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Bush Tours Devastated Gulf Coast, Says Recovery Efforts Are 'Not Enough'

Bush Tours Devastated Gulf Coast, Says Recovery Efforts Are 'Not Enough'



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NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- Scorched by criticism about sluggish federal help, President Bush acknowledged the government's failure to stop lawlessness and help desperate people in New Orleans. "The results are not enough," Bush said Friday in the face of mounting complaints from Republicans and Democrats alike.

President Bush tries to comfort Bronwynn Bassier, 23, of Biloxi, Miss., center, and her sister Kim Bassier, 21, left, during a walking tour of the Biloxi, Miss., that was devastated by Hurricane Katrina, Friday, Sept. 2, 2005. Bush toured the Gulf Coast communities battered by Hurricane Katrina, hoping to boost the spirits of increasingly desperate storm victims and exhausted rescuers. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
President Bush tries to comfort Bronwynn Bassier, 23, of Biloxi, Miss., center, and her sister Kim Bassier, 21, left, during a walking tour of the Biloxi, Miss., that was devastated by Hurricane Katrina, Friday, Sept. 2, 2005. Bush toured the Gulf Coast communities battered by Hurricane Katrina, hoping to boost the spirits of increasingly desperate storm victims and exhausted rescuers. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Bush promised to crack down on crime and violence, rush food and medicine to the needy and restore electrical power within weeks to millions of customers across the Gulf Coast in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

"This is a storm that requires immediate action, now," the president said after a daylong tour of Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana. "I understand the devastation requires more than one day's attention. It's going to require the attention of this country for a long period of time."

Congress passed a $10.5 billion disaster aid package, and Bush said he would sign it by day's end.

President Bush gets a tour of the Superdome damaged by Hurrican Katrina in New Orleans aboard Marine One, Friday, Sept. 2, 2005. Bush is touring the Gulf Coast communities battered by Hurricane Katrina, hoping to boost the spirits of increasingly desperate storm victims and exhausted rescuers. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
President Bush gets a tour of the Superdome damaged by Hurrican Katrina in New Orleans aboard Marine One, Friday, Sept. 2, 2005. Bush is touring the Gulf Coast communities battered by Hurricane Katrina, hoping to boost the spirits of increasingly desperate storm victims and exhausted rescuers. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Inspecting the disaster scene from the air and on the ground, Bush said the damage was "worse than imaginable." He consoled weeping women and praised Coast Guard teams that pulled stranded people from the roofs of flooded homes. Bush also flew by helicopter to the ruptured 17th Street levee and watched workers load huge sandbags that were airlifted and dropped into the breach.

"The president is starting to grasp the magnitude of the situation," said Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La. Sen. Trent Lott, R-Miss., said, "The president obviously was just stunned" by what he saw.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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