Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans: A Flooded City, A Chaotic Response, Hearing Before the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, United States Senate, One Hundred Ninth Congress, First Session, October 20, 2005   [open pdf - 2MB]

From the opening statement of Susan M. Collins: "Today we will hear from the first FEMA employee who was on the ground in New Orleans immediately before, during, and after Hurricane Katrina. Marty Bahamonde is a career employee at FEMA who has responded to numerous natural disasters, including hurricanes in Florida and the massive earthquake in Iran in 2003. […] Contrary to former FEMA Director Michael Brown's testimony before the House Select Committee, Mr. Bahamonde told us that he was the only FEMA official in the area before and during the hurricane. […] Within FEMA itself, there was a failure to coordinate effectively. Mr. Bahamonde tried desperately to fill the void created by poor planning and a sluggish response. His accounts from the scene, some of which are preserved in E-mail messages, describe heroic efforts of FEMA employees deployed to the Superdome after the hurricane. But his E-mails also describe a complete disconnect between senior officials and the reality of the situation on the ground. Mr. Bahamonde wrote a poignant message on Saturday, September 3, in which he saluted the work of many FEMA employees, but also stated, 'The leadership from top down in our agency is unprepared and out of touch.' […] The information that he is providing this Committee will help us probe and better understand many troubling questions, such as how exactly did local, State, and Federal Governments react during the 16 hours between the report of the break in the levee and the time that the flood waters reached the Superdome. As the Committees investigation proceeds, we will examine further why critical information provided by Mr. Bahamonde was either discounted, misunderstood, or simply not acted upon." Statements, letters, and materials submitted for the record include those of the following: Susan M. Collins, Joseph I. Lieberman, John W. Warner, Carl Levin, Mark Dayton, Daniel K. Akaka, Mark Pryor, Frank Lautenberg, Thomas R. Carper, and Marty Bahamonde.

Report Number:
S. Hrg. 109-482; Senate Hearing 109-482
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Government Prinitng Office: http://www.gpoaccess.gov/
Media Type:
Help with citations