Report released by former FEMA head finds lack of government capability in recent PA storm response
| 03.29.2007 | 04:39:07 | Views: 2939 | ID:
March 29 '07: The Associated Press reported that James Lee Witt, former head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, has released a new report detailing the Pennsylvanian state government's response to the Valentine's Day winter storm. In the independent report, commissioned by Gov. Ed Rendell, Witt said that an inexperienced staff, miscommunication and lack of resources were to blame.
Drivers along Interstates 78, 80 and 81 were stranded for more than 20 hours in below-freezing temperatures after heavy ice and snow blanketed the state in February.Specifically, the report found three major areas where the government failed to respond adequately: namely that information, communication and resources were not properly executed and exercised. Even the governor found that his awareness of the events were not sufficient to make the right and timely decisions, the AP reported. Additionally, "the state should clarify lines of authority, particularly the role of the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency ... [The report] also recommended the state rework how it gets cars off the roads during emergencies." Rendell called Witt's report "a real wake-up for myself and all of the senior people who deal with emergency management."
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