Blanco Says Louisiana Had Good Response Efforts

9-12-05 - Louisiana had a "well thought-out exit plan," in the days leading up to Hurricane Katrina and many more lives would have been lost without it, Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco said Sunday.

"There was not a single individual taking a slow step in our state," Blanco said at the Reliant Center, where more than 2,000 evacuees are still living after fleeing the devastation in New Orleans.

"I personally, and everybody I knew, begged people to leave before the storm came in. We had a very systematic, well thought-out exit plan. Hundreds of thousands left," she said. "We simply didn't have the infrastructure."

Government officials on the city, state and federal levels have been criticized for delays in evacuations and delivery of supplies, communications problems and law enforcement problems that led to looting and violence. Blanco, a Democrat, refused to blame President Bush, who is a Republican.

"He committed help to me," she said. "Help in those critical moments was slow in coming, not through any fault of the president."