Obama Vows Not to Repeat Katrina Mistakes

He makes his first visit as president to New Orleans
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 15, 2009 3:46 PM CDT
the Lower 9th Ward, the Industrial Canal, and the Mississippi River, bottom of photo, are seen from Air Force One as President Barack Obama arrives in New Orleans, La., Thursday, Oct. 15, 2009.    (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
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(Newser) – President Obama promised not to repeat the mistakes the Bush administration made responding to Hurricane Katrina. Speaking to residents of New Orleans' lower 9th ward, Obama said the Katrina disaster was caused not just by “nature, but by a failure of government." By improving communication among state, local, and federal disaster agencies, the administration is "making sure that a disaster like Katrina does not happen again,” he said.

With Obama spending less than 4 hours in New Orleans, critics such as Republican congressman Steve Scalise said the city deserved more than a “drive-through,” reports Bloomberg. But a White House spokesman countered that Obama has freed up $1.4 billion in aid for rebuilding New Orleans’ infrastructure and sent more top officials to the region “than to almost any other place in the country.”