Governor criticized for slow response to devastating storms
Friday, Jul 28, 2006
Did the governor drop the ball during the aftermath of the Metro East storms last week? The governor was on vacation last week, and it wasn’t until Saturday that his IEMA director arrived on the scene - three days after the first major storm hit. On Wednesday, the governor finally asked President Bush to declare five counties a federal disaster area.
The move by Blagojevich was made a week after Missouri Gov. Matt Blunt’s decision to activate the National Guard and five days after Bush’s emergency declaration on Friday covering St. Louis…
Meanwhile, the local emergency management guy is upset.
“Whenever Ameren tells you this is something like four times bigger than anything they’ve had, that ought to tell somebody something,” said Jack Quigley, director of Madison County’s Emergency Management Agency. “Why they weren’t moving faster on getting federal aid here, I don’t know.”
The local Democratic state Senator is fuming mad.
State Sen. William Haine and state Rep. Dan Beiser, both Alton Democrats, penned a curt letter Wednesday afternoon asking for the state to act on the federal aid request as soon as possible. Haine said he had been told that state officials were questioning whether to seek aid at all because the storm’s damage might not be severe enough.
And the governor has yet to visit the region.
A spokesman for the governor said Wednesday that he would visit the Metro East area soon but provided no details.
I got about ten e-mails a day from the governor’s office after Hurrican Katrina hit the Gulf coast describing everything the guv was doing for residents of other states. He ought to get on the stick.
How big were last week’s storms?
The National Weather Service believes seven tornadoes touched down in the St. Louis area last week as part of two storms that ravaged the region.
And then there’s this.
Some of the tons and tons of debris from last week’s storms began going up in smoke Thursday.