September 7, 2005
-- by Dave Johnson
While 42% of respondents characterized Bush's response to the disaster as bad or terrible, 35% said it was good or great. Federal agencies got exactly the same marks.
... Again, the views were strongly based on partisan leanings, with Republicans giving the president good grades on this issue by a 69% to 10% margin, while Democrats' views were precisely the opposite. But independents gave Bush a thumbs down by 47% to 29%.
Asked who was MOST responsible for the post-hurricane problems, 13% picked Bush, 18% said federal agencies, 25% selected state/local officials and 38% said no one was to blame.
Asked if top officials in federal agencies responsible for emergencies should be fired, 29% said yes, and 63% no. [emphasis added]
Flying over Biloxi and Gulfport and other areas of Mississippi, they could see rescue personnel on the ground, Lieutenant Udkow said, but he noticed that there were few rescue units around the flooded city of New Orleans, on the ground or in the air. "It was shocking," he said.House cancels hearings on Katrina response
[. . .] Lieutenant Udkow said that he saw few other rescue helicopters in New Orleans that day. The toughest part, he said, was seeing so many people imploring him to pick them up and having to leave some.
"I would be looking at a family of two on one roof and maybe a family of six on another roof, and I would have to make a decision who to rescue," he said. "It wasn't easy."
[. . .] The order to halt civilian relief efforts angered some helicopter crews. Lieutenant Udkow, who associates say was especially vocal about voicing his disagreement to superiors, was taken out of the squadron's flying rotation temporarily and assigned to oversee a temporary kennel established at Pensacola to hold pets of service members evacuated from the hurricane-damaged areas, two members of the unit said.
[. . .] In protest, some members of the unit have stopped wearing a search and rescue patch on their sleeves that reads, "So Others May Live."
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