specifically where Fugate was as of Thursday morning, or whether he had any plans to go to R.I. FEMA's statement said that Fugate’s deputy would go to R.I.

In response to phone inquiries to the FEMA press office and an email inquiry to FEMA Press Secretary Brad Carroll, specifically asking where Fugate was on Thursday and whether he intended to visit R.I., Carroll issued a written statement to CNSNews.com.

The statement said Fugate "has been in Florida this week" but did not state specifically where he was on Thursday or whether he intended to visit R.I.

Carroll's statement said: "The FEMA Administrator has been in Florida this week attending the National Hurricane Conference, meeting with key partners as we prepare for the upcoming Hurricane Season. He remains in contact with Secretary Napolitano, state and local officials, Congressional representatives and first responders on the ground as we work to support the ongoing response to the flooding. Rich Serino, the Deputy Administrator at FEMA, a career first responder and Boston native, will travel to Rhode Island in support of Secretary Napolitano tomorrow as they survey the damage and meet with state and local officials to make sure that they have the resources they need as we confront these floods.”

FEMA Administrator Fugate formerly served as director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management. He and his wife, FEMA says, are from Gainesville, Fla.



A devastated neighborhood in West Warwick, R.I., seen on Wednesday, March 31, 2010. Rhode Island rivers overflowed their banks after three days of record breaking rains. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)Gov. Don Carcieri described the flooding in Rhode Island as the worst in the state in 200 years. In addition to rivers overflowing their banks, state officials are worried about the stress being placed on old dams. They are also worried about an environmental catastrophe because of raw sewage flowing from flooded treatment plants into Narragansett Bay.

Part of I-95, the major arterial Interstate highway running up the East Coast of the United States, remained closed through Providence on Thursday morning because of flooding. And while sunshine is in Rhode Island’s forecast, flood warnings were still in effect as of Thursday morning, according to the National Weather Service.

Meanwhile, the National Weather Service predicted a sunny day Thursday with a high temperature of 82 degrees in Orlando, Fla., where FEMA Director Fugate was known to be on Wednesday.



A tow truck operator pulls a car out of a flooded road in Exeter, R.I., on Wednesday, March 31, 2010. (AP Photo/Joe Giblin)On Thursday morning, Department of Homeland Security Press Secretary Clark Stevens would not give CNSNews.com an on-the-record answer to the question of where Fugate was on Thursday, or whether he planned to visit Rhode Island.

In a Tuesday press release announcing President Obama’s emergency declaration for Rhode Island, the White House said, “Specifically, FEMA is authorized to identify, mobilize, and provide at its discretion, equipment and resources necessary to alleviate the impacts of the emergency.”

[link to www.cnsnews.com]

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I think someone wanted a nice sunny vacation.......


Last Edited by Cyndexia on 04/02/2010 01:57 PM
"Sometimes the object of the Journey may not be the end, but the Journey itself"


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Cyndexia  (OP)

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04/02/2010 01:52 PM
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Re: FEMA in Florida as Rhode Island Deals With Worst Flooding in 200 Years, Obama Flies Over Flood Disaster and goes to Maine Talking Healthcare
(CNSNews.com) -- President Barack Obama was scheduled to fly past flood-ravaged Rhode Island aboard Air Force One twice on Thursday as he traveled to Maine to give an afternoon speech lauding his health care bill, then to Boston for an evening fundraiser for the Democratic Party, and then back to Washington, D.C. late Thursday night.

Spokespersons for the Obama administration did not respond to CNSNews.com’s questions about the disaster, including why the president didn’t visit R.I., if he planned to do so in the near future and whether he could survey any of the extensive destruction caused by what the state’s governor is calling the worse flooding in 200 years.

Neither White House spokesman Nick Shapiro nor White House press office staffer Mora Mack responded to the questions asked via repeated e-mails.

According to the White House, the president’s schedule for Thursday did not include a visit to Rhode Island, although he will fly over or near the state twice on Thursday.

President Barack Obama departed from Andrews Air Force Base this afternoon to fly to Portsmouth, N.H. From there, Obama traveled to Portland, Maine, to deliver a speech at the Portland Expo Center about his health care overhaul law.

Obama was scheduled to leave Portland for an early evening fundraising reception for the Democratic National Committee and then a DNC dinner at the Boston Opera House.

Later, Thursday night he was scheduled to return to Washington, D.C.--without any scheduled stop in Rhode Island.

On March 30, Obama signed an emergency declaration for Rhode Island after Gov. Don Carcieri requested the move, putting Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) officials in place to work with state and local responders, and to allow individuals and businesses to apply for federal funds for losses and damages.

In addition to rivers overflowing their banks, state officials in R.I. are worried about the stress being placed on old dams. They are also worried about an environmental catastrophe because of raw sewage flowing from flooded treatment plants into Narragansett Bay.

The National Weather Service kept a flood warning in place on Thursday in R.I., although more rain was not in the forecast.


President Barack Obama at the Portland Expo in Portland, Maine, April 1, 2010. (AP Photo) In his speech in Maine, Obama did not mention the hardship faced by many of Rhode Island’s 1 million residents, but he did claim his health care law will help “struggling” small business owners “here in Maine and across America.”

“When I came here during the campaign, I made a promise,” Obama said as he continues his ongoing campaign-style stumping for health care. “It wasn’t just a promise about any one issue. It was a promise that our government would once again be responsive to the needs and aspirations of the middle-class.

"It was a promise that Washington would concern itself not just with the next election, but with the next generation of Americans."

“Keeping that promise is even more critical at a time when so many families and small business owners are still struggling here in Maine and across America,” Obama said.
[link to www.cnsnews.com]
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