Cheney Impressed by Can-Do Attitude of Katrina Survivors
By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Sept. 8, 2005 Vice President Dick Cheney said today that he is impressed with the can-do attitude of the people in Mississippi.
Cheney, traveling through the region Hurricane Katrina devastated, said everyone he has met "is positive and upbeat."
"We're going to get it done. We're going to rebuild. We're going to get our schools open again. We're going to get our businesses back," the vice president said people told him throughout the region.
President Bush sent Cheney, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff and Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to the region to ensure all that needs to be done is being done. Cheney spoke during a stop in Gulfport, Miss., following a tour of the destruction there and then traveled to New Orleans for updates on the situation there.
"The progress we're making is significant," Cheney said. In the 10 days since the hurricane struck, there is a major National Guard presence in every community south of Interstate 20, the vice president said. Water and supplies are moving in to Mississippi, and search-and-rescue operations are in good shape, he said.
"They are now starting the recovery effort," Cheney said.
State and federal agencies are forging ways to work together, Cheney said.
Legal questions abound from the unprecedented destruction, he said. One such question is, "Can government money be used to clean up rubble on private property?" Another concerns whether flood insurance covers damage caused by the storm surge of a hurricane. "These are all things we are working," he said.
Cheney said the Federal Emergency Management Agency is working aggressively to get temporary shelters in to Mississippi. The vice president praised all the people involved in the rescue and recovery efforts. "I am tremendously heartened and encouraged by the commitment and enthusiasm and the spirit ... of the ones most directly affected by (the disaster)," Cheney said. "And we'll get it done."