General who oversaw Katrina relief rips federal response to Harvey

The commanding officer who led the federal disaster relief response to Hurricane Katrina blasted current relief efforts in Louisiana and Texas following Hurricane Harvey, warning on Wednesday that officials were unprepared for the scope of the disaster.

"In Katrina, we had 40,000 National Guard [troops], 240 helicopters on the fourth day," retired Lt. Gen. Russel Honoré told CNN. "They just got 100 helicopters in Texas. Something is significantly wrong in our command and control."

"They need to stop patting each other on the back while these poor people are out here waiting to be rescued," he added.

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Honoré told CNN that the disaster caused by Harvey was "a lot bigger" than the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina, which in 2005 left more than 1,200 dead and caused $108 billion in damage.

"This is a lot bigger. I went out on a boat this morning in this very same community right here. This is huge," Honoré told CNN. "After Katrina, the air elements and air component of northern command created a significant grid system for search and rescue."

"I don't know where that is," he said. "It didn't look like anybody in Texas had ever read the plan."

President Trump visited the hurricane relief efforts in Texas on Tuesday, where he told assembled officials, including Texas's two senators, that he wanted his White House to be remembered for an effective response to the storm.

“We want to do it better than ever before,” Trump said Tuesday. He added that he would save his congratulations for after the response to the storm was over.

“We want to be looked at in five years, in 10 years from now as, this is the way to do it. This [storm] was of epic proportion. Nobody's ever seen anything like this and I just want to say that working with the governor and his entire team has been an honor for us. … We won't say congratulations. We don't want to do that. We don't want to congratulate. We'll congratulate each other when it's all finished, but you have been terrific.”

The federal government, especially former President George W. Bush, came under scrutiny over the response to Hurricane Katrina. 

Bush was criticized for a delayed response to Katrina’s devastating impact on Louisiana.