Blanco Accepts Responsibility for Katrina Missteps - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Blanco Accepts Responsibility for Katrina Missteps

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Echoing the words of President Bush a day earlier, Governor Kathleen Blanco has taken responsibility for failures and missteps in the immediate response to Hurricane Katrina.

Blanco addressed a special meeting of the Louisiana Legislature Wednesday night. She acknowledged failures "at every level of government," and said that at the state level, "we must take a careful look at what went wrong and make sure it never happens again."

Blanco pledged a united effort to rebuild New Orleans and the surrounding parishes ravaged by the storm. She spoke of learning lessons from the disaster and moving forward with a rebuilding effort spanning all levels of government, although funded entirely with federal money.

She called President Bush "a friend and partner" in the recovery effort. Blanco said she would appoint an outside financial adviser to oversee the cash flow and is directing state agencies to limit their spending.

Addressing Louisiana residents who evacuated to other parts of the state and across the country, Blanco said: "I am telling each and every one of you: We want you back home."

As for any suggestion that the flooded city of New Orleans should not be rebuilt, Blanco declared, "Hear this and hear it well: We will rebuild."

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