Blanco sends 100,000 Katrina-related documents to Congress |

Blanco sends 100,000 Katrina-related documents to Congress

BATON ROUGE, La. – Gov. Kathleen Blanco on Friday sent thousands of Hurricane Katrina-related documents to congressional committees investigating government failures following the storm that killed over 1,000 people in Louisiana.The documents, including e-mail messages from state officials, were requested by the House Committee to Investigate the Preparation for and Response to Hurricane Katrina and the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.A Blanco spokeswoman said the 100,000 pages would also be released to the public, though it wasn’t immediately clear when.Blanco initially opposed the congressional committee investigations, saying an independent committee should instead be formed similar to the panel that looked into the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.In a written statement Friday, she said the “documents will demonstrate what I have said for several months – that dedicated employees of the state of Louisiana worked tirelessly and effectively during this period to save many thousands of lives.”In addition to state documents, the House committee has also requested documents from the White House and other federal agencies regarding their response to the disaster. A spokesman for Democratic Rep. Charlie Melancon said Friday that some of those documents still had not been submitted.The documents requested from the state include internal communications involving Blanco’s office, the state Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness and the Office of the Adjutant General; charts outlining who held key state jobs involving disaster preparation and response; and details about the governor’s legal authority in disasters.The committees also asked for documents from the last five years spelling out Louisiana’s hurricane and flood risks, and those relating to the hurricane planning exercise known as “Hurricane Pam.”Vail, Colorado

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