Administration's Response to Katrina Was a Man Made Disaster

One year ago today, we watched in horror as Katrina bore down on the Gulf and laid waste to an entire region. Yet as horrific as this storm was, what came next was in many ways worse. Who can forget the thousands of people stranded in New Orleans, waving from roof tops, wading through polluted water and left stranded at the Convention Center and the Super Dome.

The Administration's immediate response to Katrina was marked by chaos, confusion and gross incompetence. The Federal Government left thousands of people stranded in New Orleans for days without basic services or even food and water. The response to Katrina became a great shame for our nation.

In the aftermath of this disaster, President Bush tried to restore people's confidence in his Administration by making many promises of support to the desperate residents of the region. Sadly today, most of those promises have proven to be hollow. Thousands of families are still waiting on FEMA trailers, most homeowners are still waiting on federal loans, less than half of the public schools will open this fall and only three hospitals in New Orleans have re-opened.

While Katrina was not only a natural disaster, the aftermath was a man made one that exposed many ugly truths about how we treat our nation's least fortunate. I was ashamed at the Federal Government's response then and, sadly, I am still ashamed one year later. We must do better.