WASHINGTON, DC– Earlier today, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff and President Bush, announced the appointment of Donald E. Powell as Coordinator of Recovery and Rebuilding in the Gulf Coast Region. Senator Susan Collins, who chairs the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, released the following statement:
“During the course of the committee’s investigation on the government’s preparation for and response to Hurricane Katrina, and through the four hearings we have held to date on the matter, it is clear that there remains a considerable lack of coordination among governments at all levels. State and local officials from the region have testified that there is considerable confusion and inadequate communication with federal officials. This lack of coordination would be a serious impediment to reconstruction efforts.
“I believe that the appointment of a Coordinator of Recovery and Rebuilding in the Gulf Coast will help expedite rebuilding and recovery efforts and help victims of the terrible storm get their lives back in order.”